Characterization of sequentially-staged cancer cells using electrorotation

Autoři: Claudia I. Trainito aff001;  Daniel C. Sweeney aff002;  Jaka Čemažar aff002;  Eva M. Schmelz aff003;  Olivier Français aff001;  Bruno Le Pioufle aff001;  Rafael V. Davalos aff002
Působiště autorů: CNRS SATIE Institut d’Alembert ENS Paris Saclay, France aff001;  Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, United States of America aff002;  Department of Human Nutrition, Food, and Exercise, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, United States of America aff003;  ESIEE-Paris, ESYCOM (FRE 2028), UPE, Noisy-Le-Grand, France aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(9)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0222289


The identification and separation of cells from heterogeneous populations is critical to the diagnosis of diseases. Label-free methodologies in particular have been developed to manipulate individual cells using properties such as density and morphology. The electrical properties of malignant cells, including the membrane capacitance and cytoplasmic conductivity, have been demonstrated to be altered compared to non-malignant cells of similar origin. Here, we exploit these changes to characterize individual cells in a sequentially-staged in vitro cancer model using electrorotation (EROT)—the rotation of a cell induced by a rotating electric field. Using a microfabricated device, a dielectrophoretic force to suspend cells while measuring their angular velocity resulting from an EROT force applied at frequencies between 3 kHz to 10 MHz. We experimentally determine the EROT response for cells at three stages of malignancy and analyze the resultant spectra by considering models that include the effect of the cell membrane alone (single-shell model) and the combined effect of the cell membrane and nucleus (double-shell model). We find that the cell membrane is largely responsible for a given cell’s EROT response between 3 kHz and 10 MHz. Our results also indicate that membrane capacitance, membrane conductance, and cytoplasmic conductivity increase with an increasingly malignant phenotype. Our results demonstrate the potential of using electrorotation as a means making of non-invasive measurements to characterize the dielectric properties of cancer cells.

Klíčová slova:

Biology and life sciences – Cell biology – Cellular structures and organelles – Cell membranes – Cytoplasm – Physical sciences – Physics – Electricity – Electric field – Electric conductivity – Materials science – Material properties – Capacitance – Materials – Insulators – Dielectrics – Research and analysis methods – Bioassays and physiological analysis – Electrophysiological techniques – Membrane electrophysiology – Medicine and health sciences – Diagnostic medicine – Cancer detection and diagnosis – Oncology


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