Selective, precise, and high-throughput manipulation of individual superparamagnetic microparticles has profound applications in performing location-tailored in vitro biomedical studies. The current techniques for manipulation of microparticles allow only a single particle in the manipulation workspace, or simultaneous transportation of multiple microparticles in batches. In this work, a method based on a robotized electromagnetic needle for manipulation of individual superparamagnetic microparticles within a microparticle population is introduced. By automatically controlling the highly localized magnetic field of the needle, a single microparticle is selectively picked when its neighboring particle is few micrometers away. Supported by the nanometer resolution of the robotic positioner, particles are placed at sub-micrometer precision. This manipulation technique allows the creating of arbitrary patterns, sorting of microparticles based on size and morphology, and transporting of individual microparticles in 3D space. Therefore, this approach has the potential to enable more deterministic and quantitative microanalysis and microsynthesis using superparamagnetic microparticles.
- electromagnetic needles
- superparamagnetic microparticles