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Issue 9, 2012
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Acoustically enriching, large-depth aquatic sampler

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In marine biology, it is useful to collect water samples when exploring the distribution and diversity of microbial communities in underwater environments. In order to provide, e.g., a miniaturized submersible explorer with the capability of collecting microorganisms, a compact sample enrichment system has been developed. The sampler is 30 mm long, 15 mm wide, and just a few millimetres thick. Integrated in a multilayer steel, polyimide and glass construction is a microfluidic channel with piezoelectric transducers, where microorganism and particle samples are collected and enriched, using acoustic radiation forces for gentle and labelless trapping. High-pressure, latchable valves, using paraffin as the actuation material, at each end of the microfluidic channel keep the collected sample pristine. A funnel structure raised above the surface of the device directs water into the microfluidic channel as the vehicle propels itself or when there is a flow across its hull. The valves proved leak proof to a pressure of 2.1 MPa for 19 hours and momentary pressures of 12.5 MPa, corresponding to an ocean depth of more than 1200 metres. By reactivating the latching mechanism, small leakages through the valves could be remedied, which could thus increase the leak-less operational time. Fluorescent particles, 1.9 μm in diameter, were successfully trapped in the microfluidic channel at flow rates up to 15 μl min−1, corresponding to an 18.5 cm s−1 external flow rate of the sampler. In addition, liquid-suspended GFP-marked yeast cells were successfully trapped.

Graphical abstract: Acoustically enriching, large-depth aquatic sampler

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Article information

05 Jan 2012
13 Feb 2012
First published
15 Feb 2012

Lab Chip, 2012,12, 1619-1628
Article type

Acoustically enriching, large-depth aquatic sampler

J. Jonsson, S. Ogden, L. Johansson, K. Hjort and G. Thornell, Lab Chip, 2012, 12, 1619
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC00025C

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