Dielectrophoresis, the induced motion of polarisable particles in non-homogenous electric field, has been proven as a versatile mechanism to transport, immobilise, sort and characterise micro/nano scale particle in microfluidic platforms. The performance of dielectrophoretic (DEP) systems depend on two parameters: the configuration of microelectrodes designed to produce the DEP force and the operating strategies devised to employ this force in such processes. This work summarises the unique features of curved microelectrodes for the DEP manipulation of target particles in microfluidic systems. The curved microelectrodes demonstrate exceptional capabilities including (i) creating strong electric fields over a large portion of their structure, (ii) minimising electro-thermal vortices and undesired disturbances at their tips, (iii) covering the entire width of the microchannel influencing all passing particles, and (iv) providing a large trapping area at their entrance region, as evidenced by extensive numerical and experimental analyses. These microelectrodes have been successfully applied for a variety of engineering and biomedical applications including (i) sorting and trapping model polystyrene particles based on their dimensions, (ii) patterning carbon nanotubes to trap low-conductive particles, (iii) sorting live and dead cells based on their dielectric properties, (iv) real-time analysis of drug-induced cell death, and (v) interfacing tumour cells with environmental scanning electron microscopy to study their morphological properties. The DEP systems based on curved microelectrodes have a great potential to be integrated with the future lab-on-achip systems.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.