Parallel impedance cytometry for real-time screening of bacterial single cells from nano- to microscale

Tao Tang, Xun Liu, Yapeng Yuan, Tianlong Zhang, Ryota Kiya, Yang Yang, Yoichi Yamazaki, Hironari Kamikubo, Yo Tanaka, Ming Li, Yoichiroh Hosokawa, Yaxiaer Yalikun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The benefits of impedance cytometry include high-throughput and label-free detection, while long-term calibration is required to remove the effects of the detection circuits. This study presents a novel impedance cytometry system, called parallel impedance cytometry, to simplify the calibration and analysis of the impedance signals. Furthermore, target objects can be detected even when benchmarked against similar objects. Parallel dual microchannels allow the simultaneous detection of reference and target particles in two separate microchannels, without the premixing of reference and target suspensions. The impedance pulses of both can appear separately on the opposite sides of the same time series, which have been verified via simulation and experimental results. Raw impedance signals can easily distinguish target particles from reference ones. Polystyrene beads with different sizes ranging from nano- to microscale (e.g., 500, 750 nm, 1, 2, 3, and 4.5 μm) confirm the nanosensitivity of the system. In addition, the detection of antibiotic-treated Escherichia coli cells demonstrates that our system can be used for the quantitative assessment of the dielectric properties of individual cells, as well as for the proportion of susceptible cells. Through benchmarking against untreated E. coli cells in the other channel, our method enables the discrimination of susceptible cells from others and the comparison of susceptible and insusceptible cells in the target suspension. Those findings indicate that the parallel impedance cytometry can greatly facilitate the measurement and calibration of the impedances of various particles or cells and provide a means to compare their dielectric properties.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3700–3709
Number of pages10
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2022


  • single bacteria analysis
  • impedance detection
  • microfluidics
  • parallel detection
  • submicron sensitivity


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