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Proceedings Paper

Automated ultrasonic particle processing microsystem
Author(s): Graham J. Sparey-Taylor; Caroline Lewis; Eve Chapper; Peter Schiller; Peter Kern; David A. Barrow; Joseph J. Cefai
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Paper Abstract

The use of ultrasonic technologies to trap and filter desired particulates from a suspending media has been well documented to date. Recent advancements in microsystems and micro-fluidic technology have enabled the design of a miniaturised ultrasonic particle separation unit. The automated microsystem enables contact-less microprocessing operations to be conducted on small volumes of fluid suspensions in remote environments. Furthermore, the protocol for particle separation is simplified and reduces the need for operator handling. The microfabricated ultrasonic separator sub-system is combined with micro-fluidic components (valves, pumps, flow sensors) manifold systems and surface mount interface electronics to monitor and control the system's function. The operational function of the system utilises two reservoirs; (i) a pre-process reservoir containing crude sample extract, and (ii) a second reservoir holding wash media. During operation, a crude sample is channelled into the membrane-less filter system and manipulated by ultrasonic sound waves. Wash media is subsequently pumped into the filter, replacing or diluting the support media of the original sample. The sample is then removed, when desired, into a post-processing reservoir. The system has been developed for space micro-gravity operations and other configurations are applicable to other terrestrial processing applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 March 2001
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4236, Smart Electronics and MEMS II, (16 March 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.418748
Show Author Affiliations
Graham J. Sparey-Taylor, Univ. of Wales Cardiff (United Kingdom)
Caroline Lewis, Univ. of Wales Cardiff (United Kingdom)
Eve Chapper, Univ. of Wales Cardiff (United Kingdom)
Peter Schiller, European Space Agency/ESTEC (Netherlands)
Peter Kern, Daimler Benz Aerospace/Dornier GmbH (Germany)
David A. Barrow, Univ. of Wales Cardiff and Microsensors in Space and Terrestrial Biology Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Joseph J. Cefai, Microsensors in Space and Terrestrial Biology Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4236:
Smart Electronics and MEMS II
Derek Abbott; Vijay K. Varadan; Karl F. Boehringer, Editor(s)

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