The ability to rapidly and accurately sort multiple types of biological targets—such as molecules, viruses, bacteria or mammalian cells—from complex sample mixtures is an essential component for a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. However, most current selection methods for cell separation are either limited with regard to throughput, as is the case for Fluorescence Assisted Cell Sorting (FACS), or else only allow binary separation of targets that have been labeled via a single parameter, such as Magnetic Activated Cell Sorting (MACS). We report here the integrated Dielectrophoretic–Magnetic Activated Cell Sorter (iDMACS), an integrated platform that combines two different force fields in a single microfluidic device for highly efficient multi-target separation. We describe the underlying physics and design of the iDMACS device and demonstrate ∼900-fold enrichment of multiple bacterial target cell types with over 95% purity after a single round of separation.
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