Neurodegeneration through oxidative stress: monitoring hydrogen peroxide induced apoptosis in primary cells from the subventricular zone of BALB/c mice using field-effect transistors

Biosens Bioelectron. 2015 May 15;67:490-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2014.09.012. Epub 2014 Sep 8.


Dementia is one of the big medical challenges of our time with Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's disease among its most common forms. In year 2000, 4.5 million people were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in the United States. In the case of Alzheimer's disease one of many contributing factors is a metabolic imbalance that leads to elevated oxidative stress levels. Consequences of this imbalance can be symptoms like apraxia, agnosia or sundowning. The use of field-effect transistors is a novel approach to study the effects of external stimuli on cells in vitro to provide researchers with a new tool for high resolution and high throughput studies to better understand cellular interaction and the effects of pharmacological compounds. In our study we use ion-sensitive field-effect transistors (FETs) to analyze the apoptosis inducing effects of hydrogen peroxide treatment on primary cells obtained from the subventricular zone of postnatal BALB/c mice. Upon apoptosis, the cell-substrate adhesion of the neurons is gradually weakened until complete detachment. In former studies we used our FET devices to conduct Electrical Cell-substrate Impedance Sensing (ECIS) experiments on the single cell level using morphologically different cell lines. Here we demonstrate that our novel approach of ECIS using FET devices can be expanded to primary neuronal tissue with high prospects for further studies in the field of pharmacological research.

Keywords: ECIS; Field-effect transistor; Neurodegeneration; Oxidative stress; Parallel culture.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Biosensing Techniques*
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Dielectric Spectroscopy
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / administration & dosage
  • Lateral Ventricles / cytology
  • Lateral Ventricles / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Nerve Degeneration / drug therapy
  • Nerve Degeneration / pathology
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Primary Cell Culture


  • Hydrogen Peroxide