Microfluidic optical sorting: Particle selection in an optical lattice

Michael P. MacDonald, Steven Neale, Lynn Paterson, Andrew Riches, Gabriel C. Spalding, Kishan Dholakia

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The path that a mesoscopic polarisable particle takes as it flows through a lattice of intensity maxima and minima (optical lattice) depends crucially upon the degree to which it interacts with the lattice. Two particles of dissimilar size, refractive index or even shape will interact in a different manner with such a lattice. Combining this selective interaction with a guiding mechanism has allowed us to achieve lateral separation of particles by all these properties simply by flowing them through an angled optical lattice. We present such particle separation in a variety of three-dimensional optical lattices discussing the importance of parameters such as flow speed, lattice intensity, lattice constant, lattice angle, maxima interconnectivity and flow chamber design. We also present cell sorting with the separation of erythrocytes from lymphocytes and present our flow chamber fabrication methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number01
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2004
EventOptical Trapping and Optical Micromanipulation - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: 2 Aug 20046 Aug 2004


  • Cell sorting
  • Microfluidics
  • Optical Fractionation
  • Optical Lattice
  • Optical Manipulation
  • Optical Sorting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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