Electrokinetically Enhanced Sampling and Detection of Bioparticles With Surface Based Biosensors

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Tomkins, Matthew R.
Biosensor , Electrothermal Flow , Raman Spectroscopy , Cantilever , Dielectrophoresis , Numerical Simulations , Microelectrode Design , AC Electrokinetics
Established techniques for the detection of pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, require long timeframes for culturing. State of the art biosensors rely on the diffusion of the target analyte to the sensor surface. AC electric fields can be exploited to enhance the sampling of pathogens and concentrate them at specific locations on the sensor surface, thus overcoming these bottlenecks. AC electrokinetic effects like the dielectrophoretic force and electrothermal flows apply forces on the particle and the bulk fluid, respectively. While dielectrophoresis forces pathogens towards a target location, electrothermal flows circulates the fluid, thus replenishing the local concentration. Numerical simulations and experimental proof of principle demonstrate how AC electrokinetics can be used to collect model bioparticles on an antibody functionalized selective surface from a heterogeneous solution having physiologically relevant conductivity. The presence of parallel channels in a quadrupolar microelectrode design is identified as detrimental during the negative dielectrophoretic collection of bioparticles at the centre of the design while simultaneously providing secondary concentration points. These microelectrodes were incorporated onto the surface of a novel cantilever design for the rapid positive dielectrophoretic collection of Escherichia coli bacteria and enabled the subsequent detection of the bacteria by measuring the shift in the resonance frequency of the cantilever. Finally, a proof of principle setup for a Raman coupled, AC electrokinetically enhanced sampling and detection of viruses is shown where the presence of M13 phages are identified on a selective antibody functionalized surface using Raman spectroscopy.
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