University of Rochester scientists said they are able to create a simple slab of metal that lifts liquid using the same principle as do trees to lift water from the ground -- capillary action -- but at a much faster rate, the researchers said.
Associate Professor Chunlei Guo, who led the study, and researcher Anatoliy Vorobyev, use an ultra-fast burst of femtosecond laser light to change the surface of a metal, forming nanoscale and microscale pits, globules and strands across the metal's surface.
"Imagine a huge waterway system shrunk down onto a tiny chip, like the electronic circuit printed on a microprocessor, so we can perform chemical or biological work with a tiny bit of liquid," Guo said. "Blood could precisely travel along a certain path to a sensor for disease diagnostics. With such a tiny system, a nurse wouldn't need to draw a whole tube of blood for a test. A scratch on the skin might contain more than enough cells for a micro-analysis."
The research is to appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Applied Physics Letters.
Beautician charged with giving client fatal silicone butt injection
Duggar sisters unveil Christian dating rules in new book