Dielectrophoresis is an electric force experienced by particles subjected to non-uniform electric fields. Recently, several technologies have been developed focused on the use of dielectrophoretic force (DEP) to manipulate and detect cells. On the other hand, there is no such great development in the field of DEP-based cell discrimination methods. Despite the demand for methods to differentiate biological cell states, most DEP developed methods have been focused on differentiation through geometric parameters. The novelty of the present work relies upon the point that a DEP force cell measurement is used as a discrimination method, capable of detecting heat killed yeast cells from the alive ones. Thermal treatment is used as an example of different biological state of cells. It comes from the fact that biological properties have their reflection in the electric properties of the particle, in this case a yeast cell. To demonstrate such capability of the method, 279 heat-killed cells were measured and compared with alive cells data from the literature. For each cell, six speeds were taken at different points in its trajectory inside a variable non-uniform electric field. The electric parameters in cell wall conductivity, cell membrane conductivity, cell membrane permittivity of the yeast cell from bibliography explains the DEP experimental force measured. Finally, alive and heat-treated cells were distinguished based on that measure. Our results can be explained through the well-known damage of cell structure characteristics of heat-killed cells.
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