A team of mechanical engineers at the University of California San Diego has successfully used acoustic waves to move fluids through small channels at the nanoscale. The breakthrough is a first step toward the manufacturing of small, portable devices that could be used for drug discovery and microrobotics applications. The devices could be integrated in a lab on a chip to sort cells, move liquids, manipulate particles and sense other biological components. For example, it could be used to filter a wide range of particles, such as bacteria, to conduct rapid diagnosis.
The researchers detail their findings in the Nov. 14 issue of Advanced Functional Materials. This is the first time that surface acoustic waves have been used at the nanoscale.
The field of nanofluidics has long struggled with moving fluids within channels that are 1000 times smaller than the width of a hair, said James Friend, a professor and materials science expert at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. Current methods require bulky and expensive equipment as well as high temperatures. Moving fluid out of a channel that’s just a few nanometers high requires pressures of 1 megaPascal, or the equivalent of 10 atmospheres.
Researchers led by Friend had tried to use acoustic waves to move the fluids along at the nano scale for several years. They also wanted to do this with a device that could be manufactured at room temperature.
After a year of experimenting, post-doctoral researcher Morteza Miansari, now at Stanford, was able to build a device made of lithium niobate with nanoscale channels where fluids can be moved by surface acoustic waves. This was made possible by a new method Miansari developed to bond the material to itself at room temperature. The fabrication method can be easily scaled up, which would lower manufacturing costs. Building one device would cost $1000 but building 100,000 would drive the price down to $1 each.
The device is compatible with biological materials, cells and molecules.
Researchers used acoustic waves with a frequency of 20 megaHertz to manipulate fluids, droplets and particles in nanoslits that are 50 to 250 nanometers tall. To fill the channels, researchers applied the acoustic waves in the same direction as the fluid moving into the channels. To drain the channels, the sound waves were applied in the opposite direction.
By changing the height of the channels, the device could be used to filter a wide range of particles, down to large biomolecules such as siRNA, which would not fit in the slits. Essentially, the acoustic waves would drive fluids containing the particles into these channels. But while the fluid would go through, the particles would be left behind and form a dry mass. This could be used for rapid diagnosis in the field.
The Latest on: Nanofluidics
via Google News
The Latest on: Nanofluidics
- Wood-Based Technology Turns Heat into Electricity on April 16, 2019 at 3:51 am
“We are the first to show that this type of membrane, with its expansive arrays of aligned cellulose, can be used as a high-performance ion selective membrane by nanofluidics and molecular streaming ... […]
- Versatile electrification of two-dimensional nanomaterials in water on April 10, 2019 at 2:09 am
The recent emergence of nanofluidics has highlighted the exceptional properties of graphene and its boron-nitride counterpart as confining nanomaterials for water and ion transport. Surprisingly, ... […]
- Fluidity and phase transitions of water in hydrophobic and hydrophilic nanotubes on April 5, 2019 at 3:35 am
The study of the characteristics of nanoconfined water is important to expand our current understanding of advanced nanofluidics and give us the ability to engineer advanced nanoscale systems 1,2,3,4. ... […]
- Nanofluidics - recent progress on August 7, 2018 at 9:58 am
(Nanowerk Spotlight) Nanofluidics is the study and application of fluids in and around geometries with nanoscale characteristic dimensions. The field of nanofluidics is not brand-new. Some issues ... […]
- Active nanofluidics towards ionic machines on June 30, 2018 at 5:00 pm
Filtering and water purification rely traditionnally on the concept of passive sieving across properly decorated nanopores. Such basic separation principle contrasts with the highly advanced membrane ... […]
- Computational Nanoscience: Energy Materials and Nanofluidics Sensors Design on May 21, 2018 at 5:00 pm
Recent advances in nanostructured materials have opened a wide range of new multifunctional materials with promising potential for the development of more efficient energy materials. Furthermore, the ... […]
- International School of Nanomedicine 3rd Course: “Nanofluidics, Nanoimaging and Nanomanipulation” on April 5, 2018 at 5:00 am
The course will provide many opportunities for interactions and discussions between students, postdocs, junior as well as senior investigators, encouraging and promoting networking between them. The ... […]
- Nanomushroom sensors: One material, many applications on February 25, 2018 at 4:00 pm
In several recent papers, Prof. Shen and colleagues at the Micro/Bio/Nanofluidics Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST), described their creation of a new biosensing material ... […]
- Chapter 4: Kinetic Theory and Micro/Nanofluidics on February 18, 2018 at 10:43 am
Statistical mechanics involves determination of the most probable state and equilibrium distributions, as well as evaluation of the thermodynamic properties in the equilibrium states. Kinetic theory ... […]
via Bing News