Precise Arraying of Individual Cells using Dielectrophoresis

D.S. Gray, J.L. Tan, J. Voldman, and C.S. Chen (USA)


Clinical technology, labs-on-chips, bio-arrays, tissue engineering, dielectrophoresis


The integration of living cells into bioMEMS requires a precise and robust process to pattern individual cells in alignment with the analytical components of these devices. We have developed a method to move living mammalian cells safely and rapidly to precise locations by applying small electric potentials to an electrode array. Within minutes, cells are trapped at field maxima by dielectrophoresis (DEP). Using DEP, we are able to form arbitrary arrays of single cells on planar surfaces. DEP based patterning, which we demonstrate both alone and in conjunction with adhesive patterning, will facilitate the construction of cell-based biosensors, functional nerve chips, and bio-arrays.

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