Letter

Nanophotonic trapping for precise manipulation of biomolecular arrays

  • Nature Nanotechnology volume 9, pages 448452 (2014)
  • doi:10.1038/nnano.2014.79
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Abstract

Optical trapping is a powerful manipulation and measurement technique widely used in the biological and materials sciences1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. Miniaturizing optical trap instruments onto optofluidic platforms holds promise for high-throughput lab-on-a-chip applications9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16. However, a persistent challenge with existing optofluidic devices has been achieving controlled and precise manipulation of trapped particles. Here, we report a new class of on-chip optical trapping devices. Using photonic interference functionalities, an array of stable, three-dimensional on-chip optical traps is formed at the antinodes of a standing-wave evanescent field on a nanophotonic waveguide. By employing the thermo-optic effect via integrated electric microheaters, the traps can be repositioned at high speed (30 kHz) with nanometre precision. We demonstrate sorting and manipulation of individual DNA molecules. In conjunction with laminar flows and fluorescence, we also show precise control of the chemical environment of a sample with simultaneous monitoring. Such a controllable trapping device has the potential to achieve high-throughput precision measurements on chip.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank members of the Wang Lab and the Lipson Lab for critical comments on this work. We especially thank J.L. Killian, L.D. Brennan, T. Roland, T.M. Konyakhina, and G.W. Feigenson for technical assistance. The authors acknowledge postdoctoral support to R.A.F. from the American Cancer Society (125126-PF-13-205-01-DMC), graduate traineeship support to S.N.S. from Cornell's Molecular Biophysics Training Grant funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH, T32GM008267) and a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (grant no. DGE-1144153), and support to M.D.W. by the NIH (GM059849) and the NSF (MCB-0820293). This work was performed in part at the Cornell NanoScale Facility, a member of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, which is supported by the NSF (grant ECCS-0335765).

Author information

Author notes

    • Mohammad Soltani
    •  & Jun Lin

    These authors contributed equally to this work

Affiliations

  1. Department of Physics—Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA

    • Mohammad Soltani
    • , Jun Lin
    • , Robert A. Forties
    • , James T. Inman
    • , Summer N. Saraf
    • , Robert M. Fulbright
    •  & Michelle D. Wang
  2. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA

    • Mohammad Soltani
    • , Jun Lin
    • , Robert A. Forties
    •  & Michelle D. Wang
  3. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA

    • Michal Lipson
  4. Kavli Institute at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA

    • Michal Lipson

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Contributions

M.D.W. conceived the original concept for nSWAT and supervised the project. M.D.W. and M.S. collaborated on the experimental design and implementation. M.S. tested and optimized early prototypes of the nSWAT device. M.S. designed and simulated detailed features necessary to realize the current nSWAT implementation. M.S. and J.L. fabricated the devices with help from J.T.I., S.N.S. and M.L. J.L., R.A.F., M.S., J.T.I., S.N.S. and M.D.W. designed the measurement experiments. J.L., R.A.F., M.S. and S.N.S. performed the experiments with help from J.T.I. R.A.F., M.S. and J.L. analysed the data with help from S.N.S. J.T.I., J.L., R.A.F, M.S., S.N.S. and R.M.F. upgraded an existing measurement setup. M.D.W. and M.L. contributed materials/analysis tools. All authors contributed in drafting of the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michelle D. Wang.

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