Electric Cell Substrate Impedance Sensing (ECIS) as a unique technique in cancer metastasis research
More details
Hide details
Physiology Department, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Independent Public Health Care Centre, Radzyń Podlaski, Poland
1st Military Clinical Hospital, Lublin, Poland
Department of Molecular Biology and Translational Research, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
J Pre Clin Clin Res. 2018;12(4):142–144
Metastasis is defined as the ability of cancer cells to migrate from the site of primary tumour growth to a distant location. The metastatic tumour is usually more lethal than the initial primary cancer which is the reason for the metastatic cancer being more lethal. This cancer metastasis study gives a very important insight into how invasive cells cross the endothelial and epithelial monolayers. By simultaneously monitoring both barrier function and cell viability, Electric Cell Substrate Impedance Sensing (ECIS®) can distinguish between the transmigration mechanisms that leave the monolayer intact from those that disrupt the cell layer.

The aim of the study is to show the unique (ECIS) technique as aq useful tool in the study of cancer metastasis.

Intensive research on the method development is the reason for attempts to explain the relationship between electrical changes in cells or on their surface, and the processes influencing survival, which require a holistic approach. As a result of new technical possibilities, including ECIS, and assuming that changes in the electrical properties of cells precede changes on the biochemical level, it would be very interesting to examine the character and dynamics of these changes. The electric parameters measured by the ECIS system are impedance, resistance and capacitance. All of them can be used to examine cell transformation, migration and invasion, cell proliferation and tight junctions as a function of barrier resistance.

As cell function modulates cell morphology, ECIS is a method capable of detecting and quantifying for recording morphology changes in the subnanometer to micrometer range. This study describes the possibility of using ECIS in metastasis research.

Monika Prendecka   
Physiology Department, Medical University, Lublin, Poland, Radziwiłłowska 11 Str., 20-080, Lublin, Poland
1. Chaffer CL, Weinberg RA. A perspective on cancer cell metastasis. Science. 2011; 331(6024): 1,559–64.
2. Giaever I, Keese CR. Monitoring fibroblast behavior in tissue culture with an applied electric field. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 1984; 81:3761–3764.
3. Plugner B, Choi ChK, Sparer TE. Electrical Cell-Substrate Impedance Sensing for Measuring Cellular Transformation, Migration, Invasion, and Anticancer Compound Screening. Cancer Metastasis – Biology and Treatment, Electrical Cell-Substrate Impedance Sensing and Cancer Metastasis. 2012; 17: 55–69.
4. Giaever I, Keese CR. A morphological biosensor for mammalian cells. Nature. 1993; 366 (6455): 591–592.
5. Pänke O, Balkenhohl T, Kafka J, Schäfer D, Lisdat F. Impedance spectroscopy and biosensing. Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol. 2008; 109 (11), 195237.
6. Choi CK, English AE, Kihm KD, Margraves CH. Simultaneous dynamic optical and electrical properties of endothelial cell attachment on indium tin oxide bioelectrodes. J Biomed Opt. 2007; 12(6): 064028.
7. Choi CK, English AE, Jun S-I, Kihm KD, Rack PD. An endothelial cell compatible biosensor fabricated using optically thin indium tin oxide nitride electrodes. Biosens Bioelectron. 2007; 22: 2585–2590.
8. Choi CK, Sukhthankar M, Kim C-H, Lee S-H, English A, Kihm KD, et al. Cell adhesion property affected by cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase: opto-electric approach. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010; 391: 1385–1389.
9. Applied Biophysics 1–866–301-ECIS (3247), web-
10. Bosserhoff AK, Ellmann L, Kuphal S. Melanoblasts in culture as an in vitro system to determine molecular changes in melanoma. John Wiley & Sons A/S, Exp Dermatol. 2011; 20: 435–440.
11. Wild-Bode C, Weller M, Rimner A, Dichgans J, Wick W. Sublethal irradiation promotes migration and invasiveness of glioma cells. Cancer Res. 2001; 61: 2744–2750.
12. Park C-M, Park MJ, Kwak HJ, Lee HC, Kim MS, Lee SH, et al. Ionizing radiation enhances matrix metalloproteinase-2 secretion and invasion of glioma cells through Src/epidermal growth factor receptor-mediated p38/Akt and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling pathways. Cancer Res. 2006; 66(17): 8511–8529.
13. Keese CR, Bhawe K, Wegener J, Giaever I. Real-time impedance assay to follow the invasive activities of metastatic cells in culture. Biotechniques. 2002; 33(4):842–844, 846, 848–850.
14. Stolwijk JA, Michaelis S, Wegener J. Cell Growth and Cell Death Studied by Electric Cell-Substrate Impedance Sensing. Cell Growth and Cell Death Studied by Electric Cell-Substrate Impedance Sensing. In: Jiang W. (eds) Electric Cell-Substrate Impedance Sensing and Cancer Metastasis. Cancer Metastasis – Biology and Treatment. 2012; 17: 85–117.
15. Martin TA, Jiang WG. Tight Junctions in Cancer Metastasis, Cancer Metastasis – Biology and Treatment, Electrical Cell-Substrate Impedance Sensing and Cancer Metastasis. 2012; 17: 119–130.
16. Tiruppathi Ch, Malik AB, Del Vecchio PJ, Keeset ChR, Giaevert I. Electrical method for detection of endothelial cell shape change in real time: Assessment of endothelial barrier function. Proc Nati Acad Sci. 1992; 89: 7919–7923.
17. Giaever I, Keese CR. Micromotion of mammalian cells measured electrically. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 1993; 88(17): 7896–7900. Erratum in: Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1993; 90(4):1634.