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ECIS Model Z Theta

ECIS Model Z Theta View larger

A morphological biosensor used to measure cell behavior which employs a label-free, non-invasive method to electronically monitor cells grown in tissue culture

  • Non-invasive cell-based assays in culture medium
  • Measurement of changes in cell morphology
  • Multiple, real-time measurements
  • System includes: ECIS Model Z Theta station controller, Elevated Field Module (i.e., a pulse system for automated wound healing or electroporation studies), software for data gathering and analysis, including model calculations, laptop


Product Details


The ECIS method represents a non-invasive approach to monitor living cells in vitro. It measures the change in impedance of a small electrode over time.

In this system, cells are grown on small gold film electrodes carrying very weak AC signals. As cells attach and spread on these electrodes, their insulating membranes block and constrain the current flow, resulting in measured variations in the electrode impedance. Any changes in the environment, leading to morphological changes of the cell, alter the current paths and can be readily detected by the instrumentation. These changes may be due to the addition of compounds, changes in the physical environment (for example perfusion, transfection events, viral infections, and the addition of other cells).

The ECIS system gathers continuous real-time measurements without the need for any labels. Furthermore, since the weak AC currents used during measurement have no effect upon the cells, this method is totally non-invasive.

Cells grown on an ECIS electrode

There are two major systems: The ECIS Model Z and the ECIS Model Zθ (theta). The ECIS Model Z system monitors the impedance of small 250-micrometer diameter electrodes used as substrates for cell growth. The ECIS Model Zθ system interprets complex impedance as both resistance and capacitance, and can report these values as well as simple impedance. This data can then be further refined using a model that provides information on the barrier function of cell layers (Rb), the spacing beneath the cells (α), and capacitance of the cell membrane (Cm).

Both systems are available with either a 2 x 8 well or a 96 well array station that is ideal for high throughput applications. The array stations are hosted in an incubator so that cells are kept under ideal cultivation conditions at all times.

Basic Principle of ECIS Measurement


Measurement Specifications ECIS Zθ

Dimensions: 438 x 216 x 508 mm
Weight: 18 kg

  • Complex impedance Z, R and C
  • Constant current
  • Well capacity: 16 or 96 wells
  • Ability to model multi-frequency data (barrier function)
  • Maximum data acquisition rate (single frequency): 5 point / sec
  • Multi-frequency measurements: 11 frequencies ranging from 50 Hz to 100 kHz (10 seconds per well acquisition rate)
  • Wounding / Electroporation current: 256 step control
  • Frequency accuracy: within 0.002 %

General Specifications

16 Well Array Station

  • Dimensions: 127 x 152 x 44 mm
  • Weight: 0.45 kg

96 Well Array Station

  • Dimensions: 178 x 254 x 63.5 mm
  • Weight: 0.68 kg

Flow Option

Wound / Electroporate Option

  • User specified wound time, current and frequency
  • Delayed wounding during data collection

Operating Systems:

Windows 7, Vista, XP, Mac OSX (10.5)

ECIS Cultureware

The ECIS Cultureware consists of disposable electrode arrays containing gold film electrodes. Click here to learn more about the various types of ECIS Cultureware.

For further information please contact us.

For more than 800 scientific publications using the ECIS technology please visit

Impedance Measurements Under Flow Conditions

For impedance measurements under flow conditions, combine the ECIS System with the Pump System to more closely simulate the in vivo environment.

Practical Course


Register for a Laboratory Course at ibidi Munich / Germany:
Electric Cell Substrate Impedance Sensing (ECIS)

Supporting Material

User Comments

Pierre-Olivier Bagnaninchi, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, UK

"ECIS made it happen: without impedance sensing we will never have been able to look at barrier function in the liver in addition to pure toxicity. This unique feature of the ECIS Zθ allowed us to shed a new light on how the common painkiller paracetamol (acetaminophen) causes liver damage." (

Pierre-Olivier Bagnaninchi
MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine
University of Edinburgh

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