Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dynamic Trapping and Two-Dimensional Transport of Swimming Microorganisms Using a Rotating Magnetic Micro-Robot

Zhou Ye and Metin Sitti

Manipulation of microorganisms with intrinsic motility is a challenging yet important task for many biological and biomedical applications. Currently, such a task has only been accomplished using optical tweezers, while at the risk of averse heating and photodamage of the biological samples. Here we proposed a new micro-robotic approach for fluidic trapping and two-dimensional transportation of motile microorganisms near a solid surface in fluids. We demonstrated selective trapping and transportation of individual freely swimming multi-flagellated bacteria over a distance of 30 μm (10 bodylength of the particle) on a surface, using the rotational flows locally induced by a rotating magnetic micro-particle. Only a weak uniform magnetic field (< 3 mT) was applied to actuate the micro-particle. The micro-particle can translate on a glass substrate by rotation at a speed of up to 100 μm/s, while providing a fluidic force of a few to tens of pico-Newtons.

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