Many intracellular bacteria and viruses cause host cell death by apoptosis. Antimicrobial agents that block host cell apoptosis are lead drug candidates. To facilitate this, one requires a real-time, automated detection method that monitors pathogen-induced apoptosis to screen for anti-apoptotic drugs. In the current work, we demonstrate that Electric Cell-Substrate Impedance Sensing is a powerful tool for real-time monitoring of pathogen induced cell death in a cell culture system. The impedance biosensor is sensitive enough to detect micro-motion of single cells on an electrode and measures changes in impedance over time. As cells adhere to and spread out across the electrodes, the impedance of the electrode increases relative to the amount of electrode area covered with adhered cells. As virus replicate inside the cells and induce apoptosis, the cell membranes begin to disintegrate and detach from the surface effectively restoring the flow of current resulting in decreased impedance. The method has proven to be remarkably accurate for measuring viral induced cell death in a time and dose dependent manner in both fish and human cell models. Results of the experiments and future applications of this method for antiviral drug discovery will be presented. Reference: Campbell, C.E., Motzfeldt-Laane, M., Haugarvoll, E., and Giaever, I., "Monitoring Viral Induced Cell Death using Electric Cell-Substrate Impedance Sensing." Biosensors and Bioelectronics: 23(4): 536-542 (2007).
- Copyright © 2013 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.