Detection of heavy metal toxicity using cardiac cell-based biosensor

Qingjun Liu, Hua Cai, Ying Xu, Lidan Xiao, Mo Yang, Ping Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

77 Citations (Scopus)


Biosensors incorporating mammalian cells have a distinct advantage of responding in a manner which offers insight into the physiological effect of an analyte. To investigate the potential applications of cell-based biosensors on heavy metal toxicity detection, a novel biosensor for monitoring electrophysiological activity was developed by light-addressable potentiometric sensor (LAPS). Extracellular field potentials of spontaneously beating cardiomyocytes could be recorded by LAPS in the range of 20 μV to nearly 40 μV with frequency of 0.5-3 Hz. After exposed to different heavy metal ions (Hg2+, Pb2+, Cd2+, Fe3+, Cu2+, Zn2+; in concentration of 10 μM), cardiomyocytes demonstrated characteristic changes in terms of beating frequency, amplitude and duration under the different toxic effects of ions in less than 15 min. This study suggests that, with the physiological monitoring, it is possible to use the cardiac cell-based biosensor to study acute and eventually chronic toxicities induced by heavy metal ions in a long-term and no-invasive way.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3224-3229
Number of pages6
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2007


  • Cardiomyocyte
  • Cell-based biosensor
  • Heavy metal ion
  • Light-addressable potentiometric sensor
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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