Electrical forces for microscale cell manipulation. Annu Rev Biomed Eng 8:425-454

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.
Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering (Impact Factor: 14.21). 02/2006; 8(1):425-54. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.bioeng.8.061505.095739
Source: PubMed


Electrical forces for manipulating cells at the microscale include electrophoresis and dielectrophoresis. Electrophoretic forces arise from the interaction of a cell's charge and an electric field, whereas dielectrophoresis arises from a cell's polarizability. Both forces can be used to create microsystems that separate cell mixtures into its component cell types or act as electrical "handles" to transport cells or place them in specific locations. This review explores the use of these two forces for microscale cell manipulation. We first examine the forces and electrodes used to create them, then address potential impacts on cell health, followed by examples of devices for both separating cells and handling them.

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    • "However, this method has the advantage of causing less physiological damage to cells during the separating process, and it is easy to add acoustic transducers on to the conventional microfluidic systems. The dielectrophoretic separation method could affect cell vitality[73]because of the electric field. It is unique, however, in that this method can separate live and dead cells which have different dielectical properties. "
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    ABSTRACT: In the last decade, microfabrication techniques have been combined with microfluidics and applied to cell biology. Utilizing such new techniques, various cell studies have been performed for the research of stem cells, immune cells, cancer, neurons, etc. Among the various biological applications of microtechnology-based platforms, cell separation technology has been highly regarded in biological and clinical fields for sorting different types of cells, finding circulating tumor cells (CTCs), and blood cell separation, amongst other things. Many cell separation methods have been created using various physical principles. Representatively, these include hydrodynamic, acoustic, dielectrophoretic, magnetic, optical, and filtering methods. In this review, each of these methods will be introduced, and their physical principles and sample applications described. Each physical principle has its own advantages and disadvantages. The engineers who design the systems and the biologists who use them should understand the pros and cons of each method or principle, to broaden the use of microsystems for cell separation. Continuous development of microsystems for cell separation will lead to new opportunities for diagnosing CTCs and cancer metastasis, as well as other elements in the bloodstream.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
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    • "So far, numerous approaches driven by different mechanisms have been proposed; some pattern molecules on the substrate to help the selective adhesion of cells [8]–[10], while the others actively guide the cells to desired position by external forces. For instance, active patterning techniques involved the use of microfluid flow [11], magnetic [12], electric [13], optical [14], or acoustic force [15] or the combination [16]. The experiments based on a magnetic force have the advantages of noncontact, contamination-free, and low adverse effects on the cells that are attractive to the biomedical field. "
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    ABSTRACT: A sine wave magnetic structure with domain wall (DW) pinning geometry is designed to actively trap magnetically labeled cells. After an initial in-plane magnetic field (Hinitial) is applied and later reduced to zero, and the resultant magnetization became locally aligned. Primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts are magnetically labeled by internalizing magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs). Prussian blue stain and single-cell magnetophoresis are performed to evaluate the internalization of the MNPs. The magnetically labeled cells are then trapped by the stray fields of the head-to-head DWs or the tail-to-tail DWs. The magnetic attraction force is estimated to be 0.2-1.3 pN, while the corresponding magnetic gradient is estimated to be 1.64 to 2.1 T/m.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · IEEE Transactions on Magnetics
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    • "Dielectrophoretesis (DEP) is an electrical-based technique that has been used for identifying, separating and characterizing single cells [3] [4] [5]. It is an alternative to direct measurement of the dielectric response of a cell in a suspension medium, which requires latter separation of the cell and medium properties. "
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    ABSTRACT: We present a multi-frequency dielectrophoresis (DEP) based microfluidic device for characterizing the complex dielectric properties of single micron-sized particles while in flow. The device employs a multi-electrode transmission line sensor coupled to a microwave-interferometer, capable of subattofarad sensitivity, for detecting the DEP-induced translation of the particle under study. DEP actuation of the particle at different frequencies – which is related to its dielectric response – is sensed as it travels along the sensor. Characterization of the dielectric response of polystyrene micro-spheres using two frequencies is demonstrated.
    Full-text · Conference Paper · May 2015
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