Sensing cisplatin-induced permeation of single live human bladder cancer cells by scanning electrochemical microscopy†
Cisplatin is a widely used anti-cancer agent, which was believed to trigger apoptosis of cancer cells by forming DNA adducts. However, recent studies evidenced a cisplatin-induced extrinsic apoptotic pathway through interaction with plasma membranes. We present quantitative time-course imaging of cisplatin-induced permeation of ferrocenemethanol to single live human bladder cancer cells (T24) using scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM). Simultaneous quantification of cellular topography and membrane permeability was realized by running SECM in the depth scan mode. It was demonstrated that the acute addition of cisplatin to the outer environment of T24 cells immediately induced membrane permeability change in 5 min, which indicated a loosened structure of the cellular membrane upon cisplatin dosage. The cisplatin-induced permeation of T24 cells might be a one-step action, an extrinsic mechanism, since the cell response was quick, and no continuous increase in the membrane permeability was observed. The time-lapse SECM depth scan method provided a simple and facile way of monitoring cisplatin-induced membrane permeability changes. Our study is anticipated to lead to a methodology of screening anti-cancer drugs through their interactions with live cells.