Live cell-based sensors potentially provide functional information about the cytotoxic effect of reagents on various signaling cascades. Cells transfected with a reporter vector derived from a cytotoxic response promoter can be used as intelligent cytotoxicity sensors (i.e., sensor cells). We have combined sensor cells and a microfluidic cell culture system that can achieve several laminar flows, resulting in a reliable high-throughput cytotoxicity detection system. These sensor cells can also be applied to single cell arrays. However, it is difficult to detect a cellular response in a single cell array, due to the heterogeneous response of sensor cells. The objective of this study was cell homogenization with cell cycle synchronization to enhance the response of cell-based biosensors. Our previously established stable sensor cells were brought into cell cycle synchronization under serum-starved conditions and we then investigated the cadmium chloride-induced cytotoxic response at the single cell level. The GFP positive rate of synchronized cells was approximately twice as high as that of the control cells, suggesting that cell homogenization is an important step when using cell-based biosensors with microdevices, such as a single cell array.
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