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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/D001668/1
Title: Light Induced Dielectrophoresis (LIDEP)
Principal Investigator: Krauss, Professor T
Other Investigators:
Riches, Professor AC Dholakia, Professor K MacDonald, Dr MP
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: University of St Andrews
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 October 2005 Ends: 30 June 2007 Value (£): 93,660
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Cells Complex fluids & soft solids
Lasers & Optics
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Light has momentum and energy akin to mechanical objects. This can be used to exert forces at the biological scale to move and even separate objects including cells depending on their physical properties. The excitement of the technique is that we can achieve this with no contact whatsoever. However these forces are weak and so we need a lot of power to achieve this.This feasibility study looks at a new method where we illuminate a material with light that causes electrical currents to flow. In turn these currents can induce much large forces than if we used light alone. This potentialy means that we can use a laser from a CD player to move, organise and sort objects over a very large area (1 sq mm - a space in which 10,000 cells could sit). Using light means we can change the pattern of electrical currents on the surface and change the direction and size of the forces we produce. Ultimately we aim to use this to sort out tumour cells from a collection of healthy cells. It has been shown that only a few cells in a population are key to the development of a tumour; so isolating and studying them is of vital importance.
Key Findings
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Summary
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Organisation Website: http://www.st-and.ac.uk