Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Dielectrophoresis Related Abstracts

4 Colloid-Based Biodetection at Aqueous Electrical Interfaces Using Fluidic Dielectrophoresis

Authors: Nicholas Mavrogiannis, Francesca Crivellari, Zachary Gagnon

Abstract:

Portable diagnostic methods have become increasingly important for a number of different purposes: point-of-care screening in developing nations, environmental contamination studies, bio/chemical warfare agent detection, and end-user use for commercial health monitoring. The cheapest and most portable methods currently available are paper-based – lateral flow and dipstick methods are widely available in drug stores for use in pregnancy detection and blood glucose monitoring. These tests are successful because they are cheap to produce, easy to use, and require minimally invasive sampling. While adequate for their intended uses, in the realm of blood-borne pathogens and numerous cancers, these paper-based methods become unreliable, as they lack the nM/pM sensitivity currently achieved by clinical diagnostic methods. Clinical diagnostics, however, utilize techniques involving surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), which are expensive and unfeasible in terms of portability. To develop a better, competitive biosensor, we must reduce the cost of one, or increase the sensitivity of the other. Electric fields are commonly utilized in microfluidic devices to manipulate particles, biomolecules, and cells. Applications in this area, however, are primarily limited to interfaces formed between immiscible interfaces. Miscible, liquid-liquid interfaces are common in microfluidic devices, and are easily reproduced with simple geometries. Here, we demonstrate the use of electrical fields at liquid-liquid electrical interfaces, known as fluidic dielectrophoresis, (fDEP) for biodetection in a microfluidic device. In this work, we apply an AC electric field across concurrent laminar streams with differing conductivities and permittivities to polarize the interface and induce a discernible, near-immediate, frequency-dependent interfacial tilt. We design this aqueous electrical interface, which becomes the biosensing “substrate,” to be intelligent – it “moves” only when a target of interest is present. This motion requires neither labels nor expensive electrical equipment, so the biosensor is inexpensive and portable, yet still capable of sensitive detection. Nanoparticles, due to their high surface-area-to-volume ratio, are often incorporated to enhance detection capabilities of schemes like SPR and fluorimetric assays. Most studies currently investigate binding at an immobilized solid-liquid or solid-gas interface, where particles are adsorbed onto a planar surface, functionalized with a receptor to create a reactive substrate, and subsequently flushed with a fluid or gas with the relevant analyte. These typically involve many preparation and rinsing steps, and are susceptible to surface fouling. Our microfluidic device is continuously flowing and renewing the “substrate,” and is thus not subject to fouling. In this work, we demonstrate the ability to electrokinetically detect biomolecules binding to functionalized nanoparticles at liquid-liquid interfaces using fDEP. In biotin-streptavidin experiments, we report binding detection limits on the order of 1-10 pM, without amplifying signals or concentrating samples. We also demonstrate the ability to detect this interfacial motion, and thus the presence of binding, using impedance spectroscopy, allowing this scheme to become non-optical, in addition to being label-free.

Keywords: Microfluidics, Nanoparticles, Dielectrophoresis, biodetection

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3 Dielectrophoretic Characterization of Tin Oxide Nanowires for Biotechnology Application

Authors: Ahmad Sabry Mohamad, Kai F. Hoettges, Michael Pycraft Hughes

Abstract:

This study investigates nanowires using Dielectrophoresis (DEP) in non-aqueous suspension of Tin (IV) Oxide (SnO2) nanoparticles dispersed in N,N-dimenthylformamide (DMF). The self assembly of nanowires in DEP impedance spectroscopy can be determined. In this work, dielectrophoretic method was used to measure non-organic molecules for estimating the permittivity and conductivity characteristic of the nanowires. As in aqueous such as salt solution has been dominating the transport of SnO2, which are the wire growth threshold, depend on applied voltage. While DEP assembly of nanowires depend on applied frequency, the applications of dielectrophoretic collection are measured using impedance spectroscopy.

