Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

Quantitative generation of microfluidic flow by using optically driven microspheres

1 College of Mechatronics and Control Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
2 Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA
3 College of Computer Science & Technology, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310023, China

Special Issues: Advanced Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine

Microfluidic flow generation plays a fundamental role in microfluidic systems and shows potential for applications in basic biology and clinical medicine. In this study, an enabling technology is proposed to quantitatively generate microfluid flow through the automatic movement of a microsphere in liquid by using optical tweezers. A closed-loop control strategy with visual servoing feedback is introduced to achieve high precision and robustness. The theoretical solution of the generated microfluid is obtained on the basis of Stokes equations. An experimental method is proposed, and experiments are performed to verify the effectiveness of our approach. This method does not impose any dedicated fabrication of microtool, and the microfluidic flow can be dexterously adjusted by controlling the direction, speed, and distance of the microsphere from a target location. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of optically actuating liquids through the translational movement of microspheres with closed-loop control. The proposed method will be useful in various biomedical applications needing quantitative, precise and controllable localized microfluid.
  Article Metrics

Keywords microfluidic flow; microfluidic system; theoretical solution; optical tweezers; optical trap; microsphere

Citation: Songyu Hu, Ruifeng Hu, Liping Tang, Weiwei Jiang, Banglin Deng. Quantitative generation of microfluidic flow by using optically driven microspheres. Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering, 2019, 16(6): 6696-6707. doi: 10.3934/mbe.2019334


