Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Acoustic tweezers can position tiny objects

"Acoustic tweezers" enable flexible on-chip manipulation and patterning of cells using standing surface acoustic waves.

Credit: Tony Jun Huang, Jinjie Shi, Penn State
"Acoustic tweezers" enable flexible on-chip manipulation and patterning of cells using standing surface acoustic waves. Credit: Tony Jun Huang, Jinjie Shi, Penn State

Abstract:
Manipulating tiny objects like single cells or nanosized beads often requires relatively large, unwieldy equipment, but now a system that uses sound as a tiny tweezers can be small enough to place on a chip, according to Penn State engineers.

Acoustic tweezers can position tiny objects

University Park, PA | Posted on September 1st, 2009

"Current methods for moving individual cells or tiny beads include such devices as optical tweezers, which require a lot of energy and could damage or even kill live cells," said Tony Jun Huang, assistant professor of engineering science and mechanics. "Acoustic tweezers are much smaller than optical tweezers and use 500,000 times less energy."

While optical tweezers are large and expensive, acoustic tweezers are smaller than a dime, small enough to fabricate on a chip using standard chip manufacturing techniques. They can also manipulate live cells without damaging or killing them.

Acoustic tweezers differ from eyebrow tweezers in that they position many tiny objects simultaneously and place them equidistant from each other in either parallel lines or on a grid. The grid configuration is probably the most useful for biological applications where researchers can place stem cells on a grid for testing or skin cells on a grid to grow new skin. This allows investigators to see how any type of cell grows.

"Acoustic tweezers are not just useful in biology," said Huang. "They can be used in physics, chemistry and materials science to create patterns of nanoparticles for coatings or to etch surfaces."

Acoustic tweezers work by setting up a standing surface acoustic wave. If two sound sources are placed opposite each other and each emits the same wavelength of sound, there will be a location where the opposing sounds cancel each other. This location can be considered a trough. Because sound waves have pressure, they can push very small objects, so a cell or nanoparticle will move with the sound wave until it reaches the trough where there is no longer movement. The particle or cell will stop and "fall" into the trough.

If the sound comes from two parallel sound sources facing each other, the troughs form a line or series of lines. If the sound sources are at right angles to each other, the troughs form an evenly spaced set of rows and columns like a checkerboard. Here too, the particles are pushed until they reach the location where the sound is no longer moving.

The acoustic tweezers are manufactured by fabricating an interdigital transducer onto a piezoelectric chip surface. These transducers are the source of the sound. Next, using standard photolithography, microchannels are fabricated in which a small amount of liquid with the cells or particles can move around freely. These microchannels were bonded to the chip to create the area for particle movement.

To test their device, the researchers, who include Jinjie Shi, Daniel Ahmed and Sz-Chin Steven Lin, graduate students, engineering science and mechanics; Xiaole Mao, graduate student in bioengineering, and Aitan Lawit, undergraduate in engineering science and mechanics, used Dragon Green fluorescent polystyrene beads about 1.9 micrometers in diameter. They then used cows red blood cells and the single cell bacteria E. coli to test the acoustic tweezers.

"The results verify the versatility of our technique as the two groups of cells differ significantly in both shape (spherical beads vs. rod-shaped E. coli) and size," the researchers reported in a recent issue of Lab on a Chip. They note that the patterning performance is independent of the particle's electrical, magnetic and optical properties.

"Most cells or particles patterned in a few seconds," said Huang. "The energy used is very low and the acoustic tweezers should not damage cells at all. Because they have different properties, the acoustic tweezers could also separate live from dead cells, or different types of particles."

Acoustic tweezers technology has significant advantages over existing technologies because of its versatility, miniaturization, power consumption and technical simplicity. Huang expects it to become a powerful tool for many applications such as tissue engineering, cell studies, and drug screening and discovery.

The National Science Foundation supported this work.




####

About Penn State
Penn State is a multi-campus public research university that improves the lives of the people of Pennsylvania, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality programs in teaching, research, and service.

Our instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing and distance education informed by scholarship and research.

Our research, scholarship, and creative activities promote human and economic development through the expansion of knowledge and its applications in the natural and applied sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, and professions. As Pennsylvania's land-grant university, we also hold a unique responsibility to provide access, outreach, and public service to support the citizens of the Commonwealth and beyond. We engage in collaborative activities with industrial, educational, and agricultural partners here and abroad to generate, disseminate, integrate, and apply knowledge.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
A'ndrea Elyse Messer

814-865-9481

Copyright © Penn State

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

University of Akron researchers find thin layers of water can become ice-like at room temperature: Results could lead to an assortment of anti-friction solutions August 30th, 2016

Nanocatalysis for organic chemistry: This research article by Dr. Qien Xu et al. is published in Current Organic Chemistry, Volume 20, Issue 19, 2016 August 30th, 2016

Continuous roll-process technology for transferring and packaging flexible LSI August 29th, 2016

Meteorite impact on a nano scale August 29th, 2016

Physics

University of Akron researchers find thin layers of water can become ice-like at room temperature: Results could lead to an assortment of anti-friction solutions August 30th, 2016

Meteorite impact on a nano scale August 29th, 2016

Chemistry

Nanocatalysis for organic chemistry: This research article by Dr. Qien Xu et al. is published in Current Organic Chemistry, Volume 20, Issue 19, 2016 August 30th, 2016

Possible Futures

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

Nanocatalysis for organic chemistry: This research article by Dr. Qien Xu et al. is published in Current Organic Chemistry, Volume 20, Issue 19, 2016 August 30th, 2016

Continuous roll-process technology for transferring and packaging flexible LSI August 29th, 2016

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

Chip Technology

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

Continuous roll-process technology for transferring and packaging flexible LSI August 29th, 2016

A nanoscale wireless communication system via plasmonic antennas: Greater control affords 'in-plane' transmission of waves at or near visible light August 27th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

50 years after the release of the film 'Fantastic Voyage,' science upstages fiction: Science upstages fiction with nanorobotic agents designed to travel in the human body to treat cancer August 25th, 2016

Materials/Metamaterials

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

A promising route to the scalable production of highly crystalline graphene films August 26th, 2016

Graphene under pressure August 26th, 2016

Semblant to Present at China Mobile Manufacturing Forum 2016 August 25th, 2016

Announcements

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

University of Akron researchers find thin layers of water can become ice-like at room temperature: Results could lead to an assortment of anti-friction solutions August 30th, 2016

Nanocatalysis for organic chemistry: This research article by Dr. Qien Xu et al. is published in Current Organic Chemistry, Volume 20, Issue 19, 2016 August 30th, 2016

Meteorite impact on a nano scale August 29th, 2016

Tools

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

50 years after the release of the film 'Fantastic Voyage,' science upstages fiction: Science upstages fiction with nanorobotic agents designed to travel in the human body to treat cancer August 25th, 2016

University of Puerto Rico and NASA back in the news XEI reports August 23rd, 2016

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

A nanoscale wireless communication system via plasmonic antennas: Greater control affords 'in-plane' transmission of waves at or near visible light August 27th, 2016

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Nanobiotechnology

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube: DNA computers could one day be programmed to diagnose and treat disease August 25th, 2016

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic