The micromanipulation of biological samples is important for microbiology, pharmaceutical science, and related bioengineering fields. In this work, we report the fabrication and characterization of surface-attached microbeam arrays of 20 μm width and 25 μm height made of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide), a thermoresponsive polymer, with embedded spherical or octopod Fe3O4 nanoparticles. Below 32 °C, the microbeams imbibe water and buckle with an amplitude of approximately 20 μm. Turning on an AC-magnetic field induces the microbeam array to expel water due to the heating effect of the nanoparticles (magnetic hyperthermia), leading to a reversible transition from a buckled to nonbuckled state. It is observed that the octopod nanoparticles have a heating rate 30% greater (specific absorption rate, SAR) than that of the spherical nanoparticles, which shortens the time scale of the transition from the buckled and nonbuckled state. The return of the microbeams to the buckled state is accomplished by turning off the AC magnetic field, the rate of which is dictated by dissipation of heat and is independent of the type of nanoparticle. It is further demonstrated that this transition can be used to propel 50 μm spherical objects along a surface. While the motion is random, this study shows the promise of harnessing shape-shifting patterns in microfluidics for object manipulation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
R.T. acknowledges partial support from NSF Grant CMMI-1143053. The authors acknowledge valuable discussions about the nanostructures and magnetic analysis with Dr. Manh-Huong Phan.
© 2016 American Chemical Society.
- AC magnetic hyperthermia
- lower critical solution temperature
- magnetic thermoresponsive materials