An integrated open source acoustofluidic platform using surface acoustic waves for biomedical applications

Vernon, Jethro Moses (2022) An integrated open source acoustofluidic platform using surface acoustic waves for biomedical applications. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices using thin film technology are increasingly used in lab-on-a-chip, point-of-care and a wide variety of biomedical applications, due to their multi-functionalities and low cost. These thin film devices not only have both acoustofluidic sensing and actuation functions, but also have been produced with commonly used semiconductor manufacturing techniques. These allow the acoustic devices to be made on many different substrates, such as aluminium plate and foils, glass, silicon, polymers and plastics, which provide a wide variety of properties enabling many new directions and opening up new applications.

However, acoustic wave technology still requires benchtop lab equipment and experienced operators to utilise these SAW devices because of a lack of hardware integration and autonomous control, resulting in a higher-cost system than the proposed platform. Most SAW interfacing setups are bulky and complex to use. There are currently many studies exploring the uses of mobile phones, cameras and attempting to use open-source electronics to generate and control acoustic waves. In this thesis, we combine SAW microfluidics and sensing with Raspberry-Pi hardware, making a full use of its digital imaging capabilities.

This thesis focuses on integrating surface acoustic wave devices and open-source hardware and software to overcome the challenges with a digitally controlled acoustofluidic platform. The aim of this modular platform is to perform acoustofluidic functions autonomously, such as droplet transportation, mixing, heating and sensing. The basis of this platform is a Raspberry Pi, together with piezoelectric thin films on metallic substrates, 3D printed housing and additional electronics for SAW device control. The setup is then used to demonstrate these functions applied in a variety of biomedical applications, such as disease diagnostics, breathing disorder monitoring and cell culturing.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: piezoelectric thin film, lab-on-a-chip, point-of-care, microfluidics, Raspberry Pi
Subjects: G900 Others in Mathematical and Computing Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2022 14:25
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2022 14:30

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