Available only for arXiv papers.
Chemotherapeutic drugs such as paclitaxel and vinblastine interact with the microtubules, and thus induce complex cell states of mitosis arrest at the G2/M phase followed by apoptosis dependent on drug exposure time and concentration. Microfluidic impedance cytometry (MIC) as a label-free and high-throughput technology for single-cell analysis, has been applied for viability assay of cancer cells post drug exposure at fixed time and dosage, yet verification of this technique for varied tumor cell states after anticancer drug treatment remains vacant. Here we present a novel MIC device and for the first time perform impedance cytometry on carcinoma cells exhibiting progressive states of G2/M arrest followed by apoptosis related to drug concentration and exposure time, after treatments by paclitaxel and vinblastine, respectively. Our results from impedance cytometry reveal increased amplitude and negative phase shift at low frequency, as well as higher opacity for the Hela cells under G2/M mitotic arrest compared to the untreated cells. The cells under apoptosis, on the other hand, exhibit opposite changes in these electrical parameters. Therefore, the impedance features differentiate the Hela cells under progressive states post anticancer drug treatment. We also demonstrate that vinblastine poses a more potent drug effect than paclitaxel especially at low concentrations. Our device is fabricated with a unique sacrificial layer-free soft lithography process as compared to the existing MIC device, which gives rise to readily aligned parallel microelectrodes made of silver-PDMS embedded in PDMS channel sidewalls with one molding step. Our results uncover the potential of the MIC device, with a fairly simple and low-cost fabrication process, for cellular state screening in anticancer drug therapy.