The AcouTrap is a tabletop research platform for acoustic trapping. The central part of the system is an acoustic trapping unit where standing waves are used to trap and hold particles, cells or extracellular vesicles against a fluid flow. The acoustic forces can hold polymer microbeads or cells at sizes down to a few micrometers. For smaller objects, e.g. bacteria, extracellular vesicles or nanoparticles, larger polymer seed particles are initially trapped and smaller objects are drawn to these particles by secondary acoustic forces.

The AcouTrap acoustic cell trapping platform

The AcouTrap platform consists of a motorized stage, syringe pumps and valves to interface the acoustic trapping unit with standard 96-well microplates. The system can aspirate and dispense samples and reagents while keeping your trapped sample immobilized in the trapping unit. After processing the sample, the acoustic forces can be switched off and the sample is dispensed into one of the wells. The system is controlled by a computer through a graphical user interface where it is also possible to create user defined scripts automating the sample handling. PhD Chris Dunning describes how he uses the AcouTrap.

AcouTrap advantages

The main advantages of using the AcouTrap system compared to centrifugation is ability to
handle low particle/cell concentrations, automated sample processing, shorter sample
processing times and higher recovery rates.

AcouTrap Product Description, AcouTrap 2.1 (pdf), Please find further details about the AcouTrap including Pumps, Sample handling, Motorized stage and Acoustic trapping unit.

Application notes

On isolation of extracellular vesicles:

  • Automated staining (pdf), on using AcouTrap for automated and rapid sample staining and washing
  • Removal of sample contaminants (pdf), comparing the purity of EV samples isolated using AcouTrap or centrifugation
  • Exosome isolation (pdf), a comparison between AcouTrap and ultracentrifugation for exosome isolation
  • EV recovery and sample sources (pdf), on isolation of extracellular vesicles from plasma, urine and conditioned media and the recovery compared to centrifugation
  • Vesicle Capture (pdf), includes details on capture and washing of platelet-derived microparticles from human plasma samples