Self-rolling sensors take heart cell readings in 3D

ScienceDaily | 8/23/2019 | Staff
Fubu_chik (Posted by) Level 3
The organ-on-e-chip approach will help develop and assess the efficacy of drugs for disease treatment -- perhaps even enabling researchers to screen for drugs and toxins directly on a human-like tissue, rather than testing on animal tissue. The platform will also be used to shed light on the connection between the heart's electrical signals and disease, such as arrhythmias. The research, published in Science Advances, allows the researchers to investigate processes in cultured cells that currently are not accessible, such as tissue development and cell maturation.

"For decades, electrophysiology was done using cells and cultures on two-dimensional surfaces, such as culture dishes," says Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering (BME) and Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) Tzahi Cohen-Karni. "We are trying to circumvent the challenge of reading the heart's electrical patterns in 3D by developing a way to shrink-wrap sensors around heart cells and extracting electrophysiological information from this tissue."

Platform - Rectangle - Microscale - Slap - Bracelet

The "organ-on-e-chip" platform starts out as a small, flat rectangle, not unlike a microscale slap bracelet. A slap bracelet starts out as a rigid, ruler-like structure, but when you release the tension it quickly coils up to band around the wrist.

The organ-on-e-chip starts out similarly. The researchers pin an array of sensors made of either metallic electrodes or graphene sensors to the chip's surface, then etch off a bottom layer of germanium, which is known as the "sacrificial layer." Once this sacrificial layer is removed, the biosensor array is released from its hold and rolls up from the surface in a barrel shaped structure.

Researchers - Platform - Spheroids - Organoids - Heart

The researchers tested the platform on cardiac spheroids, or elongated organoids made of heart cells. These 3D heart spheroids are about the width of 2-3 human hairs. Coiling the platform over the spheroid allows the researchers to collect electrical signal readings with high precision.

"Essentially, we...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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