Scientists from Biomedical Engineering present research at Royal Society Summer Exhibition

Issued: Wed, 01 Jul 2015 16:19:00 BST

A team of scientists from Biomedical Engineering at the University of Glasgow will present an exhibition piece based on their work with Surface Acoustic Wave technology at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition. The exhibition will run from 29th June to 5th July in London. The team from Prof Jon Cooper’s labs and their collaborators from Imperial College and Aston University are part of the £4.6m EPSRC “Proxomics” project ( aimed at developing new analytical tools for medical diagnostics.

A major focus of the Glasgow team has been the application of Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology, which can be used to manipulate liquid droplets on microchip-sized devices.The Glasgow researchers use piezo-electric crystals that convert electrical signals into acoustic waves that travel along the surface of the crystal.Depending on the frequency they apply, the acoustic waves can be used for moving, mixing or even turning fluids into an aerosol. In order to illustrate the concept to the public, the researchers will re-create one of the fundamental experiments in acoustics performed by physicist Ernst Chladni in the 19th century.In the “Chladni plate” experiment, sound transmits vibrations to a metal plate, causing sand sprinkled onto the plate to arrange in characteristic patterns.

Visitors will be able to test this themselves by playing notes on a keyboard attached to the plate.Entry to the exhibition at 6-9 Carlton House Terrace is free for all visitors who will be able to try their hand at using different sound frequencies to rearrange particles, use an interactive panel to see how disease affects protein interactions and guide a living cell through a maze using an optical laser trap.