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Open AccessArticle

Highly Localized Enrichment of Trypanosoma brucei Parasites Using Dielectrophoresis

Multiscale Manufacturing Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 625;
Received: 10 June 2020 / Revised: 23 June 2020 / Accepted: 25 June 2020 / Published: 26 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micromachines for Dielectrophoresis)
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as sleeping sickness, is a vector-borne neglected tropical disease endemic to rural sub-Saharan Africa. Current methods of early detection in the affected rural communities generally begin with general screening using the card agglutination test for trypanosomiasis (CATT), a serological test. However, the gold standard for confirmation of trypanosomiasis remains the direct observation of the causative parasite, Trypanosoma brucei. Here, we present the use of dielectrophoresis (DEP) to enrich T. brucei parasites in specific locations to facilitate their identification in a future diagnostic assay. DEP refers to physical movement that can be selectively induced on the parasites when exposing them to electric field gradients of specific magnitude, phase and frequency. The long-term goal of our work is to use DEP to selectively trap and enrich T. brucei in specific locations while eluting all other cells in a sample. This would allow for a diagnostic test that enables the user to characterize the presence of parasites in specific locations determined a priori instead of relying on scanning a sample. In the work presented here, we report the characterization of the conditions that lead to high enrichment, 780% in 50 s, of the parasite in specific locations using an array of titanium microelectrodes. View Full-Text
Keywords: sleeping sickness; Human African trypanosomiasis; trypanosoma; titanium; dielectrophoresis sleeping sickness; Human African trypanosomiasis; trypanosoma; titanium; dielectrophoresis
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Keck, D.; Stuart, C.; Duncan, J.; Gullette, E.; Martinez-Duarte, R. Highly Localized Enrichment of Trypanosoma brucei Parasites Using Dielectrophoresis. Micromachines 2020, 11, 625.

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