Microvortex for focusing, guiding and sorting of particles.
ABSTRACT: We report a microvortex manipulator (MVM) that is a passive, scalable system with great potential for the manipulation and separation of particulate samples in microfluidic environments. The movement of particles is determined by a unique combination of helical flow, buoyant, and gravitational forces. Helical flows are induced by topographically patterned microchannel surfaces, which have previously been used for molecular mixing in microfluidic devices. We illustrate the mechanism of MVM and its applications in passive focusing of beads and cells into parallel streams and guiding of particles and cells. We also explore the application of the unique density-selectivity of microvortex focusing and successfully sort a mixture of two bead populations whose density difference is as small as 0.1 g cm(-3).
Project description:In this paper, we report an inertial microfluidic device with simple geometry for continuous extraction of large particles with high size-selectivity (<2 μm), high efficiency (∼90%), and high purity (>90%). The design takes advantage of a high-aspect-ratio microchannel to inertially equilibrate cells and symmetric chambers for microvortex-aided cell extraction. A side outlet in each chamber continuously siphons larger particles, while the smaller particles or cells exit through the main outlet. The design has several advantages, including simple design, small footprint, ease of paralleling and cascading, one-step operation, and continuous separation with ultra-selectivity, high efficiency and purity. The described approach is applied to manipulating cells and particles for ultra-selective separation, quickly and effectively extracting larger sizes from the main flow, with broad applications in cell separations.
Project description:Inertial microfluidics has drawn much attention for its applications for circulating tumor cell separations from blood. The fluid flows and the inertial particle focusing in inertial microfluidic systems are highly dependent on the channel geometry and structure. Flexible microfluidic systems can have adjustable 3D channel geometries by curving planar 2D channels into 3D structures, which will enable tunable inertial separation. We present a poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)-parylene hybrid thin-film microfluidic system that can provide high flexibility for 3D channel shaping while maintaining the channel cross-sectional shape. The PDMS-parylene hybrid microfluidic channels were fabricated by a molding and bonding technique using initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD) bonding. We constructed 3D helical inertial microfluidic channels by coiling a straight 2D channel and studied the inertial focusing while varying radius of curvature and Reynolds number. This thin film structure allows for high channel curvature and high Dean numbers which leads to faster inertial particle focusing and shorter channel lengths than 2D spiral channels. Most importantly, the focusing positions of particles and cells in the microchannel can be tuned in real time by simply modulating the channel curvature. The simple mechanical modulation of these 3D structure microfluidic systems is expected to provide unique advantages of convenient tuning of cell separation thresholds with a single device.
Project description:High throughput particle/cell concentration is crucial for a wide variety of biomedical, clinical, and environmental applications. In this work, we have proposed a passive spiral microfluidic concentrator with a complex cross-sectional shape, i.e., a combination of rectangle and trapezoid, for high separation efficiency and a confinement ratio less than 0.07. Particle focusing in our microfluidic system was observed in a single, tight focusing line, in which higher particle concentration is possible, as compared with simple rectangular or trapezoidal cross-sections with similar flow area. The sharper focusing stems from the confinement of Dean vortices in the trapezoidal region of the complex cross-section. To quantify this effect, we introduce a new parameter, complex focusing number or CFN, which is indicative of the enhancement of inertial focusing of particles in these channels. Three spiral microchannels with various widths of 400 µm, 500 µm, and 600 µm, with the corresponding CFNs of 4.3, 4.5, and 6, respectively, were used. The device with the total width of 600 µm was shown to have a separation efficiency of ~98%, and by recirculating, the output concentration of the sample was 500 times higher than the initial input. Finally, the investigation of results showed that the magnitude of CFN relies entirely on the microchannel geometry, and it is independent of the overall width of the channel cross-section. We envision that this concept of particle focusing through complex cross-sections will prove useful in paving the way towards more efficient inertial microfluidic devices.
