Final Workshop: “Biosensors: applications and potential for bioactive compound screening”

Faro (Portugal), 20-21st February 2018.

Ultrasensitive bioelectrical transducers for drug and bioactive molecule screening



Henrique Leonel Gomes

Universidade do Algarve, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal.
Instituto de Telecomunicações, Avenida Rovisco, Pais 1, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal.

This lecture presents an overview of the current available technologies that use biosensing devices. Particular emphasis was given to impedance based sensors namely to the Electric Cell substrate Impedance Sensing (ECIS) method currently being used for study the effects of drugs and pharmaceutical products on populations of cells. The fundamentals of the method and the required instrumentation are presented. Several illustrative examples are given and discussed.

This lecture also covers other emergent biosensor devices based on the electrophysiological activity of the cells and how this activity can be perturbed by external fields and by exposure to drugs. The design of these biosensor devices for specific applications is discussed in detail.

The lecture is concluded with a laboratory experiment where the attendees can get familiar with the electronic instrumentation and with the graphical representation of the electrical impedance data. Attendees can also perform a number of experiments namely, to use pulsating voltages to create a wound in a cell population and observe the cell recovering using electrical techniques.