A microfluidic device for simultaneous electrical and mechanical measurements on single cells

Jian Chen, Yi Zheng, Qingyuan Tan, Yan Liang Zhang, Jason Li, William R. Geddie, Michael A.S. Jewett, Yu Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


This paper presents a microfluidic device for simultaneous mechanical and electrical characterization of single cells. The device performs two types of cellular characterization (impedance spectroscopy and micropipette aspiration) on a single chip to enable cell electrical and mechanical characterization. To investigate the performance of the device design, electrical and mechanical properties of MC-3T3 osteoblast cells were measured. Based on electrical models, membrane capacitance of MC-3T3 cells was determined to be 3.39±1.23 and 2.99±0.82 pF at the aspiration pressure of 50 and 100 Pa, respectively. Cytoplasm resistance values were 110.1±37.7 kΩ (50 Pa) and 145.2±44.3 kΩ (100 Pa). Aspiration length of cells was found to be 0.813±0.351 μm at 50 Pa and 1.771±0.623 μm at 100 Pa. Quantified Young's modulus values were 377±189 Pa at 50 Pa and 344±156 Pa at 100 Pa. Experimental results demonstrate the device's capability for characterizing both electrical and mechanical properties of single cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number014113
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 23 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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