Precise and selective manipulation of colloids and biological cells has long been motivated by applications in materials science, physics and the life sciences. Here we introduce our harmonic acoustics for a non-contact, dynamic, selective (HANDS) particle manipulation platform, which enables the reversible assembly of colloidal crystals or cells via the modulation of acoustic trapping positions with subwavelength resolution. We compose Fourier-synthesized harmonic waves to create soft acoustic lattices and colloidal crystals without using surface treatment or modifying their material properties. We have achieved active control of the lattice constant to dynamically modulate the interparticle distance in a high-throughput (>100 pairs), precise, selective and reversible manner. Furthermore, we apply this HANDS platform to quantify the intercellular adhesion forces among various cancer cell lines. Our biocompatible HANDS platform provides a highly versatile particle manipulation method that can handle soft matter and measure the interaction forces between living cells with high sensitivity.
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The acoustic wave simulations were performed with commercial software MATLAB. Computation details can be made available from the corresponding authors on request.
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We acknowledge support from the Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility at Duke University. We thank S. Suresh, M. Dao, Z. Mao and J. Rich for their critical feedback and helpful discussions. We acknowledge support from the National Institutes of Health (grant numbers R01GM141055 (T.J.H.), R01GM132603 (T.J.H.), U18TR003778 (T.J.H.) and UH3TR002978 (T.J.H.)) and the National Science Foundation (grant numbers ECCS-1807601 (T.J.H.) and CMMI-2104295 (T.J.H.)).
T.J.H. has cofounded a start-up company, Ascent Bio-Nano Technologies Inc., to commercialize technologies involving acoustofluidics and acoustic tweezers. The remaining authors declare no competing interests.
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Supplementary Notes 1–8, Figs. 1–6 and Table 1.
Selective and reversible pairing of two cells (U937) by the HANDS platform while keeping neighbouring cells intact.
Creation of colloidal crystal from a cluster by the HANDS platform.
Controls of rotational direction and spinning of a colloidal crystal monolayer by the HANDS platform.
Different crystal configurations of colloidal monolayers with varied spin speeds (with particle number n = 6) by the HANDS platform.
Reconfiguration of acoustic wells for single-colloid trapping and pairing by the HANDS platform: connected acoustic wells and isolated acoustic wells.
Demonstration of the repeatable and reversible pairing of single particles by the HANDS platform.
High-throughput pairing for colloidal particles and cells by the HANDS platform.
Reversible pairing of living cells (U937) in the x and y directions by the HANDS platform.
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Yang, S., Tian, Z., Wang, Z. et al. Harmonic acoustics for dynamic and selective particle manipulation. Nat. Mater. 21, 540–546 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-022-01210-8
Nature Materials (2022)
Microsystems & Nanoengineering (2022)