Phase holograms for the three-dimensional patterning of unconstrained microparticles

Scientific Reports(2023)

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Acoustic radiation forces can remotely manipulate particles. Forces from a standing wave field align microscale particles along the nodal or anti-nodal locations of the field to form three-dimensional (3D) patterns. These patterns can be used to form 3D microstructures for tissue engineering applications. However, standing wave generation requires more than one transducer or a reflector, which is challenging to implement in vivo. Here, a method is developed and validated to manipulate microspheres using a travelling wave from a single transducer. Diffraction theory and an iterative angular spectrum approach are employed to design phase holograms to shape the acoustic field. The field replicates a standing wave and aligns polyethylene microspheres in water, which are analogous to cells in vivo , at pressure nodes. Using Gor’kov potential to calculate the radiation forces on the microspheres, axial forces are minimized, and transverse forces are maximized to create stable particle patterns. Pressure fields from the phase holograms and resulting particle aggregation patterns match predictions with a feature similarity index > 0.92, where 1 is a perfect match. The resulting radiation forces are comparable to those produced from a standing wave, which suggests opportunities for in vivo implementation of cell patterning toward tissue engineering applications.
Acoustics,Biomedical engineering,Tissue engineering,Ultrasound,Science,Humanities and Social Sciences,multidisciplinary
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