Bioanalytical methods based on acoustofluidics technology
AcouSort develops and supplies ultrasound laboratory systems for sorting, washing and concentrating cells, exosomes and other biological objects. Desktop systems AcouWash and AcouTrap are designed for separation, washing, sorting and concentration of biological particles such as cells, bacteria, extracellular vesicles and others. Applications of this technology include advanced methods such as isolating and concentrating circulating tumor cells (CTCs) to monitor cancer, select and capture bacteria for rapid diagnosis of sepsis, and stem cell sorts to restore red blood cell production in patients after chemotherapy.
AcouSort’s key technology is acoustofluidics, a technology that combines acoustics and microfluidics to separate and capture cells and particles in acoustic fields. This technology makes it possible to carry out almost immediately any operation that is normally achieved by lengthy spinning.
For cell separation, the sample is driven through a microchannel, typically half a millimeter wide. The ultrasonic wave is generated across the channel creating a pressure field. The acoustic forces move cells and particles that are denser and less compressible than the surrounding medium to the pressure node in the center of the channel.
This allows for a variety of operations – cells can be washed, concentrated, or moved from one medium to another. Different cell types can be separated based on differences in size, density, or compressibility. AcouWash uses this technology.
When trapped in an acoustic trap, cells and particles are not just moved by ultrasound – they are trapped and seized upstream. This allows the cells to be concentrated and potentially transferred to another medium. Using larger particles as “cores”, this technology allows the isolation of submicron particles such as extracellular vesicles or bacteria. This technology is available in the form of the AcouTrap desktop system.