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Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 8;8(1):14942. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-33329-7.

Rapid and selective concentration of bacteria, viruses, and proteins using alternating current signal superimposition on two coplanar electrodes.

Author information

1
School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, 44919, Republic of Korea.
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, UNIST, Ulsan, 44919, Republic of Korea.
3
School of Materials Science and Engineering, UNIST, Ulsan, 44919, Republic of Korea.
4
School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Nuclear Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, 44919, Republic of Korea. jjang@unist.ac.kr.
5
Department of Biomedical Engineering, UNIST, Ulsan, 44919, Republic of Korea. jjang@unist.ac.kr.

Abstract

Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is usually effective close to the electrode surface. Several techniques have been developed to overcome its drawbacks and to enhance dielectrophoretic particle capture. Here we present a simple technique of superimposing alternating current DEP (high-frequency signals) and electroosmosis (EO; low-frequency signals) between two coplanar electrodes (gap: 25 μm) using a lab-made voltage adder for rapid and selective concentration of bacteria, viruses, and proteins, where we controlled the voltages and frequencies of DEP and EO separately. This signal superimposition technique enhanced bacterial capture (Escherichia coli K-12 against 1-μm-diameter polystyrene beads) more selectively (>99%) and rapidly (~30 s) at lower DEP (5 Vpp) and EO (1.2 Vpp) potentials than those used in the conventional DEP capture studies. Nanometer-sized MS2 viruses and troponin I antibody proteins were also concentrated using the superimposed signals, and significantly more MS2 and cTnI-Ab were captured using the superimposed signals than the DEP (10 Vpp) or EO (2 Vpp) signals alone (p < 0.035) between the two coplanar electrodes and at a short exposure time (1 min). This technique has several advantages, such as simplicity and low cost of electrode fabrication, rapid and large collection without electrolysis.

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