Bacterial Concentration, Separation and Analysis by Dielectrophoresis

  • Michael Pycraft Hughes
  • Kai Friedrich Hoettges


It has been known for millennia that electrostatic forces can be used to manipulate particles; recently developed techniques give sufficient sensitivity, selectivity and precision for the selective trapping and manipulation of bacteria. These forces are all defined from the attraction of charge in an electric field, but exploit it in different ways to achieve different ends. Such phenomena include electrophoresis, the electrostatic attraction of particles; dielectrophoresis, the force generated by the interaction of a particle with a non-uniform, time-variant electric field; and electro-osmosis, where micro-flows are induced in fluid by non-uniform field effects. These phenomena have demonstrated a number of benefits for bacterial study, including particle filtration, preconcentration and identification. These phenomena have much to offer for the field of bacterial detection and analysis. By treating the bacterial cell as an electronic object and hence considering its electrical properties, it is possible to gain important insights into the electrophysiology of the cell. Furthermore, differences in electrophysiology can be exploited to allow the separation or concentration of bacteria prior to analysis. As these technologies all rely on similar devices, they can be integrated into a single lab on a chip device, with many potential benefits including portability and disposability in addition to the ability to detect particles at lower concentrations than ever before.


Biological Weapon Dielectrophoretic Force Electrode Edge Inhomogeneous Electric Field Induce Polarization Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Pycraft Hughes
    • 1
  • Kai Friedrich Hoettges
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of SurreyGuildfordUK

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