Cancer-Cells on Chip for Label-Free Detection of Secreted Molecules

Biosensors (Basel). 2016 Jan 15;6(1):2. doi: 10.3390/bios6010002.


In the present report, we are making the proof of concept of cell small populations (from 1 to 100 cells) spotting, culture and secretion detection on a gold surface. In order to keep the cells in a hydrated environment during the robotized micropipetting and to address different cell lines on a single chip, a biocompatible alginate polymer was used. This approach enables the encapsulation of the cell in a very small volume (30 nL), directly on the substrate and permits a precise control of the number of cells in each alginate bead. After 24 h of culture, the adherent cells are ready for surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi) experimentation. To enable the detection of secreted proteins, various antibodies are immobilized in an organized manner on a SPRi sensor and permitted the multiplex detection of different proteins secreted by the different cultured cell lines. Evidence of the real-time detection will be presented for Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) and β-2-microglobulin (B2M) secreted by prostate cancer cells following induction by dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Different kinetics for the two secreted proteins were then demonstrated and precisely determined using the chip.

Keywords: SPRi; biosensor; cell encapsulation; cell microarray; real-time.

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques / instrumentation
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Dihydrotestosterone / pharmacology
  • Gold / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Tissue Array Analysis / instrumentation*
  • Tissue Array Analysis / methods
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / metabolism*


  • beta 2-Microglobulin
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Gold
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen