An electrical method to measure low-frequency collective and synchronized cell activity using extracellular electrodes

Maria C R Medeiros, Ana Mestre, Pedro Inácio, Sanaz Asgarif, Inês M. Araújo, Peter C. Hubbard, Zélia Velez, M. Leonor Cancela, Paulo R F Rocha, Dago M. de Leeuw, Fabio Biscarini, Henrique L. Gomes

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Abstract

An electrical method to measure extracellular bioelectrical activity in vitro is presented. This method exploits the Helmholtz capacitive double-layer established at the electrode surface. Small extracellular voltage variations in the order of μVs induce through the double-layer capacitor a displacement current that is measured. This current is then enhanced by a gain factor proportional to the electrode capacitance. In addition, when measurements are carried out at low frequencies in current mode the electrode contribution to the noise can be minimized. The performance of the electrodes and the method is demonstrated using zebrafish hearts and glioma cell cultures. We propose that this electrical method is an ideal tool to measure in vitro slow and temporally synchronized events that are often involved in long range intracellular signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalSensing and Bio-Sensing Research
Volume10
Early online date29 Jun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

Keywords

  • Bioelectrical signals
  • Displacement current
  • Electrical double-layer
  • Extracellular electrodes
  • Intercellular signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biotechnology
  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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  • Cite this

    Medeiros, M. C. R., Mestre, A., Inácio, P., Asgarif, S., Araújo, I. M., Hubbard, P. C., Velez, Z., Cancela, M. L., Rocha, P. R. F., de Leeuw, D. M., Biscarini, F., & Gomes, H. L. (2016). An electrical method to measure low-frequency collective and synchronized cell activity using extracellular electrodes. Sensing and Bio-Sensing Research, 10, 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbsr.2016.06.002