A microfluidic device that utilizes acoustic streaming (Lateral Cavity Acoustic Transducer LCAT) to pump, sort, visualize and trap cells based on size and user specified characteristics. This device can process whole blood, and separate the blood constituents by size as well as integrate biomarkers and fluorescent tags to develop a powerful tool for early detection and diagnosis of diseases such as cancer.
The field of microfluidics has become increasingly important to biomedical applications in recent years. One notable biomedical application is the “lab on a chip,” which allows for the integration of different laboratory components on a single device. One such component on a lab on a chip device is called a “lateral cavity acoustic transducer” (aka LCAT), which consists of a main fluid channel connected to numerous angled side channels along its length. Using a piezoelectric transducer, gas in the side channels can expand to create liquid-air interfaces at the junctions between the side channels and main channels. The sizes of these liquid air-interfaces can be controlled such that fluid flow in their vicinity results in vortices that separate and trap particles, such as blood constituents and cancer cells. A potential drawback to this technology, however, is the unreliable stability of the liquid-air interfaces.
UCI inventors have developed a method for creating stable liquid-air interfaces in LCAT devices where trapped particles can be sorted and identified through use of in situ fluorescent tagging. Additionally, the invention can process small volume sample sizes (microliters) and requires no additional processing steps (such as centrifugation), thus eliminating the need for additional equipment and training. As the invention enhances the stability of the liquid-air interfaces, it increases the overall lifetime of the device for trapping and classifying different types of particles. Stable, reliable interfaces like these may be valuable for early detection of malignancies, leading to better survival outcomes.
|United States Of America||Issued Patent||11,213,823||01/04/2022||2016-461|