SSC Science Cafe – Acoustic Holograms

Using Acoustic Holograms in Medical Diagnostics – A Sound Idea
We have developed “acoustic holograms” that shape ultrasonic fields, enabling the control of fluid flows. We demonstrate this technology in biomedical diagnostics to provide a low cost method by which we can manipulate cells and DNA – for example breaking open cells (lysis) or amplifying DNA (PCR). Significantly, we have shown that this can be performed on a low cost, disposable chip, such as glass, polymer or paper. We have begun to explore the use of these complex fluid flows in a range of medical diagnostic tests for infectious diseases.

Our long-term vision is to demonstrate that we can build a toolbox of different functions – each working with a different hologram. Just as in electronics, where discrete components are integrated to create circuits, we propose to combine different holograms to create fluidic microcircuits with important new applications in medical diagnostics and healthcare.

Prof Jonathan M. Cooper
… holds The Wolfson Chair in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Glasgow. He has published ca. 210 research papers (H factor 37, cited over 4300 times in researcherid In addition, he has also authored a further 18 books, chapters and reviews. His publications include, most recently, papers in JACS, PNAS, PRL, Angewandte Chemie, Advanced Materials and Lab-on-a-Chip.

Jon is particularly interested in diagnostics for infectious disease. In the Developing World, he works with The Gates Foundation as well as other NGOs in developing assays for tuberculosis, malaria and sleeping sickness. These assays are all focussed on very low-cost technologies which can be enabled through low-power electronics (including smart phones).

He is also the founder of Mode Diagnostics (, producing home diagnostics for bowel cancer and other bathroom medical tests, for home use.

Science in the Café 2013 Calendar
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