Department Environmental Toxicology

RAINBOWflow Chip impedance biosensor

In the RAINBOflow Chip project, we are developing a biosensor system to detect toxic effects of chemicals by impedance sensing. At the core of the biosensor are cell lines from the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), which can predict toxic effects to fish. They are seeded on a microfluidic chip where their adherence to the electrodes creates a resistance to an applied electric current flow. This resistance reflects the health status of the cells; a decrease in resistance is an indicator for loss of cell viability. This method is quick, non-invasive, and can be automated, thus it allows monitoring toxicity in real-time. Our aim is to employ this method for time-resolved toxicity testing of chemicals under flow conditions, as well as to establish a portable and compact system for use in the field, with the data being accessible online to inform about the current water quality.


Drieschner, C.; Könemann, S.; Renaud, P.; Schirmer, K. (2019) Fish-gut-on-chip: development of a microfluidic bioreactor to study the role of the fish intestine in vitro, Lab on a Chip, 19(19), 3268-3276, doi:10.1039/C9LC00415G, Institutional Repository
Drieschner, C.; Vo, N. T. K.; Schug, H.; Burkard, M.; Bols, N. C.; Renaud, P.; Schirmer, K. (2019) Improving a fish intestinal barrier model by combining two rainbow trout cell lines: epithelial RTgutGC and fibroblastic RTgutF, Cytotechnology, 71(4), 835-848, doi:10.1007/s10616-019-00327-0, Institutional Repository
Minghetti, M.; Drieschner, C.; Bramaz, N.; Schug, H.; Schirmer, K. (2017) A fish intestinal epithelial barrier model established from the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) cell line, RTgutGC, Cell Biology and Toxicology, 33(6), 539-555, doi:10.1007/s10565-017-9385-x, Institutional Repository
Tan, L.; Schirmer, K. (2017) Cell culture-based biosensing techniques for detecting toxicity in water, Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 45, 59-68, doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2016.11.026, Institutional Repository
Drieschner, C.; Minghetti, M.; Wu, S.; Renaud, P.; Schirmer, K. (2017) Ultrathin alumina membranes as scaffold for epithelial cell culture from the intestine of rainbow trout, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 9(11), 9496-9505, doi:10.1021/acsami.7b00705, Institutional Repository