Date of Award


Document Type



Electrical and Computer Engineering


Biological cell function and overall health are highly defined by the cell’s morphology. Sorting cells based on their shape is recently a major interest to the biomedical field for the future of medical treatments and health diagnostics. This work presents a new shape-based particle sorting technique using a novel microwave sensing system as a step toward biological cell sorting. The new sensing system consists of a grounded coplanar waveguide (GCPW) transmission line that simultaneously serves as a single-particle microfluidic channel and a microwave sensor, which is paired with a microwave interferometer to boost signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Polystyrene microspheres, a common organic polymer, are differentiated into different aspect ratios (ARs) using a custom stretching technique to simulate non-spherical biological cells, ideal for isolating volume-effects on the microwave signal due to the low coefficient of variation (CV < 2%) of particle size. Although some microwave measurement data suggests the signal is dependent on microparticle shape, more data points and a machine learning algorithm is needed. The GCPW sensor demonstrates a previously-unattainable level of sensitivity. An early investigation into the effects of orientation of elongated particles on the microwave signal is also explored, as well as the design of an improved GCPW sensor.