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:6/2/2016)... -- Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, Biometrics ... Support & Other Service  The latest report ... analysis of the global Border Security market . ... $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: In November ... software and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
(Date:5/16/2016)...   EyeLock LLC , a market leader of ... an IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, ... of embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris ... security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most ... EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to deliver a fast ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... FRANCISCO and BANGALORE, India , ... of EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... provider, today announced a global partnership that will ... way to use mobile banking and payment services. ... is a key innovation area for financial services, but it ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of ... from cancer patients.  The funding will be used ... with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a ... be employed to support the design of a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... find the most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings ... here to read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Md. , June 23, 2016 A person ... from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA ... sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering company, ... financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing will ... its drug development efforts, as well as purchase additional ... has been an incredible strategic partner to us – ... would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: