Directing and Boosting of Cell Migration by the Entropic Force Gradient in Polymer Solution

Tatsuya Fukuyama, Ariko Fuke, Megumi Mochizuki, Ken Ichiro Kamei, Yusuke T. Maeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Noncontact manipulation of nano/micromaterials presents a great challenge in fields ranging from biotechnology to nanotechnology. In this study we developed a new strategy for the manipulation of molecules and cells based on diffusiophoresis driven by a concentration gradient of a polymer solute. By using laser focusing in a microfluidic device, we created a sharp concentration gradient of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) in a solution of this polymer. Because diffusiophoresis essentially depends on solute gradients alone, PEG solute contrast resulted in trapping of DNA and eukaryotic cells with little material dependence. Furthermore, quantitative analysis revealed that the motility of migrating cells was enhanced with the PEG concentration, consistent with a theoretical model of boosted cell migration. Our results support that a solute contrast of polymer can exert an interfacial force gradient that physically propels objects and may have application for the manipulation of soft materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12567-12572
Number of pages6
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - Oct 23 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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