A novel rod mixer, using a micro-scale flow structure induced with electrokinetics under an AC electric field, is proposed for three-dimensional micro-scale processing of biological applications. Flow structures around the micro-rod mixer are demonstrated using the micro-particle image velocimetry method and the particle-tracking velocimetry method. Characteristics of the flow structure and mixing property are investigated for several electric field intensities and frequencies. It is observed that the micro-mixing flow structures induced with an AC electric field at the appropriate intensity and frequency conditions which are intermediate conditions between a dielectrophoresis and an electrolysis. A source-type three-dimensional flow structure is generated around the tip of the micro-rod electrode installed in the sample liquid. Furthermore it is possible to control the scale of the flow structure by adjusting the supplied AC electric field intensity and frequency. The mixing characteristics are also discussed.

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