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Micromachines 2018, 9(3), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9030123

Three-Dimensional Reservoir-Based Dielectrophoresis (rDEP) for Enhanced Particle Enrichment

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0921, USA
2
Department of Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0AS, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 24 February 2018 / Accepted: 9 March 2018 / Published: 10 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-Chip Electrokinetics, Volume II)
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Abstract

Selective enrichment of target species is crucial for a wide variety of engineering systems for improved performance of subsequent processes. Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is a powerful electrokinetic method that can be used to focus, trap, concentrate, and separate a variety of species in a label-free manner. The commonly employed methods for DEP suffer from limitations such as electrode fouling and high susceptibility to Joule heating effects. Recently, our group has demonstrated DEP-based manipulations of particles and cells using a novel method of reservoir-based dielectrophoresis (rDEP) which exploits the naturally produced electric field gradients at the reservoir-microchannel junction. Although this method reasonably addresses the limitations mentioned above while maintaining a high simplicity of fabrication, all of our demonstrations so far have used a two-dimensional rDEP, which limits the performance of the devices. This work aims to improve their performance further by making the DEP three-dimensional. Through detailed experimental and numerical analysis, we demonstrate a six-fold increase in the enrichment performance of latex beads and a significant reduction in the power consumption for the new devices, which would allow a more reliable integration of the same into micro-total analysis systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: dielectrophoresis; electrokinetics; particle focusing; particle trapping; microfluidics dielectrophoresis; electrokinetics; particle focusing; particle trapping; microfluidics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Kale, A.; Patel, S.; Xuan, X. Three-Dimensional Reservoir-Based Dielectrophoresis (rDEP) for Enhanced Particle Enrichment. Micromachines 2018, 9, 123.

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