The fundamental science powering Cytecom's products
A living cell must maintain a seperation between its internal and external environment. By doing so a gradient of ions and nutrients can be created between the cell and its environment, which can be used to fuel fundamental cellular processes.
This gradient generates a difference in charge density. The viability of the cell is directly linked to its ability to maintain this gradient.
By using a combination of fluorescence microscopy and electrical stimuli; Cytecom's technology can reveal the magnitude of a cell's an ionic gradient and thus determine its proliferative capacity.
The figure on the left demonstrates a healthy E.Coli culture electrically stimulated and simultaneously imaged (A) and the corresponding response to electrical stimulation (B).
Introducing stress to a bacterial population inhibits their ability to perform homeostatic processes such as maintaining ionic gradients.
In our 2019 paper reporting this phenomena, we applied stressors such as alcohol, UV-light, antibiotics and CCCP (a protonophore) to cell populations and monitored their response to electrical stimulation.
The figure on the right demonstrates stimulation of a heterogenous culture of gram-negative (E.Coli) and gram-positive (B.Subtilis) bacteria, treated with Vancomycin, an antibiotic most effective against gram-positive bacteria.