Detecting colorectal cancer using electrical impedance spectroscopy: an ex vivo feasibility study

Pathiraja, Angela, Ziprin, Paul, Shiraz, Arsam, Mirnezami, Reza, Tizzard, Andrew ORCID:, Brown, Brian, Demosthenous, Andreas and Bayford, Richard ORCID: (2017) Detecting colorectal cancer using electrical impedance spectroscopy: an ex vivo feasibility study. Physiological Measurement, 38 (6) . pp. 1278-1288. ISSN 0967-3334 [Article] (doi:10.1088/1361-6579/aa68ce)

PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Download (3MB) | Preview


Objective: Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer worldwide, with a lifetime risk of around 20%. Current solutions do not allow clinicians to objectively assess tissue abnormality during endoscopy and perioperatively. A solution capable of objectively assessing samples in real time could greatly improve the treatment process. A solution that can be integrated in minimally invasive diagnostics and management strategies to provide real-time point-of-care information would be greatly transformative. Electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) may provide such a solution. In this paper, we present a feasibility study on using EIS in assessing colorectal tissue.

Approach: We performed tetrapolar EIS using ZedScan on excised human colorectal tumour tissue and the matched normal colonic mucosa in 22 freshly resected specimens following elective surgery for colorectal cancer. Histopathological examination was used to confirm the final diagnosis. Statistical significance was assessed with Wilcoxon signed rank test.

Main results: Tetrapolar EIS could discriminate cancer with statistically significant results when applying frequencies between 305 Hz – 625 kHz (p < 0.05). 300 Ω was set as the transfer impedance threshold to detect cancer. Thus, the area under the corresponding receiver operating characteristic curve for this threshold was 0.7105.

Significance: This feasibility study demonstrates that impedance spectra changes in colorectal cancer tissue are detectable and may be statistically significant, suggesting that EIS has the
potential to be the core technology in a novel non-invasive point of care test for detecting colorectal cancer. These results warrant further development and increasing the size of the study with a
device specificity designed for colorectal cancer.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Accepted Manuscript online 23 March 2017
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences > Biophysics and Bioengineering group
Item ID: 21774
Notes on copyright: This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication/published in Physiological Measurement. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Richard Bayford
Date Deposited: 04 May 2017 15:41
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 22:50

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.