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Research Fellows Directory

Wilson Poon

Professor Wilson Poon

Research Fellow

Organisation

University of Edinburgh

Research summary

Creating structures at the mesoscopic ('in-between') length scale - much bigger than the nano-world of molecules but still smaller than the visible scale of (say) a tenth of a millimetre, is a big technological challenge. We have invented a way to do so by using bacteria that only swim when illuminated with light. Using these light-controlled micro-swimmers, we can 'paint' arbitrary user-designed patterns, currently in two-dimensions. In particular, we now know how to 'persuade' our bacteria to gather at high density around the edges of a light pattern in a matter of minutes. Since complex spatial patterns of light can now be created at will using lasers, our new technique of 'painting with bacteria' can become the basis of a powerful new technology to assemble mesoscopic structures.

Grants awarded

The physics of bacteria-soft matter mixtures

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Dates: Sep 2013 - Aug 2018

Value: £75,000

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