Many applications in the life-sciences demand non-contact manipulation tools for forceful but nevertheless delicate handling of various types of sample. Moreover, the system should support high-resolution optical imaging. Here we present a hybrid acoustic/optical manipulation system which utilizes a transparent transducer, making it compatible with high-NA imaging in a microfluidic environment. The powerful acoustic trapping within a layered resonator, which is suitable for highly parallel particle handling, is complemented by the flexibility and selectivity of holographic optical tweezers, with the specimens being under high quality optical monitoring at all times. The dual acoustic/optical nature of the system lends itself to optically measure the exact acoustic force map, by means of direct force measurements on an optically trapped particle. For applications with (ultra-)high demand on the precision of the force measurements, the position of the objective used for the high-NA imaging may have significant influence on the acoustic force map in the probe chamber. We have characterized this influence experimentally and the findings were confirmed by model simulations. We show that it is possible to design the chamber and to choose the operating point in such a way as to avoid perturbations due to the objective lens. Moreover, we found that measuring the electrical impedance of the transducer provides an easy indicator for the acoustic resonances.
Thalhammer, G., McDougall, C., MacDonald, M. P., & Ritsch-Marte, M. (2016). Acoustic force mapping in a hybrid acousticoptical micromanipulation device supporting high resolution optical imaging. Lab on a Chip, 16(8), 1523-1532. https://doi.org/10.1039/c6lc00182c