AC electrokinetics based capture of yeast cells from ultra-fast through-flow for sensitive detection

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This work presents a three-dimensional multi-level microfluidic device that enables yeast cell trapping via alternating current (AC) electrokinetics (ACEK) from a rapid through-flow of sample fluids. ACEK is a versatile technique to control and manipulate cells and microparticles at the micro/nano-scale. Here the trapping device works by applying an AC signal over a pair of electrode across a flow-through channel to capture bioparticles from an ultra-fast through-flow. The particle capture effect by ACEK was experimentally studied by measuring the cell densities at the inlet and outlet of the micro-channel. Both symmetric AC signal and DC biased AC signal were used to achieve cell trapping. It is found that DC biased ACEK effect is highly capable of capturing cells from a rapid through-flow. A trapping efficiency of 56.8% has been obtained from an ultra-fast external flow with its average velocity at 4.44 mm/s. The merits of ACEK include low-voltage electrical operation, which is suitable for portable lab-on-a-chip systems. These devices offer numerous benefits for biological applications such as medical diagnostics, detection, drug screening, and particle trapping.


© 2017 The Institution of Engineering and Technology

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Micro Nano Lett.