Particle Sorting by Dynamic Acoustic Travelling Waves

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Life Sciences
Life Sciences

University: Heriot Watt University

Sector(s): Life Sciences, Chemical, Electronics, Sensors & Photonics, Food & Drink, Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals, Life Sciences, Other

About Opportunity:

While ultrasonic manipulation by frequency sweeping has previously been demonstrated for separating particles, this method presents several challenges which effect sorting efficiency and instability. Our new technology allows for effective separate suspended particles based on their stiffness, sorting by size and density. The separation uses dynamic acoustic fields enabling separation over a large distance such as cms (multiple wavelength), increasing the efficiency and throughput of the e.g. a cell sorting device as compared to one operating on frequency shifting.

Key Benefits:

  • Proven cell sorting by size
  • Proven particle sorting by size and density (even in air)
  • Dynamic acoustic field is highly tunable and scalable
  • Improved purity of the sorted sample


  • Cost reduction of cell sorting (as compared to conventional apparatus)
  • Possible applications to miniaturised cell separation technology
  • Sorting by cell stiffness – to separate living from dead cells
  • Wide applications in the medical, pharmaceutical and cell biology
  • Implications for the chemical, food and water cleaning industries as well as sedimentation characterisation

IP Status:

UK priority application is in place. Due to this priority filing, detailed information on the Particle Sorting Method is available under confidentiality agreement only (available on request). To aid understanding of Particle Sorting and its applications, an information pack of “Non-confidential technical materials” is available to interested parties on request from the University Technology Transfer office.


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