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  1. Abstract

    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been identified as promising biomarkers for the noninvasive diagnosis of various diseases. However, challenges in separating EVs from soluble proteins have resulted in variable EV recovery rates and low purities. Here, we report a high-yield ( > 90%) and rapid ( < 10 min) EV isolation method calledFLocculation viaOrbitalAcousticTrapping (FLOAT). The FLOAT approach utilizes an acoustofluidic droplet centrifuge to rotate and controllably heat liquid droplets. By adding a thermoresponsive polymer flocculant, nanoparticles as small as 20 nm can be rapidly and selectively concentrated at the center of the droplet. We demonstrate the ability of FLOAT to separate urinary EVs from the highly abundant Tamm-Horsfall protein, addressing a significant obstacle in the development of EV-based liquid biopsies. Due to its high-yield nature, FLOAT reduces biofluid starting volume requirements by a factor of 100 (from 20 mL to 200 µL), demonstrating its promising potential in point-of-care diagnostics.

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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    Numerical solutions of Maxwell’s equations are indispensable for nanophotonics and electromagnetics but are constrained when it comes to large systems, especially multi-channel ones such as disordered media, aperiodic metasurfaces and densely packed photonic circuits where the many inputs require many large-scale simulations. Conventionally, before extracting the quantities of interest, Maxwell’s equations are first solved on every element of a discretization basis set that contains much more information than is typically needed. Furthermore, such simulations are often performed one input at a time, which can be slow and repetitive. Here we propose to bypass the full-basis solutions and directly compute the quantities of interest while also eliminating the repetition over inputs. We do so by augmenting the Maxwell operator with all the input source profiles and all the output projection profiles, followed by a single partial factorization that yields the entire generalized scattering matrix via the Schur complement, with no approximation beyond discretization. This method applies to any linear partial differential equation. Benchmarks show that this approach is 1,000–30,000,000 times faster than existing methods for two-dimensional systems with about 10,000,000 variables. As examples, we demonstrate simulations of entangled photon backscattering from disorder and high-numerical-aperture metalenses that are thousands of wavelengths wide.

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