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New biochip technology uses tiny whirlpools to corral microbes
Date:1/8/2013

ir that work like a centrifuge to isolate specific types of particles based on size.

Particles of different sizes can be isolated by changing the electrical frequency, and the vortex moves wherever the laser is pointed, representing a method for positioning specific types of particles for detection and analysis.

The Lab on a Chip paper was written by Kwon; Ravindranath; Aloke Kumar, a researcher at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Joseph Irudayaraj, a Purdue professor of agricultural and biological engineering and deputy director of the Bindley Bioscience Center; and Wereley.

Much of the research has been based at the Birck Nanotechnology Center at Purdue's Discovery Park, in collaboration with Irudayaraj's group in the Bindley Bioscience Center.

The researchers used REP to collect three types of microorganisms: a bacterium called Shewanella oneidensis MR-1; Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a single-cell spherical fungus; and Staphylococcus aureus, a spherical bacterium. The new findings demonstrate the tool's ability to perform size-based separation of microorganisms, Wereley said.

"By properly choosing the electrical frequency we can separate blood components, such as platelets," Wereley said. "Say you want to collect Shewanella bacteria, so you use a certain electrical frequency and collect them. Then the next day you want to collect platelets from blood. That's going to be a different frequency. We foresee the ability to dynamically select what you will collect, which you could not do that with conventional tools."

The overall research field is called "optoelectrical microfluidics." More research is needed before the technology is ready for commercialization.

"It won't be on the market in a year," Wereley said. "We are still in the research end of this. We are sort of at the stage of looking for the killer app for this technology."

REP may be used as a tool for nanomanufacturing because it sh
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Contact: Emil Venere
venere@purdue.edu
765-494-4709
Purdue University
Source:Eurekalert  

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