Issue 68, 2015

Low-cost optical manipulation using hanging droplets of PDMS


We propose and demonstrate a low-cost optical micromanipulation system that makes use of simple microfabricated components coupled to a smartphone camera for imaging. Layering hanging droplets of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) on microscope coverslips, and curing with a 100 W bulb, creates lenses capable of optical trapping. Optically trapped 3.93 μm silica beads were imaged with a second hanging droplet lens, doped with 1400 μg mL−1 Sudan II dye. Through doping, a lens with an integrated long-pass filter that effectively blocks the 532 nm trapping light was produced. Illumination was provided by shining a lamp into polystyrene foam packaging, perpendicular to the imaging path, producing a diffuse light source. We observed two dimensional trapping and report a Q value of ∼8.9 × 10−3. The techniques here are an addition to the growing body of work on low cost and adaptable microfluidics.

Graphical abstract: Low-cost optical manipulation using hanging droplets of PDMS

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
24 Apr 2015
17 Jun 2015
First published
17 Jun 2015
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

RSC Adv., 2015,5, 55561-55565

Author version available

Low-cost optical manipulation using hanging droplets of PDMS

C. McDonald and D. McGloin, RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 55561 DOI: 10.1039/C5RA11431D

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