Focusing and trapping of DNA molecules by head-on ac electrokinetic streaming through join asymmetric polarization

Jung Rong Du, Hsien Hung Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, invoking join asymmetric ac polarization using double halfquadrupole electrodes in a symmetric arrangement, we demonstrate a head-on ac electro-osmotic streaming capable of focusing and trapping DNA molecules efficiently. This is manifested by the observation that picomolar DNA molecules can be trapped into a large crosslike spot with at least an order of magnitude concentration enhancement within just half a minute. We identify that the phenomenon is a combined result of the formation of two prefocused DNA jets flowing toward each other, dipole-induced attraction between focused DNA molecules, and dielectrophoretic trap on the spot. With an additional horizontal pumping, we observe that the trap can transform into a peculiar pitchfork streaming capable of continuous collection and long-distance transport of concentrated DNA molecules. We also show that the same electrode design can be used to direct assembly of submicrometer particles. This newly designed microfluidic platform not only has potentials in enhancing detection sensitivity and facilitating functional assembly for on-chip analysis but also provides an added advantage of transporting target molecules in a focused and continuous manner.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034108
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Genetics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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