Published on 02 Jun 2021

NTU researchers developed a non-invasive and label-free microfluidic impedance biosensor for cellular monitoring in biomanufacturing

An interdisciplinary team of NTU researchers from School of MAE, MSE, and LKCMedicine, has developed a low-cost microfluidic impedance cytometer for non-invasive and label-free monitoring of 3D cellular spheroids and microcarriers. Spheroids are 3D cell cultures widely used in drug studies, while microcarriers are often used in bioreactors for cell expansion in tissue engineering and cell-based therapies. As they require long-term cell culture processes, label-free biosensors are indispensable for monitoring biomass and maintaining cell quality.

The study demonstrated versatilities of the developed impedance biosensor to monitor spheroids (biomass, viability and drug responses) and hydrogel/commercial microcarriers (biomass and stem cell differentiation process) in a continuous-flow mode based on multi-frequency impedance signatures. The label-free sensing approach enables long-term and high-throughput spheroids/microcarriers remote monitoring with single-particle resolution, which can be readily integrated with bioreactors and automated for various cell-based biomanufacturing applications.

The study has recently been published in SMALL and is selected as a Frontispiece:

Direct and Label-Free Cell Status Monitoring of Spheroids and Microcarriers Using Microfluidic Impedance Cytometry (Frontispiece)