Electric cell–substrate impedance sensing is widely used to study cell behavior such as adhesion, migration, and cell toxicity. However, a simultaneous optical imaging of cells is limited by inefficient transmission of visible light through the gold electrodes. To overcome this limitation, we fabricated carbon nanotube (CNT) electrodes with high electrical conductivity as well as optical transmittance. The impedimetric monitoring of cell proliferation and migration by gold and CNT electrodes were compared and analyzed. Taking advantage of the optical transparency of CNTs, we demonstrated a simultaneous electronic and optical monitoring of MCF7 cells, with acquisition of high-resolution images.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
I. Giaever and C.R. Keese: Use of electric fields to monitor the dynamical aspect of cell behavior in tissue culture. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. 33, 242–247 (1986).
C.R. Keese, J. Wegener, S.R. Walker, and I. Giaever: Electrical wound-healing assay for cells in vitro. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 101, 1554–1559 (2004).
M. Ramuz, A. Hama, M. Huerta, J. Rivnay, P. Leleux, and R.M. Owens: Combined optical and electronic sensing of epithelial cells using planar organic transistors. Adv. Mater. 26, 7083–7090 (2014).
S. Iijima: Helical microtubules of graphitic carbon. Nature 354, 56–58 (1991).
C.-M. Tîlmaciu and M.C. Morris: Carbon nanotube biosensors. Front. Chem. 3, 59 (2015).
M. Abdolahad, M. Taghinejad, H. Taghinejad, M. Janmaleki, and S. Mohajerzadeh: A vertically aligned carbon nanotube-based impedance sensing biosensor for rapid and high sensitive detection of cancer cells. Lab. Chip 12, 1183–1190 (2012).
S. Zanganeh, F. Khodadadei, S.R. Tafti, and M. Abdolahad: Folic acid functionalized vertically aligned carbon nanotube (FA-VACNT) electrodes for cancer sensing applications. J. Mater. Res. Technol. 32, 617–625 (2016).
Y. Liu, F. Zhu, W. Dan, Y. Fu, and S. Liu: Construction of carbon nanotube based nanoarchitectures for selective impedimetric detection of cancer cells in whole blood. Analyst 139, 5086–5092 (2014).
C.A.S. Andrade, J.M. Nascimento, I.S. Oliveira, C.V.J. De Oliveira, C.P. De Melo, O.L. Franco, and M.D.L. Oliveira: Nanostructured sensor based on carbon nanotubes and clavanin A for bacterial detection. Colloids Surf. B Biointerfaces 135, 833–839 (2015).
C. Chen, T. Jin, L. Wei, Y. Li, X. Liu, Y. Wang, L. Zhang, C. Liao, N. Hu, C. Song, and Y. Zhang: High-work-function metal/carbon nanotube/ low-work-function metal hybrid junction photovoltaic device. NPG Asia Mater. 7, e220 (2015).
F. Loghin, S. Colasanti, A. Weise, A. Falco, A. Abdelhalim, P. Lugli, and A. Abdellah: Scalable spray deposition process for highly uniform and reproducible CNT-TFTs. Flexible Printed Electron. 1, 045002 (2016).
L.Y. Chen, Y.J. Chen, and C.S. Chang: Electric current distribution of a multiwall carbon nanotube. AIP Adv. 6, 075216 (2016).
M. Tinkham: Energy gap interpretation of experiments on infrared transmission through superconducting films. Phys. Rev. 104, 84–846 (1956).
A. Falco, L. Cina, G. Scarpa, P. Lugli, and A. Abdellah: Fully-sprayed and flexible organic photodiodes with transparent carbon nanotube electrodes. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 6, 10593–10601 (2014).
T. Fujigaya and N. Nakashima: Non-covalent polymer wrapping of carbon nanotubes and the role of wrapped polymers as functional dispersants. Sci. Technol. Adv. Mater. 16, 024802 (2015).
