Skin-on-a-Chip: Transepithelial Electrical Resistance and Extracellular Acidification Measurements through an Automated Air-Liquid Interface
cellasys GmbH, 87758 Kronburg, Germany
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Munich, 80333 Munich, Germany
Centre in Regenerative Medicine, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, 4059 Kelvin Grove, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2018, 9(2), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9020114
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 21 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From the Lab-on-a-Chip to the Organ-on-a-Chip)
Skin is a critical organ that plays a crucial role in defending the internal organs of the body. For this reason, extensive work has gone into creating artificial models of the epidermis for in vitro skin toxicity tests. These tissue models, called reconstructed human epidermis (RhE), are used by researchers in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and environmental arenas to evaluate skin toxicity upon exposure to xenobiotics. Here, we present a label-free solution that leverages the use of the intelligent mobile lab for in vitro diagnostics (IMOLA-IVD), a noninvasive, sensor-based platform, to monitor the transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) of RhE models and adherent cells cultured on porous membrane inserts. Murine fibroblasts cultured on polycarbonate membranes were first used as a test model to optimize procedures using a custom BioChip encapsulation design, as well as dual fluidic configurations, for continuous and automated perfusion of membrane-bound cultures. Extracellular acidification rate (EAR) and TEER of membrane-bound L929 cells were monitored. The developed protocol was then used to monitor the TEER of MatTek EpiDermTM RhE models over a period of 48 h. TEER and EAR measurements demonstrated that the designed system is capable of maintaining stable cultures on the chip, monitoring metabolic parameters, and revealing tissue breakdown over time.