Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Acoustic Cell-Sorting Chip may Lead to Cell Phone-Sized Medical Labs

Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Bookmark and Share
A technique that uses acoustic waves to sort cells on a chip may create miniature medical analytic devices that could make Star Trek's tricorder seem a bit bulky in comparison.

The device uses two beams of acoustic -- or sound -- waves to act as acoustic tweezers and sort a continuous flow of cells on a dime-sized chip, said Tony Jun Huang, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics, Penn State. By changing the frequency of the acoustic waves, researchers can easily alter the paths of the cells.

Huang said that since the device can sort cells into five or more channels, it will allow more cell types to be analyzed simultaneously, which paves the way for smaller, more efficient and less expensive analytic devices.

"Eventually, you could do analysis on a device about the size of a cell phone," said Huang. "It's very doable and we're making in-roads to that right now."

Biological, genetic and medical labs could use the device for various types of analysis, including blood and genetic testing, Huang said.

Most current cell-sorting devices allow the cells to be sorted into only two channels in one step, according to Huang. He said that another drawback of current cell-sorting devices is that cells must be encapsulated into droplets, which complicates further analysis.

"Today, cell sorting is done on bulky and very expensive devices," said Huang. "We want to minimize them so they are portable, inexpensive and can be powered by batteries."

Using sound waves for cell sorting is less likely to damage cells than current techniques, Huang added.
In addition to the inefficiency and the lack of controllability, current methods produce aerosols, gases that require extra safety precautions to handle.

The researchers, who released their findings in the current edition of Lab on a Chip, created the acoustic wave cell-sorting chip using a layer of silicone -- polydimethylsiloxane. According to Huang, two parallel transducers, which convert alternating current into acoustic waves, were placed at the sides of the chip. As the acoustic waves interfere with each other, they form pressure nodes on the chip. As cells cross the chip, they are channeled toward these pressure nodes.

The transducers are tunable, which allows researchers to adjust the frequencies and create pressure nodes on the chip.

The researchers first tested the device by sorting a stream of fluorescent polystyrene beads into three channels. Prior to turning on the transducer, the particles flowed across the chip unimpeded. Once the transducer produced the acoustic waves, the particles were separated into the channels.

Following this experiment, the researchers sorted human white blood cells that were affected by leukemia. The leukemia cells were first focused into the main channel and then separated into five channels.

The device is not limited to five channels, according to Huang.

"We can do more," Huang said. "We could do 10 channels if we want, we just used five because we thought it was impressive enough to show that the concept worked."

Huang worked with Xiaoyun Ding, graduate student, Sz-Chin Steven Lin, postdoctoral research scholar, Michael Ian Lapsley, graduate student, Xiang Guo, undergraduate student, Chung Yu Keith Chan, doctoral student, Sixing Li, doctoral student, all of the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Penn State; Lin Wang, Ascent BioNano Technologies; and J. Philip McCoy, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health.

The National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award, the National Science Foundation, Graduate Research Fellowship and the Penn State Center for Nanoscale Science supported this work.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Penn State, TB Alliance, and GSK Partner To Discover New Treatments For TB
A new collaboration between TB Alliance, GSK, and scientists in the Eberly College of Science seeks to find new small molecules that can be used to create antibiotics in the fight against tuberculosis (TB).
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
New Clue In Lupus Autoantibody Production
A signaling molecule called interferon gamma could hold the key to understanding how harmful autoantibodies form in lupus patients.
Friday, April 15, 2016
Gorilla, Human Y Chromosomes are Highly Similar
A new, less expensive, and faster method has been developed to determine the DNA sequence of the male-specific Y chromosome in the gorilla.
Friday, March 04, 2016
E. coli Thrive in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Researchers have defined a fundamental mechanism through which the bacteria can thrive during IBD flare-ups.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Research On Mitochondrial DNA Could Bolster Forensic Investigations
A new grant from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) will help scientists from Penn State’s Eberly College of Science delve deep into the world of mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA, used to help solve crime in forensic investigations.
Monday, January 26, 2015
New Grant Tests NGS Tools For Crime Laboratories
National Institute of Justice grant of over $800,000 will test DNA investigative tools utilizing NGS technology.
Friday, January 09, 2015
Altered Milk Protein Can Deliver AIDS Drug to Infants
Binding with an antiretroviral drug promises to greatly improve treatment for infants and young children suffering from HIV/AIDS.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Protein Changes Linked to Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease
Neuroscientists have made a research discovery that helps point the way to potential therapies for memory-related disorders.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Using Information Technology to Tackle the Root of World Hungar
Scientists are studying what the rest of us don't see--the work going on underneath the ground that enables the growth of healthier crops.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Researchers Discover Protein Changes that Control Whether a Gene Functions
A Penn State-led research team has found that changes to proteins called histones, which are associated with DNA, can control whether or not a gene is allowed to function.
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Ultraviolet Flashes can Create Vitamin D-Enriched Mushrooms
Quick zaps of ultraviolet light can boost the vitamin D levels in mushrooms in seconds, turning the fungi into an even healthier food, according to Penn State food scientists.
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Penn State Researchers Part of Award-Winning Africa Research Team
College of Agricultural Sciences scientists are part of a research team that recently won 2013 Africa Collaboration Challenge Prize.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Study Suggests Dairy Herd Water Quality Linked to Milk Production
A recently completed study of water supplies on Pennsylvania dairy farms found that about a quarter of those tested had at least one water-quality issue.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Environmental Law Institute Recognizes Penn State Wetlands Scientist
Robert P. Brooks, a wetlands scientist at Penn State, has received the 2013 National Wetlands Award for Science Research.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Probing Question: Do Women Dominate the Field of Forensic Science?
Women going against the stereotype in the booming field of forensic science.
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Scientific News
Liquid Biopsies: Miracle Diagnostic or Next New Fad?
Thanks to the development of highly specific gene-amplification and sequencing technologies liquid biopsies access more biomarkers relevant to more cancers than ever before.
Flu Vaccine May Reduce Risk of Death For Type 2 Diabetes Patients
Researchers at Imperial College London have suggested that the vaccine may have substantial benefits for patients with long-term conditions.
Cancer Gene-Drug Combinations Ripe for Precision Medicine
The study aims to expand the number of cancer gene mutations that can be paired with a precision therapy.
Porphyrins as Catalysts in Scalable Organic Reactions
This review covers the most relevant scalable porphyrin-catalysed procedures, showing how these compounds represent broad applications in chemistry.
CDC Updates Zika Recommendations
CDC has issued updated Zika recommendations and guidance for healthcare providers with a focus on sexual transmission.
Exploiting Malaria’s Achilles’ Heel
Researchers have uncovered an Achilles' heel in malaria's anti-drug treatment arsenal that could lead to a disease cure.
Genome of 6000-Year-Old Barley Sequenced
Researchers have successfully sequenced the genome of Chalcolithic barley grains for the first time.
3D Models May Yield Ovarian Cancer Insights
Researchers are developing new tools to decipher ovarian cancer developments through a 3D printing technology.
Targeting BRAF Mutations in Thyroid Cancer
Treating metastatic thyroid cancer patients harboring a BRAF mutation with vemurafenib showed anti-tumor activity in a third of patients.
Plant Compounds Fight Together Against Colon Cancer
Research shows treating colon cancer cells with curcumin, then silymarin is more effective than treatment with each individually.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!