Development of a new contactless dielectrophoresis system for active particle manipulation using movable liquid electrodes

Document Type


Publication Date



Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


This study presents a new DEP manipulation technique using a movable liquid electrode, which allows manipulation of particles by actively controlling the locations of electrodes and applying on-off electric input signals. This DEP system consists of mercury as a movable liquid electrode, indium tin oxide (ITO)-coated glass, SU-8-based microchannels for electrode passages, and a PDMS medium chamber. A simple squeezing method was introduced to build a thin PDMS layer at the bottom of the medium chamber to create a contactless DEP system. To determine the operating conditions, the DEP force and the friction force were analytically compared for a single cell. In addition, an appropriate frequency range for effective DEP manipulation was chosen based on an estimation of the Clausius-Mossotti factor and the effective complex permittivity of the yeast cell using the concentric shell model. With this system, we demonstrated the active manipulation of yeast cells, and measured the collection efficiency and the dielectrophoretic velocity of cells for different AC electric field strengths and applied frequencies. The experimental results showed that the maximum collection efficiency reached was approximately 90%, and the dielectrophoretic velocity increased with increasing frequency and attained the maximum value of 10.85 ± 0.95 μm/s at 100 kHz, above which it decreased.

Publication Title