Mammalian cell-based sensor system

Pratik Banerjee, Briana Franz, Arun K. Bhunia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Use of living cells or cellular components in biosensors is receiving increased attention and opens a whole new area of functional diagnostics. The term "mammalian cell-based biosensor" is designated to biosensors utilizing mammalian cells as the biorecognition element. Cell-based assays, such as high-throughput screening (HTS) or cytotoxicity testing, have already emerged as dependable and promising approaches to measure the functionality or toxicity of a compound (in case of HTS); or to probe the presence of pathogenic or toxigenic entities in clinical, environmental, or food samples. External stimuli or changes in cellular microenvironment sometimes perturb the "normal" physiological activities of mammalian cells, thus allowing CBBs to screen, monitor, and measure the analyte-induced changes. The advantage of CBBs is that they can report the presence or absence of active components, such as live pathogens or active toxins. In some cases, mammalian cells or plasma membranes are used as electrical capacitors and cell-cell and cell-substrate contact is measured via conductivity or electrical impedance. In addition, cytopathogenicity or cytotoxicity induced by pathogens or toxins resulting in apoptosis or necrosis could be measured via optical devices using fluorescence or luminescence. This chapter focuses mainly on the type and applications of different mammalian cell-based sensor systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWhole Cell Sensing Systems I
Subtitle of host publicationReporter Cells and Devices
EditorsShimshon Belkin, Man Bock Gu
Number of pages35
ISBN (Print)9783642008641
StatePublished - Aug 19 2010
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology
ISSN (Print)0724-6145


  • Biosensor
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Pathogens
  • Rapid detection
  • Toxins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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