Springer

Insect cell-based impedance biosensors: a novel technique to monitor the toxicity of environmental pollutants

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Abstract

Cell biosensors are currently emerging as novel, sensitive techniques to monitor the toxicity of environmental pollutants. Here, we have developed electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) for on-line monitoring of the behavior of insect cells. Cells were cultured on a microarray of eight small gold electrodes, deposited on the bottom of tissue culture wells. Upon inoculation, cells showed a tendency to drift downward and attached to the gold surface precoated with the protein Concanavalin A to accelerate the cell attachment. The impedance increased because the cells acted as insulating particles to restrict the current flow. The resulting impedance, a coordination of many biological reactions within the cell, was continuously monitored in real-time to reveal information about cell spreading and micromotion. As the cell behavior was sensitive to external chemicals, the applicability of ECIS for inhibition assays was demonstrated with HgCl 2, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), 2-amino 4,6-dinitrotoluene (2-ADNT) and 1,3,5-trinitrobenzene (TNB).

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