Assessing electrical impedance spectroscopy as a non-invasive method in plant tissue

H. Alaoui*

School of Science and Engineering, Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco


Electrical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) has provided a non-invasive methodology of characterizing the electrical properties (resistance, capacitance) of many systems, including biological tissues. It elaborates on the structural-functional studies of physiological events, biochemical cross talk’s, plant soil-root interactions, root size, leaf water relations, and fruit quality characteristics. In EIS measures, the plasma membrane acts as an electrical insulator that controls the movement of ions and electrolytes across the cells. An electric current under an applied voltage on the tissue flows through the cell walls and from cell to cell and in the fluids within the conducting elements giving rise to electrical impedance. The magnitude of the impedance and its phase angle can be measured at multiple frequencies using a precise impedance analyzer. The fundamental concepts of electrical impedance spectroscopy are re-examined and a brief review is given of the role that EIS has played in the development of our understanding of cellular and synthetic membranes, cell biophysics and ionic systems in biological tissues. Inside the tissue, ions are the main current carriers that demonstrate the total impedance. The symplastic and apoplastic resistance form a parallel impedance circuitry at a given frequency. A description is given of a new computer-controlled, four-terminal digital impedance spectrometer and measurements were carried out in the range 1Hz-1MHz with 10 points per decade and a 100mV applied voltage at 10-day period at various aluminum (Al) concentrations (0, 15, 30, 45 and 60 mg/l), in the desert shrub, Calotropis Procera. We explained the impedance dispersions in terms of Nyquist graphs that demonstrate the complex impedance of C. Procera stem via arcs of different peaks. Nyquist graphs of biological tissues are composed of one or two arcs in the complex plane, depending on the sample under study and the range of frequencies used. The parameters of the best fitting circuit are estimated using an optimization technique. To analyze and interpret experimental data, an equivalent circuit model should be used. The spectra and changes that occur as a result of perturbations to the system can be readily assessed and interpreted. This paper reviews EIS theory, instrumentation, summarizes its application, model validation and data assimilation in the model plant Calotropis Procera under aluminum stress.


Impedance analysis, Cole-Cole electrical model, Non-invasive measurements, Growth’ plant organs, Phytotoxicity

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Article history

Received 10 April 2019, Received in revised form 12 September 2019, Accepted 13 September 2019

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Alaoui H (2019). Assessing electrical impedance spectroscopy as a non-invasive method in plant tissue. Annals of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 2(12): 1-6

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