Using dielectrophoresis (DEP) effects in a non-uniform, non-constant electrical field.
NASA has developed a technology that uses nanostructure electrode arrays and non-constant electrical fields to sense the presence of a selected species particle. Sample preparation is one of the key functions in detection of biologically important organisms. It involves controlled separation, concentration, and/or manipulation of desired particles from a matrix of interferents. This new technology uses dielectrophoresis (DEP) effects in a non-uniform, non-constant electrical field, produced by an array of spaced-apart nanostructures (NSs) located on a substrate surface, to control particle separation. The object of the invention is to promote an accumulation/ concentration of the selected particles (e.g., biological species, such as E.Coli, salmonella, and anthrax , and non-biological materials, such as nano-and micro-particles, quantum dots, nanowires, nanotubes, and other inorganic particles) adjacent to the substrate. It also provides a sensor that detects presence of a selected species particle in the channel liquid or fluid.