Closed Bipolar Electrode Array for On-Chip Analysis of Cellular Respiration by Cell Aggregates

Kosuke Ino, Ryosuke Yaegaki, Kaoru Hiramoto, Yuji Nashimoto, Hitoshi Shiku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Cell aggregates have attracted much attention owing to their potential applications in tissue engineering and drug screening. To evaluate cellular respiration of individual cell aggregates in these applications, noninvasive and on-chip high-throughput analytical tools are necessary. Electrochemical methods for detecting oxygen concentrations are useful because of their noninvasiveness. However, these conventional methods may be unsuitable for high-throughput detection because it is difficult to prepare many electrodes on a small chip owing to the limitation of area for connecting electrodes. Alternatively, a bipolar electrode (BPE) system offers clear advantages. In this system, electrochemical reactions are induced at both ends of a BPE without complex wiring. In this study, we present a BPE array for detecting the respiratory activity of cell aggregates. Oxygen concentrations near cell aggregates at cathodic poles of BPEs were converted to electrochemiluminescence (ECL) signals of [Ru(bpy)3]2+/tripropylamine at anodic poles of BPEs. To separate ECL chemicals from cell aggregates, we fabricated a closed BPE device containing analytical and reporter chambers. As a proof of concept, 32 BPEs were controlled wirelessly using a pair of driving electrodes, and the respiratory activities of individual MCF-7 cell aggregates as a cancer model were successfully detected by monitoring ECL signals. Compared with conventional electrode arrays for cell analysis, the wiring of the current device was simple because the multiple BPEs functioned with only a single power supply. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study of on-chip analysis of cellular activity using a BPE system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)740-745
Number of pages6
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 27


  • cell aggregate
  • cellular respiration
  • closed bipolar electrode
  • electrochemiluminescence
  • electrode array device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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