Author(s): Rupert S W Thomas, Peter D Mitchell, Richard O C Oreffo, Hywel Morgan
We describe a system for the isolation, concentration, separation, and recovery of human osteoblast-like cells from a heterogeneous population using dielectrophoretic ring traps. Cells flowing in a microfluidic channel are immobilized inside an electric field cage using negative dielectrophoresis. A planar ring electrode creates a closed trap while repelling surrounding cells. Target cells are identified by fluorescent labeling, and are trapped as they pass across a ring electrode by an automated system. We demonstrate recovery of small populations of human osteoblast-like cells with a purity of 100%, which in turn demonstrates the potential of such a device for cell selection from a heterogeneous population.