Project description:The manipulation of micro/nanoparticles has become increasingly important in biological and industrial fields. As a non-contact method for particle manipulation, acoustic focusing has been applied in sorting, enrichment and analysis of particles with microfluidic devices. Although the frequency and amplitude of acoustic waves and the dimensions of microchannels have been recognized as important parameters for acoustic focusing, the thickness of microfluidic devices has not been considered so far. Here, we report that thin glass microfluidic devices enhance acoustic focusing of micro/nanoparticles. It was found that the thickness of a microfluidic device strongly influences its ability to focus particles via acoustic radiation, because the energy propagation of acoustic waves is affected by the total mass of the device. Acoustic focusing of submicrometre polystyrene beads and Escherichia coli as well as enrichment of polystyrene beads were achieved in glass microfluidic devices as thin as 0.4 mm. Modifying the thickness of a microfluidic device can thus serve as a critical parameter for acoustic focusing when conventional parameters to achieve this effect are kept unchanged. Thus, our findings enable new approaches to the design of novel microfluidic devices.
Project description:We introduce a multiplex particle focusing phenomenon that arises from the hydrodynamic interaction between the viscoelastic force and the Dean drag force in a microfluidic device. In a confined microchannel, the first normal stress difference of viscoelastic fluids results in a lateral migration of suspended particles. Such a viscoelastic force was harnessed to focus different sized particles in the middle of a microchannel, and spiral channel geometry was also considered in order to take advantage of the counteracting force, Dean drag force that induces particle migration in the outward direction. For theoretical understanding, we performed a numerical analysis of viscoelastic fluids in the spiral microfluidic channel. From these results, a concept of the 'Dean-coupled Elasto-inertial Focusing band (DEF)' was proposed. This study provides in-depth physical insight into the multiplex focusing of particles that can open a new venue for microfluidic particle dynamics for a concrete high throughput platform at microscale.
Project description:This paper proposes a novel concept of dielectrophoresis (DEP)-active hydrophoretic focusing of micro-particles and murine erythroleukemia (MEL) cells. The DEP-active hydrophoretic platform consists of crescent shaped grooves and interdigitated electrodes that generate lateral pressure gradients. These embedded electrodes exert a negative DEP force onto the particles by pushing them into a narrow space in the channel where the particle to groove interaction is intensive and hydrophoretic ordering occurs. Particles passing through the microfluidic device are directed towards the sidewalls of the channel. The critical limitation of DEP operating at a low flow rate and the specific hydrophoretic device for focusing particles of given sizes were overcome with the proposed microfluidic device. The focusing pattern can be modulated by varying the voltage. High throughput was achieved (maximum flow rate ~150 μL min(-1)) with good focusing performance. The non-spherical MEL cells were utilised to verify the effectiveness of the DEP-active hydrophoretic device.
Project description:The fabrication and testing of microfluidic spinning compact discs with embedded trapezoidal microchambers for the purpose of inertial microparticle focusing is reported in this article. Microparticle focusing channels require small features that cannot be easily fabricated in acrylic sheets and are complicated to realize in glass by traditional lithography techniques; therefore, the fabrication of microfluidic discs with femtosecond laser ablation is reported for the first time in this paper. It could be demonstrated that high-efficiency inertial focusing of 5 and 10 µm particles is achieved in a channel with trapezoidal microchambers regardless of the direction of disc rotation, which correlates to the dominance of inertial forces over Coriolis forces. To achieve the highest throughput possible, the suspension concentration was increased from 0.001% (w/v) to 0.005% (w/v). The focusing efficiency was 98.7% for the 10 µm particles and 93.75% for the 5 µm particles.
