We describe a simple and inexpensive method of fabricating single cell magnetic traps within a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) device. These traps were developed as part of an automated system that captures individual yeast cells in a microfluidic device and analyzes each cell as it buds. To make the traps, PdCl2 catalyst is rubbed with vinyl foam onto plasma-patterned PDMS, and then Co-Ni-B alloy is electrolessly deposited onto the catalyst at a moderate temperature. We demonstrate individual yeast cell capture and estimate the capture force (1.9-4.4 pN) by measuring the flow speed required to remove the cell from its trap in a microfluidic channel.
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