Parametric study on the geometrical parameters of a lab-on-a-chip platform with tilted planar electrodes for continuous dielectrophoretic manipulation of microparticles.

Research paper by Arash A Dalili, Erfan E Taatizadeh, Hamed H Tahmooressi, Nishat N Tasnim, Pamela Inés PI Rellstab-Sánchez, Matthew M Shaunessy, Homayoun H Najjaran, Mina M Hoorfar

Indexed on: 18 Jul '20Published on: 18 Jul '20Published in: Scientific Reports


Advances in lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices have led to significant improvements in the on-chip manipulation, separation, sorting, and isolation of particles and cells. Among various LOC-based approaches such as inertia-based methods, acoustophoresis, and magnetophoresis, the planar-slanted-electrode dielectrophoresis (DEP) method has demonstrated great potential as a label-free, cost-effective, and user-friendly approach. However, the devices built based on this method suffer from low flow throughput compared to devices functioning based on other LOC-based manipulation approaches. In order to overcome this obstacle, the geometrical parameters of these types of DEP-based devices must be studied to increase the effectiveness of DEP manipulation. With the consideration of both numerical and experimental studies, this paper studies the geometrical factors of a LOC platform consisting of tilted planar electrodes with the goal of achieving higher throughput in continuous manipulation of polystyrene particles. COMSOL Multiphysics software was used to study the effect of the electrodes geometry on the induced electric field. The simulation results show that by increasing the electrode's width and decreasing the electrode's spacing, higher DEP force is generated. Furthermore, the experimental outcomes indicated that lower channel height, higher voltage, and larger particle size resulted in the most improvement to DEP manipulation. Additionally, the experimental results demonstrated that slanted electrodes with an angle of 8° with respect to the direction of flow provide a more effective configuration.