Ultrasensitive two-dimensional material-based MCF-7 cancer cell sensor driven by perturbation processes†
Changes in lipid composition and structure during cell development can be markers for cell apoptosis or various diseases such as cancer. Although traditional fluorescence techniques utilising molecular probes have been studied, these methods are limited in studying these micro-changes as they require complex probe preparation and cannot be reused, making cell monitoring and detection challenging. Here, we developed a direct current (DC) resistance sensor based on two-dimensional (2D) molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) nanosheets to enable cancer cell-specific detection dependent on micro-changes in the cancer cell membrane. Atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were used to study the interaction between 2D MoS2 and cancer lipid bilayer systems, and revealed that previously unconsidered perturbations in the lipid bilayer can cause an increase in resistance. Under an applied DC sweep, we observed an increase in resistance when cancer cells were incubated with the nanosheets. Furthermore, a correlation was observed between the resistance and breast cancer epithelial cell (MCF-7) population, illustrating a cell population-dependent sensitivity of our method. Our method has a detection limit of ∼3 × 103 cells, below a baseline of ∼1 × 104 cells for the current state-of-the-art electrical-based biosensors using an adherent monolayer with homogenous cells. This combination of a unique 2D material and electrical resistance framework represents a promising approach for the early detection of cancerous cells and to reduce the risk of post-surgery cancer recurrence.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Popular Advances