A novel approach to dielectrophoresis using carbon electrodes
Carbon-electrode dielectrophoresis (carbon-DEP) is demonstrated here as an alternative to more traditional DEP techniques. Carbon-DEP combines advantages of metal-electrode and insulator-based DEP by using low-cost fabrication techniques and low voltages for particle manipulation. The use of 3-D electrodes is proved to yield significant advantages over the use of traditional planar electrodes. This paper details the fabrication of dense arrays of tall high aspect ratio carbon electrodes on a transparent fused-silica substrate. The shrinkage of the SU-8 structures during carbonization is characterized and a design tool for future devices is provided. Applications of carbon electrodes in DEP are then detailed and include particle positioning, high-throughput filtering and cell focusing using positive-DEP. Manipulated cells include Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Drosophila melanogaster. The advantages and disadvantages of carbon-DEP are discussed at the end of this work.