Research Papers

Particle Manipulation in Insulator Based Dielectrophoretic Devices1

[+] Author and Article Information
Blanca H. Lapizco-Encinas

Associate Professor
e-mail: bhlbme@rit.edu
Microscale Bioseparations Laboratory,
Chemical and Biomedical
Engineering Department,
Rochester Institute of Technology,
Rochester, NY 14623

The present work is based on the IMECE2013-66439 paper accepted to the 2013 IMECE proceedings.

2Corresponding author.

3Present address: Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Institute Hall (Bldg. 73), Room 3103, 160 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623-5604.

Manuscript received August 20, 2013; final manuscript received September 4, 2013; published online October 3, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Sushanta K Mitra.

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 4(2), 021002 (Oct 03, 2013) (7 pages) Paper No: NANO-13-1060; doi: 10.1115/1.4025368 History: Received August 20, 2013; Revised September 04, 2013

Microfluidic devices can make a significant impact in many fields where obtaining a rapid response is critical, particularly in analyses involving biological particles, from deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and proteins, to cells. Microfluidics has revolutionized the manner in which many different assessments/processes are carried out, since it offers attractive advantages over traditional bench-scale techniques. Some of the advantages are: small sample and reagent amounts, higher resolution and sensitivity, improved level of integration and automation, lower cost and much shorter processing times. There is a growing interest on the development of techniques that can be used in microfluidics devices. Among these, electrokinetic techniques have shown great potential due to their flexibility. Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is an electrokinetic mechanism that refers to the interaction of a dielectric particle with a spatially non-uniform electric field; this leads to particle movement due to polarization effects. DEP offers great potential since it can be carried out employing DC and AC electric fields, and neutral and charged particles can be manipulated. This work is focused on the use of insulator based dielectrophoresis (iDEP), a novel dielectrophoretic mode that employs arrays of insulating structures to generate dielectrophoretic forces. Successful micro and nanoparticles manipulation can be achieved employing iDEP, due to its unique characteristics that allow for great flexibility. In this work, microchannels containing arrays of cylindrical insulating posts were employed to concentrate, sort and separate microparticles. Mathematical modeling with COMSOL® was performed to identify optimal device configuration. Different sets of experiments were carried out employing DC and AC potentials. The results demonstrated that effective and fast particle manipulation is possible by fine tuning dielectrophoretic force and electroosmotic flow.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic representation of one of the microchannels employed for experimentation

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

(a) Distribution of the electric field (V/m) and (b) distribution of the gradient of the squared electric field (V2/m3) for the microchannel shown in Fig. 1 when a potential of 500 V is applied

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Representation of ∇E2 and the forces acting on the particles, showing the locations of the regions of dielectrophoretic immobilization of particles

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Distribution of DEP force for 1 μm particles in N obtained at one of the constrictions by applying a potential of 500 V. Dark color represents the maxima. (a) Microchannel with cylindrical posts, post diameter 450 μm spaced 500 μm center-to-center. (b) Microchannel with diamond-shaped posts, 450 μm wide and long, spaced 500 μm center-to-center.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Particle trapping in iDEP devices with circle (Left) and diamond (Right) shaped insulating posts. Both post geometries had an effective diameter of 450 μm and the opening was 50 μm at its narrowest point. ((a) and (b)) 300 V: Trapping was observed in both geometries, but only effective with diamond posts; ((c) and (d)) 500 V: Fewer particles flowed through diamond constrictions, and they were more tightly focused into streams. ((e) and (f)) 700 V: Greater particle concentration could be achieved with diamond posts.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Particle behavior observed by applying and AC sinusoidal signal of 800 V with frequency of 1 Hz and 10 Hz. (a) Applied AC signal; ((b)–(e)) results obtained at 1 Hz; ((f)–(i)) results obtained at 10 Hz. Stronger negative DEP effects are observed at 1 Hz, and groups of particles (Labeled (A)–(C)) move between adjacent constrictions over 1 period of the 1 Hz signal.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

(a) Representation of the applied signal with offset steps at 20 Hz; ((b)–(d)) 1 and 2 μm particles during various offset steps. (b) Particles did not have a net migration through channel with no offset; (c) particles were trapped in separate bands but some 1 μm particles were not trapped; (d) 1 μm particles were effectively eluted, along with a smaller amount of 2 μm particles.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

(a) Dielectrophoretic trapping of a mixture of red 0.5 μm, green 1 μm, and red 2 μm diameter particles, trapped with a 20 Hz asymmetrical AC signal of −800 V/+900 V. Estimation of the dielectrophoretic force exerted on the particles for (b) 0.5 μm, (c) 1 μm particles, and (d) 2 μm particles.



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