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Kinetics of attachment and spreading processes of adherent living cells are investigated using the thickness shear-mode quartz-crystal sensor technique. Within the framework of the transmission line representation and its variant the lumped element model, experimental results of the shear electrical motional resistance derived from the Butterworth-Van Dyke equivalent circuit in the vicinity of the sensor mechanical resonant frequency have shown that the increase of this parameter is strongly correlated with the evolving surface coverage during attachment and spreading of the adherent living cells on the quartz sensor surface. Both the dependence of the shear electrical motional resistance on the cell concentration and the contribution of the extracellular matrix proteins on the shear acoustical response of the thickness shear-mode quartz sensor are analyzed. Shear acoustical results are further correlated to both optical microscopic observation and cell counting technique. Finally, the ability of the thickness shear-mode quartz resonator technique to monitor specific cell-substrate interactions is discussed.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2004