High-throughput particle manipulation by hydrodynamic, electrokinetic, and dielectrophoretic effects in an integrated microfluidic chip

Shunbo Li, Ming Li, Kristelle Bougot-Robin, Wenbin Cao, Irene Yeung Yeung Chau, Weihua Li, Weijia Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Integrating different steps on a chip for cell manipulations and sample preparation is of foremost importance to fully take advantage of microfluidic possibilities, and therefore make tests faster, cheaper and more accurate. We demonstrated particle manipulation in an integrated microfluidic device by applying hydrodynamic, electroosmotic (EO), electrophoretic (EP), and dielectrophoretic (DEP) forces. The process involves generation of fluid flow by pressure difference, particle trapping by DEP force, and particle redirect by EO and EP forces. Both DC and AC signals were applied, taking advantages of DC EP, EO and AC DEP for on-chip particle manipulation. Since different types of particles respond differently to these signals, variations of DC and AC signals are capable to handle complex and highly variable colloidal and biological samples. The proposed technique can operate in a high-throughput manner with thirteen independent channels in radial directions for enrichment and separation in microfluidic chip. We evaluated our approach by collecting Polystyrene particles, yeast cells, and E. coli bacteria, which respond differently to electric field gradient. Live and dead yeast cells were separated successfully, validating the capability of our device to separate highly similar cells. Our results showed that this technique could achieve fast pre-concentration of colloidal particles and cells and separation of cells depending on their vitality. Hydrodynamic, DC electrophoretic and DC electroosmotic forces were used together instead of syringe pump to achieve sufficient fluid flow and particle mobility for particle trapping and sorting. By eliminating bulky mechanical pumps, this new technique has wide applications for in situ detection and analysis.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)024106
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 20 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General Materials Science
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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