Analytical solutions and validation of electric field and dielectrophoretic force in a bio-microfluidic channel



In a microbiological device, cell or particle manipulation and characterization require the use of electric field on different electrodes in several configurations and shapes. To efficiently design microelectrodes within a microfluidic channel for dielectrophoresis focusing, manipulation and characterization of cells, the designer will seek the exact distribution of the electric potential, electric field and hence dielectrophoresis force exerted on the cell within the microdevice. In this paper we describe the approach attaining the analytical solution of the dielectrophoretic force expression within a microchannel with parallel facing same size electrodes present on the two faces of channel substrates, with opposite voltages on the pair electrodes. Simple Fourier series mathematical expressions are derived for electric potential, electric field and dielectric force between two distant finite-size electrodes. Excellent agreement is found by comparing the analytical results calculated using MATLAB™ with numerical ones obtained by Comsol. This analytical result can help the designer to perform simple design parametric analysis. Bio-microdevices are also designed and fabricated to illustrate the theoretical solution results with the experimental data. Experiments with red blood cells show the dielectrophoretic force contour plots of the analytical data matched to the experimental results.