R.C. Tenent, T.M. Barnes, J.D. Bergeson, A.J. Ferguson, B. To, L.M. Gedvilas, M.J. Heben, and J.L. Blackburn: Ultrasmooth, large-area, high-uniformity, conductive transparent single-walled-carbon-nanotube films for photovoltaics produced by ultrasonic spraying. Adv. Mater. 21, 3210–3216 (2009).
Y. Zhou and R. Azumi: Carbon nanotube based transparent conductive films: progress, challenges, and perspectives. Sci. Technol. Adv. Mater. 17, 493–516 (2016).
L. Vaisman, H.D. Wagner, and G. Marom: The role of surfactants in dispersion of carbon nanotubes. Adv. Colloid Interface Sci. 128, 37–46 (2006).
M. Imaninezhad, J. Schober, D. Griggs, P. Ruminski, I. Kuljanishvili, and S.P. Zustiak: Cell attachment and spreading on carbon nanotubes Is facilitated by integrin binding. Front. Bioeng. Biotechnol. 6, 129 (2018).
J.-R. Lee, S. Ryu, S. Kim, and B.-S. Kim: Behaviors of stem cells on carbon nanotube. Biomater. Res. 19, 3 (2015).
S. Namgung, K.Y. Baik, J. Park, and S. Hong: Controlling the growth and differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells by the arrangement of individual carbon nanotubes. ACS Nano 5, 7383–7390 (2011).
J. Ren, Q. Xu, X. Chen, W. Li, K. Guo, Y. Zhao, Q. Wang, Z. Zhang, H. Peng, and Y.-G. Li: Superaligned carbon nanotubes guide oriented cell growth and promote electrophysiological homogeneity for synthetic cardiac tissues. Adv. Mater. 29, 1702713 (2017).
R.L. Price, K. Ellison, K.M. Haberstroh, and T.J. Webster: Nanometer surface roughness increases select osteoblast adhesion on carbon nanofiber compacts. J. Biomed. Mater. Res. A 70, 129–138 (2004).
O.M. Perepelytsina, A.P. Ugnivenko, A.V. Dobrydnev, O.N. Bakalinska, A.I. Marynin, and M.V. Sydorenko: Influence of carbon nanotubes and its derivatives on tumor cells in vitro and biochemical parameters, cellular blood composition in vivo. Nanoscale Res. Lett. 13, 286 (2018).
S. Namgung, T. Kim, K.Y. Baik, M. Lee, J.M. Nam, and S. Hong: Fibronectin-carbon-nanotube hybrid nanostructures for controlled cell growth. Small 7, 56–61 (2011).
G. Rahman, Z. Najaf, A. Mehmood, S. Bilal, A.U.H.A. Shah, S.A. Mian, and G. Ali: An overview of the recent progress in the synthesis and applications of carbon nanotubes. C 5, 3 (2019).
E. Warburg: Polarization capacity of platinum. Ann. Phys. 6, 12–135 (1901).
J. Wegener, C.R. Keese, and I. Giaever: Electric cell–substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) as a noninvasive means to monitor the kinetics of cell spreading to artificial surfaces. Exp. Cell Res. 259, 158–166 (2000).
L.F. Aval, M. Ghoranneviss, and G.B. Pour: High-performance supercapa-citors based on the carbon nanotubes, graphene and graphite nanoparti-cles electrodes. Heliyon 4, e00862 (2018).
J.A. Stolwijk, K. Matrougui, C.W. Renken, and M. Trebak: Impedance analysis of GPCR-mediated changes in endothelial barrier function: overview, and fundamental considerations for stable and reproducible measurements. Pflugers Arch 467, 2193–2218 (2015).
This work was partly supported by the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 People: Marie-Curie Actions/2007-2013) under the Grant Agreement n° 607896, the International Graduate School for Science and Engineering (IGSSE) at the Technische Universität München. Here, we would like to thank Markus Becherer for his support during the project.
The supplementary material for this article can be found at: https://doi.org/10.1557/mrc.2019.116.
About this article
Cite this article
Teymouri, S., Loghin, F., Bobinger, M. et al. Transparent carbon nanotube electrodes for electric cell-substrate impedance sensing. MRS Communications 9, 1292–1299 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1557/mrc.2019.116