Acoustofluidic particle trapping, manipulation, and release using dynamic-mode cantilever sensors

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Royal Society of Chemistry

We show here that dynamic-mode cantilever sensors enable acoustofluidic fluid mixing and trapping of suspended particles as well as the rapid manipulation and release of trapped micro-particles via mode switching in liquid. Resonant modes of piezoelectric cantilever sensors over the 0 to 8 MHz frequency range are investigated. Sensor impedance response, flow visualization studies using dye and micro-particle tracers (100 mum diameter), and finite element simulations of cantilever modal mechanics and acoustic streaming show fluid mixing and particle trapping configurations depend on the resonant mode shape. We found trapped particles could be: (1) rapidly manipulated on millimeter length scales, and (2) released from the cantilever surface after trapping by switching between low- and high-order resonant modes (less than 250 kHz and greater than 1 MHz, respectively). Such results suggest a potentially promising future for dynamic-mode cantilevers in separations, pumping and mixing applications as well as acoustofluidic-enhanced sensing applications.