Elastomeric negative acoustic contrast particles for capture, acoustophoretic transport, and confinement of cells in microfluidic systems.
We present a particle-based method for the immunospecific capture and confinement of cells using acoustic radiation forces. Ultrasonic standing waves in microfluidic systems have previously been used for the continuous focusing of cells in rapid screening and sorting applications. In aqueous fluids, cells typically exhibit positive acoustic contrast and are thus forced toward the pressure nodes of a standing wave. Conversely, elastomeric particles exhibit negative acoustic contrast and travel toward the pressure antinodes. We have developed a class of elastomeric particles that are synthesized in bulk using a simple nucleation and growth process, providing precise control over their size and functional properties. We demonstrate that the biofunctionalization of these particles can allow the capture and transport of cells to the pressure antinodes solely via acoustic radiation forces, which may enable new acoustics-based cell handling techniques such as the washing, labeling, and sorting of cells with minimal preparatory steps.
Shields, CW; Johnson, LM; Gao, L; López, GP
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