Surface Acoustic Wave Atomisation

The large surface accelerations, millions of g’s, as the surface acoustic wave (SAW) passes along the surface gives rise to rapid interfacial destabilisation, which leads towards the atomisation of a drop or a film. It is therefore possible to generate monodispersed 1-10 μm order aerosol drops. Current projects are exploiting this for pulmonary drug delivery, nanomedicine as well as an efficient chip-based interface for mass spectrometry. In addition, we have also shown that the SAW atomisation constitutes a simple but yet rapid one-step method for the synthesis of 100 nm polymeric or protein nanoparticles, or even the encapsulation of proteins, peptides and other therapeutic molecules within a shell comprised of a biodegradable polymeric excipient as a vehicle for controlled release drug delivery. One significant advantage of the device over other nebulisation methods is its ability to efficiently deliver large and complex molecules and cells with little denaturation. This is because the high frequencies employed do not permit cavitation in the sample and the field reverses at much shorter time scales than the hydrodynamic relaxation time associated with molecular shearing.
Simultaneous drop translation and atomisation of a polymer solution can also be used to generate long-range homogeneous spatial ordering of polymer patterns without requiring physical or chemical templating, as shown. The polymer spot size and spacing is highly controllable through a single parameter alone, namely the SAW frequency or wavelength.

  1. 1.A Qi, LY Yeo, JR Friend. Interfacial Destabilization and Atomization Driven by Surface Acoustic Waves. Phys Fluids 20, 074103 (2008) (PDF).

  2. 2.JR Friend, LY Yeo, DR Arifin, A Mechler. Evaporative Self-Assembly Assisted Synthesis of Polymer Nanoparticles by Surface Acoustic Wave Atomization. Nanotechnology 19, 145301 (2008) (PDF).

  3. 3.M Alvarez, JR Friend, LY Yeo. Rapid Generation of Protein Aerosols and Nanoparticles via SAW Atomisation. Nanotechnology 19, 455103 (2008) (PDF).

  4. 4.M Alvarez, JR Friend, LY Yeo. Surface Vibration Induced Spatial Ordering of Periodic Polymer Patterns on a Substrate. Langmuir 24, 10629 (2008) (PDF).

  5. 5.M Alvarez, LY Yeo, JR Friend. Rapid Production of Protein Loaded Biodegradable Microparticles Using Surface Acoustic Waves. Biomicrofluidics 3, 014102 (2009) (PDF).

  6. 6.A Qi, JR Friend, LY Yeo, DA Morton, MP McIntosh, L Spiccia. Miniature Inhalation Therapy Platform Using Surface Acoustic Wave Microfluidic Atomization. Lab Chip 9, 2184–2193 (2009) (PDF).

  7. 7.A Qi, L Yeo, J Friend, J Ho. The Extraction Of Liquid, Protein Molecules and Yeast Cells From Paper Through Surface Acoustic Wave Atomization. Lab Chip 10, 470–476 (2010) (PDF).

  8. 8.LY Yeo, JR Friend, MP McIntosh, ENT Meeusen, DA Morton. Invited Paper: Ultrasonic Nebulisation Platforms for Pulmonary Drug Delivery. Expert Opin Drug Deliv, 7, 663–679 (2010) (PDF).

  9. 9.MK Tan, JR Friend, OK Matar, LY Yeo. Capillary Wave Motion Excited by High Frequency Surface Acoustic Waves. Phys Fluids 22, 112112 (2010) (PDF).

  10. 10.J Ho, MK Tan, D Go, L Yeo, J Friend, H-C Chang. A Paper-Based Microfluidic Surface Acoustic Wave Sample Delivery and Ionization Source for Rapid and Sensitive Ambient Mass Spectrometry. Anal Chem 83, 3260–3266 (2011) (PDF).

  11. 11.A Qi, P Chan, J Ho, A Rajapaksa, J Friend, L Yeo. Template-Free Synthesis and Encapsulation Technique for Layer-by-Layer Polymer Nanocarrier Fabrication. ACS Nano 5, 9583–9591 (2011) (PDF).

  12. 12.DJ Collins, O Manor, A Winkler, H Schmidt, JR Friend, LY Yeo. Atomization Off Thin Water Films Generated by High Frequency Substrate Wave Vibrations. Phys Rev E 86, 056312 (2012) (PDF).

  13. 13.T Vuong, A Qi, M Muradoglu, BH-P Cheong, OW Liew, CX Ang, J Fu, L Yeo, J Friend, TW Ng. Precise Drop Dispensation on Superhydrophobic Surfaces Using Acoustic Nebulization. Soft Matter 9, 3631–3639 (2013) (PDF).

  14. 14.L Bllaci, S Kjellström, L Eliasson, JR Friend, LY Yeo, S Nilsson. Fast Surface Acoustic Wave-Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Mass Spectrometry of Cell Response from Islets of Langerhans. Anal Chem 85, 2623–2629 (2013) (PDF).

  15. 15.J Blamey, LY Yeo, JR Friend. Microscale Capillary Wave Turbulence Excited by High Frequency Vibration. Langmuir 29, 3835–3845 (2013) (PDF).

Press Releases:

  1. 1.What a Sound Idea, The Economist, 2 June 2012.

  2. 2.Delivering Medicines, ABC Catalyst (Special Edition: Little Wonders – Medical Nanotechnology), Television Broadcast date: 25 August 2011 (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

  3. 3.Earthquake on a Wafer Could Boost Asthma Relief, New Scientist, 28 May 2009.

  4. 4.Drug Delivery’s a Blast, Chemical Technology, 15 May 2009.

Up: Surface acoustic wave microfluidics

    Previous: Surface acoustic wave microchannel interfacial jetting