Porous microwells for geometry-selective, large-scale microparticle arrays

Jae Jung Kim, Ki Wan Bong, Eduardo Reátegui, Daniel Irimia, Patrick S. Doyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Large-scale microparticle arrays (LSMAs) are key for material science and bioengineering applications. However, previous approaches suffer from trade-offs between scalability, precision, specificity and versatility. Here, we present a porous microwell-based approach to create large-scale microparticle arrays with complex motifs. Microparticles are guided to and pushed into microwells by fluid flow through small open pores at the bottom of the porous well arrays. A scaling theory allows for the rational design of LSMAs to sort and array particles on the basis of their size, shape, or modulus. Sequential particle assembly allows for proximal and nested particle arrangements, as well as particle recollection and pattern transfer. We demonstrate the capabilities of the approach by means of three applications: high-throughput single-cell arrays; microenvironment fabrication for neutrophil chemotaxis; and complex, covert tags by the transfer of an upconversion nanocrystal-laden LSMA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
JournalNature Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature .All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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