Light-inspired biochip

  June 2/9, 2008
A type of biochip steers, bends and focuses streams of cells and microscopic beads, making it possible to mix and sort cells and bead-borne biological molecules on chip.

The biochip design is inspired by metamaterials that channel lightwaves in small spaces. The design uses tiny posts to deflect cells and particles of certain sizes flowing in fluids, and specific configurations of the posts provide precise control over the objects' trajectories.

Biochips with these capabilities could be used to rapidly diagnose diseases and screen potential drugs.

Research paper:
Hydrodynamic metamaterials: Microfabricated arrays to steer, refract, and focus streams of biomaterials
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 27, 2008

Researchers' homepages:
Nanostructure Laboratory
The Sturm Group
Austin Research Group
Ophelia K. C. Tsui

Related stories and briefs:
Like a rolling cell... (a method of channeling cells in a fluid)

Further info:
How It Works -- Biochips: microscopic plumbing

Back to TRN June 2/9, 2008

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