alexa A whole-cell biosensor as in vitro alternative to skin irritation tests.


International Journal of Advancements in Technology

Author(s): Hofmann U, Michaelis S, Winckler T, Wegener J, Feller KH

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Abstract This study presents the time-resolved detection of chemically induced stress upon intracellular signaling cascades by using genetically modified sensor cells based on the human keratinocyte cell line HaCaT. The cells were stably transfected with a HSP72-GFP reporter gene construct to create an optical sensor cell line expressing a stress-inducible reporter protein. The time- and dose-dependent performance of the sensor cells is demonstrated and discussed in comparison to a label-free impedimetric monitoring approach (electric cell-substrate impedance sensing, ECIS). Moreover, a microfluidic platform was established based on μSlidesI(0,4)Luer to allow for a convenient, sterile and incubator-independent time-lapse microscopic observation of the sensor cells. Cell growth was successfully achieved in this microfluidic setup and the cellular response to a cytotoxic substance could be followed in real-time and in a non-invasive, sensitive manner. This study paves the way for the development of micro-total analysis systems that combine optical and impedimetric readouts to enable an overall quantitative characterization of changes in cell metabolism and morphology as a response to toxin exposure. By recording multiple parameters, a detailed discrimination between competing stress- or growth-related mechanisms is possible, thereby presenting an entirely new in vitro alternative to skin irritation tests. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. This article was published in Biosens Bioelectron and referenced in International Journal of Advancements in Technology

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