This paper presents the optimal design of electrode structure and microfluidics channel for effective particle separations. The purpose of the microfluidics chip is to generate the DEP (dielectrophoresis) force within the micro channel to separate both negative DEP (nDEP) and positive DEP (pDEP) particles of same sizes. The particles will experience DEP force when passing through the electric field created by electrode arrays located in different positions within the channel. The channel contains several electrode arrays where the pDEP particles are moved away from the electrodes and the nDEP particles are attracted towards them. In some existing microfluidics chips, because of the high intensity of the electric field around the electrodes, which results in a very high DEP force near the electrodes, most of the positive DEP particles are captured in the space between electrodes without being guided to the target outlet. Moreover, the effective area of DEP force is limited to a small region near the corner of the electrodes, therefore only those particles very close to the electrodes will experience sufficient attractive forces to be guided towards the target locations. This will decrease the efficiency of the particle separation. In this study, we developed an optimization methodology for design of electrode configurations using numerical modeling. The optimized electrode structure can provide much more evenly distributed DEP field. The design of the channel, the number and position of the electrode arrays were optimized in order to improve the efficiency of the particle separation. Finally, the optimized electrode structure and microfluidics channel were modeled and tested using multiphysics simulation software and the results show that this optimized design of microfluidics channel can provide high throughput and more effectiveness for particle separation compared to many existing microfluidics devices.

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