Paper is emerging as a versatile platform for automated fluid handling with a broad range of applications in medical diagnostics and analytical chemistry. However, selectively controlling analyte transport in paper to achieve concentration or selection has been a challenge for functional analysis. Here, by combining paper-based microfluidics with acoustics, we present a rapid and powerful method to size dependently control movement of microparticles and cells in paper using surface acoustic waves (SAW). We demonstrate the unique capability of the paper-based SAW approach to trap and concentrate microparticles in paper and release them when required, achieving collection efficiency of over 98%. Given the correlation between collection efficiency, size, and applied power, the paper-based SAW approach is applied to isolate a mixture of microparticles (1.1, 3.2, and 5 μm in diameter) into different regions and also to trap and concentrate human prostate cancer PC3 cells at a predetermined site. This paper-based SAW approach provides opportunities to develop powerful and low-cost selection and analysis tools, capable of processing complex multicomponent samples, with potential applications in medical diagnostics.
- Paper-based assaying system
- Cell sorting