Dielectrophoretic manipulation and separation of microparticles using curved microelectrodes

Khashayar Khoshmanesh, Chen Zhang, Francisco J Tovar-Lopez, Saeid Nahavandi, Sara Baratchi, Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, Arnan Mitchell
Electrophoresis 2009, 30 (21): 3707-17
This paper presents the development and experimental analysis of a dielectrophoresis (DEP) system, which is used for the manipulation and separation of microparticles in liquid flow. The system is composed of arrays of microelectrodes integrated to a microchannel. Novel curved microelectrodes are symmetrically placed with respect to the centre of the microchannel with a minimum gap of 40 microm. Computational fluid dynamics method is utilised to characterise the DEP field and predict the dynamics of particles. The performance of the system is assessed with microspheres of 1, 5 and 12 microm diameters. When a high-frequency potential is applied to microelectrodes a spatially varying electric field is induced in the microchannel, which creates the DEP force. Negative-DEP behaviour is observed with particles being repelled from the microelectrodes. The particles of different dimensions experience different DEP forces and thus settle to separate equilibrium zones across the microchannel. Experiments demonstrate the capability of the system as a field flow fraction tool for sorting microparticles according to their dimensions and dielectric properties.

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