Breakthrough in purification of fossil pollen for dating of sediments by a new large-particle on-chip sorter

Y. Kasai, C. Leipe, M. Saito, H. Kitagawa, S. Lauterbach, A. Brauer, P. E. Tarasov, T. Gosla, F. Arai, S. Sakuma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Particle sorting is a fundamental method in various fields of medical and biological research. However, existing sorting applications are not capable for high-Throughput sorting of large-size (100 micrometers) particles. Here, we present a novel on-chip sorting method using traveling vortices generated by on-demand microjet flows, which locally exceed laminar flow condition, allowing for high-Throughput sorting (5 kilohertz) with a record-wide sorting area of 520 micrometers. Using an activation system based on fluorescence detection, the method successfully sorted 160-micrometer microbeads and purified fossil pollen (maximum dimension around 170 micrometers) 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, paleoecology, and paleoclimatology.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabe7327
JournalScience Advances
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Apr 14 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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