UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a novel self-locking optoelectronic tweezer (SLOT) for single cell manipulation in conductive buffer over large areas.
Optoelectronic tweezers (OETs) use projected optical images to trap and transport tiny particles in parallel with sizes ranging from hundreds of micrometers to tens of nanometers. However, most conventional OET devices cannot operate in high conductivity media, or in regular physiological buffers, and only support the operation across a small field of view (FOV) to maintain the optical resolution required for single cell manipulation. Improvements to OETs will have applications spanning nanowire assembly, in vitro fertilization, tissue engineering, and rare cell sorting.
UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a novel self-locking OET to optically manipulate single cells and microparticles over large areas in buffer solutions, outperforming prior OETs. This self-locking tweezer allows selective release of microparticles using light, has improved resolution, and its operation area is not limited by the FOV of the objective lens. This invention is easily scaled up to wafer sizes, with an active slot trapping area around ~500 cm2, to trap millions of single cells in parallel, while achieving high throughput (>120,000 particles) manipulation in high conductivity media (>1 S/m). These SLOT chips can be easily reproduced or mass-produced at a low cost.
Prototype SLOT devices have been developed and shown to work with microparticles (10 µm in diameter) and cells suspended in regular physiological buffers.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||10,465,154||11/05/2019||2015-107|
Additional Patents Pending
Optoelectronic tweezers, OET, self-locking, self-locking optoelectronic tweezer, SLOT, single cell manipulation, nanomanipulation, in vitro fertilization, nanowire assembly, tissue engineering, rare cell sorting