Magnetic field used as micro-tweezers

German and American scientists at the Max Plank Institute have discovered a way to use a magnetic field to assemble parts on lab-on-a-chip devices. This system uses coils that induce magnetic fields on little ferrous particles causing them to arrange themselves into tiny cogs and diamond shapes. The researchers then use the little shapes to move liquids around the chip, a technique they describe as “totally awesome.”

Scientists at the institute are hoping that this technology could some day help manufacture therapeutic or diagnostic microchips that could eventually go on to replace traditional labs.

[via medGadget]