Transient bioimpedance monitoring of mechanotransduction in artificial tissue during indentation
Mechanotransduction is of fundamental importance in cell physiology, facilitating sensing in touch and hearing as well as tissue development and wound healing. This study used an impedance sensor to monitor the effective resistance and permittivity of artificial tissues, alginate hydrogel with encapsulated fibroblasts, which were kept viable through the use of a bespoke microfluidic system. The observed transient impedance responses upon the application of identical compressive normal loads differed between acellular hydrogels and hydrogels in which fibroblasts were encapsulated. These differences resulted from changes in the conductivity and permeability of the hydrogel due to the presence of the encapsulated fibroblasts, and transient changes in ion concentrations due to mechanotransduction effects.
Bioimpedance; mechanotransduction; cells; artificial skin; tissue engineering