Dielectric Characterisation of Lipid Droplet Suspensions Using the Small Perturbation Technique

  • R. T. Blakey
  • A. Mason
  • A. Al-Shamma’a
  • C. E. Rolph
  • G. Bond
Part of the Smart Sensors, Measurement and Instrumentation book series (SSMI, volume 1)


This work proposes a novel approach to differentiate biological cells based upon the total concentration of lipids. Lipid accumulation within cells is significant as it serves as a marker pertaining to the metabolism and oncologic state of the cell and organism. This is accomplished through dielectric characterisation of the sample. This chapter presents a preliminary proof of concept experiment using vegetable oils and cell culture media to model lipid droplets in biological cells. The experiment indicated that solutions of numerous different lipid suspensions at different concentrations can be differentiated based upon the dielectric characteristics of the sample. The dielectric constant of vegetable oils was calculated to be between 2.9 and 3.1. The dielectric constant of the suspensions reached up to 27 at a concentration of 0.5% (v/v).


Cavity dielectric spectroscopy microwave sensor small perturbation triacylglycerol 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. T. Blakey
    • 1
  • A. Mason
    • 1
  • A. Al-Shamma’a
    • 1
  • C. E. Rolph
    • 2
  • G. Bond
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Built EnvironmentLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.School of Pharmacy and Biomedical ScienceUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK
  3. 3.School of Forensic and Investigative SciencesUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK

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