, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 329–341 | Cite as

Observation of yeast cell movement and aggregation in a small-scale MHz-ultrasonic standing wave field

  • J.F. Spengler
  • M. Jekel
  • K.T. Christensen
  • R.J. Adrian
  • J.J. Hawkes
  • W.T. Coakley


Aggregation of suspended yeast cells in a small-scale ultrasonic standing wave field has been monitored and quantified. The aggregation effect is based on the acoustic radiation force, which concentrates the cells in clumps. The ultrasonic chamber employed (1.9 MHz, one wavelength pathlength) had a sonication volume of 60 μl. The aggregation process was observed from above the transducer through a transparent glass reflector. A distinct, reproducible, pattern of clumps formed rapidly in the sound field. The sound pressure was estimated experimentally to be of the order of 1 MPa. Microscopic observations of the formation of a single clump were recorded onto a PC. The time dependent movement patterns and travelling velocities of the cells during the aggregation process were extracted by particle image velocimetry analysis. A time dependent change was seen in the particle motion pattern during approach to its completion of clump formation after 45 s. Streaming eddies were set-up during the first couple of seconds. The scale of the eddies was consistent with Rayleigh micro-streaming theory. An increase in the travelling velocity of the cells was observed after 30 s from initially about 400 μm s−1 to about 1 mm s−1. The influence of a number of mechanisms on particle behaviour (e.g. micro-streaming, particle interactions and convective flow) is considered. The experimental set-up introduced here is a powerful tool for aggregation studies in ultrasonic standing waves and lays the foundation for future quantitative experiments on the individual contributions of the different mechanisms.

aggregation micro-streaming standing wave radiation force ultrasound 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adrian RJ (1991) Particle-imaging techniques for experimental fluid mechanics. Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 23: 261-304.Google Scholar
  2. Christensen KT, Soloff SM and Adrian RJ (2000) PIV Sleuth: Integrated Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) Interrogation/Validation Software. University of Illinois TAM Report No. 943.Google Scholar
  3. Coakley WT, Bardsley DW, Grundy MA, Zamani F and Clarke DJ (1989) Cell manipulation in ultrasonic standing wave fields. J. Chem. Tech. Biotechnol. 44: 43-62.Google Scholar
  4. Coakley WT (1997) Ultrasonic separations in analytical biotechnology. Trends Biotechnol. 15: 506-511.Google Scholar
  5. Coakley WT, Gallez D, de Souza ER and Gauci H (1999) Ionic strength dependence of localized contact formation between membranes: Nonlinear theory and experiment. Biophys. J. 77(2): 817-828.Google Scholar
  6. Doinikov AA (1994) Acoustic radiation pressure on a compressible sphere in a viscous fluid J. Fluid Mech. 267: 1-21.Google Scholar
  7. Freek C, Sousa JMM, Hentschel W and Merzkirch W (1999) On the accuracy of a MJPEG-based digital image compression PIV-system. Exp. Fluids 27: 310-320.Google Scholar
  8. Gor'kov LP (1962) On the forces acting on a small particle in an acoustical field in an ideal fluid. Sov. Phys. 6(9): 773-775.Google Scholar
  9. Gray SJ, Sobanski MA, Kaczmarski EB, Guiver M, Marsh WJ, Borrow R, Barnes RA and Coakley WT (1999) Ultrasound-enhanced latex immunoagglutination and PCR as complementary methods for non-culture-based confirmation of meningococcal disease. J. Clinical Microbiol. 37(6): 1797-1801.Google Scholar
  10. Gröschl M (1998) Ultrasonic separation of suspended particles — Part II: Design and operation of separation devices. Acust./Acta Acust. 84(3): 632-642.Google Scholar
  11. Gröschl M, Burger W, Handl B, Doblhoff-Dier O, Gaida T and Schmatz C (1998) Ultrasonic separation of suspended particles — Part III: Application in biotechnology. Acust./Acta Acust. 84(3): 815-822.Google Scholar
  12. Gupta S and Feke DL (1998) Filtration of particulate suspensions in acoustically driven porous media. AIChE J. 44(5): 1005-1014.Google Scholar
  13. Hawkes JJ and Coakley WT (1996) A continuous flow ultrasonic cell filtering method. J. Enzyme Microb. Technol. 19: 57-62.Google Scholar
  14. Hawkes JJ, Barrow D and Coakley WT (1998a) Microparticle manipulation in millimeter scale ultrasonic standing wave chambers. Ultrasonics 36: 925-931.Google Scholar
  15. Hawkes JJ, Cefai JJ, Barrow D, Coakley WT and Briarty LG (1998b) Ultrasonic manipulation of particles in microgravity. J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 31: 1-8.Google Scholar
  16. Kozuka T, Tuziuti T, Mitome H and Fukuda T (1997) Control of lateral transportation of particles using a multi-electrode transducer. Proceedings of the World Congress on Ultrasonics, Yokohama, 24–27 August 1997: 428-429.Google Scholar
  17. Kozuka T, Tuziuti T, Mitome H and Fukuda T (2000) Micromanipulation using a focused ultrasonic standing wave field. Electronics and Communications in Japan, part III 83(1): 53-60.Google Scholar
  18. Mitome H (1996) Enhancement and suppression of acoustic streaming using tone-burst waves. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 100(4): 2589.Google Scholar
  19. Nyborg WL (1978) Physical Principles of ultrasound. In: Fry FJ (ed.) Ultrasound: Its Applications in Medicine and Biology, part 1 (pp. 1-75). Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  20. Oudshoorn A, Trampler F and Benes E (1999) AppliSens virtual filter perfusion — Ultrasonic filtration system ADI 1015 BioSep. Bti Biotech International 11(4): 27.Google Scholar
  21. Rayleigh Lord JWS (1945) The Theory of Sound, Vol. 2 (§ 352). Dover Publications, New York (reprint).Google Scholar
  22. Sobanski MA, Barnes RA, Gray SJ, Carr AD, Kaczmarski EB, O'Rourke A, Murphy K, Cafferkey M, Ellis RW, Pidcock K, Hawtin P and Coakley WT (2000) Measurement of serum antigen concentration by ultrasound-enhanced immunoassay and correlation with clinical outcome in meningococcal disease. Eur. J. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 19: 260-266.Google Scholar
  23. Spengler J and Jekel M (2000) Ultrasound conditioning of suspensions — studies of streaming influence on particle aggregation on a lab-and pilot-plant scale. Ultrasonics 38: 614-618.Google Scholar
  24. Tuziuti T, Kozuka T and Mitome H (1999) Measurement of distribution of acoustic radiation force perpendicular to sound beam axis. Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. Part 1, No. 5B 38: 3297-3301.Google Scholar
  25. Weiser MAH, Apfel RE and Neppiras EA (1984) Interparticle forces on red cells in a standing wave field. Acustica 56: 114-119.Google Scholar
  26. Woodside SM, Bowen BD and Piret JM (1997) Measurement of ultrasonic forces for particle-liquid separations. AIChE J. 43(7): 1727-1736.Google Scholar
  27. Woodside SM, Piret JM, Gröschl M, Benes E and Bowen BD (1998) Acoustic force distribution in resonators for ultrasonic particle separation. AIChE J. 44(9): 1976-1984.Google Scholar
  28. Zarembo LK (1971) Acoustic streaming. In: Rozenberg LD (ed.) High-intensity Ultrasonic Fields, Part III (pp. 137-199). Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.F. Spengler
    • 1
  • M. Jekel
    • 2
  • K.T. Christensen
    • 3
  • R.J. Adrian
    • 3
  • J.J. Hawkes
    • 1
  • W.T. Coakley
    • 1
  1. 1.School of BiosciencesCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.Dept. of Water Quality Control KF 4Technical University BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Lab. for Turbulence and Complex Flow, 216 Talbot LaboratoryUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

Personalised recommendations