Lateral cavity acoustic transducer as an on-chip cell/particle microfluidic switch
A novel on-chip microfluidic switch is demonstrated that utilizes the acoustic microstreaming generated by an oscillating air–liquid interface to switch cells/particles into bifurcating microchannels. The air–liquid interface of the Lateral Cavity Acoustic Transducers (LCATs) can be actuated by an external acoustic energy source causing the interface to oscillate. The oscillating interface results in the generation of vortex-like microstreaming flow within a localized region of the surrounding liquid. This streaming was utilized here to deflect cells/particles into a collection outlet. It was demonstrated that the switching zone could be controlled by varying the actuation time of the LCAT. An LCAT based microfluidic switch is capable of achieving theoretical switching rates of 800 cells/particles per second. It was also demonstrated that K562 cells could be switched into a collection channel with cell viability comparable to that of controls as determined by Trypan blue exclusion assay.