Surface Acoustic Wave Microfluidic Platform for Cell Mechanical Measurement
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusThis item is embargoed and will be available on 2023-04-28.
© 2021 Yanqi Wu
Cells are dynamic, living structures that remodel themselves in response to stimuli from environment or in relation to cellular processes such as cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, migration and death. The change of cell mechanical property can be a biophysical indicator in response to the abnormal alteration in cell functionality under pathological conditions. The advances in tool development for cell mechanical measurement have facilitated in-depth discussion of cell mechanics, but heavily limited by low throughput and high cost. The emerging lab-on-a-chip microfluidic methods provide a promising solution due to the miniaturisation, among which the acoustofluidic method (the fusion of acoustics and microfluidics) appears to be advantageous due to its tunability, biocompatibility and acousto-mechanical nature. In this dissertation, I explored the application of surface acoustic wave (SAW) microfluidics in the area of cell mechanics, including establishing SAW devices for cell mechanical measurement, comparing SAW-based measurement with the benchmark from a conventional method, investigating the impacts on cell mechanical characteristic, and extending the concept to a high-throughput cytometry comparable to the real-world need. The results show that the SAW microfluidic method can provide an effective measurement on cell mechanical characteristics and probe the impact of cellular interior structure or cellular phenotype. It is consistent with the conventional benchmark and can be a complement for some cellular structures of interest. At last, it can operate as a continuous-flow high-throughput cytometry, which could be exploited in future studies related to cell mechanics.
KeywordsMicrofluidics; Acoustofluidics; Surface acoustic wave (SAW); Cell mechanics; Cell compressibility; Cytoskeleton; High throughput; Compressibility cytometry; Micropipette aspiration
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