Navigation Links
Acoustic tweezers can position tiny objects
Date:8/28/2009

University Park, Pa. -- Manipulating tiny objects like single cells or nanosized beads often requires relatively large, unwieldy equipment, but now a system that uses sound as a tiny tweezers can be small enough to place on a chip, according to Penn State engineers.

"Current methods for moving individual cells or tiny beads include such devices as optical tweezers, which require a lot of energy and could damage or even kill live cells," said Tony Jun Huang, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics. "Acoustic tweezers are much smaller than optical tweezers and use 500,000 times less energy."

While optical tweezers are large and expensive, acoustic tweezers are smaller than a dime, small enough to fabricate on a chip using standard chip manufacturing techniques. They can also manipulate live cells without damaging or killing them.

Acoustic tweezers differ from eyebrow tweezers in that they position many tiny objects simultaneously and place them equidistant from each other in either parallel lines or on a grid. The grid configuration is probably the most useful for biological applications where researchers can place stem cells on a grid for testing or skin cells on a grid to grow new skin. This allows investigators to see how any type of cell grows.

"Acoustic tweezers are not just useful in biology," said Huang. "They can be used in physics, chemistry and materials science to create patterns of nanoparticles for coatings or to etch surfaces."

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. This location can be considered a trough. 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 trough where there is no longer movement. The particle or cell will stop and "fall" into the trough.

If the sound comes from two parallel sound sources facing each other, the troughs form a line or series of lines. If the sound sources are at right angles to each other, the troughs form an evenly spaced set of rows and columns like a checkerboard. Here too, the particles are pushed until they reach the location where the sound is no longer moving.

The acoustic tweezers are manufactured by fabricating an interdigital transducer onto a piezoelectric chip surface. These transducers are the source of the sound. Next, using standard photolithography, microchannels are fabricated in which a small amount of liquid with the cells or particles can move around freely. These microchannels were bonded to the chip to create the area for particle movement.

To test their device, the researchers, who include Jinjie Shi, Daniel Ahmed and Sz-Chin Steven Lin, graduate students, engineering science and mechanics; Xiaole Mao, graduate student in bioengineering, and Aitan Lawit, undergraduate in engineering science and mechanics, used Dragon Green fluorescent polystyrene beads about 1.9 micrometers in diameter. They then used cows red blood cells and the single cell bacteria E. coli to test the acoustic tweezers.

"The results verify the versatility of our technique as the two groups of cells differ significantly in both shape (spherical beads vs. rod-shaped E. coli) and size," the researchers reported in a recent issue of Lab on a Chip. They note that the patterning performance is independent of the particle's electrical, magnetic and optical properties.

"Most cells or particles patterned in a few seconds," said Huang. "The energy used is very low and the acoustic tweezers should not damage cells at all. Because they have different properties, the acoustic tweezers could also separate live from dead cells, or different types of particles."

Acoustic tweezers technology has significant advantages over existing technologies because of its versatility, miniaturization, power consumption and technical simplicity. Huang expects it to become a powerful tool for many applications such as tissue engineering, cell studies, and drug screening and discovery.


'/>"/>

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Acoustics World Wide press room now open
2. Largest ever acoustics meeting is next month from June 30 to July 4, in Paris, France
3. Researchers study acoustic communication in deep-sea fish
4. 156th Acoustical Society of America Meeting, Nov. 10-14, 2008 in Miami
5. Acoustical Meeting, Nov. 10-14, 2008 in Miami, Florida
6. The 156th Acoustical Society of America Meeting, Nov. 10-14, Miami, Fla.
7. Femtomolar optical tweezers may enable sensitive blood tests
8. Using high-precision laser tweezers to juggle cells
9. Socioeconomic position associated with effectiveness of HIV drugs
10. International team shows mercury concentrations in fish respond quickly to increased deposition
11. New study shows fish respond quickly to changes in mercury deposition
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Acoustic tweezers can position tiny objects
(Date:4/24/2017)... , April 24, 2017 Janice ... partner with  Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , ... or without President Trump,s March 6, 2017 ... Entry , refugee vetting can be instilled with greater ... (Right now, all refugee applications are suspended by ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... MELBOURNE, Florida , April 17, 2017 ... security technology company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report ... Securities and Exchange Commission. ... Report on Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section ... well as on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... GARDENS, Fla. , April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... management and secure authentication solutions, today announced that ... by Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to ... IARPA,s Thor program. "Innovation has been ... and IARPA,s Thor program will allow us to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... BioMedGPS announces expanded coverage of ... newest module, US Hemostats & Sealants. , SmartTRAK’s US Market for Hemostats and ... synthetic sealants and biologic sealants used in surgical applications. BioMedGPS estimates the market ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The CRISPR-Cas9 system ... experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The simplicity of programming ... systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, such as with ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  VMS BioMarketing, a leading ... a nationwide oncology Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) network, which will ... need for communication among health care professionals to enhance the ... nurses, office staff, and other health care professionals to help ... breast cancer. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal ... the treatment of osteosarcoma. SBT-100 is able to cross the cell membrane and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: