Dielectrophoresis (DEP) based Particle Sorter

CFDRC has developed a novel particle sorter to allow intelligent discrimination of target particles from background contamination. Unlike traditional sorting methods that rely on inertial or optical methods, the CFDRC DEP sorter utilizes electric fields for higher efficiency sorting, improved fieldability, and enhanced integratability. This separation methodology is based on a phenomenon known as Dielectrophoresis (DEP), which is the movement of polarizable particles in the presence of non-uniform electrical fields. DEP forces are used to continuously deflect one subset of particle population into a separation channel whereas the remaining particles pass through the device. The sorter can be tuned to separate particles based on size, viability, cell-specific markers, or inherent differences in electrical properties of different particles. The sorter can operate in batch, stopped-flow, or continuous flow modes. The technology has been demonstrated for separation of inorganic particles, bacterial cells and spores, yeast cells, and decorated mammalian cells. Potential applications for the cell sorter include biodefense and homeland security such as processing of complex liquid samples, and diagnostics and therapeutics such as rare cell sorting and cell enrichment.