Magnetic bead rotation for biological bondforce measurements

Master's project Petra Rombouts

The goal of this project is to establish bead rotation and detect that rotation with an on-chip sensor. The chip has two current wires with a giant magneto resistance (gmr) sensor in between them. We use superparamagnetic beads with a diameter of 1 micrometer. A bead is placed in a rotating field, which will cause a rotation of the magnetic moment of the bead and of the bead itself. We will use single beads as well as so-called duo-beads, both shown in the figure. After optical and/or magnetic proof of the rotation we will use the measurement system to study biological bonds.

Petra: "In this project I combine magnetism and electronics. Later there will be some chemistry and biology. The project is mostly experimental and is supported by theoretical aspects. I use some programming for the experiments and data analysis. What I really like is that the research group works towards a common goal. Every person has his or her specific project, and in the group meetings you get insight into the bigger picture".