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Issue 15, 2011
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Magnetic micropillars as a tool to govern substrate deformations

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Magnetic actuated microdevices can be used to achieve several complex functions in microfluidics and microfabricated devices. For example, magnetic mixers and magnetic actuators have been proposed to help handling fluids at a small scale. Here, we present a strategy to create magnetically actuated micropillar arrays. We combined microfabrication techniques and the dispersion of magnetic aggregates embedded inside polymeric matrices to design micrometre scale magnetic features. By creating a magnetic field gradient in the vicinity of the substrate, well-defined forces were applied on these magnetic aggregates which in turn induced a deflection of the micropillars. By dispersing either spherical aggregates or magnetic nanowires into the gels, we can induce synchronized motions of a group of pillars or the movement of isolated pillars under a magnetic field gradient. When combined with microfabrication processes, this versatile tool leads to local as well as global substrate actuations within a range of dimensions that are relevant for microfluidics and biological applications.

Graphical abstract: Magnetic micropillars as a tool to govern substrate deformations

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Article information

29 Mar 2011
11 May 2011
First published
15 Jun 2011

Lab Chip, 2011,11, 2630-2636
Article type
Technical Note

Magnetic micropillars as a tool to govern substrate deformations

J. le Digabel, N. Biais, J. Fresnais, J. Berret, P. Hersen and B. Ladoux, Lab Chip, 2011, 11, 2630
DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20263D

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