Robot-assisted acoustofluidic

Robot-assisted acoustofluidic end effector: One step further towards microfluidics automation


“Liquid manipulation is the foundation of most laboratory processes. For macroscale liquid handling, both do-it-yourself and commercial robotic systems are available; however, for microscale, reagents are expensive and sample preparation is difficult. Over the last decade, lab-on-a-chip (LOC) systems have come to serve for microscale liquid manipulation; however, lacking automation and multi-functionality. Despite their potential synergies, each has grown separately and no suitable interface yet exists to link macro-level robotics with micro-level LOC or microfluidic devices. Here, we present a robot-assisted acoustofluidic end effector (RAEE) system, comprising a robotic arm and an acoustofluidic end effector, that combines robotics and microfluidic functionalities. We further carried out fluid pumping, particle and zebrafish embryo trapping, and mobile mixing of complex viscous liquids. Finally, we pre-programmed the RAEE to perform automated mixing of viscous liquids in well plates, illustrating its versatility for the automatic execution of chemical processes.

a The RAEE device is comprised of a glass capillary and piezo-electronic transducer connected to a five-axis robotic arm. The whole set-up was mounted on an inverted microscope using a capillary holder. The inset illustrates the overall experimental set-up. b An enlarged view of the RAEE device when submerged in liquid with a focus on streaming profiles, especially the out-of-plane streaming. c The acoustofluidic device generated two distinct flow profiles: (i) circular-flow fields along the shaft of the capillary, and (ii) frequency-dependent 3D streaming at the tip of the glass capillary. d We have applied the RAEE to execute pumping, selective trapping, and viscous mixing.” Reproduced under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License from Durrer, J., Agrawal, P., Ozgul, A. et al. A robot-assisted acoustofluidic end effector. Nat Commun 13, 6370 (2022). 


Figures and the abstract are reproduced from Durrer, J., Agrawal, P., Ozgul, A. et al. A robot-assisted acoustofluidic end effector. Nat Commun 13, 6370 (2022).  under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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