Simultaneous magnetic manipulation and fluorescent tracking of multiple individual hybrid nanostructures

Gang Ruan, Greg Vieira, Thomas Henighan, Aaron Chen, Dhananjay Thakur, R. Sooryakumar*, Jessica O. Winter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


Controlled transport of multiple individual nanostructures is crucial for nanoassembly and nanodelivery but is challenging because of small particle size. Although atomic force microscopy and optical and magnetic tweezers can control single particles, it is extremely difficult to scale these technologies for multiple structures. Here, we demonstrate a "nano-conveyer-belt" technology that permits simultaneous transport and tracking of multiple individual nanospecies in a selected direction. The technology consists of two components: nanocontainers, which encapsulate the nanomaterials transported, and nanoconveyer arrays, which use magnetic force to manipulate individual or aggregate nanocontainers. This technology is extremely versatile. For example, nanocontainers encapsulate quantum dots or rods and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles in <100 nm nanocontainers, the smallest magnetic composites to have been simultaneously moved and optically tracked. Similarly, the nanoconveyers consist of patterned microdisks or zigzag nanowires, whose dimensions can be controlled through micropatterning. The nanoconveyer belt technology could impact multiple fields, including nanoassembly, biomechanics, nanomedicine, and nanofluidics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2220-2224
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Magnetic nanoparticle
  • Magnetic tweezers
  • Nanopatterning
  • Quantum dot
  • Self-assembly

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