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Impedance spectroscopy - an outstanding method for label-free and real-time discrimination between brain and tumor tissue in vivo

: Jahnke, Heinz-Georg; Heimann, Axel; Azendorf, Ronny; Mpoukouvalas, Konstantinos; Kempski, Oliver; Robitzki, Andrea A.; Charalampaki, Patra


Biosensors & bioelectronics 46 (2013), S.8-14
ISSN: 0956-5663
ISSN: 1873-4235
Fraunhofer ICT-IMM ()
impedance spectroscopy; microelectrode array; label-free detection; Glioblastoma multiforme; In vivo tumor detection

Until today, brain tumors especially glioblastoma are difficult to treat and therefore, results in a poor survival rate of 0–14% over five years. To overcome this problem, the development of novel therapeutics as well as optimization of neurosurgical procedures to remove the tumor tissue are subject of intensive research. The main problem of the tumor excision, as the primary clinical intervention is the diffuse infiltration of the tumor cells in unaltered brain tissue that complicates the complete removal of residual tumor cells. In this context, we are developing novel approaches for the label-free discrimination between tumor tissue and unaltered brain tissue in real-time during the surgical process. Using our impedance spectroscopy-based measurement system in combination with flexible microelectrode arrays we could successfully demonstrate the discrimination between a C6-glioma and unaltered brain tissue in an in vivo rat model. The analysis of the impedance spectra revealed specific impedance spectrum shape characteristics of physiologic neuronal tissue in the frequency range of 10–500 kHz that were significantly different from the tumor tissue. Moreover, we used an adapted equivalent circuit model to get a deeper understanding for the nature of the observed effects. The impedimetric label-free and real-time discrimination of tumor from unaltered brain tissue offers the possibility for the implementation in surgical instruments to support surgeons to decide, which tissue areas should be removed and which should be remained.