Single cell opto-electro-mechanical probing: A feasibility study

A. V. Desai, M. A. Haque, W. J. Scheuchenzuber

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Mechanical, electrical and chemical signals from the environment direct influence the physiological activities and health of a cell. While the existing trend is to study these signals separately in their respective domains, they are actually inherently coupled. Here we explore the feasibility and merits of a new instrument that can measure, for the first time, externally applied (or internally generated) forces and electrical impedance of a single cell in real time. The pico-Newton resolution micro-instrument (1 mm × 1mm in size) will be readily compatible with conventional optical/fluorescence techniques for opto-electro-mechanical probing. Force sensing operation is unaffected by the electrical and chemical nature of cell environment and the bio-impedance measurement scheme can automatically compensate for any non-cell specific sources of error. Studies on the effects of mechanical, electrical and chemical signals with real-time opto-electro-mechanical cell characterization will impact diagnosis and cure for various diseases of the heart, skin, intestines, nerves, oncology, bones, lung - to name a few. Long-term contributions would be novel lab-on-a-chip type diagnostic/therapeutic/drug discovery tools to monitor the bio-impedance of a single cell with respect to external stimuli (toxin, drug).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberIMECE2004-59431
Pages (from-to)109-114
Number of pages6
JournalAdvances in Bioengineering, BED
StatePublished - 2004
Event2004 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE - Anaheim, CA, United States
Duration: Nov 13 2004Nov 19 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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