Controlled manipulation of individual micro- and nanoscale objects requires the use of trapping forces that can be focused and translated with high spatial and time resolution. We report a new strategy that uses the flow of mobile microvortices to trap and manipulate single objects in fluid with essentially no restrictions on their material properties. Fluidic trapping forces are generated toward the center of microvortices formed by magnetic microactuators, that is, rotating nanowire or self-assembled microbeads, actuated by a weak rotating magnetic field (|B|< 5 mT). We demonstrate precise manipulation of single microspheres and microorganisms near a solid surface in water.
© 2011 American Chemical Society