Recent advances in electrochemiluminescence-based systems for mammalian cell analysis

Kaoru Hiramoto, Elena Villani, Tomoki Iwama, Keika Komatsu, Shinsuke Inagi, Kumi Y. Inoue, Yuji Nashimoto, Kosuke Ino, Hitoshi Shiku

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Mammalian cell analysis is essential in the context of both fundamental studies and clinical applications. Among the various techniques available for cell analysis, electrochemiluminescence (ECL) has attracted significant attention due to its integration of both electrochemical and spectroscopic methods. In this review, we summarize recent advances in the ECL-based systems developed for mammalian cell analysis. The review begins with a summary of the developments in luminophores that opened the door to ECL applications for biological samples. Secondly, ECL-based imaging systems are introduced as an emerging technique to visualize single-cell morphologies and intracellular molecules. In the subsequent section, the ECL sensors developed in the past decade are summarized, the use of which made the highly sensitive detection of cell-derived molecules possible. Although ECL immunoassays are well developed in terms of commercial use, the sensing of biomolecules at a single-cell level remains a challenge. Emphasis is therefore placed on ECL sensors that directly detect cellular molecules from small portions of cells or even single cells. Finally, the development of bipolar electrode devices for ECL cell assays is introduced. To conclude, the direction of research in this field and its application prospects are described.

Original languageEnglish
Article number530
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 1


  • ECL luminophore
  • Electrochemical device
  • Electrochemical microscopy
  • Electrochemiluminescence (ECL)
  • Mammalian cell analysis
  • Single-cell analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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