Keywords: nanowires, Impedance spectroscopy, Dielectrophoresis, N-dimenthylformamide, SnO2

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2 Nanorods Based Dielectrophoresis for Protein Concentration and Immunoassay

Authors: Zhen Cao, Yu Zhu, Junxue Fu

Abstract:

Immunoassay, i.e., antigen-antibody reaction, is crucial for disease diagnostics. To achieve the adequate signal of the antigen protein detection, a large amount of sample and long incubation time is needed. However, the amount of protein is usually small at the early stage, which makes it difficult to detect. Unlike cells and DNAs, no valid chemical method exists for protein amplification. Thus, an alternative way to improve the signal is through particle manipulation techniques to concentrate proteins, among which dielectrophoresis (DEP) is an effective one. DEP is a technique that concentrates particles to the designated region through a force created by the gradient in a non-uniform electric field. Since DEP force is proportional to the cube of particle size and square of electric field gradient, it is relatively easy to capture larger particles such as cells. For smaller ones like proteins, a super high gradient is then required. In this work, three-dimensional Ag/SiO2 nanorods arrays, fabricated by an easy physical vapor deposition technique called as oblique angle deposition, have been integrated with a DEP device and created the field gradient as high as of 2.6×10²⁴ V²/m³. The nanorods based DEP device is able to enrich bovine serum albumin (BSA) protein by 1800-fold and the rate has reached 180-fold/s when only applying 5 V electric potential. Based on the above nanorods integrated DEP platform, an immunoassay of mouse immunoglobulin G (IgG) proteins has been performed. Briefly, specific antibodies are immobilized onto nanorods, then IgG proteins are concentrated and captured, and finally, the signal from fluorescence-labelled antibodies are detected. The limit of detection (LoD) is measured as 275.3 fg/mL (~1.8 fM), which is a 20,000-fold enhancement compared with identical assays performed on blank glass plates. Further, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which is a cancer biomarker for diagnosis of prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy, is also quantified with a LoD as low as 2.6 pg/mL. The time to signal saturation has been significantly reduced to one minute. In summary, together with an easy nanorod fabrication and integration method, this nanorods based DEP platform has demonstrated highly sensitive immunoassay performance and thus poses great potentials in applications for early point-of-care diagnostics.

Keywords: Immunoassay, Dielectrophoresis, oblique angle deposition, protein concentration

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1 Multi-Size Continuous Particle Separation on a Dielectrophoresis-Based Microfluidics Chip

Authors: Arash Dalili, Hamed Tahmouressi, Mina Hoorfar

Abstract:

Advances in lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices have led to significant advances in the manipulation, separation, and isolation of particles and cells. Among the different active and passive particle manipulation methods, dielectrophoresis (DEP) has been proven to be a versatile mechanism as it is label-free, cost-effective, simple to operate, and has high manipulation efficiency. DEP has been applied for a wide range of biological and environmental applications. A popular form of DEP devices is the continuous manipulation of particles by using co-planar slanted electrodes, which utilizes a sheath flow to focus the particles into one side of the microchannel. When particles enter the DEP manipulation zone, the negative DEP (nDEP) force generated by the slanted electrodes deflects the particles laterally towards the opposite side of the microchannel. The lateral displacement of the particles is dependent on multiple parameters including the geometry of the electrodes, the width, length and height of the microchannel, the size of the particles and the throughput. In this study, COMSOL Multiphysics® modeling along with experimental studies are used to investigate the effect of the aforementioned parameters. The electric field between the electrodes and the induced DEP force on the particles are modelled by COMSOL Multiphysics®. The simulation model is used to show the effect of the DEP force on the particles, and how the geometry of the electrodes (width of the electrodes and the gap between them) plays a role in the manipulation of polystyrene microparticles. The simulation results show that increasing the electrode width to a certain limit, which depends on the height of the channel, increases the induced DEP force. Also, decreasing the gap between the electrodes leads to a stronger DEP force. Based on these results, criteria for the fabrication of the electrodes were found, and soft lithography was used to fabricate interdigitated slanted electrodes and microchannels. Experimental studies were run to find the effect of the flow rate, geometrical parameters of the microchannel such as length, width, and height as well as the electrodes’ angle on the displacement of 5 um, 10 um and 15 um polystyrene particles. An empirical equation is developed to predict the displacement of the particles under different conditions. It is shown that the displacement of the particles is more for longer and lower height channels, lower flow rates, and bigger particles. On the other hand, the effect of the angle of the electrodes on the displacement of the particles was negligible. Based on the results, we have developed an optimum design (in terms of efficiency and throughput) for three size separation of particles.

Keywords: Microfluidics, Dielectrophoresis, COMSOL multiphysics, particle separation

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