Insulator-based dielectrophoresis of mitochondria

Jinghui Luo, Bahige G. Abdallah, Gregory G. Wolken, Edgar A. Arriaga, Alexandra Ros

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38 Scopus citations


Isolated mitochondria display a wide range of sizes plausibly resulting from the coexistence of subpopulations, some of which may be associated with disease or aging. Strategies to separate subpopulations are needed to study the importance of these organelles in cellular functions. Here, insulator-based dielectrophoresis (iDEP) was exploited to provide a new dimension of organelle separation. The dielectrophoretic properties of isolated Fischer 344 (F344) rat semimembranosus muscle mitochondria and C57BL/6 mouse hepatic mitochondria in low conductivity buffer (0.025-0.030 S/m) at physiological pH (7.2-7.4) were studied using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfluidic devices. First, direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) of 0-50 kHz with potentials of 0-3000V applied over a channel length of 1 cm were separately employed to generate inhomogeneous electric fields and establish that mitochondria exhibit negative DEP (nDEP). DEP trapping potential thresholds at 0-50 kHz were also determined to be weakly dependent on applied frequency and were generally above 200 V. Second, we demonstrated a separation scheme using DC potentials <100V to perform the first size-based iDEP sorting of mitochondria. Samples of isolated mitochondria with heterogeneous sizes (150 nm-2 lm diameters) were successfully separated into sub-micron fractions, indicating the ability to isolate mitochondria into populations based on their size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021801
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014

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