Dielectrophoretic Tweezers for Massively Parallel Manipulation of Microscopic Objects Suspended in Liquid Medium


The whole genome sequencing is poised to become a new standard in the healthcare paradigm.  The mainstream use of personal genome sequencing can only become a reality when a profile for e ach individual can be made in real time and at a low cost. Lehigh University has developed eielectrophoretic (DEP) tweezers to help overcome this issue. While most methods of force spectroscopy for genome sequencing are impractical for the purposes of high throughput analysis, this technology simultaneously measures millions of single molecules to reduce time and cost. The DEP tweezers promises to be inexpensive because it is based on standard optical lithography to control the positioning of electrodes and simple electronics to enable application of forces to molecules.


Lehigh TechID# 061212-01



The worldwide bioinformatics market is estimated to be around $1.6 billion, growing at a rate of over 20% annually. The completion of the Human Genome Project and the rise in the interest of genomics is catalyzing the growth of this market. There has also been growing interest in personalized medicine which relies on genomics for diagnostics and treatment. In addition, the movement of big market players to acquire sequencing technologies has issued a shift from primarily research use to a commercial industry. [1,2]


[1] Marx, Vivien. “Bioinformatics Firms See Microsoft Acquisition of Rosetta Biosoftware as Boost for the Field.” June 2009. Genome Web

Emailsite. http://www.genomeweb.com/informatics/bioinformatics-firms-see-microsoft-acquisition-rosetta-biosoftware-boost-field (accessed November 21, 2011).

[2] “Innovations in Bioinformatics.” January 2008. Business Insights. Market Report Source web site. http://marketreportsource.com/reports/overview/621/ (accessed November 21, 2011).



Lehigh University is currently looking for a corporate partner.

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Provisional [PR] United States 61/680,984 8/8/2012   8/8/2013
Utility United States 13/962,193 8/8/2013    
For Information, Contact:
Rick Smith
Lehigh University
Dmitri Vezenov
Peng Cheng
Michael Barrett
Piercen Oliver