Cell-based Acoustic Sensors for Biomedical Applications

M. Cole, J.W. Gardner, S. Pathak, Z. Rácz, R.A.J. Challiss, and D. Markovic (UK)


Biosensor, Surface acoustic wave, Human embryonickidney (HEK) cells, Ligand detection


The development of a novel surface acoustic wave biosensor for liquid phase ligand detection is described in this paper. The functional layer of the biosensor comprises human embryonic kidney cells that can be efficiently used for the expression of specific ligand receptors and is coupled to the acousto-electric transducer. We outline the successful design and development of a low loss shear horizontal surface acoustic wave device for detection of receptor-ligand interactions in heterologous systems. The proof of concept implementation of a protocol to immobilize cells expressing either muscarinic acetylcholine or insect olfactory receptors on the device surface has been successful. In addition, the background effect of the cell growth medium has been examined and results presented. We believe that this biological sensor also can be used more generally to monitor cell viability when challenged with toxins, drugs or other substances.

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