A microchip interdigitated electrode with a sequential signal generator has been developed for traveling wave dielectrophoresis (twDEP) of biological cell suspensions. The electrode was fabricated on a microscope glass slide and coated with a 0.5 μm thickness of gold through a sputtering technique which was designed for large-scale inductions of cells rather than for individual cells as in previous versions of our device. As designed for a representative cell size of 10 μm, the electrode array was 50 μm in width to allow large numbers (>106) of cells to be processed. The sequential signal generator produces an arbitrary AC quadrature-phase to generate traveling electric field for a microchip interdigitated electrode. Each phase signal can be automatically altered and alternated with the other phases within interval time of 0.01-30 seconds (controlled by programming). We demonstrate the system could be used to estimate the dielectric properties of the yeast Saccharomyces cerivisiae TISTR 5088, the green alga Tetraselmis sp. and human red blood cells (HRBCs) through curve-fitting of dielectro- phoretic velocities and critical frequencies.
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