A concise review of microfluidic particle manipulation methods

Shuaizhong Zhang, Ye Wang, Patrick R. Onck, Jaap M.J. den Toonder (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
76 Downloads (Pure)


Particle manipulation is often required in many applications such as bioanalysis, disease diagnostics, drug delivery and self-cleaning surfaces. The fast progress in micro- and nano-engineering has contributed to the rapid development of a variety of technologies to manipulate particles including more established methods based on microfluidics, as well as recently proposed innovative methods that still are in the initial phases of development, based on self-driven microbots and artificial cilia. Here, we review these techniques with respect to their operation principles and main applications. We summarize the shortcomings and give perspectives on the future development of particle manipulation techniques. Rather than offering an in-depth, detailed, and complete account of all the methods, this review aims to provide a broad but concise overview that helps to understand the overall progress and current status of the diverse particle manipulation methods. The two novel developments, self-driven microbots and artificial cilia-based manipulation, are highlighted in more detail.
Original languageEnglish
Article number24
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalMicrofluidics and Nanofluidics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Microfluidics
  • Particle manipulation
  • Self-driven microbots
  • Artificial cilia


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