Low-cost laser-cut patterned chips for acoustic concentration of micro- to nanoparticles and cells by operating over a wide frequency range†
Acoustofluidic platforms for cell manipulation benefit from being contactless and label-free at potentially low cost. Particle concentration in a droplet relies on augmenting spatial asymmetry in the acoustic field, which is difficult to reproduce reliably. Etching periodic patterns into a chip to create acoustic band gaps is an attractive approach to spatially modify the acoustic field. However, the sensitivity of acoustic band structures to geometrical tolerances requires the use of costly microfabrication processes. In this work, we demonstrate particle concentration across a range of periodic structure patterns fabricated with a laser-cutting tool, suitable for low-cost and low-volume rapid prototyping. The relaxation on precision is underscored by experimental results of equally efficient particle concentration outside band gaps and even in their absence, allowing operation over a range of frequencies independent of acoustic band gaps. These results are significant by indicating the potential of extending the proposed method from the microscale (e.g. tumor cells) to the nanoscale (e.g. bacteria) by scaling up the frequency without being limited by fabrication capabilities. We demonstrate the device's high degree of biocompatibility to illustrate the method's applicability in the biomedical field for applications such as basic biochemical analysis and in vitro diagnosis.