Acoustic tweezers: patterning cells and microparticles using standing surface acoustic waves (SSAW)

Lab Chip. 2009 Oct 21;9(20):2890-5. doi: 10.1039/b910595f. Epub 2009 Aug 5.


Here we present an active patterning technique named "acoustic tweezers" that utilizes standing surface acoustic wave (SSAW) to manipulate and pattern cells and microparticles. This technique is capable of patterning cells and microparticles regardless of shape, size, charge or polarity. Its power intensity, approximately 5x10(5) times lower than that of optical tweezers, compares favorably with those of other active patterning methods. Flow cytometry studies have revealed it to be non-invasive. The aforementioned advantages, along with this technique's simple design and ability to be miniaturized, render the "acoustic tweezers" technique a promising tool for various applications in biology, chemistry, engineering, and materials science.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics / instrumentation*
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Culture Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Erythrocytes / cytology
  • Escherichia coli / cytology
  • Microfluidic Analytical Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Microspheres*
  • Microtechnology
  • Particle Size
  • Polystyrenes


  • Polystyrenes