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DEPtech 3DEP Reader

A Dielectrophoresis Cell Anaylsis System

The 3DEP system

uses a patented chip design which is low cost, simple to use and allows the analysis of thousands of cells simultaneously.


Low cost disposable chips suitable for a large range of cell types from large myocytes to bacteria.


Applications include cancer diagnostics, monitoring apoptosis, stem-cell differentiation, drug discovery, in-vitro toxicology and many more.


DEP-Well Separators are electrically-enabled, perforated sheets of electrode laminate. The perforations allow a suspension of particles to flow through the sheet, similar to the function of filter paper. However, unlike filter paper, particles are separated by different electrical properties and not size. This allows for the separation of particles of similar size and surface properties, but with different internal properties.

Within the laminate, the high field gradient generated by the electrodes at the wall attracts one type of particle and retains it. Other particles are repelled by the field gradient and are focused into the centre of the electrode channel and continue to flow through the well. After a collection period, the medium can be switched to a recovery medium by a switching off the field or a change in the field-frequency. The particles that were initially trapped are released into the recovery medium and can be collected. This regenerates the filter for re-use.

DEP-Well technology has a number of applications and can perform operations that are not possible with conventional filters.

  • A dielectrophoretic filter can separate particles based on their different dielectric properties. DEP-Well technology can be used in biotech applications to separate mixtures of cells or bacteria that have similar sizes and cannot be separated by conventional filters.
  • Examples include separation of live and dead cells.
  • DEP-Well technology enables a defined type of particle to be efficiently separated out of a mixture of particles and separated into a new batch of increased purity and concentration. This capability has numerous clinical applications, for example, in the separation of cancer cells from blood or other biological fluids.
  • Since particles are only trapped by the electric field, DEP-Well filters can be easily regenerated by switching the field off. This offers scope for replacing approaches relying upon conventional disposable filters, thereby reducing cost and waste management issues for operators.
  • Several DEP-Well filters in series allow a number of separations. Such a stack of filters allows the separation of highly heterogeneous particle mixtures into their individual particle components by sequential particle trapping and particle release phase actions.
  • The DEP-Well laminate enables filter fabrication at scales of size and throughput that are comparable to industrial scale filtration systems.