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Dielectrophoretic capture of low abundance cell population using thick electrodes

Abstract : Enrichment of rare cell populations such as Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) is a critical step before performing analysis. This paper presents a polymeric microfluidic device with integrated thick Carbon-PolyDimethylSiloxane composite (C-PDMS) electrodes designed to carry out dielectrophoretic (DEP) trapping of low abundance biological cells. Such conductive composite material presents advantages over metallic structures. Indeed, as it combines properties of both the matrix and doping particles, C-PDMS allows the easy and fast integration of conductive microstructures using a soft-lithography approach while preserving O2 plasma bonding properties of PDMS substrate and avoiding a cumbersome alignment procedure. Here, we first performed numerical simulations to demonstrate the advantage of such thick C-PDMS electrodes over a coplanar electrode configuration. It is well established that dielectrophoretic force (FDEP) decreases quickly as the distance from the electrode surface increases resulting in coplanar configuration to a low trapping efficiency at high flow rate. Here, we showed quantitatively that by using electrodes as thick as a microchannel height, it is possible to extend the DEP force influence in the whole volume of the channel compared to coplanar electrode configuration and maintaining high trapping efficiency while increasing the throughput. This model was then used to numerically optimize a thick C-PDMS electrode configuration in terms of trapping efficiency. Then, optimized microfluidic configurations were fabricated and tested at various flow rates for the trapping of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line. We reached trapping efficiencies of 97% at 20 μl/h and 78.7% at 80 μl/h, for 100 μm thick electrodes. Finally, we applied our device to the separation and localized trapping of CTCs (MDA-MB-231) from a red blood cells sample (concentration ratio of 1:10).
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Submitted on : Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 11:20:59 AM
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Julien Marchalot, Jean-François Chateaux, Magalie Faivre, Hichem C Mertani, Rosaria Ferrigno, et al.. Dielectrophoretic capture of low abundance cell population using thick electrodes. Citation: Biomicrofluidics, 2015, 9 (5), ⟨10.1063/1.4928703⟩. ⟨hal-01870694⟩

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