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Issue 11, 2009
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Negative DEP traps for single cell immobilisation

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We present a novel design of micron-sized particle trap that uses negative dielectrophoresis (nDEP) to trap cells in high conductivity physiological media. The design is scalable and suitable for trapping large numbers of single cells. Each trap has one electrical connection and the design can be extended to produce a large array. The trap consists of a metal ring electrode and a surrounding ground plane, which create a closed electric field cage in the centre. The operation of the device was demonstrated by trapping single latex spheres and HeLa cells against a moving fluid. The dielectrophoretic holding force was determined experimentally by measuring the displacement of a trapped particle in a moving fluid. This was then compared with theory by numerically solving the electric field for the electrodes and calculating the trapping force, demonstrating good agreement. Analysis of the 80 µm diameter trap showed that a 15.6 µm diameter latex particle could be held with a force of 23 pN at an applied voltage of 5 V peak–peak.

Graphical abstract: Negative DEP traps for single cell immobilisation

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Article information

04 Nov 2008
10 Feb 2009
First published
06 Mar 2009

Lab Chip, 2009,9, 1534-1540
Article type

Negative DEP traps for single cell immobilisation

R. S. Thomas, H. Morgan and N. G. Green, Lab Chip, 2009, 9, 1534
DOI: 10.1039/B819267G

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