ECIS Based Electric Fence Method for Measurement of Human Keratinocyte Migration on Different Substrates

Biosensors (Basel). 2022 May 3;12(5):293. doi: 10.3390/bios12050293.


Electric Cell-substrate Impedance Sensing (ECIS) is an impedance-based, real-time, and label-free measuring system for monitoring cellular activities in tissue culture. Previously, ECIS wound healing assay has been used to wound cells with high electric current and monitor the subsequent cell migration. In this study, we applied ECIS electric fence (EF) method, an alternative to electrical wounding, to assess the effects of different surface coatings on human keratinocyte (HaCaT) migration. The EF prevents inoculated cells from attaching or migrating to the fenced electrode surface while maintaining the integrity of the surface coating. After the EF is turned off, cells migrate into the cell-free area, and the increase in measured impedance is monitored. We cultured HaCaT cells on gold electrodes without coating or coated with poly-L-lysin (PLL), poly-D-lysine (PDL), or type-I collagen. We quantified migration rates according to the different slopes in the impedance time series. It was observed that either poly-L-lysine (PLL) or poly-D-lysine (PDL) limits cell adhesion and migration rates. Furthermore, the surface charge of the coated substrate in the culture condition positively correlates with the cell adhesion and migration process. Our results indicate that the EF method is useful for determining cell migration rates on specific surface coatings.

Keywords: ECIS; cell adhesion; cell migration; electric fence (EF); wound healing assays.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Movement
  • Electric Impedance
  • Humans
  • Keratinocytes*
  • Lysine*


  • Lysine