Cell Manipulations with Dielectrophoresis
Lin, James Ting-Yu
MetadataShow full item record
Biological sample analysis is a costly and time-consuming process. It involves highly trained technicians operating large and expensive instruments in a temperature and dust controlled environment. In the world of rising healthcare cost, the drive towards a more cost-effective solution calls for a point-of-care device that performs accurate analyses of human blood samples. To achieve this goal, today's bulky laboratory instruments need to be scaled down and integrated on a single microchip of only a few square centimeters or millimeters in size. Dielectrophoresis (DEP), a phenomenon where small particles such as human blood cells are manipulated by non-uniform electric fields, stands to feature prominently in the point-of-care device. An original device that enhances DEP effect through novel geometry of the electrodes is presented. When activated with two inverting sinusoidal waveforms, the novel-shaped electrodes generate horizontal bands of increasing electric fields on the surface of the microchip. With these bands of electric fields, particles can be manipulated to form a straight horizontal line at a predictable location. Experimental results showing the collection, separation, and transportation of mammalian cells are presented. A strategy for simultaneous processing of two or more types of particles is also demonstrated. With capabilities for an accurate position control and an increased throughput by parallel processing, the novel microchip device delivers substantial improvements over the existing DEP designs. The research presented here explores the effects of novel electrode geometries in cell manipulations and contributes to the overall progress of an automated blood analysis system.