Adaptive Focused Acoustics® (AFA®) Technology
Adaptive Focused Acoustics (AFA) is an advanced acoustic technology enabling the mechanical processing of samples through focused ultrasonication.
AFA employs highly controlled bursts of focused high-frequency acoustic energy to efficiently and reproducibly process samples in a temperature-controlled and non-contact environment.
Sample Preparation Utilizing AFA Technology
In discovery, sample preparation of biological specimens for advanced analytical and diagnostic testing is complex; and poorly controlled. Often the precision of a sample prep process is perceived as the benchmark of a good protocol --- it is independent of the sample. Unfortunately, the accuracy (i.e., the true biological status of a sample) is unknown --- discovery, by definition, does not have internal reference standards.
Covaris designed and engineered a patented acoustic-based technology platform dedicated to rapid, reproducible, and high-recovery pre-analytical sample preparation. The Covaris Adaptive Focused Acoustics (AFA) technology platform, which delivers AFA-energetics, addresses the bottleneck between initial sample collection and downstream analysis across a variety of sample types.
How AFA Technology Works
Sample processing with AFA ultrasonic energy is accomplished by precisely controlling the creation and collapse of millions of cavitation bubbles within the closed sample vessel. The AFA electronics uniquely enables focused bursts of ultrasonic acoustic energy. These acoustic processes are performed in an isothermal, non-contact environment – the water bath maintains sample temperature, and only convergent acoustic energy enters the sample vessel.
The ultra-high frequency electronics and transducer produce a wavelength of only a few millimeters which enables the ultrasonic acoustic energy to converge into a focal zone within a sample vessel immersed in the water bath.
The acoustic energy passing through the water bath causes localized pressure fluctuations which form the cavitation bubbles. The AFA generated cavitation bubbles oscillate or grow to a critical size and then collapse which creates hydrodynamic shear stress in the sample. The oscillation and collapse of the cavitation bubbles also generates acoustic microstreaming, which generates bulk fluid flow in the sample.
Watch AFA-energetics in action
The tuning of peak incident power, duration, and duty factor control microstreaming and/or the generation of hydrodynamic shearing forces.
The Covaris Focused-ultrasonicator systems have multiple transducer configurations that enable single-sample or parallel processing of multiple samples in the acoustic focal zone.
High Frequency Acoustics
AFA technology delivers high frequency ultrasonic acoustic energy in the same acoustic range as medical applications like diagnostic imaging and ultrasound.
- AFA technology has a short acoustic wavelength – Short acoustic wavelengths enable a tight focus of acoustic energy delivery.
- AFA technology is focused – Acoustic energy converges onto a focal zone, improving the efficiency of energy delivery to the sample. Less overall heat is delivered to the sample.
- AFA technology enables temperature control – Focused energy delivery within the sample enables tight temperature control as the process disrupts thermal boundary layers inside of vessels.