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[Lab on a chip] Microfluidic-based high-throughput optical trapping of nanoparticles


Optical tweezers have emerged as a powerful tool for multiparametric analysis of individual nanoparticles with single-molecule sensitivity. However, its inherent low-throughput characteristic remains a major obstacle to its applications within and beyond the laboratory. This limitation is further exacerbated when working with low concentration nanoparticle samples. Here, we present a microfluidic-based optical tweezers system that can ‘actively’ deliver nanoparticles to a designated microfluidic region for optical trapping and analysis. The active microfluidic delivery of nanoparticles results in significantly improved throughput and efficiency for optical trapping of nanoparticles. We observed a more than tenfold increase in optical trapping throughput for nanoparticles as compared to conventional systems at the same nanoparticle concentration. To demonstrate the utility of this microfluidic-based optical tweezers system, we further used back-focal plane interferometry coupled with a trapping laser for the precise quantitation of nanoparticle size without prior knowledge of the refractive index of nanoparticles. The development of this microfluidic-based active optical tweezers system thus opens the door to high-throughput multiparametric analysis of nanoparticles using precision optical traps in the future.

Abhay Kotnala,a Yi Zheng,b Jianping Fubcde and Wei Cheng*afg

Author affiliations

*Corresponding authors

aDepartment of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Michigan, 428 church street, Ann Arbor, USA

bDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2350 Hayward street, Ann Arbor, USA

cDepartment of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

dDepartment of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, USA

eMichigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

fDepartment of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, USA E-mail: chengwe@med.umich.edu

gDepartment of Biophysics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

Link: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2017/LC/C7LC00286F#!divAbstract

#06032017 #optical #trapping #Nanoparticle #opticaltweezer

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