Label-free tumor cell detection and differentiation based on electrical impedance spectroscopy

Rajapaksha W.R.L. Gajasinghe, Onur Tigli, Michelle Jones, Tan Ince

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


This paper presents a Lab-on-a-Chip (LoC) type MEMS scale non-invasive biosensor for detecting and differentiating tumor cells at single cell level based on their electrical properties. Presented device requires no cell labelling, cell stressing, cell immobilization or device functionalization. Device is composed of a microfluidic channel etched in silicon with semi-parallel micro-electrodes fabricated on channel sidewalls. Cells were detected by the impedance increase produced when they move along the channel and differentiated by analyzing impedance data at two frequencies. Device was tested with four human tumor cell lines and latex beads. Cells from all tested cell lines and latex beads were successfully detected and differentiation was demonstrated. Opacity was calculated to be 0.815, 0.201, 0.615, 0.275 and 0.1 for latex beads, MDA-MB-231 cells, MCF-7 cells, SK-OV-3 cells and ES-2 cells respectively. Thus, presented device possesses potential not only to detect, but also to differentiate circulating tumor cells in blood for diagnostic and research procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE Sensors, SENSORS 2016 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479982875
StatePublished - Jan 5 2017
Event15th IEEE Sensors Conference, SENSORS 2016 - Orlando, United States
Duration: Oct 30 2016Nov 2 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of IEEE Sensors
ISSN (Print)1930-0395
ISSN (Electronic)2168-9229


Other15th IEEE Sensors Conference, SENSORS 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • EIS
  • ES-2
  • MCF-7
  • MDA-MB-231
  • SK-OV-2
  • biosensors
  • circulating tumor cells
  • single cell analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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