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Monitoring of ions in real-time directly in cell culture systems and in organ-on-a-chip platforms represents a significant investigation tool to understand ion regulation and distribution in the body and ions’ involvement in biological mechanisms and specific pathologies. Innovative flexible sensors coupling electrochemical stripping analysis (square wave anodic stripping voltammetry, SWASV) with an ion selective membrane (ISM) were developed and integrated in Transwell™ cell culture systems to investigate the transport of zinc and copper ions across a human intestinal Caco-2 cell monolayer. The fabricated ion-selective sensors demonstrated good sensitivity (1 × 10−11 M ion concentration) and low detection limits, consistent with pathophysiological cellular concentration ranges. A non-invasive electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) analysis, in situ, across a selected spectrum of frequencies (10–105 Hz), and an equivalent circuit fitting were employed to obtain useful electrical parameters for cellular barrier integrity monitoring. Transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) data and immunofluorescent images were used to validate the intestinal epithelial integrity and the permeability enhancer effect of ethylene glycol-bis(2-aminoethylether)-N,N,N’,N’-tetraacetic acid (EGTA) treatment. The proposed devices represent a real prospective tool for monitoring cellular and molecular events and for studies on gut metabolism/permeability. They will enable a rapid integration of these sensors into gut-on-chip systems.
Publication date: 
21 Feb 2023

Elisa Sciurti, Laura Blasi, Carmela Tania Prontera, Amilcare Barca, Lucia Giampetruzzi, Tiziano Verri, Pietro Aleardo Siciliano, Luca Francioso

Biblio References: 
Volume: 14 Issue: 3 Pages: 496