Monitoring drug induced apoptosis and treatment sensitivity in non-small cell lung carcinoma using dielectrophoresis

Rajeshwari Taruvai Kalyana Kumar, Shanshan Liu, John D. Minna, Shalini Prasad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Non-invasive real time methods for characterizing biomolecular events that contribute towards apoptotic kinetics would be of significant importance in the field of cancer biology. Effective drug-induced apoptosis is an important factor for establishing the relationship between cancer genetics and treatment sensitivity. The objective of this study was to develop a non-invasive technique to characterize cancer cells that are undergoing drug-induced apoptosis. We used dielectrophoresis to determine apoptotic cells as early as 2 h post drug treatment as compared to 24 h with standard flow cytometry method using non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) adenocarcinoma cell line (HCC1833) as a study model. Our studies have shown significant differences in apoptotic cells by chromatin condensation, formation of apoptotic bodies and exposure of phosphatidylserine (PS) on the extracellular surface when the cells where treated with a potent Bcl-2 family inhibitor drug (ABT-263). Time lapse dielectrophoretic studies were performed over 24 h period after exposure to ABT-263 at clinically relevant concentrations. The dielectrophoretic studies were compared to Annexin-V FITC flow assay for the detection of PS in mid-stage apoptosis using flow cytometry. As a result of physical and biochemical changes, inherent dielectric properties of cells undergoing varying stages of apoptosis showed amplified changes in their cytoplasmic and membrane capacitance. In addition, zeta potential of these fixed isolated cells was measured to obtain direct correlation to biomolecular events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1877-1883
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Apoptosis monitoring
  • Dielectrophoresis
  • Non invasive electrokinetics
  • Non-small cell lung cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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