Monte-Carlo Based Sensitivity Analysis of Acoustic Sorting Methods
Separation in microfluidic devices is a crucial enabling step for many industrial, biomedical, clinical or chemical applications. Acoustic methods offer contactless, biocompatible, scalable sorting with high degree of reconfigurability and are therefore favored techniques. The literature reports on various techniques to achieve particle separation, but these do not investigate the sensitivity of these methods or are difficult to compare due to the lack of figures of merit. In this paper, we present analytical and numerical sensitivity analysis of the time-of-flight and a phase-modulated sorting scheme against various extrinsic and intrinsic properties. The results reveal great robustness of the phase-modulated sorting method against variations of the flow rate or acoustic energy density, while the time-of-flight method shows lower efficiency drop against size and density variations. The results presented in this paper provide a better understanding of the two sorting methods and offer advice on the selection of the right technique for a given sorting application.