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  1. Sharp edge structures have been demonstrated as an efficient way of generating acoustic streaming in microfluidic devices, which finds numerous applications in fluid mixing, pumping, particle actuation, and cell lysis. A sharp tip capillary is widely available means of generating sharp structures without the need of microfabrication, which has been used for studying enzyme kinetics, droplet digital PCR, and mass spectrometry analysis. In this work, we studied the influence of liquid inside the vibrating glass capillary on its efficiency of generating acoustic streaming. Using fluorescence microscopy and fluorescent particles, we observed that adding liquid to the inside of the vibrating glass capillary changed the streaming patterns as well as led to increased streaming velocity. Based on the observed streaming patterns, we hypothesized the liquid present in the capillary changed vibration mode of the capillary, which is matched with COMSOL simulations. Finally, the utility of the liquid filled vibrating capillary was demonstrated for higher energy efficiency for fluid mixing and mass spectrometry experiments. This study will provide useful guidance when optimizing the efficiency of vibrating sharp tip capillary systems. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2025
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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
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  5. Abstract We present room-temperature measurements of magnon spin diffusion in epitaxial ferrimagnetic insulator MgAl 0.5 Fe 1.5 O 4 (MAFO) thin films near zero applied magnetic field where the sample forms a multi-domain state. Due to a weak uniaxial magnetic anisotropy, the domains are separated primarily by 180° domain walls. We find, surprisingly, that the presence of the domain walls has very little effect on the spin diffusion – nonlocal spin transport signals in the multi-domain state retain at least 95% of the maximum signal strength measured for the spatially-uniform magnetic state, over distances at least five times the typical domain size. This result is in conflict with simple models of interactions between magnons and static domain walls, which predict that the spin polarization carried by the magnons reverses upon passage through a 180° domain wall. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  6. Pumping is an essential component in many microfluidic applications. Developing simple, small-footprint, and flexible pumping methods is of great importance to achieve truly lab-on-a-chip systems. Here, we report a novel acoustic pump based on the atomization effect induced by a vibrating sharp-tip capillary. As the liquid is atomized by the vibrating capillary, negative pressure is generated to drive the movement of fluid without the need to fabricate special microstructures or use special channel materials. We studied the influence of the frequency, input power, internal diameter (ID) of the capillary tip, and liquid viscosity on the pumping flow rate. By adjusting the ID of the capillary from 30 µm to 80 µm and the power input from 1 Vpp to 5 Vpp, a flow rate range of 3 to 520 µL/min can be achieved. We also demonstrated the simultaneous operation of two pumps to generate parallel flow with a tunable flow rate ratio. Finally, the capability of performing complex pumping sequences was demonstrated by performing a bead-based ELISA in a 3D-printed microdevice.

     
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  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
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  9. Abstract Background

    Although humic substances are the principal ingredients in processed humic products, there has been no practical way to determine if a material is humified, allowing fake products to be used by farmers instead of genuine humic substances.

    Objective

    To develop a test method using conventional laboratory techniques to determine if a material is humified.

    Method

    A neutralized extract is prepared using the standardized extraction protocols specified in ISO 19822:2018(E). A portion of the extract is used to determine the concentration of dissolved organic matter on an ash-free basis. A portion of the remaining neutralized extract is diluted to a concentration of 30 mg/kg of dissolved organic matter and transferred to a quartz UV cuvette for ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectroscopy. UV-Vis absorbance is recorded over a wavelength range of 220–500 nm at 5 nm intervals. The absorbance data are normalized by conversion to scaled absorbance, which is compared to a reference scaled absorbance spectral curve for humic substances to determine if the tested material is humic or non-humic.

    Results

    This method was able to differentiate legitimate humic substances from non-humic adulterants in a multiple-laboratory validation study (P ≤ 0.05).

    Conclusion

    This method can differentiate humic from non-humic substances in materials intended to be used as ingredients in commercial humic products or for research.

    Highlights

    This method uses common laboratory procedures and equipment.

     
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  10. Digital biosensing assays demonstrate remarkable advantages over conventional biosensing systems because of their ability to achieve single-molecule detection and absolute quantification. Unlike traditional low-abundance biomarking screening, digital-based biosensing systems reduce sample volumes significantly to the fL-nL level, which vastly reduces overall reagent consumption, improves reaction time and throughput, and enables high sensitivity and single target detection. This review presents the current technology for compartmentalizing reactions and their applications in detecting proteins and nucleic acids. We also analyze existing challenges and future opportunities associated with digital biosensing and research opportunities for developing integrated digital biosensing systems. 
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