Continuous separation of cells by balanced dielectrophoretic forces at multiple frequencies
We present a particle-sorting device based on the opposition of dielectrophoretic forces. The forces are generated by an array of electrode chambers located in both sidewalls of a main flow channel. Particles with different dielectric response perceive different force magnitudes and are therefore continuously focused to different streamlines in the flow channel. We relate the particles' dielectric response to their output position in the downstream channel. We demonstrate the performance of the device by separating a mixed yeast cell population into pure fractions of viable and nonviable cells. Finally, we use the device to enrich red blood cells infected with Babesia bovis, a major pathogen in cattle and simultaneously confirm the hypothesis that infection with B. bovis causes significant changes in the dielectric response of red blood cells.