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Dielectrophoretic Separation of Live and Dead Monocytes Using 3D Carbon-Electrodes

Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Sabanci University, Istanbul 34956, Turkey
Mechanical Engineering Department, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29631, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2017, 17(11), 2691;
Received: 19 October 2017 / Revised: 7 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 November 2017 / Published: 22 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-MEMS for Precision Medicine)
PDF [797 KB, uploaded 22 November 2017]


Blood has been the most reliable body fluid commonly used for the diagnosis of diseases. Although there have been promising investigations for the development of novel lab-on-a-chip devices to utilize other body fluids such as urine and sweat samples in diagnosis, their stability remains a problem that limits the reliability and accuracy of readouts. Hence, accurate and quantitative separation and characterization of blood cells are still crucial. The first step in achieving high-resolution characteristics for specific cell subpopulations from the whole blood is the isolation of pure cell populations from a mixture of cell suspensions. Second, live cells need to be purified from dead cells; otherwise, dead cells might introduce biases in the measurements. In addition, the separation and characterization methods being used must preserve the genetic and phenotypic properties of the cells. Among the characterization and separation approaches, dielectrophoresis (DEP) is one of the oldest and most efficient label-free quantification methods, which directly purifies and characterizes cells using their intrinsic, physical properties. In this study, we present the dielectrophoretic separation and characterization of live and dead monocytes using 3D carbon-electrodes. Our approach successfully removed the dead monocytes while preserving the viability of the live monocytes. Therefore, when blood analyses and disease diagnosis are performed with enriched, live monocyte populations, this approach will reduce the dead-cell contamination risk and achieve more reliable and accurate test results. View Full-Text
Keywords: dielectrophoresis; cell separation; carbon-electrode; microfluidics; BioMEMS (biomedical microelectromechanical systems) dielectrophoresis; cell separation; carbon-electrode; microfluidics; BioMEMS (biomedical microelectromechanical systems)

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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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Yildizhan, Y.; Erdem, N.; Islam, M.; Martinez-Duarte, R.; Elitas, M. Dielectrophoretic Separation of Live and Dead Monocytes Using 3D Carbon-Electrodes. Sensors 2017, 17, 2691.

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