A stirring system using suspended magnetically-actuated pillars for controlled cell clustering

Aref Saberi, Shuaizhong Zhang, Carola van den Bersselaar, Harkamaljot Kandail, Jaap M.J. den Toonder, Nicholas A. Kurniawan (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Controlled stirring of a solution is a household task in most laboratories. However, most stirring methods are perturbative or require vessels with predefined shapes and sizes. Here we propose a novel stirring system based on suspended magnetically-actuated pillars (SMAPs), inspired by the ability of biological flagella and cilia to generate flow. We fabricated flexible, millimeter-scale magnetic pillars grafted on transparent polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrates and built a simple actuation setup to control the motion of the pillars remotely. We tested the system with a standard 24-well plate routinely used in most research laboratories and demonstrate that the magnetic actuation results in robust bending of the pillars and large-scale fluid flow in the wells. Quantitative analysis using computational fluid dynamics modeling indicates that the flow profile in the well can be tuned by modulating the applied magnetic field and the geometries of the well and the pillar. Finally, we show that, by employing the stirring system in a standard cell culture plate, we were able to obtain controlled clustering of cells. The SMAP stirring system is therefore a promising cost-effective and scalable stirring approach for various types of studies involving colloids as well as soft and biological materials.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1435-1443
Number of pages9
JournalSoft Matter
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

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stirring
Magnetic scales
Colloids
Research laboratories
cells
Cell culture
Biological materials
Flow of fluids
Computational fluid dynamics
Magnetic fields
actuation
Geometry
Substrates
Chemical analysis
Costs
computational fluid dynamics
quantitative analysis
fluid flow
vessels
colloids

Cite this

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title = "A stirring system using suspended magnetically-actuated pillars for controlled cell clustering",
abstract = "Controlled stirring of a solution is a household task in most laboratories. However, most stirring methods are perturbative or require vessels with predefined shapes and sizes. Here we propose a novel stirring system based on suspended magnetically-actuated pillars (SMAPs), inspired by the ability of biological flagella and cilia to generate flow. We fabricated flexible, millimeter-scale magnetic pillars grafted on transparent polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrates and built a simple actuation setup to control the motion of the pillars remotely. We tested the system with a standard 24-well plate routinely used in most research laboratories and demonstrate that the magnetic actuation results in robust bending of the pillars and large-scale fluid flow in the wells. Quantitative analysis using computational fluid dynamics modeling indicates that the flow profile in the well can be tuned by modulating the applied magnetic field and the geometries of the well and the pillar. Finally, we show that, by employing the stirring system in a standard cell culture plate, we were able to obtain controlled clustering of cells. The SMAP stirring system is therefore a promising cost-effective and scalable stirring approach for various types of studies involving colloids as well as soft and biological materials.",
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A stirring system using suspended magnetically-actuated pillars for controlled cell clustering. / Saberi, Aref; Zhang, Shuaizhong; van den Bersselaar, Carola; Kandail, Harkamaljot; den Toonder, Jaap M.J.; Kurniawan, Nicholas A. (Corresponding author).

In: Soft Matter, Vol. 15, No. 6, 01.01.2019, p. 1435-1443.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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