The ability to trap, manipulate, and transport individual micro or nano-scale particles is an invaluable tool for the study of cells, viruses, DNA, proteins, and other biomolecules. Ohio State researchers have developed a two-dimensional magnetic array platform, using discrete micron-scale magnetic elements, that enables joystick or remote manipulation of individual or multiple cells trapped on the array. This invention can function as a “magnetic tweezer” and is an improvement over existing configurations, where dynamic refocusing or out-of-focus calibration is needed when observing the tweezers with an optical microscope. Furthermore, particles can be probed and studied using directed forces. Easy manufacturing using standard techniques would enable the set-up and simultaneous measurement of thousands of identical samples in order to acquire statistically valid real time responses. The invention can also be incorporated into microfluidic analytical devices to create a new family of on-chip analytic tools to detect small concentrations of one species in the midst of other species.
- Biomolecular analysis
- Clinical diagnosis
- Easy and inexpensive to manufacture using standard techniques
- Can be observed through an optical microscope
- Can use as magnetic tweezers to provide excellent control for holding and manipulating a molecule or cell
- Programmable or remotely operable