Overview

KymaSep uses the ability of a high frequency ultrasound standing wave (USW) in combination with magnetic fields to automate the trapping of particles in a flowing stream, manipulate them for washing and resuspend them for analysis

 
The KymaSep method can be thought of as an automated centrifuge, except that the cells are held and supernatant washed away. The forces are gentle and no effects have been observed on cell structure, viability or antigen expression.

The KymaSep processor is a module that holds, processes, then ejects magnetic particles without any moving parts.
 

Ultrasound waves are generated at the bottom of the chamber and reflected back from the top and where the cross over they form a standing wave.

Magnetic fields are also operating at the base of the chamber but the ultrasound force holding them in suspension is stronger.

 

 

Cells in suspension are forced into the nodes by the forces of acoustic radiation. The cells are initially compressed into a plane

Lateral forces then compress the cells into a compact aggregate, which is held against a flowing stream.

 

Switching off the ultrasound allows the magnetic fields to pull the particles to the floor of the chamber away from contaminants and compounds that can interfere, e.g. in PCR amplification reactions
The chamber dimensions ensure laminar flow, so that the flow rate is fastest in the middle, but very slow at the walls of the chamber. This allows vigorous and rapid washing, with minimal loss of particles.
Re-activating the ultrasound pushes the particles into the clean liquid. At this stage additional fluid streams can introduce other reagents/washes e.g. for an immunoassay reaction in a controlled and automated sequence.
Deactivating both the ultrasound and magnetism allows the particles to be released and collected at the exit of the chamber.

 

The images above show the stages of the process. A more comprehensive explanation is shown in the video below: