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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 μm wide and high channel, it is shown that 6 μm 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.
Date of Publication: 5 Aug. 2005