Tutorial on Lateral Dielectrophoretic Manipulations in Microfluidic Systems. Academic Article uri icon


  • Microfluidic lab-on-a-chip systems can offer cost- and time-efficient biological assays by providing high-throughput analysis at very small volume scale. Among these extremely broad ranges of assays, accurate and specific cell and reagent control is considered one of the most important functions. Dielectrophoretic (DEP)-based manipulation technologies have been extensively developed for these purposes due to their label-free and high selectivity natures as well as due to their simple microstructures. Here, we provide a tutorial on how to develop DEP-based microfluidic systems, including a detailed walkthrough of dielectrophoresis theory, instruction on how to conduct simulation and calculation of electric field and generated DEP force, followed with guidance on microfabricating two forms of DEP microfluidic systems, namely lateral DEP and droplet DEP, and how best to conduct experiments in such systems. Finally, we summarize most recent DEP-based microfluidic technologies and applications, including systems for blood diagnoses, pathogenicity studies, in-droplet content manipulations, droplet manipulations and merging, to name a few. We conclude by suggesting possible future directions on how DEP-based technologies can be utilized to overcome current challenges and improve the current status in microfluidic lab-on-a-chip systems.

published proceedings

  • IEEE Trans Biomed Circuits Syst

author list (cited authors)

  • Huang, C., Han, S., Zhang, H., & Han, A.

complete list of authors

  • Huang, Can||Han, Song-I||Zhang, Han||Han, Arum

publication date

  • February 2023