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Tilted acoustic tweezers separate cells gently
Date:8/25/2014

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.


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

Page: 1 2

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