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Scientists use light to manipulate liquids, potentially enable at-home medical tests

By Kou Jie (People's Daily Online)    15:36, September 09, 2016

[File photo]

Scientists in Shanghai published the results of their research on light-driven manipulation of liquids on Sept. 8. The research team believes that the new technology may promote the development of at-home medical tests in the future.

Scientists at Fudan University have jointly published a paper in the Nature in which they outline a strategy to manipulate fluid through the photo-induced asymmetric deformation of tubular micro-actuators. This induces capillary forces for liquid propulsion. In other words, by altering lighting conditions, the new technology can accurately change the speed and direction of the movement of fluids.

“We expect that our research will find use in micro-reactors and micro-optomechanical systems in the future. The new technology will simplify the current micro-fluidic system, making it possible to manufacture medical labs on chips,” said Yü Yanlei, a professor in the department of Materials Science at Fudan University.

Yü, who is also the leader of the research team, gave an interview to thepaper.cn on Sept. 8. According to Yü, if the new technology can be used in the medical industry, blood tests will only require a few drops of blood to get results, and ordinary people can even test their own blood at home.

Yü and her team have applied for a national patent for their research results, thepaper.cn reported.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Bianji,Wu Chengliang)

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