Electrical impedance measurements predict cellular transformation

Document Type


Publication Date



Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Cellular transformation is the first step in cancer development. Two features of cellular transformation are proliferation in reduced serum and loss of contact inhibition. Electronic Cell-Substrate Impedance Sensing (ECIS) measurements have been used to measure cellular proliferation, cytotoxicity, apoptosis, and attachment. We have used impedance measurements to distinguish normal cells from cells transformed with a constitutively active chemokine receptor, CXCR2. CXCR2, a member of the G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) family, is normally involved in cellular activation and migration, but a single amino acid substitution leads to constitutive activity. NIH3T3 cells were transformed with a constitutively active CXCR2 (D143V_CXCR2) and growth in reduced serum and foci formation were measured using established biological assays and compared to data from ECIS. The results of this study show that impedance measurements provide a quick and reliable way of measuring cellular transformation and provide real time assessment of transformed cellular parameters. Use of the ECIS system could allow a rapid screening of anti-cancer drugs that alter cellular transformation.

Publisher's Statement

© 2009 International Federation for Cell Biology. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cellbi.2009.01.013

Publication Title

Cell Biology International