Articles by Marinke W. van der Helm in JoVE
Fabrication and Validation of an Organ-on-chip System with Integrated Electrodes to Directly Quantify Transendothelial Electrical Resistance Marinke W. van der Helm1, Mathieu Odijk1, Jean-Philippe Frimat1,2, Andries D. van der Meer3, Jan C.T. Eijkel1, Albert van den Berg1, Loes I. Segerink1 1BIOS Lab on a Chip group, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology and Max Planck Center for Complex Fluid Dynamics, University of Twente, 2Microsystems, Eindhoven University of Technology, 3Applied Stem Cell Technologies, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twente This publication describes the fabrication of an organ-on-chip device with integrated electrodes for direct quantification of transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER). For validation, the blood-brain barrier was mimicked inside this microfluidic device and its barrier function was monitored. The presented methods for electrode integration and direct TEER quantification are generally applicable.
Other articles by Marinke W. van der Helm on PubMed
Measuring Direct Current Trans-epithelial Electrical Resistance in Organ-on-a-chip Microsystems Lab on a Chip. Feb, 2015 | Pubmed ID: 25427650 Trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurements are widely used as real-time, non-destructive, and label-free measurements of epithelial and endothelial barrier function. TEER measurements are ideal for characterizing tissue barrier function in organs-on-chip studies for drug testing and investigation of human disease models; however, published reports using this technique have reported highly conflicting results even with identical cell lines and experimental setups. The differences are even more dramatic when comparing measurements in conventional Transwell systems with those obtained in microfluidic systems. Our goal in this work was therefore to enhance the fidelity of TEER measurements in microfluidic organs-on-chips, specifically using direct current (DC) measurements of TEER, as this is the most widely used method reported in the literature. Here we present a mathematical model that accounts for differences measured in TEER between microfluidic chips and Transwell systems, which arise from differences in device geometry. The model is validated by comparing TEER measurements obtained in a microfluidic gut-on-a-chip device versus in a Transwell culture system. Moreover, we show that even small gaps in cell coverage (e.g., 0.4%) are sufficient to cause a significant (~80%) drop in TEER. Importantly, these findings demonstrate that TEER measurements obtained in microfluidic systems, such as organs-on-chips, require special consideration, specifically when results are to be compared with measurements obtained from Transwell systems.
Microfluidic Organ-on-chip Technology for Blood-brain Barrier Research Tissue Barriers. Jan-Mar, 2016 | Pubmed ID: 27141422 Organs-on-chips are a new class of microengineered laboratory models that combine several of the advantages of current in vivo and in vitro models. In this review, we summarize the advances that have been made in the development of organ-on-chip models of the blood-brain barrier (BBBs-on-chips) and the challenges that are still ahead. The BBB is formed by specialized endothelial cells and separates blood from brain tissue. It protects the brain from harmful compounds from the blood and provides homeostasis for optimal neuronal function [corrected]. Studying BBB function and dysfunction is important for drug development and biomedical research. Microfluidic BBBs-on-chips enable real-time study of (human) cells in an engineered physiological microenvironment, for example incorporating small geometries and fluid flow as well as sensors. Examples of BBBs-on-chips in literature already show the potential of more realistic microenvironments and the study of organ-level functions. A key challenge in the field of BBB-on-chip development is the current lack of standardized quantification of parameters such as barrier permeability and shear stress. This limits the potential for direct comparison of the performance of different BBB-on-chip models to each other and existing models. We give recommendations for further standardization in model characterization and conclude that the rapidly emerging field of BBB-on-chip models holds great promise for further studies in BBB biology and drug development.
Direct Quantification of Transendothelial Electrical Resistance in Organs-on-chips Biosensors & Bioelectronics. Nov, 2016 | Pubmed ID: 27315517 Measuring transendothelial or transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) is a widely used method to monitor cellular barrier tightness in organs-on-chips. Unfortunately, integrated electrodes close to the cellular barrier hamper visual inspection of the cells or require specialized cleanroom processes to fabricate see-through electrodes. Out-of-view electrodes inserted into the chip's outlets are influenced by the fluid-filled microchannels with relatively high resistance. In this case, small changes in temperature or medium composition strongly affect the apparent TEER. To solve this, we propose a simple and universally applicable method to directly determine the TEER in microfluidic organs-on-chips without the need for integrated electrodes close to the cellular barrier. Using four electrodes inserted into two channels - two on each side of the porous membrane - and six different measurement configurations we can directly derive the isolated TEER independent of channel properties. We show that this method removes large variation of non-biological origin in chips filled with culture medium. Furthermore, we demonstrate the use of our method by quantifying the TEER of a monolayer of human hCMEC/D3 cerebral endothelial cells, mimicking the blood-brain barrier inside our microfluidic organ-on-chip device. We found stable TEER values of 22 Ω cm(2)±1.3 Ω cm(2) (average ± standard error of the mean of 4 chips), comparable to other TEER values reported for hCMEC/D3 cells in well-established Transwell systems. In conclusion, we demonstrate a simple and robust way to directly determine TEER that is applicable to any organ-on-chip device with two channels separated by a membrane. This enables stable and easily applicable TEER measurements without the need for specialized cleanroom processes and with visibility on the measured cell layer.