Digital acoustofluidics enables contactless and programmable liquid handling

For decades, scientists have pursued the goal of performing automated reactions in a compact fluid processor with minimal human intervention. Most advanced fluidic handling technologies (e.g., microfluidic chips and micro-well plates) lack fluid rewritability, and the associated benefits of multi-path routing and re-programmability, due to surface-adsorption-induced contamination on contacting structures. This limits their processing speed and the complexity of reaction test matrices. We present a contactless droplet transport and processing technique called digital acoustofluidics which dynamically manipulates droplets with volumes from 1 nL to 100 µL along any planar axis via acoustic-streaming-induced hydrodynamic traps, all in a contamination-free (lower than 10$^{−10}$% diffusion into the fluorinated carrier oil layer) and biocompatible (99.2% cell viability) manner. Hence, digital acoustofluidics can execute reactions on overlapping, non-contaminated, fluidic paths and can scale to perform massive interaction matrices within a single device.

Publication Date:
Jul 26 2018
Date Submitted:
Jul 01 2019
Nature Communications
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 Record created 2019-07-01, last modified 2019-07-24

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