Probing the membrane potential of living cells by dielectric spectroscopy

Corina Bot, C. Prodan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


In this paper we demonstrate a quantitative way to measure the membrane potential of live cells by dielectric spectroscopy. We also show that the values of the membrane potential obtained using our technique are in good agreement with those obtained using traditional methods-voltage-sensitive dyes. The membrane potential is determined by fitting the experimental dielectric dispersion curves with the dispersion curves obtained from a theoretical model. Variations in the membrane potential were induced by modifying the concentration of potassium chloride in the solution of the cell suspension in the presence of valinomycin. For exemplification of the method, E. coli was chosen for our experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1049-1059
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Biophysics Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics


  • Cell suspension
  • Dielectric spectroscopy
  • E. coli
  • Impedance analysis
  • Membrane potential
  • Voltage-sensitive dyes


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