Sorting of particles such as cells is a critical process for many biomedical applications, and it is challenging to integrate it into an analytical microdevice. We report an effective and flexible dielectrophoresis (DEP)-based microfluidic device for continuous sorting of multiple particles in a microchannel. The particle sorter is composed of two components—a DEP focusing unit and a Movable DEP Trap (MDT). The trap is formed by an array of microelectrodes at the bottom of the channel and a transparent electrode plate placed at the top. The location of the trap is dependent on the configuration of voltages on the array and therefore is addressable. Flowing particles are first directed and focused into a single particle stream by the focusing unit. The streamed particles are then sorted into different fractions using the movable trap by rapidly switching the applied voltage. The performance of the sorter is demonstrated by successfully sorting microparticles in a continuous flow. The proposed DEP-based microfluidic sorter can be implemented in applications such as sample preparation and cell sorting for subsequent analytical processing, where sorting of particles is needed.
Chen, D. F., Li, W. H., Du, H. & Li, M. (2012). Continuous sorting of microparticles using dielectrophoresis. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 12 3035-3039.