We describe an inexpensive magnetic cell patterning method as a tool for protozoologists. The ciliate Vorticella convallaria is useful for various biofluidics applications. Here, we show that V. convallaria will ingest metal beads and that permanent magnets can be used to pattern cells in Petri dishes or a microfluidic device. Patterning is reversibly achieved by placing magnets at the point of desired cell attachment. Analogous magnetic manipulation could be performed using other phagocytic cells.
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