Microscale acoustofluidics and lab-on-chip
Acoustic manipulation of fluids and microscale particles and biological cells in lab-on-a-chip systems has unlocked numerous essential functions in microfluidics, including cell sorting/patterning/stimulation, droplet manipulation, mixing, streaming, jetting/nebulization, fluid handling/mixing and enhanced chemical reactions. All those acoustofluidic operations are not only biocompatible but also quite insensitive to the fluid composition, including viscosity and electrical conductivity. Combined with their tremendous potentials in biotechnologies, the field offers a stunningly elegant analogy to quantum physics, where unseen wave-functions determine the motion of particles/cells at much larger time scale with many extraordinary phenomena. Even better, unlike its quantum analog, the acoustic waves used in acoustofluidics can be precisely characterized and controlled for various applications. However, the fast-paced development in the recent decades is not without challenges. The field progress has mainly been hindered by the lack of suitable transducers, complicated trouble-shooting due to challenging theoretical predictions and scarcity of experimental characterization methods, not to mention that the non-trivial effects of waves on cells have been grossly overlooked. This special issue is dedicated to the recent progress at tackling these challenges and other pressing issues in the field.
Prof. Antoine Riaud, Fu Dan University, Shanghai, China
Prof. Feng Guo, Indiana University Bloomington, USA
Prof. Richard Yongqing Fu, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK