Topic: Light-driven microrobots and micromachines based on optoelectronic tweezers
Optoelectronic tweezers (OET) is a useful opto-electro-fluidic technology utilizing light-patterned dielectrophoresis (DEP) for fine and non-invasive control and actuation of microobjects. In the first part of this presentation, I will introduce an OET-driven microrobotic system, which can be programmed to carry out sophisticated, multiaxis operations. One particularly useful program is a serial combination of “load,” “transport,” and “deliver,” which can be applied to manipulate a wide range of micrometer-dimension payloads. The microrobotic system described here was demonstrated to be useful for single-cell isolation, clonal expansion, RNA sequencing, controlling cell–cell interactions, and isolating precious microtissues from heterogeneous mixtures. In the second part of the presentation, I will introduce the use of OET to drive multi-component micro-machines such as micro-gear trains and micro- rack-pinion systems, which were demonstrated for different applications in micromanipulation, microfluidics and microrobots. In the third part of this presentation, I will introduce the recent progress on the commercialization of the OET technology through the founding of biotech company Berkeley Lights, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLI) These results demonstrated that OET is a powerful tool that can be used for many applications in the microscopic world for physics, engineering and biomedical research.
Shuailong Zhang completed his PhD in 2015 at the Institute of Photonics, University of Strathclyde (UK). His PhD was primarily concerned with the fabrication and characterization of micro-LED devices and their applications for optical communications. After completing his PhD, Shuailong Zhang joined in the School of Engineering at the University of Glasgow (UK), where he worked as a postdoctoral research assistant on developing optoelectronic tweezers (OET) system to assemble microelectronic components. In 2017, Shuailong joined the University of Toronto as a postdoctoral fellow based at Wheeler Microfluidic lab to further develop OET system for biomedical applications. Shuailong Zhang has published over 60 papers on peer-reviewed journals and international conferences. In 2021, Shuailong was offered a faculty position at Beijing Institute Technology and Beijing Advanced Innovation Centre for Intelligent Robots and Systems.