Separation of submicron bioparticles by dielectrophoresis

Hywel Morgan, Michael P. Hughes, Nicolas G. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

487 Scopus citations


Submicron particles such as latex spheres and viruses can be manipulated and characterized using dielectrophoresis. By the use of appropriate microelectrode arrays, particles can be trapped or moved between regions of high or low electric fields. The magnitude and direction of the dielectrophoretic force on the particle depends on its dielectric properties, so that a heterogeneous mixture of particles can be separated to produce a more homogeneous population. In this paper the controlled separation of submicron bioparticles is demonstrated. With electrode arrays fabricated using direct write electron beam lithography, it is shown that different types of submicron latex spheres can be spatially separated. The separation occurs as a result of differences in magnitude and/or direction of the dielectrophoretic force on different populations of particles. These differences arise mainly because the surface properties of submicron particles dominate their dielectrophoretic behavior. It is also demonstrated that tobacco mosaic virus and herpes simplex virus can be manipulated and spatially separated in a microelectrode array.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)516-525
Number of pages10
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999


Dive into the research topics of 'Separation of submicron bioparticles by dielectrophoresis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this