Continuous manipulation and characterization of colloidal beads and liposomes via diffusiophoresis in single- and double-junction microchannels
We reveal a physical mechanism that enables the preconcentration, sorting, and characterization of charged polystyrene nanobeads and liposomes dispersed in a continuous flow within a straight micron-sized channel. Initially, a single Ψ-junction microfluidic chip is used to generate a steady-state salt concentration gradient in the direction perpendicular to the flow. As a result, fluorescent nanobeads dispersed in the electrolyte solutions accumulate into symmetric regions of the channel, appearing as two distinct symmetric stripes when the channel is observed from the top via epi-fluorescence microscopy. Depending on the electrolyte flow configuration and, thus, the direction of the salt concentration gradient field, the fluorescent stripes get closer to or apart from each other as the distance from the inlet increases. Our numerical and experimental analysis shows that although nanoparticle diffusiophoresis and hydrodynamic effects are involved in the accumulation process, diffusio-osmosis along the top and bottom channel walls plays a crucial role in the observed particles dynamics. In addition, we developed a proof-of-concept double Ψ-junction microfluidic device that exploits this accumulation mechanism for the size-based separation and size detection of nanobeads as well as for the measurement of zeta potential and charged lipid composition of liposomes under continuous flow settings. This device is also used to investigate the effect of fluid-like or gel-like states of the lipid membranes on the liposome diffusiophoretic response. The proposed strategy for solute-driven manipulation and characterization of colloids has great potential for microfluidic bioanalytical testing applications, including bioparticle preconcentration, sorting, sensing, and analysis.
Particle Filtration and Accumulation by Solute-driven Transport (FAST) for bio-analysis in microfluidic devices
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research CouncilFind out more...
- Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
Published inACS Nano
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society
- VoR (Version of Record)
Rights holder© The Authors
Publisher statementThis is an Open Access Article. It is published by the American Chemical Society under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/