Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tilted acoustic tweezers separate cells gently

26.08.2014

Precise, gentle and efficient cell separation from a device the size of a cell phone may be possible thanks to tilt-angle standing surface acoustic waves, according to a team of engineers.

"For biological testing we often need to do cell separation before analysis," said Tony Jun Huang, professor of engineering science and mechanics. "But if the separation process affects the integrity of the cells, damages them in any way, the diagnosis often won't work well."


This is a schematic illustration of working principle and device structure for a tilted-angle standing surface acoustic wave-based cell-separation device.

Credit: Tony Huang, Penn State

Tilted-angle standing surface acoustic waves can separate cells using very small amounts of energy. Unlike conventional separation methods that centrifuge for 10 minutes at 3000 revolutions per minute, the surface acoustic waves can separate cells in a much gentler way.

The power intensity and frequency used in this study are similar to that used in ultrasonic imaging, which has proven to be extremely safe, even for fetuses. Also, each cell experiences the acoustic wave for only a fraction of a second, rather than 10 minutes.

... more about:
»MIT »acoustic »blood »efficiently »malaria »materials »waves

"The tilted-angle standing surface acoustic waves method has the least disturbance or disruption to the living cells being separated compared to other available methods so far," said Ming Dao, principal research scientist, materials science and engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"It adds to the portfolio of latest technology developments for separating such things as rare circulating tumor cells in the blood."

Previous work by Huang showed that acoustic tweezers work by setting up a standing surface acoustic wave. If two sound sources are placed opposite each other and each emits the same wavelength of sound, there will be a location where the opposing sounds cancel each other. Because sound waves have pressure, they can push very small objects, so a cell or nanoparticle will move with the sound wave until it reaches the location where there is no longer movement.

If the sound sources are at right angles to each other, an evenly spaced set of rows and columns form in a checkerboard pattern. In this case, the team from Penn State, MIT and Carnegie Mellon University used simulation programs to determine the angle the sound sources should be tilted at to produce the best separation. They report their results today (Aug. 25) online in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science.

By tilting the sound source so that it is not perpendicular, the researchers created better separation distance and could more efficiently sort cells.

The acoustic tweezers are made by manufacturing an interdigital transducer, which creates the sound, onto the piezoelectric chip surface. Standard photolithography creates microchannels in which the liquid containing the cells flow.

The researchers created the separator, which can run continuously. The device separated 9.9-micrometer particles from 7.3-micrometer particles so efficiently that 97 percent of the 7.3-micrometer particles went to the correct location. The device can also separate cancer cells from white blood cells with high efficiency and purity. It is simple and inexpensive to fabricate and does not need strict alignment to achieve this separation.

"The method we describe in this paper is a step forward in the detection and isolation of circulating tumor cells in the body," said Subra Suresh, one of the study's authors and president of Carnegie Mellon University. "It has the potential to offer a safe and effective new tool for cancer researchers, clinicians and patients."

The researchers see devices like this one separating cancer cells from other cells, bacteria from blood, white blood cells from red blood cells and malaria parasites from blood, to name a few uses.

###

Other Penn State researchers on this project were Xiaoyun Ding, graduate student and co-lead author; Sz-Chin Steven Lin, graduate student; Peng li, post doctoral fellow and Yuchao Chen, graduate student, engineering science and mechanics; and Sixing Li, graduate student, cell and developmental biology.

Other researchers were Zhangli Peng, former postdoctoral fellow, materials science and engineering, and Michela Geri, graduate student, mechanical engineering, both at MIT.

The National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation funded this work.

A'ndrea Elyse Messer | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu

Further reports about: MIT acoustic blood efficiently malaria materials waves

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht A new vortex identification method for 3-D complex flow
04.05.2016 | Science China Press

nachricht Preventing another Flint, Mich.; new research could lead to more corrosion-resistant water pipes
04.05.2016 | Binghamton University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nuclear Pores Captured on Film

Using an ultra fast-scanning atomic force microscope, a team of researchers from the University of Basel has filmed “living” nuclear pore complexes at work for the first time. Nuclear pores are molecular machines that control the traffic entering or exiting the cell nucleus. In their article published in Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers explain how the passage of unwanted molecules is prevented by rapidly moving molecular “tentacles” inside the pore.

Using high-speed AFM, Roderick Lim, Argovia Professor at the Biozentrum and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute of the University of Basel, has not only directly...

Im Focus: 2+1 is Not Always 3 - In the microworld unity is not always strength

If a person pushes a broken-down car alone, there is a certain effect. If another person helps, the result is the sum of their efforts. If two micro-particles are pushing another microparticle, however, the resulting effect may not necessarily be the sum their efforts. A recent study published in Nature Communications, measured this odd effect that scientists call “many body.”

In the microscopic world, where the modern miniaturized machines at the new frontiers of technology operate, as long as we are in the presence of two...

Im Focus: Tiny microbots that can clean up water

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute Stuttgart have developed self-propelled tiny ‘microbots’ that can remove lead or organic pollution from contaminated water.

Working with colleagues in Barcelona and Singapore, Samuel Sánchez’s group used graphene oxide to make their microscale motors, which are able to adsorb lead...

Im Focus: ORNL researchers discover new state of water molecule

Neutron scattering and computational modeling have revealed unique and unexpected behavior of water molecules under extreme confinement that is unmatched by any known gas, liquid or solid states.

In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory describe a new tunneling state of...

Im Focus: Bionic Lightweight Design researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute at Hannover Messe 2016

Honeycomb structures as the basic building block for industrial applications presented using holo pyramid

Researchers of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) will introduce their latest developments in the field of bionic lightweight design at Hannover Messe from 25...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

The “AC21 International Forum 2016” is About to Begin

27.04.2016 | Event News

Soft switching combines efficiency and improved electro-magnetic compatibility

15.04.2016 | Event News

Grid-Supportive Buildings Give Boost to Renewable Energy Integration

12.04.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New fabrication and thermo-optical tuning of whispering gallery microlasers

04.05.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Introducing the disposable laser

04.05.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

A new vortex identification method for 3-D complex flow

04.05.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>