Determining Particle Size and Position in a Coplanar Electrode Setup Using Measured Opacity for Microfluidic Cytometry

Douwe S. de Bruijn, Koen F.A. Jorissen, Wouter Olthuis, Albert van den Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
99 Downloads (Pure)


Microfluidic impedance flow cytometers enable high-throughput, non-invasive, and label-free detection of single-cells. Cytometers with coplanar electrodes are easy and cheap to fabricate, but are sensitive to positional differences of passing particles, owing to the inhomogeneous electric field. We present a novel particle height compensation method, which employs the dependence of measured electrical opacity on particle height. The measured electrical opacity correlates with the particle height as a result of the constant electrical double layer series capacitance of the electrodes. As an alternative to existing compensation methods, we use only two coplanar electrodes and multi-frequency analysis to determine the particle size of a mixture of 5, 6, and 7 µm polystyrene beads with an accuracy (CV) of 5.8%, 4.0%, and 2.9%, respectively. Additionally, we can predict the bead height with an accuracy of 1.5 µm (8% of channel height) using the measured opacity and we demonstrate its application in flow cytometry with yeast. The use of only two electrodes is of special interest for simplified, easy-to-use chips with a minimum amount of instrumentation and of limited size.
Original languageEnglish
Article number353
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2021


  • Coplanar electrodes
  • Electrical opacity
  • Impedance cytometry
  • Microfluidics
  • Particle tracking
  • Positional dependence


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