This article details the process layout required for realizing a three-dimensional arrangement of electrodes in a microfluidic device for field flow fractionation based on dielectrophoresis. The metal electrodes are placed horizontally, in a stair-case arrangement, and pass through the bulk of the fluid. Several standard microfabrication processes are employed, in realizing this microdevice, including multi-layer photolithography, casting and plasma bonding. Thus the process layout is repeatable and reproducible. The feasibility of this process layout is demonstrated using three electrodes arranged in aforementioned manner; nevertheless, this process can be extended to as many electrodes as desired in the horizontal direction. This process layout can will make applications possible that were not possible till date due to the inability in microfabricating three-dimensional horizontal metal electrodes that run through the entire width of the microchannel.
This article deals with the development of a two-dimensional dynamic model for tracking the path of cells subjected to dielectrophoresis, in a continuous flow microfluidic device, for purposes of field-flow fractionation. The nonuniform electric field exists between the top and bottom surface of the microchannel; the top electrode runs over the entire length of the microchannel while the bottom surface of the same holds multiple finite sized electrodes of opposite polarity. The model consists of two governing equations with each describing the movement of the cell in one of the two dimensions of interest. The equations governing of the cell trajectories as well as that of the electric potential inside the microchannel are solved using finite difference method. The model is subsequently used for parametric study; the parameters considered include cell radii, actuation voltage, microchannel height and volumetric flow rate. The model is particularly useful in the design of microfluidic device employing dielectrophoresis for field flow fractionation.
In this study, we use the Lagrangian-Eulerian model, usually termed as Discrete Particle Model(DPM), and the Eulerian mixture model to numerically simulate the magnetophoresis-based separation of magnetic beads in a microfluidic system. The separation is based on High Gradient Magnetic Separation (HGMS) principle. A comparative assessment of both computational models was conducted. Mixture model provides a solution similar to that obtained using the DPM but with reduced computational time. However, the fidelity of mixture model can be attained only by the proper modeling of the slip velocity between the particle and the carrier fluid. For both of DPM and mixture approaches, the appropriate constitutive physics models for drag, lift, slip were resolved.