Ultrasonic radiation forces can be used for non-intrusive manipulation and concentration of suspended micrometer-sized particles. For bioanalytical purposes, standing-wave ultrasound has long been used for rapid immuno-agglutination of functionalized latex beads. More recently, detection methods based on laser-scanning fluorometry and single-step homogeneous bead-based assays show promise for fast, easy and sensitive biochemical analysis. If such methods are combined with ultrasonic enhancement, detection limits in the femtomolar region are feasible. In this paper, we review the development of standing-wave ultrasonic manipulation for bioanalysis, with special emphasis on miniaturization and ultrasensitive bead-based immunoassays.
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