Bio Diversity

CHRISS WADE FOR TIME

DAVID GRIER: Arryx's technology can isolate individual cells using "optical traps"

On a cold Chicago day in the late 1990s, physicist David Grier was fiddling around in his laboratory with a cheap piece of plastic and a laser. Grier and a graduate student named Eric Dufresne were trying to build a new kind of "optical trap" — a device that splits a laser beam and uses it to capture particles of a single substance. Multiple traps, used in tandem, could let the scientists play traffic cop on a molecular level, separating a substance into component parts — removing bacteria from blood, for example. But first they had to make it work. For...

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