Microscale nonlinear electrokinetics for the analysis of cellular materials in clinical applications: a review

Mikrochim Acta. 2021 Mar 2;188(3):104. doi: 10.1007/s00604-021-04748-7.


This review article presents a discussion of some of the latest advancements in the field of microscale electrokinetics for the analysis of cells and subcellular materials in clinical applications. The introduction presents an overview on the use of electric fields, i.e., electrokinetics, in microfluidics devices and discusses the potential of electrokinetic-based methods for the analysis of liquid biopsies in clinical and point-of-care applications. This is followed by four comprehensive sections that present some of the newest findings on the analysis of circulating tumor cells, blood (red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets), stem cells, and subcellular particles (extracellular vesicles and mitochondria). The valuable contributions discussed here (with 131 references) were mainly published during the last 3 to 4 years, providing the reader with an overview of the state-of-the-art in the use of microscale electrokinetic methods in clinical analysis. Finally, the conclusions summarize the main advancements and discuss the future prospects.

Keywords: Cell analysis; Clinical applications; Dielectrophoresis; Microfluidics; Nonlinear electrokinetics; Subcellular analysis;.

Publication types

  • Review