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Issue 3, 2002
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Bubble-induced acoustic micromixing

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A mixing technique based on the principle of bubble-induced acoustic microstreaming was developed. The mixer consists of a piezoelectric disk that is attached to a reaction chamber, which is designed in such a way that a set of air bubbles with desirable size is trapped in the solution. Fluidic experiments showed that air bubbles resting on a solid surface and set into vibration by the sound field generated steady circulatory flows, resulting in global convection flows and thus rapid mixing. The time to fully mix a 22 μL chamber is significantly reduced from hours (for a pure diffusion-based mixing) to tens of seconds. Numerical simulations showed that the induced flowfield and thus degree of mixing strongly depend on bubble positions. Optimal simulated mixing results were obtained for staggered bubble distribution that minimizes the number of internal flow stagnation regions. Immunomagnetic cell capture experiments showed that acoustic microstreaming provided efficient mixing of bacterial cell (Esherichia coli K12) matrix suspended in blood with magnetic capture beads, resulting in highly effective immunomagnetic cell capture. Bacterial viability assay experiments showed that acoustic microstreaming has a relatively low shear strain field since the blood cells and bacteria remained intact after mixing. Acoustic microstreaming has many advantages over most existing chamber micromixing techniques, including simple apparatus, ease of implementation, low power consumption (2 mW), and low cost.

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Feb 2002, accepted on 21 Jun 2002 and first published on 10 Jul 2002

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B201952C
Citation: Lab Chip, 2002,2, 151-157
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    Bubble-induced acoustic micromixing

    R. H. Liu, J. Yang, M. Z. Pindera, M. Athavale and P. Grodzinski, Lab Chip, 2002, 2, 151
    DOI: 10.1039/B201952C

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