The fact that cancer cells have abnormal surface electrical charges has been discovered for more than half a century and yet it still has not been understood well despite of enormous efforts in cancerous research. Due to the lack of effective tools for the real-time measurement of electrical properties of individual live intact cells, researches for cancer cellular electricity has been plagued with much less understanding than other cellular signaling mechanisms. We herein review the major historic events of discovering the abnormal surface electrical properties of cancer cells. Although it is still difficult to fully understand this unique property of cancer cells, some applications using the unique surface electrical property of cancer cells, such as the polycation functionalized nanomaterials as the targeted anti-cancer drug delivery system and the utilization of the positively charged host defense peptides as universal anti-cancer drugs, are also reviewed. With the appearance of innovative techniques, the electrical properties of cancer cell surface can attract sufficient efforts to further understand their underlying mechanisms and implications in the clinical settings for diagnosing and treating cancer.
Cancer Cells, Surface Charge, Electrical Property, Host Defense Peptides, Cationic Liposome
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