DOI: 10.3390/mi14081543 ISSN: 2072-666X

A Comprehensive Review of Surface Acoustic Wave-Enabled Acoustic Droplet Ejection Technology and Its Applications

Jia Ning, Yulin Lei, Hong Hu, Chenhui Gai
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering

This review focuses on the development of surface acoustic wave-enabled acoustic drop ejection (SAW-ADE) technology, which utilizes surface acoustic waves to eject droplets from liquids without touching the sample. The technology offers advantages such as high throughput, high precision, non-contact, and integration with automated systems while saving samples and reagents. The article first provides an overview of the SAW-ADE technology, including its basic theory, simulation verification, and comparison with other types of acoustic drop ejection technology. The influencing factors of SAW-ADE technology are classified into four categories: fluid properties, device configuration, presence of channels or chambers, and driving signals. The influencing factors discussed in detail from various aspects, such as the volume, viscosity, and surface tension of the liquid; the type of substrate material, interdigital transducers, and the driving waveform; sessile droplets and fluid in channels/chambers; and the power, frequency, and modulation of the input signal. The ejection performance of droplets is influenced by various factors, and their optimization can be achieved by taking into account all of the above factors and designing appropriate configurations. Additionally, the article briefly introduces the application scenarios of SAW-ADE technology in bioprinters and chemical analyses and provides prospects for future development. The article contributes to the field of microfluidics and lab-on-a-chip technology and may help researchers to design and optimize SAW-ADE systems for specific applications.

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