Low-cost optical manipulation using hanging droplets of PDMS

Craig McDonald (Lead / Corresponding author), David McGloin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
220 Downloads (Pure)


We propose and demonstrate a low-cost optical micromanipulation system that makes use of simple microfrabricated 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 report trapping Q values of ~ 8.9 × 10-3. The techniques here are an addition to the growing body of work on low cost and adaptable microfluidics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55561-55565
Number of pages5
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number68
Early online date17 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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