The ability to confine and manipulate single particles and molecules has revolutionized several fields of science. Hydrodynamic trapping offers an attractive method for particle manipulation in free solution without the need for optical, electric, acoustic, or magnetic fields. Here, we develop and demonstrate the Stokes trap, which is a new method for trapping multiple particles using only fluid flow. We demonstrate simultaneous manipulation of two particles in a simple microfluidic device using model predictive control. We further show that this approach can be used for fluidic-directed assembly of multiple particles in solution. Overall, this technique opens new vistas for fundamental studies of particle-particle interactions and provides a new method for the directed assembly of colloidal particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3976-3981
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 12 2016


  • Directed assembly
  • Hydrodynamic
  • Microfluidics
  • Stokes
  • Trapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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