Bioelectrical impedimetric sensor for single cell analysis based on nanoroughened quartz substrate; suitable for cancer therapeutic purposes

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Abstract

Single cells analysis has been interested in recent decade. Apart from scientific benefits to achieve new biological phenomena in cell study, many diagnostic and therapeutic protocols in non-communicable diseases were introduced by single cell analysis. Moreover, non-invasive methods to maintain the investigated cell for time dependent monitoring has been widely studied because of its importance in some crucial cases such as drug resistance in cancer. Bioelectrical monitoring is one of such methods Although the procedures reported based on electrical probing might not induce cell disruption, indirect connection between recording electrodes and cell membrane (mostly in microfluidic approaches) reduced the quality of response and limited the precision of the results. Here, a bioelectronic sensor for monitoring the effect of anticancer drugs on single breast cancer cells was fabricated based on nano-roughened gold electrodes on a quartz substrate applied direct contacts to cell membrane. Whole of the surface except a microcircle surrounded the sensing region was passivated by overbaked photoresist layer. Cells were dropped on the sensor without the assistance of any micropipette or microfluidic systems and just individual regions for attachment of one cell has been opened on the sensing region arrays. MCF-7 cancer cells were time tracked under the effect of Paclitaxel and Mebendazole anti-tubulin drugs in low and high doses. Inducing non regulated depolymerization and polymerization in tubulin structures of the single cancer cells were monitored by the electrical signals recorded before and after drug treatment. Electrical responses of single cells to their incubation with drugs completely reflected their vitality and biological states which were confirmed by confocal imaging. This is one of the first investigation on bioelectrical monitoring of single cell’s resistance to anticancer drugs.

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