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Micromachines 2016, 7(12), 221;

Temporal Transition of Mechanical Characteristics of HUVEC/MSC Spheroids Using a Microfluidic Chip with Force Sensor Probes

Department of Micro-Nano Systems Engineering, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8603, Aichi, Japan
Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA
Department of Regenerative Medicine, Yokohama City University, Yokohama 236-0004, Kanagawa, Japan
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Osaka University, Suita 565-0871, Osaka, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jeong-Bong Lee
Received: 27 October 2016 / Revised: 27 November 2016 / Accepted: 30 November 2016 / Published: 5 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Lab-on-a-Chip)
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In this paper, we focus on the mechanical characterization of co-cultured spheroids of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) (HUVEC/MSC spheroids). HUVEC/MSC spheroids aggregate during culture, thereby decreasing in size. Since this size decrease can be caused by the contractility generated by the actomyosin of MSCs, which are intracellular frames, we can expect that there is a temporal transition for the mechanical characteristics, such as stiffness, during culture. To measure the mechanical characteristics, we use a microfluidic chip that is integrated with force sensor probes. We show the details of the measurement configuration and the results of mechanical characterization of the HUVEC/MSC spheroids. To evaluate the stiffness of the spheroids, we introduce the stiffness index, which essentially shows a spring constant per unit size of the spheroid at a certain time during measurement. From the measurement results, we confirmed that the stiffness index firstly increased during the days of culture, although after four days of culture, the stiffness index decreased. We confirmed that the proposed system can measure the stiffness of HUVEC/MSC spheroids. View Full-Text
Keywords: mechanical characterization; microfluidic chip; spheroid; force sensor probe mechanical characterization; microfluidic chip; spheroid; force sensor probe

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ito, K.; Sakuma, S.; Kimura, M.; Takebe, T.; Kaneko, M.; Arai, F. Temporal Transition of Mechanical Characteristics of HUVEC/MSC Spheroids Using a Microfluidic Chip with Force Sensor Probes. Micromachines 2016, 7, 221.

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