Mammalian Cell-Based Sensor System

  • Pratik Banerjee
  • Briana Franz
  • Arun K. Bhunia
Part of the Advances in Biochemical Engineering / Biotechnology book series (ABE, volume 117)


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.


Biosensor Pathogens Toxins Cytotoxicity Rapid detection 



Research in the authors’ laboratory was supported through a cooperative agreement with the Agricultural Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) project number 1935-42000-035, the Center for Food Safety and Engineering at Purdue University, and USDA-NRI (2005-35603-16338). BF is supported by the USDA National Needs Fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pratik Banerjee
    • 1
  • Briana Franz
    • 1
  • Arun K. Bhunia
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Food Microbiology & Immunochemistry, Department of Food & Animal SciencesAlabama A&M UniversityNormalUSA
  2. 2.Molecular Food Microbiology Laboratory, Center for Food Safety EngineeringPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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