The broad-spectrum sensitivity of cell based biosensors offers the capability for detecting previously unknown biological agents. One cellular parameter that is often measured is the action potential of electrically active cells. However, the complexity of this signal makes interpretation of the cellular response to a compound difficult to interpret. By analyzing shifts in the signal’s power spectrum, it may be possible to classify the ionic channels modulated by the agent. A system is described for the measurement of action potentials from cells cultured on a planar microelectrode array. Experimental results, simulations, and analyses are presented for three pharmaceuticals tested on chick myocardial cells. While the actual agents could readily be distinguished experimentally, the models used for simulation were a partial success, accurately predicting the response to one of the three agents tested.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Solid-State Sensor and Actuator Workshop, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (1998) The authors would like to thank Dr. Marco Bove and Dr. Joseph Pancrazio for their invaluable and greatly appreciated assistance with the action potential simulations, Dr. Nadim Maluf for his insights on data interpretation, and Dr. David Stenger for his continued support and guidance. Funding for this project was provided by the DARPA MicroFlumes Program (Contract Number: N66001-96-C-8631).Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Department, Program, or Center

Microsystems Engineering (KGCOE)


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