University of Regensburg Trenner Faculty of Chemistry Trenner Analytical Chemistry
Bioanalysis and Biosensors

Biosensors for Cytomechanics - Acoustic Resonators

Quartz Crystal Microbalance

The golden standard to measure and study the cytomechanics of living cells is scanning force microscopy (SFM). It provides the stiffness of the cells with a subcellular lateral resolution so that different parts of the cells can be distinguished. We use acoustic resonators as a growth substrate for adherent animal cells and analyze their resonant oscillation with and without cells. From these readings we can also extract the micromechanics of the cells on the surface. Compared to SFM, this technique is, however, a non-imaging but integral approach. On the other hand it can be performed in a normal cell culture incubator and with a time resolution of seconds.

Besides measuring cytomechanics, we use these resonators to develop a sensor for biocompatibility screening. The resonators are coated with a thin layer of a technical material of interest and the interactions of cells with this surface are then studied by analysis of the resonant oscillation.


© 2008, Thomas Hirsch, Gisela Emmert.