In-Droplet Cell Separation Based on Different Dielectrophoretic Response Conference Paper uri icon


  • © 2019 IEEE. Droplet microfluidic systems have been extensively utilized in various high-throughput cell assays. Although almost all conventional cell handling techniques have been achieved in droplet format, separating cells within a droplet remains a less explored droplet function. This paper presents a label-free in-droplet cell separation technology by utilizing dielectrophoresis (DEP), specifically DEP polarity. A prototype microfluidics platform is fabricated with PDMS on top of two electrode pairs and droplets encapsulating mixture of cells (macrophages and Salmonella cells) were generated and tested using this in-droplet cell separation platform. Specific frequencies were applied so that only one cell population receive generated DEP force at any electrode pair. Results showed that the two cell populations could be successfully manipulated towards opposite side of the droplet, and each cell type could be collected into two separate daughter droplets, by splitting the parent droplet into two. This technology can be readily integrated with other droplet microfluidic functions to enable complex in-droplet assays that are currently not possible, expanding the application areas of droplet microfluidics.

author list (cited authors)

  • Huang, C., Han, S., & Han, A.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • June 2019