Modeling the trajectory of microparticles subjected to dielectrophoresis in a microfluidic device for field flow fractionation

Bobby Mathew, Anas Alazzam, Mohammad Abutayeh, Amjad Gawanmeh, Saud Khashan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


This article details the development of an experimentally validated model for tracking the movement of microparticles in a continuous flow microfluidic device employing dielectrophoresis for purposes of field-flow fractionation. This device employs interdigitated transducer electrodes on the bottom surface of the microchannel. The electric potential inside the microchannel is defined by Laplace equation while the trajectory of the microparticles is described by governing equations based on Newton's second law. Forces due to inertia, gravity, buoyancy, dielectrophoresis and virtual mass are accounted for in this model. The governing equations are solved using finite difference method. The model is subsequently used for parametric study; the parameters analyzed include microparticle radius, applied voltage, volumetric flow rate, microchannel height and electrode/gap length. As per the model the levitation height, under steady state conditions, of the microparticles is independent of the microparticle radius, volumetric flow rate and microchannel height, it is dependent on the applied voltage and electrode/gap length. The levitation height, under transient conditions, is dependent on all these parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-280
Number of pages15
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Publication statusPublished - Dec 22 2015


  • Dielectrophoresis (DEP)
  • Field flow fractionation (FFF)
  • Interdigitated transducer electrodes
  • Microchannel
  • Microparticles
  • Trajectory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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