Cellular signaling: aspects for tumor diagnosis and therapy

Bernhard Wolf 1. , 1. , Martin Brischwein 2. , 2. , Volker Lob 3. , 3. , Johann Ressler 4. , 4.  and Joachim Wiest 5. , 5.
  • 1. Heinz-Nixdorf-Lehrstuhl für Medizinische Elektronik, Technische Universität München, München, Germany
  • 2. Heinz-Nixdorf-Lehrstuhl für Medizinische Elektronik, Technische Universität München, München, Germany
  • 3. Heinz-Nixdorf-Lehrstuhl für Medizinische Elektronik, Technische Universität München, München, Germany
  • 4. Heinz-Nixdorf-Lehrstuhl für Medizinische Elektronik, Technische Universität München, München, Germany
  • 5. Heinz-Nixdorf-Lehrstuhl für Medizinische Elektronik, Technische Universität München, München, Germany

Abstract

Cells are organic microsystems with functional compartments interconnected by complex signal chains. Intracellular signaling routes and signal reception from the extracellular environment are characterized by redundancy, i.e., parallel pathways exist. If a cell is exposed to an external “signal input”, the signal processing elements within the cell provide a response that will be a pattern of reactions manifest as a metabolic, morphologic or electric “signal output”. Cell-chip hybrid structures are miniaturized analytical systems with the capability to monitor such cell responses in real time and under continuous control of the environmental conditions. A system analysis approach gives an idea of how the biological component of these hybrid structures works. This is exemplified by the putative role of the microenvironmental pH as a parameter of the utmost importance for the malignant “mode” of tumor cells, which can be monitored and modeled on such hybrid structures.

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