Microfluidic system for dielectrophoretic separation based on a trapezoidal electrode array

Sungyoung Choi, Je-Kyun Park
Lab on a Chip 2005, 5 (10): 1161-7
This paper presents a novel microfluidic device for dielectrophoretic separation based on a trapezoidal electrode array (TEA). In this method, particles with different dielectric properties are separated by the device composed of the TEA for the dielectrophoretic deflection of particles under negative dielectrophoresis (DEP) and poly(dimethylsiloxane)(PDMS) microfluidic channel with a sinuous and expanded region. Polystyrene microparticles are exposed to an electric field generated from the TEA in the microfluidic channel and are dielectrophoretically focused to make all of them line up to one sidewall. When these particles arrive at the region of another TEA for dielectrophoretic separation, they are separated having different positions along the perpendicular direction to the fluid flow due to their different dielectrophoretic velocities. To evaluate the separation process and performance, both the effect of the flow rate on dielectrophoretic focusing and the influence of the number of trapezoidal electrodes on dielectrophoretic separation are investigated. Now that this method utilizes the TEA as a source of negative DEP, non-specific particle adhering to the electrode surface can be prevented; conventional separation approaches depending on the positive DEP force suffer from this problem. In addition, since various particle types are continuously separated, this method can be easily applicable to the separation and analysis of various dielectric particles with high particle recovery and selectivity.

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