Per Augustsson has been awarded a MEUR 2 ERC Starting Grant for ultrasonic blood component separation.
The ERC starting grant is one of the most prestigious research grants for early career researchers in Europe and is awarded this year to 408 researchers throughout the union. The project (High Throughput Microfluidic Cell and Nanoparticle Handling by Molecular and Thermal Gradient Acoustic Focusing, 'ABODYFORCE') aims at developing new ultrasound-based technology for fast and effective separation of blood components from blood samples.
By exploiting a newly discovered acoustic body force, that stems from local variations the acoustic properties of the cell suspension, self-organizing configurations of the blood cells are generated. These can be tailored and tuned in novel ways by time modulation of the acoustic field, by altering the acoustic properties of the fluid by solute molecules, and by exploiting thermal gradients.
Ultimately, Per's project can pave the way for new instruments that shorten the time from sampling to result in healthcare, and render new fundamental knowledge regarding the acoustic properties of single cells and an extensive theoretical framework for the response of cells in any aqueous medium, bounding geometry and sound field. The future applications may include point-of-care diagnostic tests for blood disorders, cancers, and microbial pathogens.