About Us

DEPtech was formed about 13 years ago, with DEParator about 3. DEPtech has now been consolidated into DEParator Ltd., but both still retain their respective foci of the 3DEP and the DEParator respectively

The two companies focus on the sale of equipment for the analysis of the electrophysiology of cells and other nano particles. Units have been sold all over the world to Universities and companies with applications ranging from the properties of micro particles to the identification of emergent stem cell type from pluripotent ones.

We have three Directors all actively engaged in dielectrophoresis, and in recent times have been working with various agencies to provide means for the early detection of different types of cancer.


Kai Hoettges has a degree in chemical engineering (Hochschule Fresenius, Idstein, Germany) and has studied for his PhD in microfluidic devices at the University of Surrey. After his PhD he has worked at the medical engineering group at the University of Surrey and has developed technologies for characterisation, separation and assembly of cells and nanoparticles using dielectrophoresis (DEP) and AC electro hydrodynamics.
He has further interests in lab on a chip, miniaturised bioreactors and laboratory automation.
He is co-founder of DEPtech, a spin-off company that has commercialised cell characterisation technology for life science and diagnostic applications based on his work at Surrey.
Since Dec 2014 he is a Lecturer at the university of Liverpool, pursuing his research on DEP and bioreactors.

Michael Pycraft Hughes is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Surrey, and co-inventor of the technology underpinning the 3DEP and Deparator.  He has led research into Dielectrophoresis for nearly 30 years, producing 2 books, 5 patents and over 80 sceintific papers.  His expertise covers DEP technology for the analysis, separation and concentration of cells, bacteria and viruses; fundamentals of cellular biophysics; novel approaches to cellular diagnostics; and application of DEP on the nanoscale.  He was appointed Lecturer at Surrey in 1999, having obtained his MEng and PhD degrees from the University College of North Wales at Bangor, and has held positions at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and University of California at Irvine. 


Steve Marriott is Managing Director of both DEPtech Ltd and DEParator Ltd. He has a degree in Physics from the University of Durham and an MBA from the Open University. He has held various roles in Industry, for the the last 20 years these has been with companies in the Scientific Equipment Industry.


Contract Research

We can offer contract research using dielectrophoresis. We have over 30 years experience in the design and use of this phenonomon, and we can work with either 2D or 3D systems such as the 3DEP or DEParator.

We can also offer application support around our products if you need a fast track way to get your experiments working.


“The lab of Nathan S. Swami at the University of Virginia, which is focused on the device, circuit and signal processing hierarchies for the electrokinetic characterization and microfluidic manipulation of biosystems, uses the 3DEP reader to acquire preliminary dielectrophoretic spectra on stem cells and infectious microbials for subsequent application towards their separation. More details are available within recent publications ( Anal Chem (2014), 86, 10855–10863; Lab Chip (2014), 14, 4183 – 4187; and Analyst (2014) 139, 66-73 ) “

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