Sound controls

Sound may be the key to separating molecules and cells – The Source

Life sciences and biomedical research rely on the ability to separate molecules and cells from biological fluids, but doing so efficiently and with precise control has been a challenge. This is especially true when important cells, or targets, must be isolated from a complex mixture of other microscopic particles, such as in blood.


J. Mark Meacham, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Washington University’s McKelvey School of Engineering in St. Louis, plans to advance a unique microfluidic technology with a $1,000 technology development grant. $5 million over four years from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A prototype was first designed and fabricated as part of his microfabrication class in 2016 and was developed by two students from his lab, Mingyang Cui and Michael M. Binkley, who earned doctorates in mechanical engineering from the engineering school in 2021 and 2019, respectively. .

The technology is based on a microfluidic subunit that controls the movement of very small objects, from the microscale to the nanoscale, for separation, enrichment or containment.

Learn more on the engineering website.