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Home > News > 'Test tubes' far smaller than the width of a hair

August 30th, 2005

'Test tubes' far smaller than the width of a hair

Using a water droplet 1 trillion times smaller than a liter of club soda as a sort of nanoscale test tube, a University of Washington scientist is conducting chemical analysis and experimentation at unprecedented tiny scales.

The method captures a single cell, or even a small subcellular structure called an organelle, within a droplet. It then employs a powerful laser microscope to study the contents and examine chemical processes, and a laser beam is used to manipulate the cell or even just a few molecules, combining them with other molecules to form new substances.

University of Washington

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