Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Chun-Min Lo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Garrett Matthews, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Martin Muschol, Ph.D


Invasion, Ecis, Huvecs, Metastasis, Electrode-array


The interactions between neighboring cells and between cells and their attached substrate have long been studied in tissue culture. These in vitro studies may provide information regarding cell behavior in vivo including cell movement, cell proliferation, tissue development and wound healing. Transcellular resistance (or impedance) measurements, using various dc or ac techniques have been used to study the barrier function of epithelial and endothelial cell layers. With an appropriate equivalent circuit used for data analysis, junctional resistance between cells and other cellular properties, including cell membrane capacitance, can be determined. However, these techniques have seldom been applied to fibroblastic cell layers because the transcellular resistance is so small that it is difficult to measure it accurately.

This research is based on detecting the invasive activities of metastatic cells in vitro using electric cell-impedance sensing (ECIS). The metastatic cells where added over the established endothelial cells and were observed to attach and invade the cell layer. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were first grown and then loaded on eight well gold electrodes. The impedance of these electrodes was followed after the suspension of different sublines of cancer cells (SKOV3, OVCA429). For highly metastatic sublines, within an hour after being challenged, the impedance of confluent HUVECs layer was substantially reduced. In addition the conditioned cancer media and heat-killed cancer cells was also suspended which had no substantial effect on the impedance. This result suggests that ECIS based assay might be used with primary human cultures to establish the metastatic abilities of cells.