The smart Petri dish: a nanostructured photonic crystal for real-time monitoring of living cells.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Langmuir, Volume 22, Issue 16, p.7084-90 (2006)


Animals, Cell Culture Techniques, Cell Survival, Cells, Cultured, Hepatocytes, Oxygen, Photons, Rats, Rats, Inbred Lew, Spectrophotometry


<p>The intensity of light scattered from a porous Si photonic crystal is used to monitor physiological changes in primary rat hepatocytes. The cells are seeded on the surface of a porous Si photonic crystal that has been filled with polystyrene and treated with an O2 plasma. Light resonant with the photonic crystal is scattered by the cell layer and detected as an optical peak with a charge-coupled-device spectrometer. It is demonstrated that exposure of hepatocytes to the toxins cadmium chloride or acetaminophen leads to morphology changes that cause a measurable increase in scattered intensity. The increase in signal occurs before traditional assays are able to detect a decrease in viability, demonstrating the potential of the technique as a complementary tool for cell viability studies. The scattering method presented here is noninvasive and can be performed in real time, representing a significant advantage compared to other techniques for in vitro monitoring of cell morphology.</p>