High-Frequency Dielectrophoresis Reveals That Distinct Bio-Electric Signatures of Colorectal Cancer Cells Depend on Ploidy and Nuclear Volume

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2023-09-01

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MDPI

Abstract

Aneuploidy, or an incorrect chromosome number, is ubiquitous among cancers. Whole-genome duplication, resulting in tetraploidy, often occurs during the evolution of aneuploid tumors. Cancers that evolve through a tetraploid intermediate tend to be highly aneuploid and are associated with poor patient prognosis. The identification and enrichment of tetraploid cells from mixed populations is necessary to understand the role these cells play in cancer progression. Dielectrophoresis (DEP), a label-free electrokinetic technique, can distinguish cells based on their intracellular properties when stimulated above 10 MHz, but DEP has not been shown to distinguish tetraploid and/or aneuploid cancer cells from mixed tumor cell populations. Here, we used high-frequency DEP to distinguish cell subpopulations that differ in ploidy and nuclear size under flow conditions. We used impedance analysis to quantify the level of voltage decay at high frequencies and its impact on the DEP force acting on the cell. High-frequency DEP distinguished diploid cells from tetraploid clones due to their size and intracellular composition at frequencies above 40 MHz. Our findings demonstrate that high-frequency DEP can be a useful tool for identifying and distinguishing subpopulations with nuclear differences to determine their roles in disease progression.

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Citation

Duncan, J.L.; Bloomfield, M.; Swami, N.; Cimini, D.; Davalos, R.V. High-Frequency Dielectrophoresis Reveals That Distinct Bio-Electric Signatures of Colorectal Cancer Cells Depend on Ploidy and Nuclear Volume. Micromachines 2023, 14, 1723.