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UNS:Coupling Thermophoresis with Engineered Convection for Label free, Continuous Bionanoparticle Concentration in Microfluidic Devices


1511284<br/>Cheng<br/>Lehigh University<br/><br/>Bionanoparticles, such as viruses and vesicles, are commonly concentrated in clinical diagnosis, defense surveillance and food safety monitoring. Conventional methods, such as high-speed centrifugation and nanofiltration, are instrument and labor intensive and unpractical under resource-limited conditions. These challenges motivate the researchers to create a novel microfluidic solution for nanoparticle processing. Success of the proposed research will have broad practical impact in viral sample processing for clinical diagnostics of infection, homeland security surveillance and food safety monitoring. This interdisciplinary research will provide excellent opportunities for undergraduate and graduate student training. This research will contribute to course development and directly impact the undergraduate and graduate curriculum. The investigators will continue to actively participate in K-12 outreach programs to motivate and attract talented students to STEM fields. The investigators will also continue the effort to increase the participation of students from underrepresented groups in this research program.<br/><br/>The proposed strategy combines thermophoresis with engineered convection to overcome Brownian motion and achieve directed nanoparticle migration. The proposed strategy is enabled by a fundamental investigation of nanoparticle migration in a temperature gradient and rational design of convective flow to augment such separations. Using a simple microscale flow having controlled kinematics and thermal profiles, the approach is universal for suspended nanoscale constituents such as viruses, liposomes and exosomes in biological solutions. The separation process is biocompatible, label-free, and the concentrated species are retrieved continuously. In addition to the transformative societal impact associated with designing faster, better, cheaper diagnostics, the research is also innovative in generating fundamental understanding of both non-equilibrium transport of biological species and flow field control in inertial-free flows by microstructured substrates.

Ricles, James; Cheng, Xuanhong
Lehigh University
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