Lab-on-a-Chip Technologies Enabled by Acousto-Opto-Fluidics

T.J. Huang
The Pennsylvania State University, US

Keywords: opto-fluidics, nano fluidics, lab-on-a-chip


The past decade has witnessed an explosion in lab-on-a-chip research. This rapid development has occurred mainly because of the continuous fusion of new physics into microfluidic domains. In recent years, researchers have made significant progress in joining acoustic and optical technologies with microfluidics. Optofluidics, the merger between optics and microfluidics, enables the creation of reconfigurable optical components that are otherwise difficult to implement with solid-state technology. Acoustofluidics, on the other hand, offers noninvasive solutions for many on-chip biomedical applications. In this talk, I will present several lab-on-a-chip innovations enabled by acoustofluidics and optofluidics, including acoustic tweezers, tunable optofluidic lenses, and miniature fluorescence-activated cell sorters (FACS). These technological innovations have many advantages and are packaged in simple, elegant designs. For example, our acoustic tweezers operate at ~107 times lower power intensity than current optical tweezers. The low power intensity renders our technology non-invasive toward delicate biological samples, as confirmed by experimental results. Moreover, the acoustic tweezers are amenable to miniaturization and versatile—they can be applied to virtually any type of cell or microparticle regardless of size, shape, or electrical/magnetic/optical properties. With these advantages in versatility, miniaturization, power consumption, and technical simplicity, our acoustic tweezers technique are expected to become a powerful tool in many applications, including tissue engineering, microarrays, stem cell biology, and drug screening/discovery.