Cancer cell lines are important tools for anticancer drug research and assessment. Impedance measurements can provide valuable information about cell viability in real time. This work presents the proof-of-concept development of a bioelectrical, impedance-based analysis technique applied to four adherent mammalian cancer cells lines immobilized in a three-dimensional (3D) calcium alginate hydrogel matrix, thus mimicking in vivo tissue conditions. Cells were treated with cytostatic agent5-fluoruracil (5-FU). The cell lines used in this study were SK-N-SH, HEK293, HeLa, and MCF-7. For each cell culture, three cell population densities were chosen (50,000, 100,000, and 200,000 cells/100 μL). The aim of this study was the extraction of mean impedance values at various frequencies for the assessment of the different behavior of various cancer cells when 5-FU was applied. For comparison purposes, impedance measurements were implemented on untreated immobilized cell lines. The results demonstrated not only the dependence of each cell line impedance value on the frequency, but also the relation of the impedance level to the cell population density for every individual cell line. By establishing a cell line-specific bioelectrical behavior, it is possible to obtain a unique fingerprint for each cancer cell line reaction to a selected anticancer agent.
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