Impedance measurements as a tool for the detection of endocrine disrupting chemicals

V. Sacks, J. Rishpon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The growing awareness worldwide over the deleterious effects of endocrine disruptors on human health has created a need for screening systems to detect xenoestrogens, a diverse group of chemicals that mimic estrogenic actions and are assumed to decrease mail fertility and induce hormone related cancers in females. Here we describe a novel, class-selective detector that uses fast impedance measurements to monitor the binding of estrogen and xenoestrogens to a native estrogen receptor. We embedded the receptor in synthetic lipid bilayers attached to gold electrodes. The lipid bilayers serve as electrical circuits constructed of resistors and a capacitors. Estrogen binding to the receptor-modified electrode is immediately followed by conformational changes in the lipid layer, leading to alterations of the electrical circuit components that are detected by fast impedance measurements. The electrochemical system enabled characterization of changes in the bilayer structure and quantification of estrogen binding to the receptor. To assess the effectiveness of the method for detecting estrogenic chemicals, we chose two classes of xenoestrogens: bisphenol-A, a synthetic xenoestrogen, and genistein, a phytoestrogen. This system is highly sensitive and amenable to use on-site, providing an efficient and economic tool for measuring minuscule amounts of endocrine disrupting chemicals in environmental or human samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3017-3020
Number of pages4
JournalAnnual Reports of the Research Reactor Institute, Kyoto University
StatePublished - 2001
Event23rd Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 25 Oct 200128 Oct 2001


  • Biosensor
  • Endocrinic disrupters
  • Impedance
  • Xenoestrogens


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