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22/01/2016 (Added to site)
Author(s): Čemažar, J.; Douglas, T. A.; Schmelz, E. A.; Davalos, R. V.

Enhanced contactless dielectrophoresis enrichment and isolation platform via cell-scale microstructures

Journal: Biomicrofluidics, 10 (2016), 014109
DOI: 10.1063/1.4939947
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Abstract: We designed a new microfluidic device that uses pillars on the same order as the diameter of a cell (20 μm) to isolate and enrich rare cell samples from background. These cell-scale microstructures improve viability, trapping efficiency, and throughput while reducing pearl chaining. The area where cells trap on each pillar is small, such that only one or two cells trap while fluid flow carries away excess cells. We employed contactless dielectrophoresis in which a thin PDMS membrane separates the cell suspension from the electrodes, improving cell viability for off-chip collection and analysis. We compared viability and trapping efficiency of a highly aggressive Mouse Ovarian Surface Epithelial (MOSE) cell line in this 20 μm pillar device to measurements in an earlier device with the same layout but pillars of 100 μm diameter. We found that MOSE cells in the new device with 20 μm pillars had higher viability at 350 VRMS, 30 kHz, and 1.2 ml/h (control 77%, untrapped 71%, trapped 81%) than in the previous generation device (untrapped 47%, trapped 42%). The new device can trap up to 6 times more cells under the same conditions. Our new device can sort cells with a high flow rate of 2.2 ml/h and throughput of a few million cells per hour while maintaining a viable population of cells for off-chip analysis. By using the device to separate subpopulations of tumorcells while maintaining their viability at large sample sizes, this technology can be used in developing personalized treatments that target the most aggressive cancerouscells.


Keywords: dielectrophoresis   

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