Acoustofluidic coating of particles and cells
On-chip microparticle and cell coating technologies enable a myriad of applications in chemistry, engineering, and medicine. Current microfluidic coating technologies often rely on magnetic labeling and concurrent deflection of particles across laminar streams of chemicals. Herein, we introduce an acoustofluidic approach for microparticle and cell coating by implementing tilted-angle standing surface acoustic waves (taSSAWs) into microchannels with multiple inlets. The primary acoustic radiation force generated by the taSSAW field was exploited in order to migrate the particles across the microchannel through multiple laminar streams, which contained the buffer and coating chemicals. We demonstrate effective coating of polystyrene microparticles and HeLa cells without the need for magnetic labelling. We characterized the coated particles and HeLa cells with fluorescence microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Our acoustofluidic-based particle and cell coating method is label-free, biocompatible, and simple. It can be useful in the on-chip manufacturing of many functional particles and cells.