The ECIS Connection - April 2011              

Do You Have What it Takes to Win a Nobel Prize?


Dr. Ivar Giaever, Nobel Laureate in Physics 1973, provides insight into what he believes it takes to win a Noble Prize in this 30 minute video filmed at the 2010 ECIS Users Meeting. Dr. Giaever explains how only a handful of laws explain everything in the universe, including life. Stubbornness, creativity, skepticism, patience, and, of course luck, are all essential ingredients to winning this coveted prize. He even calculates the odds of winning a Nobel Prize, which are surprisingly much better than winning the Lottery! He muses about the difference between science and technology and how "you don't have to know everything, just what is important" and how "science is moving from discovering the laws of nature to making inventions."


Please visit our website to watch this entertaining and informative video: http://www.biophysics.com/news.php 


Are You Getting the Most From Your ECIS Instrument?


With the introduction of the unified ECIS software in January of 2009 all instruments can be operated in three data acquisition modes. MFT mode samples multiple frequencies and multiple wells over time, SFT mode samples multiple wells at a single frequency over time, and RTC mode samples a single well at a single frequency over time.   


Improvements in the ECIS software now offers the increased ability to acquire measurements of rapid morphological changes in cells such as pore formation, beating cardiac myocytes, calcium ion oscillations and membrane ruffling (or micromotion). Measurements in the RTC mode can occur at up to 500 points/sec or every 2msec.


To learn more about the capabilities of your ECIS instrument, please send inquiries to Dr. Christian Renken at renken@biophysics.com. 

Save The Date!

Join us in Regensburg, Germany August 10 - 12, 2011 Regensburg 2

Applied BioPhysics and ibidi GmbH are proud to sponsor a symposium on Impedance Based Cellular Assays (IBCA) 2011 in Regensburg, Germany. Following the success of ECIS 2009 in Regensburg and the ECIS Users Meeting 2010 in Rensselaerville, NY, the IBCA 2011 will bring together researchers in the life sciences using and developing impedance-based methods. The meeting will take place August 11-12, 2011 at the University of Regensburg. A pre-meeting workshop will be presented by Applied BioPhysics on August 10, 2011.

For more information visit www.ibca2011.net or send an email to:

ECIS Early Career Grant

Applied BioPhysics would like to help young scientists obtain funding. The ECIS mini-grant is aimed at early career scientists who are applying for their first RO1 grant. For a researcher wanting to use ECIS technology to achieve their research goals, Applied BioPhysics will provide an ECIS instrument, ECIS arrays, and consultation in order to generate preliminary data to support the applicant's RO1 proposal. Interested scientists should submit their research plan with a cover letter explaining how ECIS technology can be used to achieve their specific objectives. Applied BioPhysics will evaluate proposals based on scientific merit, suitability with ECIS technology and novelty. 

To apply please send a resume, RO1 research plan and cover letter to Dr. Christian Renken at


ECIS Software   


How to select data to view and export:


By default the ECIS software plots the entire timeline of an experiment. The number of data points can be easily reduced, however, by setting the time offset and range using the two scroll bars just below the graph.  The offset is the experiment hour to start the plot, and the range is how many hours to plot.  Scrolling the offset scrollbar allows you to move through the dataset looking at just that range of data.


The offset and range values can also be specified in the edit boxes next to the scroll bars.  You can click the Range button to specify the exact start and end times of the graph.  The Offset button is used to reset the graph back to a zero offset and displaying the entire timeline.


Setting the offset and range values selects the time range, which is the only data that will be exported using File | Export | Selected Wells/Time or To Excel.


In addition, it should be noted that when using the Normalize (n/n0) or Difference (n-n0) toolbar options, the offset value is used as the reference point. The origin of the graph can also be changed by specifying the 'Zero Time' under 'Time-Series Options'.  Setting this value also sets the reference point for normalization and overrides the use of the offset value.


In contrast, when using the Zoom and Pan toolbar options, only the viewing window on the plotted graph is changed, it does not change the selected time range. Use the 'X' and 'Y' options under 'Display Options' to manually specify the graph axis limits, which will be fixed even when changing between dataset views.  This is useful for exporting and comparing plots.

