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Using Actuated Cilia to Regulate Motion of Microscopic Particles

[+] Author Affiliations
Alexander Alexeev, Rajat Ghosh

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Gavin A. Buxton

Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, PA

O. Berk Usta, Anna C. Balazs

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Paper No. NEMB2010-13227, pp. 43-44; 2 pages
  • ASME 2010 First Global Congress on NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology
  • ASME 2010 First Global Congress on NanoEngineering for Medicine and Biology
  • Houston, Texas, USA, February 7–10, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME Nanotechnology Council
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4392-5 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3866-2
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Marine animals use microscopic elastic filaments, or cilia, to capture food particles that are suspended in the surrounding solution [1, 2]. In the respiratory tract, active cilial layers facilitate the transport of particulates such as dust or mucous. These motile cilia experience the surrounding fluid as a highly viscous, low Reynolds number environment, where the effects of inertia are negligible [2]. Nevertheless, by oscillating in a periodic, time-irreversible manner, the elastic cilia can generate net currents within the fluid and thereby, effectively transport and direct microscopic particles. The behavior of these biological cilia provides a useful design concept for creating microfluidic devices where actuated “synthetic cilia” would regulate the movement of micrometer-sized particles, such as biological cells and polymeric microcapsules.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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