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Acoustic Needles: 3D Microfluidics using Focused Ultrasound passing through Hydrophobic Meshes


  • Koroyasu, Yusuke Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba
  • Nguyen, Thanh-Vinh Sensing System Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
  • Sasaguri, Shun School of Informatics, College of Media Arts, Science and Technology, University of Tsukuba
  • Marzo, Asier Computer Science, Public University of Navarre
  • Ezcurdia, Iñigo Computer Science, Public University of Navarre
  • Nagata, Yuuya Institute for Chemical Reaction Design and Discovery, Hokkaido University
  • Hoshi, Takayuki Pixie Dust Technologies, Inc.
  • Ochiai, Yoichi Faculty of Library, Information and Media Science, University of Tsukuba
  • Fushimi, Tatsuki Faculty of Library, Information and Media Science, University of Tsukuba https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3944-0014




Microfluidics、 Acoustic Radiation Force、 Hydrophobic、 Automation


Current experiments in chemistry, biology, medicine, and engineering require the manipulation of multiple chemicals, samples, and specimens on a large scale. Therefore, automation techniques for manipulating microliter droplets are essential to improve the throughput, reproducibility, and sustainability of experiments. Digital microfluidic methods, such as EWOD (electrowetting-on-dielectric), electrostatics, and acoustophoretic platforms, offer excellent maneuverability and fast control for droplets. However, they are limited in terms of three-dimensional (3D) manipulation and droplet size. Here, we propose an acoustic needles platform, a 3D digital microfluidics system based on focused ultrasound waves (3D-MFUS) that pass through a hydrophobic mesh with droplets resting on it. A focused beam (acoustic needle), generated dynamically by a phased array, creates a stable trap through the mesh and attracts droplets to its focus. This needle can be steered to translate droplets on the surface; droplets can be manipulated simultaneously by generating multiple foci. Moreover, a liquid droplet can be detached from the surface and propelled into mid-air for up to 10.9 cm. This height is 27 and 2 times greater than that observed in the state-of-the-art methods in EWOD and photovoltaics, respectively. Droplets can be merged or split by pushing them against a hydrophobic knife. Additionally, both solid particles and liquid droplets can be manipulated using the same system. This platform would allow scientists and engineers to manipulate liquid droplets in a 3D circuit; moreover, it paves the way for developments in micro-robotics, additive manufacturing, and laboratory automation research.

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投稿日時: 2022-09-13 00:24:22 UTC

公開日時: 2022-09-15 08:53:23 UTC