Microfabricated sieve for the continuous sorting of macromolecules

T. A.J. Duke, R. H. Austin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

252 Scopus citations


In a two-dimensional periodic but asymmetric environment, a Brownian particle that is driven in one direction by a potential gradient will also drift in the orthogonal direction at a rate that depends on its diffusion coefficient. On this basis, we propose a new method for separating biological macromolecules according to size. A fine stream of molecules is electrophoresed through a microfabricated sieve, etched from a silicon chip by lithography. The sieve consists of a periodic array of oblong obstacles, which deflect the molecules so that each species follows a different trajectory, oblique to the flow. Advantages promised by the technique include improved efficiency, continuous sorting and ready automation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1552-1555
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 16 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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