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June 30th, 2005
Nano-magnets get pushy
By using magnetically patterned surfaces to control ferrofluids, microscopic particles can be pushed around.
The technique provides a new means of micromanipulation, and might be used to build microstructures for electronics or to ferry cells around in biomedicine. The researchers say that their technique might also be used to improve the efficiency of sensors by enabling objects and materials to be brought close to the sensor surface at the push of a button.
Benjamin Yellen of Duke University and his co-workers have previously shown that surfaces patterned with magnetic domains or 'wells' can be used to control the positioning of magnetic microspheres.
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