Virtual Infrared Plasmonic Tweezers for Versatile Manipulation of Cells and Biomolecules
University of Texas at Austin
Microfluidic lab-on-a-chip devices that enable the high-throughput, low-cost, and reliable cellular and molecular analysis at the minimal consumption of energy, space, and samples are highly desired for life sciences and global healthcare. With the capability of manipulating light at the nanoscale, surface plasmons enable the development of miniaturized optical sensors and tweezers that are integratable with microfluidic systems. We exploit a synergistic integration of plasmon-enhanced optical sensing and manipulation with the microfluidics-enabled fluid control for the lab-on-a-chip innovations. We have demonstrated the large-scale parallel patterning of cells and particles using plasmonic tweezers. We have also designed the on-chip plasmonic sensors of high figure-of-merit based on plasmon lattice resonance structures. These plasmonic tweezers and sensors represent a big step towards our overarching goal - the development of self-sustaining, portable devices that could bring health care monitoring and diagnostics to underserved areas while advancing study in life sciences.