Open Access

Isoconductivity method to study adhesion of yeast cells to gold electrode


In this paper, we used impedance spectroscopy and gold electrodes to detect the presence of yeast cells and monitor the attachment of these cells to the electrodes. We analyzed the effect of conductivity changes of the medium and the attachment on the electrode-electrolyte interface impedance. A three-electrode cell was designed to produce a uniform electric field distribution on the working electrode and to minimize the counter electrode impedance. Moreover, we used a small AC overpotential (10 mV) to keep the system within the linear impedance limits of the electrode-electrolyte interface. This study proposes a new method to differentiate the impedance changes due to the attachment of yeast cells from those due to conductivity changes of the medium. The experiments showed that when the difference between the cell suspension and base solution conductivities is within the experimental error, the impedance changes are only due to the attachment of yeast cells to the electrodes. The experiments also showed a strong dependence (decrease) of the parallel capacity of the electrode electrolyte interface with the yeast cell concentration of suspension. We suggest that this decrease is due to an asymmetrical redistribution of surface charges on both sides of cell, which can be modeled as a biologic capacity connected in series with the double layer capacity of the interface. Our results could help to explain the rate of biofilm formation through the determination of the rate of cell adhesion.