Trapping and manipulation of microscale and nanoscale particles is demonstrated using the sole action of hydrodynamic forces. We developed an automated particle trap based on a stagnation point flow generated in a microfluidic device. The hydrodynamic trap enables confinement and manipulation of single particles in low viscosity (1–10 cP) aqueous solution. Using this method, we trapped microscale and nanoscale particles (100nm15μm) for long time scales (minutes to hours). We demonstrate particle confinement to within 1μm of the trap center, corresponding to a trap stiffness of 105104pN/nm.

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