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Impedance Spectroscopy for characterization and counting

Information, such as cell size, type discrimination and other quantitative characteristic information can be measured for biological systems using impedance spectroscopy. Our electrical impedance spectroscopy platform (or EISP) offers the advantage of acquiring this information from cells, or particles such as beads, without the need to label them, as would be needed for characterization using tools such as fluorescence microscopy.

Impedance spectroscopy cell

A standard cell can be considered as a membrane enclosing cytoplasm, which contains the nucleus of the cell as well as other subcellular components. All these different parts of the cell have different dielectric properties. For example, the cell membrane is generally not conductive, since it consists of a phospholipid bilayer with various channels formed by large proteins. In contrast, the cytoplasm of the cell typically contains a high concentration of ions, which makes it very conductive. As a result, an electrical equivalent circuit model of the cell can be created.

This model can be used to represent the various components. A capacitor and resistor in parallel can mimic the membrane and a single resistor the cytoplasm. Finally, the surrounding environment can include a capacitance and resistance in parallel. When using impedance spectroscopy, the frequency response of the cell can be measured and fit to this circuit model. This allows quantitative values, related to the different properties of the cell to be extracted, such as membrane thickness and cytoplasm conductivity. This information can even enable different cell types to be distinguished.

Electrical-Impedance-imposition-schema

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