Electrical properties of Jurkat cells: an inverted scanning microwave microscope study

Near-field Scanning Microwave Microscopy (SMM) makes use of a high frequency signal to image and characterize electrical properties of samples. Recently, a new SMM setup was developed, the so called inverted-SMM (iSMM), whose biocompatibility allows its application to sample of biological interest. The experimental arrangement of the iSMM combines an Atomic Force Microscope, a Vector Network Analyser and a slot line as a sample holder. In this work, a calibration protocol for reflection mode measurements is applied to biological materials imaging, in particular Jurkat cells. Complex local admittance of a single cell is extracted and the dielectric constant is estimated to be around 2.6 ± 0.3. Thus, the first quantitative characterization of iSMM operating in reflection mode is reported, as well as the first electrical characterization of Jurkat cells with this tool.