Project description:A particle suspended in a fluid within a microfluidic channel experiences a direct acoustic radiation force (ARF) when traveling surface acoustic waves (TSAWs) couple with the fluid at the Rayleigh angle, thus producing two components of the ARF. Most SAW-based microfluidic devices rely on the horizontal component of the ARF to migrate prefocused particles laterally across a microchannel width. Although the magnitude of the vertical component of the ARF is more than twice the magnitude of the horizontal component, it is long ignored due to polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microchannel fabrication limitations and difficulties in particle focusing along the vertical direction. In the present work, a single-layered PDMS microfluidic chip is devised for hydrodynamically focusing particles in the vertical plane while explicitly taking advantage of the horizontal ARF component to slow down the selected particles and the stronger vertical ARF component to push the particles in the upward direction to realize continuous particle separation. The proposed particle separation device offers high-throughput operation with purity >97% and recovery rate >99%. It is simple in its fabrication and versatile due to the single-layered microchannel design, combined with vertical hydrodynamic focusing and the use of both the horizontal and vertical components of the ARF.
Project description:Advancements in microfluidic technologies have led to the development of many new tools for both the characterization and sorting of single cells without the need for exogenous labels. Label-free microfluidics reduce the preparation time, reagents needed, and cost of conventional methods based on fluorescent or magnetic labels. Furthermore, these devices enable analysis of cell properties such as mechanical phenotype and dielectric parameters that cannot be characterized with traditional labels. Some of the most promising technologies for current and future development toward label-free, single-cell analysis and sorting include electronic sensors such as Coulter counters and electrical impedance cytometry; deformation analysis using optical traps and deformation cytometry; hydrodynamic sorting such as deterministic lateral displacement, inertial focusing, and microvortex trapping; and acoustic sorting using traveling or standing surface acoustic waves. These label-free microfluidic methods have been used to screen, sort, and analyze cells for a wide range of biomedical and clinical applications, including cell cycle monitoring, rapid complete blood counts, cancer diagnosis, metastatic progression monitoring, HIV and parasite detection, circulating tumor cell isolation, and point-of-care diagnostics. Because of the versatility of label-free methods for characterization and sorting, the low-cost nature of microfluidics, and the rapid prototyping capabilities of modern microfabrication, we expect this class of technology to continue to be an area of high research interest going forward. New developments in this field will contribute to the ongoing paradigm shift in cell analysis and sorting technologies toward label-free microfluidic devices, enabling new capabilities in biomedical research tools as well as clinical diagnostics. This article is categorized under: Diagnostic Tools > Biosensing Diagnostic Tools > Diagnostic Nanodevices.
Project description:Three-dimensional (3D) printing now enables the fabrication of 3D structural electronics and microfluidics. Further, conventional subtractive manufacturing processes for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) relatively limit device structure to two dimensions and require post-processing steps for interface with microfluidics. Thus, the objective of this work is to create an additive manufacturing approach for fabrication of 3D microfluidic-based MEMS devices that enables 3D configurations of electromechanical systems and simultaneous integration of microfluidics. Here, we demonstrate the ability to fabricate microfluidic-based acoustofluidic devices that contain orthogonal out-of-plane piezoelectric sensors and actuators using additive manufacturing. The devices were fabricated using a microextrusion 3D printing system that contained integrated pick-and-place functionality. Additively assembled materials and components included 3D printed epoxy, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), silver nanoparticles, and eutectic gallium-indium as well as robotically embedded piezoelectric chips (lead zirconate titanate (PZT)). Electrical impedance spectroscopy and finite element modeling studies showed the embedded PZT chips exhibited multiple resonant modes of varying mode shape over the 0-20 MHz frequency range. Flow visualization studies using neutrally buoyant particles (diameter = 0.8-70 ?m) confirmed the 3D printed devices generated bulk acoustic waves (BAWs) capable of size-selective manipulation, trapping, and separation of suspended particles in droplets and microchannels. Flow visualization studies in a continuous flow format showed suspended particles could be moved toward or away from the walls of microfluidic channels based on selective actuation of in-plane or out-of-plane PZT chips. This work suggests additive manufacturing potentially provides new opportunities for the design and fabrication of acoustofluidic and microfluidic devices.