Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Chun-Min Lo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Myung Kim, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Wei Chen, Ph.D.


3T3, HUVEC, H7, Cytochalasin, Cadmium chloride


Electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) pioneered by Giaever and Keese is suitable for continuous, automatic and real-time cell attachment analysis. ECIS is a novel electrical method to study, in real time, many of the activities of animal cells when grown in tissue culture. These include morphological changes, cell locomotion, and other behaviors directed by the cell's cytoskeleton. One of the most direct ECIS measurements is that of the attachment and spreading behaviors of cells. These measurements allow one to study and quantify the interaction of cultured cells with extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and other macromolecules continuously and in real time. Traditionally, cell attachment and spreading measurements are labor intensive, requiring many manipulations of the cultures for microscopic evaluation of cell behavior. With ECIS, these same measurements can be made in an automated approach without opening the door of the incubator. The ECIS core technology is based on a technique of measuring the change in impedance of a small electrode to AC current flow. The heart of the measurement is a specialized slide that has 8 individual wells for cell culturing. The base of the device has an array of gold film electrodes that connect to the ECIS electronics to each of the 8 wells.

In our work we used ECIS to study the attachment and spread of HUVEC and 3T3 cells. The curve of HUVEC showed higher resistances than that of 3T3 cells. This was due to the fact we used gelatin to aid in attachment of HUVECs which accounted for the high resistances. 3T3 cells attached easily without help of gelatin. We also studied the cytotoxicity of HUVEC and 3T3 cells. The drugs that we used were CB, H7 and CdCl2. We found that the best drug was CB since it affected the cells even at low concentrations. H7 effects were mild while CdCl2 only worked at high concentrations. HUVEC cells make loose contact on electrodes and are easily detached by drugs. 3T3 makes firm at tachment to the electrodes and are not easily detached from the electrodes.

Electrical impedance measurements on multiple electrodes are highly attractive in this application because of the potential for direct computer control.