7 Scopus citations


We introduce an acoustic microfluidic device architecture that locally augments the pressure field for separation and enrichment of targeted microparticles in a longitudinal acoustic trap. Pairs of pillar arrays comprise "pseudo walls" that are oriented perpendicular to the inflow direction. Though sample flow is unimpeded, pillar arrays support half-wave resonances that correspond to the array gap width. Positive acoustic contrast particles of supracritical diameter focus to nodal locations of the acoustic field and are held against drag from the bulk fluid motion. Thus, the longitudinal standing bulk acoustic wave (LSBAW) device achieves size-selective and material-specific separation and enrichment of microparticles from a continuous sample flow. A finite element analysis model is used to predict eigenfrequencies of LSBAW architectures with two pillar geometries, slanted and lamellar. Corresponding pressure fields are used to identify longitudinal resonances that are suitable for microparticle enrichment. Optimal operating conditions exhibit maxima in the ratio of acoustic energy density in the LSBAW trap to that in inlet and outlet regions of the microchannel. Model results guide fabrication and experimental evaluation of realized LSBAW assemblies regarding enrichment capability. We demonstrate separation and isolation of 20 μm polystyrene and ∼10 μm antibody-decorated glass beads within both pillar geometries. The results also establish several practical attributes of our approach. The LSBAW device is inherently scalable and enables continuous enrichment at a prescribed location. These features benefit separations applications while also allowing concurrent observation and analysis of trap contents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034110
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2018


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