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The University of Southampton

Research project: Investigation of acoustic radiation forces in microfluidic devices

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The micro particles can be manipulated by an acoustic radiation forces generated due to presence of an ultrasonic field. It provides a potential application for a non-intrusive tool for bio-particle manipulation.

An efficient and flexible numerical model is developed to investigate acoustic radiation forces on a particle of arbitrary size, shape, elasticity, composition and material characteristics. The model compares well with analytical solutions and suggested useful results on shape dependency, and the effects of shear waves in ultrasonic particle manipulation. The model also presents initial results for the forces on inhomogeneous particles for example cell with a nucleus inside. Further the model has been extended by including the effect of thermo-viscous effect of the fluid medium and particle positioned near a flat wall. Recently the model is used to explore cell mechanics such as RBC due to an acoustic radiation force.      

Associated research themes

In principle, acoustic pressure gradients originated due to nonlinear sound propagation in the fluid medium that creates steady (radiation) forces acting on the particles. Depending on the spatial geometry of these forces, particles can be moved in required directions or trapped. The aim is to characterise the micro-particles and cells by better estimating the radiation force acting on it in an ultrasonic-field.

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