Breakthrough in purification of fossil pollen for dating of sediments by a new large-particle on-2 chip sorter
Y. Kasai, C. Leipe, M. Saito, H. Kitagawa, S. Lauterbach A. Brauer, P. E. Tarasov, T. Goslar, F. Arai,, S. Sakuma
Science Advances 14 Apr 2021: Vol. 7, no. 16, eabe7327 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe7327
Particle sorting is a fundamental method in various fields of medical and biological research. 37 However, existing sorting applications are not capable for high-throughput sorting of large-size (>100 μm) particles. Here we present a novel on-chip sorting method utilizing traveling vortices generated by on-demand micro-jet flows, which locally exceed laminar flow condition, allowing for high-throughput sorting (5 kHz) with a record-wide sorting area of 520 μm. Employing an activation system based on fluorescence detection, the method successfully sorted 160-μm microbeads and purified fossil pollen (maximum dimension around 170 μm) from lake sediments. Radiocarbon dates of sorting-derived fossil pollen concentrates proved accurate, demonstrating the method’s ability to enhance building chronologies for paleoenvironmental records from sedimentary archives. The method is capable to cover urgent needs for high-throughput large-particle sorting in genomics, metabolomics, and regenerative medicine and opens up new opportunities for the use of pollen and other microfossils in geochronology, palaeoecology and paleoclimatology.