The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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MIE Seminar Series: Manipulating matter down to the single-cell level with acoustic tweezers


Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 3:00pm


Dr. David Collins, Massachusetts Institure of Technology


Life Sciences Laboratory, N410


How can we move something too small to touch? Very high frequency sound fields (>100 MHz) provide a promising avenue for microscale manipulation, yielding acoustic wavelengths on the order of individual cells. Using surface acoustic waves (SAW), a dynamic actuation method uniquely suited to generating microscale forces, I’ve performed deterministic sorting, nanoparticle concentration, droplet generation and the first acoustic 2D patterning of individual cells. In recent work, I’m creating microscale acoustic waveguides for even more refined activities. Combined with other approaches, acoustic forces show substantial promise for structuring materials and tissues at the microscale.

Dr. David Collins is a joint Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). He has 24 publications on novel acoustic actuation methods and the physics of advanced microscale manipulation, including work appearing in Physical Review Letters, Nature Communications and Science Advances. Interests include acoustofluidic waveguides and arbitrary acoustic field generation for nonuniform micropatterning. David completed his degrees in Melbourne (Australia) and was awarded the Bill Melbourne Medal for best engineering PhD thesis.