Two-dimensional spatial manipulation of microparticles in continuous flows in acoustofluidic systems.
We report a modeling and experimental study of techniques to acoustically focus particles flowing through a microfluidic channel. Our theoretical model differs from prior works in that we solve an approximate 2-D wave transmission model that accounts for wave propagation in both the solid and fluid phases. Our simulations indicate that particles can be effectively focused at driving frequencies as high as 10% off of the resonant condition. This conclusion is supported by experiments on the acoustic focusing of particles in nearly square microchannels, which are studied for different flow rates, driving frequencies and placements of the lead zirconate titanate transducer, either underneath the microchannel or underneath a parallel trough. The relative acoustic potential energy and the resultant velocity fields for particles with positive acoustic contrast coefficients are estimated in the 2-D limit. Confocal microscopy was used to observe the spatial distribution of the flowing microparticles in three dimensions. Through these studies, we show that a single driving frequency from a single piezoelectric actuator can induce the 2-D concentration of particles in a microchannel with a nearly square cross section, and we correlate these behaviors with theoretical predictions. We also show that it is possible to control the extent of focusing of the microparticles, and that it is possible to decouple the focusing of microparticles in the vertical direction from the lateral direction in rectangular channels with anisotropic cross sections. This study provides guidelines to design and operate microchip-based acoustofluidic devices for precise control over the spatial arrangement of microparticles for applications such as flow cytometry and cellular sorting.
Gao, L; Wyatt Shields, C; Johnson, LM; Graves, SW; Yellen, BB; López, GP
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