This invention relates to technologies that are used as 'laboratory-on-a-chip' (LOC) and offers microsystems for massively parallel chemical analysis, drug testing, bioassay, and cell material separation, removal and detections.
This invention integrates an open-channel two-stage dielectrophoretic (DEP) droplet dispensing and distribution system to create a novel LOC platform capable of manipulating and separating biological cells and cell materials based on their varied dielectrophoretic signatures that distinguish cells in a population, for example, healthy from diseased cells. Its features further allow removal of separated materials from the intermediate stations to other stations along the flow path. These stations are configured for high electric field gradients and permit the separated materials to be subjected to a second stage separation process using DEP with a different AC frequency range as compared to earlier stations. These materials can be individually detected at intermediate or end stations using, for example, fluorescent detectors or other optical means. The electrodes with appropriate voltage, may also be used to transport materials to channels for capillary electrophoresis. This technique is an attractive alternative to the closed channel microfluidic systems that require complex interconnected microchannels interfaced with external fluid pumping and sample injection hardware, and operating at high pressure differentials which are prone to leakage and blockage.
URV Reference Number: 2-11144-04034