Acoustically Activated Microfluidic Manipulations
The development of microfluidic systems is often constrained both by difficulties associated with the chip interconnection to other instruments and by mechanisms that can enable fluid movement and processing. Surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices have previously shown promise in allowing samples to be manipulated, although designing complex fluid manipulations involves mixed signal generation at multiple electrode transducers. We now demonstrate a simple interface between a piezoelectric SAW device and a disposable microfluidic chip, patterned with phononic structures to shape the acoustic field. The surface wave is coupled from the piezoelectric substrate into the disposable chip where it interacts with the phononic lattice. This allows fluid actuations, including droplet movement, splitting, jetting, nebulisation and centrifugation to be performed. We show that the interaction of the fluid within the phononic structure is dependent upon the frequency of the acoustic wave, providing a method to programme complex fluidic functions into a microchip.
Professor Jonathan M. Cooper, FREng, FRSE
The Wolfson Chair of Bioengineering