J. J. Gooding1,2*, M. Parviz1,2, S. G. Parker1,2, R. Utama1,2, E. Hinde1,3, Y. Yang1,2, L. Atapattu1,4, S. Ciampi1, M. Kavallaris1,4, K. Gaus1,3

1Australian Centre for NanoMedicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
2School of Chemistry and ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Single Molecule Laboratory and ARC Centre of Excellence for Advanced Molecular Imaging, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
4Children’s Cancer Institute, Lowy Cancer Research Centre, C25/9 High St, Kensington NSW

With the cell representing the smallest unit of life, cell based sensors are important tools in understanding how living organisms might respond to a range of stimuli. Perhaps most relevant here to the development of nanomedicines is cell based diagnostic devices for exploring therapeutic action, whether it be for individual drugs, understanding drug mechanisms, or for understanding the efficacy of drug delivery vehicles. The types of questions one might like to answer with advanced cell based assays, are what is the mode of action over long and short time scales? how important is cell heterogeneity influence on overall drug responses? How does one design of a drug delivery vehicle to go where it is intended? How does the information I obtain in two-dimensional cell cultures correspond to drug action in three-dimensions.  The talk will covers a range of new cell based sensing technologies we are developing that address these questions.

A subset of four technologies will be covered.  The first is a dual electrochemical impedance/fluorescence microscopy method1 that provides a rapid assay for monitoring cell responses to drugs as well as providing information on the mechanism of drug action. The advantage of this dual method will be demonstrated for screening potential anti-fibrosis drugs. The second technology will explore how to capture and isolate rare single cell so as to understand the heterogeneity of the response of rare cells to drug treatments.  The talk then progresses to a new microscopy tool for tracking drug delivery particles from outside a cell to the centre of the cell2. This method shows that high aspect ratio particles are more effective at getting into the nucleus of cancer cells than low aspect ratio particles, and that is why they are more effective at killing cancer cells. Finally, a three-dimensional (3D) printing technology for making the transition from two-dimensional cell assays to 3D cell assays will be presented.


1 M. Parviz, M. Gaus, K. Gooding, J.J. Chem. Sci. 2017, 8, 1831-1840.

2 Hinde, E. Thammasiraphop, K. Duong, H.T.T.  Yeow, J. Karagoza, B. Boyer, C. Gooding, J.J. Gaus, K. 2017, 12, 81-89.