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Microscale Electrokinetics: Dielectrophoretic Manipulation of Particles

[+] Author Affiliations
Blanca H. Lapizco-Encinas

Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN

Paper No. IMECE2011-63911, pp. 629-634; 6 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Fluids and Thermal Systems; Advances for Process Industries, Parts A and B
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5492-1
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Miniaturization is a rapidly growing field, with great potential for many applications, from cell and clinical analysis, medical diagnostics, food and water safety, and environmental monitoring. Working on the microscale offers significant advantages, such as shorter time, reduced sample requirement, higher resolution and sensitivity. There are important research efforts devoted to the development of separation and analytical techniques that can be employed on the microscale. Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is the motion of particles due to polarization effects when exposed to nonuniform electric fields; this electrokinetic transport mechanism has a great potential for the manipulation of a wide array of particles. DEP offers great flexibility, since it can be carried out employing DC and AC electric fields, and neutral and charged particles can be manipulated. Insulator-based dielectrophoresis (iDEP) is novel technique where insulating structures, instead of electrodes, are used to create nonuniform electric fields. This presentation is focused on the use of AC-iDEP and DC-iDEP for the manipulation, concentration y separation of different types of particles. Experimental and modeling results obtained with COMSOL will be presented and discussed, demonstrating the versatility and great potential of iDEP as a microscale technique for effective and highly controlled particle manipulation.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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