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Developing mathematical theories of the physical world: Open Access research on fluid dynamics from Strathclyde

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On-chip high-speed sorting of micron-sized particles for high-throughput analysis

Holmes, D. and Sandison, M.E. and Green, N.G. and Morgan, H. (2005) On-chip high-speed sorting of micron-sized particles for high-throughput analysis. IEE Proceedings Nanobiotechnology, 152 (4). pp. 129-135. ISSN 1478-1581

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Abstract

A new design of particle sorting chip is presented. The device employs a dielectrophoretic gate that deflects particles into one of two microfluidic channels at high speed. The device operates by focussing particles into the central streamline of the main flow channel using dielectrophoretic focussing. At the sorting junction (T- or Y-junction) two sets of electrodes produce a small dielectrophoretic force that pushes the particle into one or other of the outlet channels, where they are carried under the pressure-driven fluid flow to the outlet. For a 40 microm wide and high channel, it is shown that 6 microm diameter particles can be deflected at a rate of 300/s. The principle of a fully automated sorting device is demonstrated by separating fluorescent from non-fluorescent latex beads.