Rapid Detection of Oral Cancer: Electrophysiological Characterization by Dielectrophoresis technology

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Microengineered medical devices offer many potential benefits for point-of-care healthcare and rapid diagnosis. We have developed a microengineered system using the electrostatic phenomenon dielectrophoresis (DEP) to non-invasively determine the electrophysiological parameters of normal and cancerous oral brush biopsies, as well as matched pairs of normal oral (NOF) and squamous oral cell carcinoma-derived (CAF) fibroblasts. The cells were isolated from patients after consent. The cytoplasmic conductivity (cytoplasm ionic strength), membrane conductance (how well ions conduct across membrane), and specific membrane capacitance (relating to membrane morphology) were extracted. The fibroblast ability to stimulate invasion of oral cancer cells was investigated in mouse and 3D organotypic models. Furthermore, normal, dysplastic/ cancerous states of oral biopsies were determined using immunohistopathology. DEP results showed CAF cells exhibited lower membrane capacitance and conductance than NOFs. Cancerous brush biopsies exhibited significantly different electrophysiological fingerprints to normal oral mucosa. KCND2, a gene encoding member of voltage-activated potassium ion channels was found to be differentially expressed between CAFs and NOFs. Our results showed the potential of this technology for rapidly detecting oral cancer. Furthermore, CAFs and NOFs electrophysiological differences may warrant further modulation studies of KCND2 expression for impairing oral cancer invasion.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 3, Nanotechnology 2010: Bio Sensors, Instruments, Medical, Environment and Energy
Published: June 21, 2010
Pages: 35 - 38
Industry sectors: Medical & Biotech | Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topics: Chemical, Physical & Bio-Sensors, Diagnostics & Bioimaging
ISBN: 978-1-4398-3415-2