Saturday, 23 February 2013

Controlling liquids with lasers....

Using lasers and Marangoni effect to control liquids at the microscale is awesome.  This is concentrated in two projects by a scientist at Wayne State University.  The first is Optofluidic Tweezers that manipulate particles.  This technique uses the not compelely understood Marangoni flow, which is a surface tension-driven phenomenon that becomes more powerful at a small scale.  Why are people spending money on this?

He can use these droplets for liquid handling.  This important for all sorts of applications that I won't mention because some of them have not been invented.   It is also just really cool to move water with lasers.  That kind of ability currently only belongs to Superman.

The second project is called "Tensiophoresis: Label Free Droplet Sorting in Surfactant Microgradients," 
To make better cell sort droplets based on their chemical composition but without the use of labels.  Tensiophoresis uses the phenomenon of capillary migration to sort droplets based on their chemical composition, without the fluorescent labels typically required in such assays.  There are again a range of things to do with this technique from cell sorting to understanding biology better.

Find out more here: