Colloids and surfaces. B, Biointerfaces

Effective cell trapping using PDMS microspheres in an acoustofluidic chip.

PMID 28622655


We present a facile particle-based cell manipulation method using acoustic radiation forces. In this work, we selected several representative particles including poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres, silica-coated magnetic microbeads, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microspheres and investigated the responses of these particle systems to ultrasonic standing waves (USWs) in a microfluidic chip. We show that depending on the nature (positive or negative acoustic contrast factors) of the particles, these particle systems display different alignment behaviors along the microfluidic channel under USWs. Specifically, PLGA microspheres and silica-coated magnetic microbeads are able to be aligned in the middle of the microfluidic channel, while PDMS microspheres are translocated to the side walls of the channel, which is beneficial for cell trapping and manipulation. Further results demonstrate that the functional PDMS microspheres with a negative acoustic contrast factor can be used to trap cells to the pressure antinodes in the acoustofluidic chip. Cell viability tests reveal that the ultrasonic manipulation does not exert any harmful effect to the cells. This acoustic-based particle and cell manipulation technique may hold a great promise for the development of rapid, noninvasive, continuous assays for detecting of cells and separation of biological samples.