This study presents the dielectrophoretic (DEP) assembly of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) between curved microelectrodes for the purpose of trapping polystyrene microparticles within a microfluidic system. Under normal conditions, polystyrene particles exhibit negative DEP behaviour and are repelled from microelectrodes. Interestingly, the addition of MWCNTs to the system alters this situation in two ways: first, they coat the surface of particles and change their dielectric properties to exhibit positive DEP behaviour; second, the assembled MWCNTs are highly conductive and after the deposition serve as extensions to the microelectrodes. They establish an array of nanoelectrodes that initiates from the edge of microelectrodes and grow along the electric field lines. These nanoelectrodes can effectively trap the MWCNT-coated particles, since they cover a large portion of the microchannel bottom surface and also create a much stronger electric field than the primary microelectrodes as confirmed by our numerical simulations. We will show that the presence of MWCNT significantly changes performance of the system, which is investigated by trapping sample polystyrene particles with plain, COOH and goat anti-mouse IgG surfaces.
Field of Research
091306 Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)
Socio Economic Objective
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences