3D tissue models: Upscaling in vitro tests

Functional drug testing of 3D in vitro cell models (spheroids and organoids), generated from induced stem cells or freshly isolated cancer patient tissues is not only an important tool for preclinical tumor research but also one of the most promising building blocks of an improved personalized cancer medicine.

The label-free monitoring of electric impedance alterations in those 3D tumor models is a candidate technology for in vitro tests and increasing the content of information that can be retrieved. The potential of advanced Printed Circuit Board (PCB-) technologies for an upscaled production of impedance sensor test plates is investigated.

One of the challenges of measuring the electric impedance of 3D culture objects is to guide electric currents through the 3D objects of interest and to avoid bypassing of high-impedance volumes. One of the approaches to achieve that is the use of guardring electrodes equipotential to the measuring  working electrodes.

Although still under investiation, the biological mechanism of impedance signal generation is assumed to be a reflection of alterations or damages in cell-cell connections and the integrity of cell membranes. While high frequency currents cross the tissue without being disturbed by cellular structures, the electric impedance to lower frequency (<10 – 100 kHz) currents should be sensitive to such changes.


Contact: Dr. Martin Brischwein, brischwein@tum.de