Iranmanesh I, Ohlin M, Ramachandraiah H, Ye S, Russom A, Wiklund M
Biomed Microdevices 18 (4) 71 [2016-08-00; online 2016-07-23]
We demonstrate an acoustic platform for micro-vortexing in disposable polymer microfluidic chips with small-volume (20 μl) reaction chambers. The described method is demonstrated for a variety of standard vortexing functions, including mixing of fluids, re-suspension of a pellet of magnetic beads collected by a magnet placed on the chip, and lysis of cells for DNA extraction. The device is based on a modified Langevin-type ultrasonic transducer with an exponential horn for efficient coupling into the microfluidic chip, which is actuated by a low-cost fixed-frequency electronic driver board. The transducer is optimized by numerical modelling, and different demonstrated vortexing functions are realized by actuating the transducer for varying times; from fractions of a second for fluid mixing, to half a minute for cell lysis and DNA extraction. The platform can be operated during 1 min below physiological temperatures with the help of a PC fan, a Peltier element and an aluminum heat sink acting as the chip holder. As a proof of principle for sample preparation applications, we demonstrate on-chip cell lysis and DNA extraction within 25 s. The method is of interest for automating and chip-integrating sample preparation procedures in various biological assays.