  • 1. L. H. Hung and A. P. Lee, Microfluidic devices for the synthesis of nanoparticles and biomaterials, J. Med. Biol. Eng., 27(2007), 1–6.
  • 2. P. Yager, T. Edwards, E. Fu, et al., Microfluidic diagnostic technologies for global public health, Nature, 442(2006), 412–418.
  • 3. J. Mairhofer, K. Roppert and P. Ertl, Microfluid systems for pathogen sensing: A review, Sensors, 9(2009), 4804–4823.
  • 4. M. Shamsi, M. Saghafian, M. Dejam, et al., Mathematical modeling of the function of Warburg effect in tumor microenvironment, Sci Rep, 8(2018), 8903.
  • 5. M. Shamsi, A. Sedaghatkish, M. Dejam, et al., Magnetically assisted intraperitoneal drug delivery for cancer chemotherapy, Drug Deliv., 25(2018), 846–861.
  • 6. J. L Li, D. Day and M. Gu, Design of a compact microfluidic device for controllable cell distribution, Lab Chip, 10(2010), 3054–3057.
  • 7. Q. Wang, L. Huang, K. Wen, et al., The mean and noise of stochastic gene transcription with cell division, Math. Biosci. Eng., 15(2018), 1255–1270.
  • 8. R. Dhumpa and M. G. Roper, Temporal gradients in microfluidic systems to probe cellular dynamics: a review, Anal Chim Acta., 19(2012), 9–18.
  • 9. Ahmed and J. I. Siddique, The effect of magnetic field on flow induced-deformation in absorbing porous tissues, Math. Biosci. Eng., 16(2019), 603–618.
  • 10. M. Dejam, H. Hassanzadeh and Z. Chen, Shear dispersion in combined pressure-driven and electro-osmotic flows in a channel with porous walls, Chem. Eng. Sci., 137(2015), 205–215.
  • 11. V. Faustino, S. O. Catarino, R. Lima, et al., Biomedical microfluidic devices by using low-cost fabrication techniques: a review, J. Biomech., 49(2016), 2280–2292.
  • 12. K. S. Tee, M. S. Saripan, H. Y. Yap, et al., Development of a mechatronic syringe pump to control fluid in a microfluidic device based on polyimide film, IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 226(2017), 012031. Available from: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1757-899X/226/1/012031/meta
  • 13. T. Bayraktar and S. B. Pidugu, Characterization of liquid flows in microfluidic systems, Int. J. Heat Mass Transf., 49(2006), 815–824.
  • 14. M. P. Hughes, Strategies for dielectrophoretic separation in laboratory on-a-chip systems, Electrophoresis, 23(2002), 2569–2582.
  • 15. F. Petersson, L. Aberg, A. M. Swärd-Nilsson, et al., Free flow acoustophoresis: microfluidic-based mode of particle and cell separation, Anal. Chem., 79(2007), 5117–5123.
  • 16. S. Kim and K. Ishiyama, Magnetic robot and manipulation for active locomotion with targeted drug release, IEEE-ASME Trans.Mechatron., 19(2014), 1651–1659.
  • 17. C. Pawashe, S. Floyd and M. Sitti, Modeling and experimental characterization of an untethered magnetic micro-robot, Int. J. Robot. Res., 28(2009), 1077–1094.
  • 18. J. Köhler, R. Ghadiri, S. I. Ksouri, et al., Generation of microfluidic flow using an optically assembled and magnetically driven microrotor, J. Phys. D. Appl. Phys., 47(2014), 505501.
  • 19. X. Wang, X. Gou, S. Chen, et al., Cell manipulation tool with combined microwell array and optical tweezers for cell isolation and deposition, J. Micromech. Microeng., 23(2013), 075006.
  • 20. A. Ashkin, J. M. Dziedzic, J. E. Bjorkholm, et al., Observation of a single-beam gradient force optical trap for dielectric particles, Opt. Lett., 11(1986), 288–290.
  • 21. K. Svoboda and S. M. Block, Biological applications of optical forces, Annu. Rev. Biophys. Biomol. Struct., 23(1994), 247–285.
  • 22. D. McGloin, Optical tweezer: 20 years on, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, 364(2006), 3521–3537.
  • 23. T. Yang, Y. Chen and P. Minzioni, A review on optical actuators for microfluidic systems, J. Micromech. Microeng., 27(2017), 123001.
  • 24. A. Terray, J. Oakey and D. W. M. Marr, Microfluidic control using colloidal devices, Science, 296(2002), 1841–1844.
  • 25. S. L. Neale, M. P. MacDonald, K. Dholakia, et al., All-optical control of microfluidic components using form birefringence, Nat. Mater., 4(2005), 530–533.
  • 26. S. Maruo and H. Inoue, Optically driven micropump produced by three-dimensional two-photon microfabrication, Appl. Phys. Lett., 89(2006), 144101.
  • 27. U. G. Būtaitė, G. M. Gibson, Y. L. Ho, et al., Indirect optical trapping using light driven micro-rotors for reconfigurable hydrodynamic manipulation, Nat. Commun., 10(2019), 1215.
  • 28. J. Leach, H. Mushfique, R. d. Leonardo, et al., An optically driven pump for microfluidics, Lab Chip, 6(2006), 735–739.
  • 29. T. Wu, T. A. Nieminen, S. Mohanty, et al., A photon-driven micromotor can direct nerve fibre growth, Nat. Photonics, 6(2012), 62–67.
  • 30. C. Liu, S. Li, B. Ji and B. Huo, Flow-induced migration of osteoclasts and regulations of calcium signaling pathways, Cell. Mol. Bioeng., 8(2015), 213–223.
  • 31. B. Roy, T. Das, D. Mishra, et al., Oscillatory shear stress induced calcium flickers in osteoblast cells, Integr. Biol., 6(2014), 289–299.
  • 32. Y. Xin, X. Chen, X. Tang, et al., Mechanics and actomyosin-dependent survival and chemoresistance of suspended tumor cells in shear flow, Biophys. J., 116(2019), 1803–1814.
  • 33. S. Hu and D. Sun, Automatic transportation of biological cells with a robot-tweezer manipulation system, Int. J. Robot. Res., 30(2011), 1681–1694.
  • 34. S. Hu, S. Chen, S. Chen, et al., Automated transportation of multiple cell types using a robot-aided cell manipulation system with holographic optical tweezers, IEEE-ASME Trans. Mechatron., 22(2017), 804–814.
  • 35. S. Chowdhury, P. Švec, C. Wang, et al., Automated cell transport in optical tweezers-assisted microfluidic chambers, IEEE Trans. Autom. Sci. Eng., 10(2013), 980–989.
  • 36. X. Li and C. C. Cheah, A simple trapping and manipulation method of biological cell using robot-assisted optical tweezers: singular perturbation approach, IEEE Trans. Ind. Electron., 64(2017), 1656–1663.
  • 37. S. Liu, D. Sun and C. Zhu, A dynamic priority based path planning for cooperation of multiple mobile robots in formation forming, Robot. Comput-Integr. Manuf., 30(2014), 589–596.
  • 38. X. Li, H. Yang, J. Wang, et al., Design of a robust unified controller for cell manipulation with a robot-aided optical tweezers system, Automatica, 55(2015), 279–286.
  • 39. P. Kundu, I. Cohan and D. Dowling, Fluid mechanics, 5th edition, Academic Press, Berlin (2012).


Reader Comments

your name: *   your email: *  

© 2019 the Author(s), licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved