Independent and grouped 3D cell rotation in a microfluidic device for bioimaging applications

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Cell rotation reveals important information which facilitates identification and characterization of different cells. Markedly, achieving three dimensional (3D) rolling rotation of single cells within a larger group of cells is rare among existing cell rotation techniques. In this work we present a simple biochip which can be used to trap and rotate a single cell, or to rotate multiple cells relative to each other within a group of individual red blood cells (RBCs), which is crucial for imaging cells in 3D. To achieve single RBC trapping, we employ two parallel sidewall 3D electrodes to produce a dielectrophoretic force which traps cells inside the capturing chambers of the microfluidic device, where the hydrodynamic force then induces precise rotation of the cell inside the chamber. We have also demonstrated the possibility of using the developed biochip to preconcentrate and rotate RBC clusters in 3D. As our proposed cell trapping and rotation device reduces the intricacy of cell rotation, the developed technique may have important implications for high resolution 3D cell imaging in the investigation of complex cell dynamics and interactions in moving media.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112661
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Early online date28 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by funding under the Invest Northern Ireland - Connected Health Innovation Centre (CHIC) Competence Centre and the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) – the Eastern Corridor for Medical Engineering (ECME).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • 3D-rotation
  • Cell-imaging
  • Cell-trapping
  • Dielectrophoresis


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