- The 3DEP is a cell analysis system that analyses several thousand cells simultaneously and produces an output that allows their electrical properties to be determined. It comprises a disposable chip into which the cells are inserted for analysis, and a reader into which the loaded chips are placed. This revolutionary device then uses a phenomenon called dielectrophoresis (abbreviated DEP) to analyse up to 20,000 cells in 10 seconds.
- The 3DEP is the first instrument to market, capable of measuring the electrical properties of populations of cells.
- In order to analyse cells, the 3DEP uses a patented chip containing 20 “wells”, each carrying a number of electrodes down the inside wall. The electrodes in each well receive a specific frequency signal, allowing 20 frequencies (user-selectable, between 1kHz and 45MHz) to be analysed simultaneously. When the frequencies are applied to the wells, the cells inside the well move due to dielectrophoresis. If they experience “positive DEP” (that is, they are attracted to the electrodes) the cells move from the centre of the well towards the edge; if repelled from the electrodes they move towards the centre of the well. With a new cell type there is always scope for optimising the exposure time to produce the best fit (highest R) but we have found that in most cases, a 10 second exposure produces highly satisfactory results.
- Watch the video below for more information