A novel 96-well multielectrode array based impedimetric monitoring platform for comparative drug efficacy analysis on 2D and 3D brain tumor cultures
Aggressive cancer entities like neuroblastoma and glioblastoma multiforme are still difficult to treat and have discouraging prognosis in malignant stage. Since each tumor has its own characteristics concerning the sensitivity towards different chemotherapeutics and moreover, can obtain resistance, the development of novel chemotherapeutics with a broad activity spectrum, high efficacy and minimum side effects is a continuous process. Sophisticated in vitro assays for comprehensive prediction of in vivo drug efficacy and side effects represent an actual bottleneck in the drug development process. In this context, we developed a novel in vitro 2D and 3D multiwell–multielectrode device for drug efficacy monitoring based on direct real-time impedance spectroscopy measurement in combination with our unique 96-well multielectrode arrays and microcavity arrays. For demonstration, we used three neuro- and glioblastoma cell lines that were cultured as monolayer and multicellular tumor spheroids for recapitulating in vivo conditions. Using our novel 96-well multielectrode array based system it was possible to detect time and concentration dependent responses concerning treatment with doxorubicin, etoposide and vincristine. While all tested chemotherapeutics revealed high potency for apoptosis induction in neuroblastoma cells, etoposide was ineffective for glioblastoma cell lines. Determination of IC50 values allowed us to compare drug efficacy in 2D and 3D culture models and moreover, revealed chemotherapeutic and tumor cell line specific activity patterns. These pharmacokinetic patterns are of great interest in the context of preclinical drug development. Thus, impedance spectroscopy based monitoring systems could be used for the fast in vitro based in vivo prediction of novel anti-tumor drugs.
Quantitative impedimetric NPY-receptor activation monitoring and signal pathway profiling in living cells
Label-free and non-invasive monitoring of receptor activation and identification of the involved signal pathways in living cells is an ongoing analytic challenge and a great opportunity for biosensoric systems. In this context, we developed an impedance spectroscopy-based system for the activation monitoring of NPY-receptors in living cells. Using an optimized interdigital electrode array for sensitive detection of cellular alterations, we were able for the first time to quantitatively detect the NPY-receptor activation directly without a secondary or enhancer reaction like cAMP-stimulation by forskolin. More strikingly, we could show that the impedimetric based NPY-receptor activation monitoring is not restricted to the Y1-receptor but also possible for the Y2- and Y5-receptor. Furthermore, we could monitor the NPY-receptor activation in different cell lines that natively express NPY-receptors and proof the specificity of the observed impedimetric effect by agonist/antagonist studies in recombinant NPY-receptor expressing cell lines. To clarify the nature of the observed impedimetric effect we performed an equivalent circuit analysis as well as analyzed the role of cell morphology and receptor internalization. Finally, an antagonist based extensive molecular signal pathway analysis revealed small alterations of the actin cytoskeleton as well as the inhibition of at least L-type calcium channels as major reasons for the observed NPY-induced impedance increase. Taken together, our novel impedance spectroscopy based NPY-receptor activation monitoring system offers the opportunity to identify signal pathways as well as for novel versatile agonist/antagonist screening systems for identification of novel therapeutics in the field of obesity and cancer.
Visual differentiation of lower grade glioma tissue from normal brain tissue during surgery is difficult even for expert neurosurgeons. Therefore, during tumour removal neurosurgeons rely on image guidance. It has been proven that higher rates of tumour resection prolong long-term survival of patients. We aim to implement impedance spectroscopy as a potential supportive tool to improve radical resection. During this pilot study, we evaluated the possibility to differentiate ex vivo tissue samples (biopsy samples during tumour surgeries) with the help of impedance spectroscopy. Tissues were collected from two patients and impedance spectra differences were found between low-grade glioma, high-grade glioma and healthy brain tissue.
A biosensor capable of identifying low quantities of breast cancer cells by electrical impedance spectroscopy
Breast cancer (BC) is a malignant disease with a high prevalence worldwide. The main cause of death is not the primary tumor, but instead the spread of tumor cells to distant sites. The aim of the present study was to examine a new method for the detection of cancer cells in aqueous medium using bioimpedance spectroscopy assisted with magnetic nanoparticles (MNP’s) exposure to a constant magnetic field. The spectroscopic patterns were identified for three breast cancer cell lines. Each BC cell line represents a different pathologic stage: the early stage (MCF-7), invasive phase (MDA-MB-231) and metastasis (SK-BR-3). For this purpose, bioimpedance measurements were carried out at a certain frequency range with the aid of nanoprobes, consisting of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) coupled to a monoclonal antibody. The antibody was specific for the predominant cell surface protein for each cell line, which was identified by using RT-qPCR and flow cytometry. Accordingly, EpCAM corresponds to MCF-7, MUC-1 to MDA-MB-231, and HER-2 to SK-BR-3. Despite their low concentrations, BC cells could be detected by impedance spectroscopy. Hence, this methodology should permit the monitoring of circulating tumor cells (CTC) and therefore help to prevent recurrences and metastatic processes during BC treatment.
Electrochemical live monitoring of tumor cell migration out of micro-tumors on an innovative multiwell high-dense microelectrode array
Understanding of cell migration and spreading out of tumor tissue is of great interest concerning the mechanism and causes of tumor malignancy and metastases. Although there are methods available for studying cell migration on monolayer cell cultures like transwell assays, novel techniques for monitoring cell spreading out of 3D organoids or tumor tissue samples are highly required. In this context, we developed an innovative high-dense microelectrode array for impedimetric monitoring of cell migration from 3D tumor cultures. For a proof of concept, a strongly migrating breast cancer cell line (MDA-MB-231) and two malignant melanoma cell lines (T30.6.9, T12.8.10ZII) were used for generating viable micro-tumor models. The migration propensity was determined by impedimetric monitoring over 144 hours, correlated by microscopy and validated by transwell assays. The impedimetric analysis of covered electrodes and the relative impedance maximum values revealed extended information regarding the contribution of proliferative effects. More strikingly, using reference populations of mitomycin C treated spheroids where proliferation was suppressed, distinction of proliferation and migration was possible. Therefore, our high-dense microelectrode array based impedimetric migration monitoring has the capability for an automated quantitative analysis system that can be easily scaled up as well as integrated in lab on chip devices.