Dual-Wave Acoustofluidic Centrifuge for Ultrafast Concentration of Nanoparticles and Extracellular Vesicles.

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Mikhaylov, Roman 
Zhang, Xiaoyan 
Bareford, Matthew 
Stringer, Mercedes 

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are secreted nanostructures that play various roles in critical cancer processes. They operate as an intercellular communication system, transferring complex sets of biomolecules from cell to cell. The concentration of EVs is difficult to decipher, and there is an unmet technological need for improved (faster, simpler, and gentler) approaches to isolate EVs from complex matrices. Herein, an acoustofluidic concentration of extracellular vesicles (ACEV) is presented, based on a thin-film printed circuit board with interdigital electrodes mounted on a piezoelectric substrate. An angle of 120° is identified between the electrodes and the reference flat of the piezoelectric substrate for simultaneous generation of Rayleigh and shear horizontal waves. The dual waves create a complex acoustic field in a droplet, resulting in effective concentration of nanoparticles and EVs. The ACEV is able to concentrate 20 nm nanospheres within 105 s and four EV dilutions derived from the human prostate cancer (Du145) cell line in approximately 30 s. Cryo-electron microscopy confirmed the preservation of EV integrity. The ACEV device holds great potential to revolutionize investigations of EVs. Its faster, simpler, and gentler approach to EV isolation and concentration can save time and effort in phenotypic and functional studies of EVs.

extracellular vesicles, nanoparticles, printed circuit boards, surface acoustic waves
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We thank CIC bioGUNE Electron Microscopy Platform for their technological assistance.