Live cell quality control and utility of real-time cell electronic sensing for assay development

Assay Drug Dev Technol. 2006 Oct;4(5):545-53. doi: 10.1089/adt.2006.4.545.


In this paper we have explored the utility of the real-time cell electronic sensing (RTCES, ACEA Biosciences Inc., San Diego, CA) system for monitoring the quality of live cells in cell-based assays as well as for assay development. We have demonstrated that each cell type displays unique growth kinetic profiles that provide a quantitative account of cell behavior and can be used as a diagnostic tool for cellular quality control. The utility of the specific signature patterns was shown by demonstrating the significant differences in primary cell behavior depending on the supplier. In addition, the RT-CES system was able to differentiate cell behavior depending on the passage stage of the cells. The utility of the RT-CES system as an assay development tool was demonstrated in cytotoxicity assays. The RT-CES system not only provides information regarding the potency of cytotoxic compounds, but in addition relates potency to the rate of the response for each concentration of the compound tested, which is important for understanding the mechanism of compound action. Moreover, real-time display of cytotoxicity data by the RT-CES system allows for calculation of real-time 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) values or determination of optimal IC(50) value. In summary, the RT-CES system provides high content and information-rich data that are beyond the scope of single-point assays.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Biological Assay / instrumentation
  • Biological Assay / methods*
  • Biosensing Techniques / instrumentation
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Culture Techniques / instrumentation
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Computer Systems
  • Cytotoxins / toxicity*
  • Electronics
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects*
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Quality Control
  • Toxicity Tests / instrumentation
  • Toxicity Tests / methods*


  • Cytotoxins