Electrokinetic separation of cfDNA in insulator-based dielectrophoresis systems: a linear model of cfDNA and investigation of effective parameters

doi: 10.1088/1361-648X/ac6476.


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Azita Abdollahi et al.

J Phys Condens Matter.



In this study, a comprehensive numerical simulation was done to investigate the electrokinetic translocation of cfDNA molecule as well as the possibility of its detection and separation in insulator based dielectrophoresis (iDEP) systems. Modeling was done for the first time by solving the Poisson equation for the electrical potential, Naiver-Stokes (NS) equation for the fluid flow and energy equation for the heat transfer in the system and considering a coarse-grained bead-spring model to describe the conformational and geometrical changes of cfDNA molecule. The effect of the geometrical parameters of the system, the initial orientation of the molecule, electrical conductivity of the solution and zeta potential of the wall was investigated on the translocation and the minimum voltage required for cfDNA trapping. When the ratio of the inlet height to the constriction zone height is large enough, cfDNA molecules cannot pass through the nanopore and trap in the constriction zone. Also, it was found that the electrical conductivity of the solution is a limiting parameter to directly isolate cfDNA from pure plasma without dilution due to significant increase in the temperature of the system. Our results demonstrate the enormous potential of iDEP systems for rapid detection of cfDNA from diluted plasma under special electrical potential and geometrical parameters of the iDEP systems.


cell free DNA; dielectrophoresis; iDEP; separation.

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