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A novel approach to dielectrophoresis using carbon electrodes

Authors

  • Rodrigo Martinez-Duarte,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine, USA
    2. Microsystems Laboratory (LMIS4), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
    • EPFL-STI-LMIS4, Station 17, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland Fax: +41-21-693-5950
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  • Philippe Renaud,

    1. Microsystems Laboratory (LMIS4), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
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  • Marc J. Madou

    1. Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine, USA
    2. Ulsan National Institute for Science and Technology, World Class University Program, South Korea
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Abstract

Carbon-electrode dielectrophoresis (carbon-DEP) is demonstrated here as an alternative to more traditional DEP techniques. Carbon-DEP combines advantages of metal-electrode and insulator-based DEP by using low-cost fabrication techniques and low voltages for particle manipulation. The use of 3-D electrodes is proved to yield significant advantages over the use of traditional planar electrodes. This paper details the fabrication of dense arrays of tall high aspect ratio carbon electrodes on a transparent fused-silica substrate. The shrinkage of the SU-8 structures during carbonization is characterized and a design tool for future devices is provided. Applications of carbon electrodes in DEP are then detailed and include particle positioning, high-throughput filtering and cell focusing using positive-DEP. Manipulated cells include Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Drosophila melanogaster. The advantages and disadvantages of carbon-DEP are discussed at the end of this work.

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