Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is a nondestructive and noninvasive method which is favorable for point-of-care medical diagnostic tests. This technique exhibits prominent relevance in a wide range of medical applications wherein the miniaturized platform for manipulation (immobilization, separation or rotation), and detection of biological particles (cells or molecules) can be conducted. DEP can be performed using advanced planar technologies, such as complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) through interdigitated capacitive biosensors. The dielectrophoretically immobilization of micron and submicron size particles using interdigitated electrode (IDE) arrays is studied by finite element simulations. The CMOS compatible IDEs have been placed into the silicon microfluidic channel. A rigorous study of the DEP force actuation, the IDE’s geometrical structure, and the fluid dynamics are crucial for enabling the complete platform for CMOS integrated microfluidics and detection of micron and submicron-sized particle ranges. The design of the IDEs is performed by robust finite element analyses to avoid time-consuming and costly fabrication processes. To analyze the preliminary microfluidic test vehicle, simulations were first performed with non-biological particles. To produce DEP force, an AC field in the range of 1 to 5 V (peak-to-peak) is applied to the IDE. The impact of the effective external and internal properties, such as actuating DEP frequency and voltage, fluid flow velocity, and IDE’s geometrical parameters are investigated. The IDE based system will be used to immobilize and sense particles simultaneously while flowing through the microfluidic channel. The sensed particles will be detected using the capacitive sensing feature of the biosensor. The sensing and detecting of the particles are not in the scope of this paper and will be described in details elsewhere. However, to provide a complete overview of this system, the working principles of the sensor, the readout detection circuit, and the integration process of the silicon microfluidic channel are briefly discussed.
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