A continuous high-throughput bioparticle sorter based on 3D traveling-wave dielectrophoresis

I. Fang Cheng, Victoria E. Froude, Yingxi Zhu, Hsueh Chia Chang, Hsien Chang Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


We present a high throughput (maximum flow rate ∼10 l/min or linear velocity ∼3 mm/s) continuous bio-particle sorter based on 3D traveling-wave dielectrophoresis (twDEP) at an optimum AC frequency of 500 kHz. The high throughput sorting is achieved with a sustained twDEP particle force normal to the continuous through-flow, which is applied over the entire chip by a single 3D electrode array. The design allows continuous fractionation of micron-sized particles into different downstream sub-channels based on differences in their twDEP mobility on both sides of the cross-over. Conventional DEP is integrated upstream to focus the particles into a single levitated queue to allow twDEP sorting by mobility difference and to minimize sedimentation and field-induced lysis. The 3D electrode array design minimizes the offsetting effect of nDEP (negative DEP with particle force towards regions with weak fields) on twDEP such that both forces increase monotonically with voltage to further increase the throughput. Effective focusing and separation of red blood cells from debris-filled heterogeneous samples are demonstrated, as well as size-based separation of poly-dispersed liposome suspensions into two distinct bands at 2.3 to 4.6 m and 1.5 to 2.7 m, at the highest throughput recorded in hand-held chips of 6 l/min.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3193-3201
Number of pages9
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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