ECIS Webinar Schedule 2011

ECIS application webinars review the topics listed below in 20 to 30 minute, web-based, interactive seminars presented by Applied BioPhysics president and co-founder, Dr. Charles Keese.

All webinars are held at 11:00am EST. To register for a webinar, please go to:
https://appliedbiophysics.webex.com and scroll to the webinar date of interest.    

Signal Transduction Assays - 11:00 AM EDST, April 19, 2011

Toxicology with ECIS - 11:00 AM EDST, April 26, 2011

ECIS Theory - 11:00 AM EDST, May 17, 2011

Cell Invasion / Extravasation Assays - 11:00 AM EDST, May 31, 2011

Automated Cell Migration - 11:00 AM EDST, June 14, 2011

Barrier Function Assays - 11:00 AM EDST, June 28, 2011

For a more detailed description of each webinar, please visit: http://www.biophysics.com/webinar.php

New Publications

MicroRNA-92b regulates expression of the oligopeptide transporter PepT1 in intestinal epithelial cells

Guillaume Dalmasso, Hang Thi Thu Nguyen, Yutao Yan, Hamed Laroui, Moiz A. Charania, Tracy S. Obertone, Shanthi V. Sitaraman, and Didier Merlin

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2011; 300:G52-G59. 


Substrate stiffening promotes endothelial monolayer disruption through enhanced physical forces

Ramaswamy Krishnan, Darinka D. Klumpers, Chan Y. Park, Kavitha Rajendran, Xavier Trepat, Jan van Bezu, Victor W. M. van Hinsbergh, Christopher V. Carman, Joseph D. Brain, Jeffrey J. Fredberg, James P. Butler, and Geerten P. van Nieuw Amerongen

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2011; 300:C146-C154. 


p120 regulates endothelial permeability independently of its NH2 terminus and Rho binding

Crystal R. Herron, Anthony M. Lowery, Patricia R. Hollister, Albert B. Reynolds, and Peter A. Vincent

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2011; 300:H36-H48. 


High glucose causes dysfunction of the human glomerular endothelial glycocalyx

A. Singh, V. Fridén, I. Dasgupta, R. R. Foster, G. I. Welsh, J. E. Tooke, B. Haraldsson, P. W. Mathieson, and S. C. Satchell

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2011; 300:F40-F48. 


Phosphorylation of VE-cadherin controls endothelial phenotypes via p120-catenin coupling and Rac1 activation

Kunihiko Hatanaka, Michael Simons, and Masahiro Murakami

Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2011; 300:H162-H172. 


Adipose Stem Cell Treatment in Mice Attenuates Lung and Systemic Injury Induced by Cigarette Smoking

Kelly S. Schweitzer, Brian H. Johnstone, Jana Garrison, Natalia I. Rush, Scott Cooper, Dmitry O. Traktuev, Dongni Feng, Jeremy J. Adamowicz, Mary Van Demark, Amanda J. Fisher, Krzysztof Kamocki, Mary Beth Brown, Robert G. Presson, Jr., Hal E. Broxmeyer, Keith L. March, and Irina Petrache

Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 2011; 183:215-225. 


Surgery-induced reactive oxygen species enhance colon carcinoma cell binding by disrupting the liver endothelial cell lining

Nuray Gül, Marijn Bögels, Simran Grewal, Anne Jan van der Meer, Lucy Baldeon Rojas, Donna M Fluitsma, M Petrousjka van den Tol, Kees A Hoeben, Jan van Marle, Helga E de Vries, Robert H J Beelen, and Marjolein van Egmond

Gut. published 27 January 2011, 10.1136/gut.2010.224717 


Benzyl isothiocyanate inhibits oncogenic actions of leptin in human breast cancer cells by suppressing activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3

Su-Hyeong Kim, Arumugam Nagalingam, Neeraj K. Saxena, Shivendra V. Singh, and Dipali Sharma

Carcinogenesis. 2011; 32:359-367.


The Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mediates Tumor Necrosis Factor-α-induced Activation of the ERK/GEF-H1/RhoA Pathway in Tubular Epithelium

Eli Kakiashvili, Qinghong Dan, Matthew Vandermeer, Yuqian Zhang, Faiza Waheed, Monica Pham, and Katalin Szászi

J. Biol. Chem. 2011; 286:9268-9279.


Factor VIIa bound to endothelial cell protein C receptor activates protease activated receptor-1 and mediates cell signaling and barrier protection

Prosenjit Sen, Ramakrishnan Gopalakrishnan, Hema Kothari, Shiva Keshava, Curtis A. Clark, Charles T. Esmon, Usha R. Pendurthi, and L. Vijaya Mohan Rao

Blood. 2011; 117:3199-3208.


ABCB1 protects kidney proximal tubule cells against cadmium-induced apoptosis: Roles of cadmium and ceramide transport

Wing-Kee Lee, Blazej Torchalski, Naschla Kohistani, and Frank Thévenod

Toxicol. Sci. published 23 March 2011, 10.1093/toxsci/kfr071  [Abstract] [PDF]


Real-time label-free monitoring of adipose-derived stem cell differentiation with electric cell-substrate impedance sensing

Pierre O. Bagnaninchi and Nicola Drummond

PNAS. published 4 April 2011, 10.1073/pnas.1018260108  [Abstract] [PDF]


GPR124, an orphan G protein-coupled receptor, is required for CNS-specific vascularization and establishment of the blood-brain barrier

Mike Cullen, Mohammed K. Elzarrad, Steven Seaman, Enrique Zudaire, Janine Stevens, Mi Young Yang, Xiujie Li, Amit Chaudhary, Lihong Xu, Mary Beth Hilton, Daniel Logsdon, Emily Hsiao, Erica V. Stein, Frank Cuttitta, Diana C. Haines, Kunio Nagashima, Lino Tessarollo, and Brad St. Croix

PNAS. 2011; 108:5759-5764. 


Estrogen receptor-β signaling modulates epithelial barrier function

Mirjam Looijer-van Langen, Naomi Hotte, Levinus A. Dieleman, Eric Albert, Chris Mulder, and Karen L. Madsen

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2011; 300:G621-G626. 


Relative contribution of PECAM-1 adhesion and signaling to the maintenance of vascular integrity

Jamie R. Privratsky, Cathy M. Paddock, Oliver Florey, Debra K. Newman, William A. Muller, and Peter J. Newman

J. Cell Sci. 2011; 124:1477-1485.



Have you recently published an article that includes the use of ECIS?
If so, submit your publications to Applied BioPhysics via email to Nancy Vlahos at vlahos@biophysics.com. We will announce your article in our newsletter, post it on our website and send you 2 FREE 8 well arrays!

Visit Us at Upcoming Events

Representatives from Applied BioPhysics will be at the following tradeshows and events:   

The Biology of Cancer

April 26 - 30

Cold Spring Harbor, NY


5th Amsterdam Zoo Meeting

May 11 - 14 

Amsterdam, Germany 


Impedance Based Cellular Assays (IBCA)

August 10 - 12

Regensburg, Germany   

American Society for Cell Biology 

December 3 -7
Denver, CO
Tip of the Month:  


An Alternative Way to Obtain Good Cell Distribution on ECIS Arrays


In our  December 2009 newsletter we explained that careful inoculation of arrays is the key to obtaining good ECIS data. This is especially important when measuring cells on a single electrode (8W1E arrays) or performing cell proliferation experiments, where wells are being inoculated with sparse cell populations. In that newsletter we suggested pre-warming the suspension to incubator temperatures to minimize thermal convection that can move cells to the well periphery, leaving fewer cells in the central region.


We recently started using an alternative approach where pre-warming the suspension is not necessary and the results have been equally satisfactory.


Simply inoculate the ECIS arrays outside of the incubator with warm (or room temperature) medium, and then wait 15 to 30 minutes before placing the array in the incubator space. Since there is no heating from below, there is no convection, and the cells settle uniformly over the entire substrate and begin to attach to the surface.


CO2 dependent medium will experience some pH increase out of the incubator, and consideration should be given to avoid this. We have not found a pH drift to be a problem, however, as once in the incubator we observe normal cell attachment and spreading impedance data.

ECIS Humor

Need a good laugh? Visit the ECIS Cartoons page of our website to view cartoons by Catherine, our in-house cartoonist, to start your day with a smile.

Are you the creative type? Submit one of your own cartoons; if we post it on our website we will send you a free array!

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