Oriented and vectorial patterning of cardiac myocytes using a microfluidic dielectrophoresis chip - Towards engineered cardiac tissue with controlled macroscopic anisotropy

Mo Yang, Chee Chew Lim, Ronglih Liao, Xin Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, the ability to create engineered heart tissues with a preferential cell orientation has gained much interest. Here, we present a novel method to construct a cardiac myocyte tissue-like structure using a combination of dielectrophoresis and electro-orientation via a microfluidic chip. The device includes a top home-made silicone chamber containing microfluidic channels and bottom integrated microelectrodes which are patterned on a glass slide to generate dielectrophoresis force and orientation torque. Using the interdigitated-castellated microelectrodes, the induction of a mutually attractive dielectrophoretic force between cardiac myocytes can lead to cells moving close to each other and forming a tissue-like structure with orientation along the alternating current (ac) electric field between the microelectrode gaps. Both experiments and analysis indicate that a large orientation torque and force can be achieved by choosing an optimal frequency around 2 MHz and decreasing the conductivity of medium to a relatively low level. Finally, electromechanical experiments and biopolar impedance measurements were performed to demonstrate the structural and functional anisotropy of electro-oriented structure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1483-1491
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microelectromechanical Systems
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006


  • Anisotropy
  • Cardiac myocytes
  • Dielectrophoresis (DEP)
  • Electro-orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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