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Bioprocess Coupling

The advancing bioprocess miniaturization and parallelization also calls for an update of the principles and methods for the bioprocess characterization. In addition to optical measurements (e.g. by detecting fluorescence signals) and electrical measurements (e.g. electrical impedance spectroscopy), it is often necessary to analyze samples taken from miniature bioreactors. 

One way of sampling cells is by applying the force of negative electrophoresis (nDEP) to retain cells (Figure 3). In this arrangement, a special microchip generates the necessary electrical field gradient for the dielectrophoresis and also controls the flow for the manipulation of samples in the µl-range.

Effect of electrical fields on cells (Hybridoma)
Effect of electrical fields on cells (S. cerevisiae)

Effect of electrical fields on cells: Hybridoma (left) and S. cerevisiae (right)

The above images demonstrate further possibilities to manipulate cells using the dielectrophoretic method. The method can also be used to prevent cells from sticking to surfaces, e.g. to sensors (on the left) or to trap cells in dielectrical field cages (DFCs, on the right).

Our Current Work:

  • The generation, transport and manipulation of fluidic samples from bioreactors in the nano and micro liter ranges by means of negative dielectrophoresis (nDEP)
  • The utilization of microsystems technologies for the creation of miniaturized biosystems for culturing cells and microorganisms
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