Electrical Measurement of Cell Motility in Vitro

Period of Performance: 09/30/1995 - 09/29/1998


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Applied Biophysics, Inc.
Troy, NY 12180
Principal Investigator


Prostatic carcinoma constitutes one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in men. Previous research has shown the propensity of these tumor cells to metastasize is correlated with their motility in tissue culture, yet it has not been possible to devise practical prognostic assays based on this fact. The goal of this research is to employ an innovative cell motility measurement referred to as ECIS (electric cell-substrate impedance sensing) as the basis of an assay to determine the metastatic potential of prostate tumors. Phase I research with Dunning sublines of murine prostatic adenocarcinoma, demonstrated several significant correlations of ECIS data and metastatic potential of the sublines Phase II will extend these measurements to characterize human prostatic cancer cell lines. From this research, the most effective ECIS protocols to discriminate metastatic abilities will be selected and applied to analyze primary cultures established from prostate tumor outgrowths. A device will be designed, fabricated, and tested to simplify clinical assays by combining both formation of outgrowths from prostate needle biopsies and ECIS assays. The commercial opportunities of a clinical method for prognosis of prostate cancer are clear. In addition, publication of this work will promote the ECIS method as a general purpose research tool to study cell motility.