Cell-based Sensor Technology

A central task of Cell-Based Sensor Technology is the development of physical transducers like  metal or polymer-based electrodes on which the cells attach and grow so that their response to any experimental stimulus (chemicals, drugs, microorganism) is measurable non-invasively, time-resolved and independent of any chemical labeling (label-free).

A cell-based sensor: Swing quartz for examining cell mechanics
© Fraunhofer EMFT / Bernd Müller
A cell-based sensor: Swing quartz for examining cell mechanics

The principle of the physical measurement and all materials involved are selected carefully to ensure that the cells will not be affected in any way by the measurement itself. Either individual or combinations of transducers are integrated into cell culture vessels to monitor the cells contactless and with a tailored time resolution between milliseconds and days. Very different parameters of cell physiology are accessible under the influence of an external stimulus like the cells’ viability, their proliferation rate, their migration rate or changes in cell volume.

These cell-based sensors are applied in many different fields of science comprising fundamental problems of medical technology, drug and toxicity screening as well as regenerative medicine. 

The team on Fraunhofer EMFT site Regensburg offers consulting about suitable transducer principles, selecting sensor materials, functionalization and integration of the sensors in individual experimental settings to data analysis, as well as proof-of-concept studies for special assay or sensor formats and technologies.

Picture 1
Picture 2

Interdigitated goldfilm electrodes (picture 1) or transparent polymer electrodes (picture 2) covered with originating from kidney. The electrodes allow for an electrochemical monitoring of the cells in biomedical experiments.

These competences in the area of cell-based sensors are available at Fraunhofer EMFT for your application topics. We look forward to hearing from you!

You could also be interested in:

Project: New way of testing the efficacy of vaccines

Project: 3D Tissue Models with Integrated Sensor Technology

Project: Analysis of Cell Migration for Tumor Research


Service Offering: Biological Test Methods and Cell-based Assays


Technology Offering: Cell Culture Technology Lab