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Single Cell Opto-Electro-Mechanical Probing: A Feasibility Study

[+] Author Affiliations
A. V. Desai, M. A. Haque, W. J. Scheuchenzuber

Pennsylvania State University

Paper No. IMECE2004-59431, pp. 109-114; 6 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Advances in Bioengineering
  • Anaheim, California, USA, November 13 – 19, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4703-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-4178-2, 0-7918-4179-0, 0-7918-4180-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


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 × 1 mm 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).

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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