A living cell-based assay is widely used for the characterization of various cellular functions, screening of drugs and environmental monitoring. Recent progress in cell culture and micro-fabrication technologies has attracted the integration of cell culture and sensors on a chip. A bioassay using a cell chip makes it possible to evaluate small-volume samples with multitudinous characterizations, and is applicable for a rapid and simple detection system. This paper reviews cell-based bioassay using living cells integrated on a chip. The cell patterning and three-dimensional cell culture facilitates the integration of cell culture technology. These in vitro culture technologies are appropriate for the recapitulation of in vivo-like cell behavior, because of the potential to control the cell differentiation and polarity. Alternatively, the evaluation methods, such as cellular acidification, oxygen consumption and impedance measurements, are principally non-invasive, and are especially expected in the field of anticancer drug sensitivity test using a biopsy tumor.
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