Breast tumor cell detection at single cell resolution using an electrochemical impedance technique

Sunil K. Arya, Kok Chuan Lee, Dhiya'Uddin Bin Dah'Alan, Daniel Daniel, Abdur Rub Abdur Rahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Gold micro-electrodes with various diameters (25, 50, 75, 100 and 250 μm) were manufactured using standard micro-fabrication techniques and optimized for counting of MCF-7 cells (breast tumor cells) with single cell resolution. For specific cell capture, anti-EpCAM was immobilized on 11-mercaptoundecanoic acid (11-MUA)-3-mercaptopropionic acid (3-MPA) mixed self-assembled monolayer (SAM) modified gold surface of micro-electrodes. Electrodes were characterized using optical, cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopic (EIS) techniques. Cell capture response recorded using EIS suggested that optimum electrode dimensions should be analogous to desired cell size. For MCF-7 cells with an average diameter of 18 ± 2 μm, an electrode with 25 μm diameter was established as the optimum electrode size for precise single cell recognition and enumeration. In EIS investigation, the 25 μm electrode exhibited an impedance change of ∼2.2 × 107 Ω in response to a single tumor cell captured on its surface. On the other hand other electrodes (250, 100, 75 and 50 μm) showed much less response for a single tumor cell. In future, the use of high density arrays of such electrodes with surface modifications will result in miniaturized lab on a chip devices for precise counting of MCF-7 cells with single cell resolution. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2362-2368
Number of pages7
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 7 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-02-14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Breast tumor cell detection at single cell resolution using an electrochemical impedance technique'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this