Three-dimensional optofluidic device for isolating microbes

A. Keloth*, L. Paterson, G. H. Markx, A. K. Kar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


Development of efficient methods for isolation and manipulation of microorganisms is essential to study unidentified and yet-to-be cultured microbes originating from a variety of environments. The discovery of novel microbes and their products have the potential to contribute to the development of new medicines and other industrially important bioactive compounds. In this paper we describe the design, fabrication and validation of an optofluidic device capable of redirecting microbes within a flow using optical forces. The device holds promise to enable the high throughput isolation of single microbes for downstream culture and analysis. Optofluidic devices are widely used in clinical research, cell biology and biomedical engineering as they are capable of performing analytical functions such as controlled transportation, compact and rapid processing of nanolitres to millilitres of clinical or biological samples. We have designed and fabricated a three dimensional optofluidic device to control and manipulate microorganisms within a microfluidic channel. The device was fabricated in fused silica by ultrafast laser inscription (ULI) followed by selective chemical etching. The unique three-dimensional capability of ULI is utilized to integrate microfluidic channels and waveguides within the same substrate. The main microfluidic channel in the device constitutes the path of the sample. Optical waveguides are fabricated at right angles to the main microfluidic channel. The potential of the optical scattering force to control and manipulate microorganisms is discussed in this paper. A 980 nm continuous wave (CW) laser source, coupled to the waveguide, is used to exert radiation pressure on the particle and particle migrations at different flow velocities are recorded. As a first demonstration, device functionality is validated using fluorescent microbeads and initial trials with microalgae are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMicrofluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XIII
EditorsBL Gray, H Becker
Place of PublicationBellingham
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventConference on Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XIII - San Francisco, Canada
Duration: 7 Feb 20159 Feb 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceConference on Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems XIII


  • Ultrafast
  • optofluidic
  • scattering
  • microalgae
  • microbe
  • waveguide
  • microfluidic
  • radiation pressure


Dive into the research topics of 'Three-dimensional optofluidic device for isolating microbes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this