Repository logo

Numerical study of acoustophoretic manipulation of particles in microfluidic channels.

Accepted version



Change log


Ma, Jun 
Yang, Xin 
Wang, Hanlin 
Wu, Fangda 


The microfluidic technology based on surface acoustic waves (SAW) has been developing rapidly, as it can precisely manipulate fluid flow and particle motion at microscales. We hereby present a numerical study of the transient motion of suspended particles in a microchannel. In conventional studies, only the microchannel's bottom surface generates SAW and only the final positions of the particles are analyzed. In our study, the microchannel is sandwiched by two identical SAW transducers at both the bottom and top surfaces while the channel's sidewalls are made of poly-dimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Based on the perturbation theory, the suspended particles are subject to two types of forces, namely the Acoustic Radiation Force (ARF) and the Stokes Drag Force (SDF), which correspond to the first-order acoustic field and the second-order streaming field, respectively. We use the Finite Element Method (FEM) to compute the fluid responses and particle trajectories. Our numerical model is shown to be accurate by verifying against previous experimental and numerical results. We have determined the threshold particle size that divides the SDF-dominated regime and the ARF-dominated regime. By examining the time scale of the particle movement, we provide guidelines on the device design and operation.



Microfluidics, acoustic radiation force, acoustofluidics, stokes drag force, surface acoustic waves, Acoustics, Microfluidics, Particle Size, Sound, Transducers

Journal Title

Proc Inst Mech Eng H

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



SAGE Publications


All rights reserved
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/P020259/1)
The work has been supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China under grant No. 2016YFC0402605, the Cambridge Tier-2 system operated by the University of Cambridge Research Computing Service ( funded by EPSRC Tier-2 capital grant EP/P020259/1 and China Scholarship Council (CSC).