28 February 2011 Impedance microflow cytometry for viability studies of microorganisms
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Impedance-based Coulter counters and its derivatives are widely used cell analysis tools in many laboratories and use normally DC or low frequency AC to perform these electrical analyses. The emergence of micro-fabrication technologies in the last decade, however, provides a new means of measuring electrical properties of cells. Microfluidic approaches combined with impedance spectroscopy measurements in the radio frequency (RF) range increase sensitivity and information content and thus push single cell analyses beyond simple cell counting and sizing applications towards multiparametric cell characterization. Promising results have been shown already in the fields of cell differentiation and blood analysis. Here we emphasize the potential of this technology by presenting new data obtained from viability studies on microorganisms. Impedance measurements of several yeast and bacteria strains performed at frequencies around 10 MHz enable an easy discrimination between dead and viable cells. Moreover, cytotoxic effects of antibiotics and other reagents, as well as cell starvation can also be monitored easily. Control analyses performed with conventional flow cytometers using various fluorescent dyes (propidium iodide, oxonol) indicate a good correlation and further highlight the capability of this device. The label-free approach makes on the one hand the use of usually expensive fluorochromes obsolete, on the other hand practically eliminates laborious sample preparation procedures. Until now, online cell monitoring was limited to the determination of viable biomass, which provides rather poor information of a cell culture. Impedance microflow cytometry, besides other aspects, proposes a simple solution to these limitations and might become an important tool for bioprocess monitoring applications in the biotech industry.
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Marco Di Berardino, Marco Di Berardino, Monika Hebeisen, Monika Hebeisen, Thomas Hessler, Thomas Hessler, Adrian Ziswiler, Adrian Ziswiler, Stephanie Largiadèr, Stephanie Largiadèr, Grit Schade, Grit Schade, "Impedance microflow cytometry for viability studies of microorganisms", Proc. SPIE 7902, Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues IX, 790212 (28 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.883954; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.883954

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