Dielectrophoresis-based cell manipulation using electrodes on a reusable printed circuit board

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Particle manipulation based on dielectrophoresis (DEP) can be a versatile and useful tool in lab-on-chip systems for a wide range of cell patterning and tissue engineering applications. Even though there are extensive reports on the use of DEP for cell patterning applications, the development of approaches that make DEP even more affordable and common place is still desirable. In this study, we present the use of interdigitated electrodes on a printed circuit board (PCB) that can be reused to manipulate and position HeLa cells and polystyrene particles over 100 m thick glass cover slips using DEP. An open-well or a closed microfluidic channel, both made of PDMS, was placed on the glass coverslip, which was then placed directly over the PCB. An AC voltage was applied to the electrodes on the PCB to induce DEP on the particles through the thin glass coverslip. The HeLa cells patterned with DEP were subsequently grown to confirm the lack of any adverse affects from the electric fields. This alternative and reusable platform for DEP particle manipulation can provide a convenient and rapid method for prototyping a DEP-based lab-on-chip system, cost-sensitive lab-on-chip applications, and a wide range of tissue engineering applications. © 2009 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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Lab on a Chip

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