Active particles as mobile microelectrodes for selective bacteria electroporation and transport

Yue Wu, Afu Fu, Gilad Yossifon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Self-propelling micromotors are emerging as a promising micro- and nanoscale tool for single-cell analysis. We have recently shown that the field gradients necessary to manipulate matter via dielectrophoresis can be induced at the surface of a polarizable active ("self-propelling") metallodielectric Janus particle (JP) under an externally applied electric field, acting essentially as a mobile floating microelectrode. Here, we successfully demonstrated that the application of an external electric field can singularly trap and transport bacteria and can selectively electroporate the trapped bacteria. Selective electroporation, enabled by the local intensification of the electric field induced by the JP, was obtained under both continuous alternating current and pulsed signal conditions. This approach is generic and applicable to bacteria and JP, as well as a wide range of cell types and micromotor designs. Hence, it constitutes an important and novel experimental tool for single-cell analysis and targeted delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaay4412
JournalScience advances
Issue number5
StatePublished - 29 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


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