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Chip-based impedance measurement on single cells for monitoring sub-toxic effects on cell membranes

: Kurz, C.V.; Büth, H.; Sossalla, A.; Vermeersch, V.; Toncheva, V.; Dubruel, P.; Schacht, E.; Thielecke, H.


Biosensors & bioelectronics 26 (2011), No.8, pp.3405-3412
ISSN: 0956-5663
ISSN: 1873-4235
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

There is a lack of methods suitable for generation of data about the dynamics of effects on cell membranes with a high sensitivity. Such methods are urgently needed to support the optimisation of interaction of substances, particles or materials with cell. The goal of this article is to use an improved microhole chip system to monitor the alterations of cells due to the interactions of polymer-DNA complexes. This should demonstrate exemplarily that subtoxic effect of biological relevant particles or substances at relevant concentrations can be monitored for several hours. By using a microhole cell chip and a microfluidic unit single cells can be electrically interfaced via microholes and the use of small electrodes with high impedances is not necessary. For separation and positioning of the cells onto the hole negative pressure is applied on the reverse side of the chip. Under cell culture conditions the cell starts to spread on the biocompatible insulating chip membrane resulting in a stable interface to an adherent growing cell. After the spreading process is finished, the polymer/polyplex solution is added and the impedance is measured with respect to time. To illustrate the cellular parameter which can affect the measured impedance a simple simulation based on the finite element method (FEM) is performed. It was shown for the first time that the impedance-based method predicated on the microhole chip can be used for biological relevant substances at relevant concentrations and that it is more sensitive than the well-established biological marker.