Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Minerick, Adrienne

Committee Member

Elmore, Bill

Committee Member

Singh, P. Jagdish

Committee Member

Walters, Keisha

Committee Member

Burgess, Shane

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering


Medical lab work, such as blood testing, will one day be near instantaneous and inexpensive via capabilities enabled by the fast growing world of microtechnology. In this research study, sorting and separation of different ABO blood types have been investigated by applying alternating and direct electric fields using class=SpellE>dielectrophoresis in microdevices. Poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) microdevices, fabricated by standard photolithography techniques have been used. Embedded perpendicular platinum (Pt) electrodes to generate forces in AC dielectrophoresis were used to successfully distinguish positive ABO blood types, with O+ distinguishable from other blood types at >95% confidence. This is an important foundation for exploring DC dielectrophoretic sorting of blood types. The expansion of red blood cell sorting employing direct current insulative class=SpellE>dielectrophoresis (DC-iDEP) is novel. Here Pt electrodes were remotely situated in the inlet and outlet ports of the microdevice and an insulating obstacle generates the required dielectrophoretic force. The presence of ABO antigens on the red blood cell were found to affect the class=SpellE>dielectrophoretic deflection around the insulating obstacle thus sorting cells by type. To optimize the placement of insulating obstacle in the microchannel, COMSOL Multiphysics® simulations were performed. Microdevice dimensions were optimized by evaluating the behaviors of fluorescent polystyrene particles of three different sizes roughly corresponding to the three main components of blood: platelets (2-4 µm), erythrocytes (6-8 µm) and leukocytes (10-15 µm). This work provided the operating conditions for successfully performing size dependent blood cell insulator based DC dielectrophoresis in PDMS microdevices. In subsequent studies, the optimized microdevice geometry was then used for continuous separation of erythrocytes. The class=SpellE>microdevice design enabled erythrocyte collection into specific channels based on the cell’s deflection from the high field density region of the obstacle. The channel with the highest concentration of cells is indicative of the ABO blood type of the sample. DC resistance measurement system for quantification of erythrocytes was developed with single PDMS class=SpellE>microchannel system to be integrated with the DC- class=SpellE>iDEP device developed in this research. This lab-on-a-chip technology application could be applied to emergency situations and naturalcalamities for accurate, fast, and portable blood typing with minimal error.