Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Biomedical Engineering


Biomedical and General Engineering


David Clague


This thesis utilizes previously described manufacturing and design techniques for the creation of a PDMS-glass bonded microfluidic device, capable of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). EIS has been used across various fields of research for different diagnostic needs. The major aim of this thesis was to capture cancerous and non-cancerous cells between micron sized electrodes within a microfluidic path, and to complete analysis on the measured impedances recorded from the two differing cell types. Two distinct ranges of impedance frequency were analyzed – the α dispersion range, which quantifies the impedance of the membranes of the cells of interest, and the β dispersion range, which quantifies the impedance of the cytosol of the cells of interest. This thesis is unique in the fact that it looks at the cellular impedances of two types of neural cells, which has not been documented previously in literature. The type of cancerous cells analyzed were Neuro-2-A cells, an immortalized line of murine glio/neuroblastoma. The type of non-cancerous cells analyzed were murine primary astrocytes, a mortal line of neurological support cells found throughout the nervous system, and with great abundance in the brain.

By using a LabView program coded by a previous Cal Poly student, a sweep scan across a wide frequency range was completed on both cell types, and statistical analysis was completed on target frequencies of interest. A significant difference was found between the two cell lines’ membrane impedances, however no difference was found between the cytoplasm impedances.

In total, this thesis aimed to fabricate a reusable microfluidic device capable of EIS for future Cal Poly students, create a protocol suitable for cell culturing and device operation, and to lay a foundation of knowledge for impedance comparisons regarding neural cancerous and non-cancerous cells.