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Acoustic tweezers: patterning, focusing, and separating cells and microparticles using standing surface acoustic waves (SSAW)

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The ability to arrange cells and microparticles into desired patterns is critical for numerous biological studies and applications such as microarrays, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. Here we summarize our recent progress on a “acoustic tweezers” technique that utilizes standing surface acoustic wave (SSAW) to manipulate cells and microparticles. This technique is capable of manipulating cells and microparticles regardless of shape, size, charge or polarity. Its power intensity, approximately 5 × 105 times lower than that of optical tweezers, compares favorably with those of other active patterning methods. Flow cytometry studies have revealed it to be non-invasive. The aforementioned advantages, along with this technique’s simple design and ability to be miniaturized, render the “acoustic tweezers” technique a promising tool for arious applications in biology, chemistry, engineering, and materials science.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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