Journal article

Biosystem for the culture and characterisation of epithelial cell tissues

We have designed and realised a new type of microsystem for the electrical characterisation of epithelial cell layers for biomedical diagnostic purposes. We have used deep plasma and other micromachining procedures for the fabrication of vias and microfluidic channels in silicon and glass substrates. Miniaturised cell culture devices have been realised by gluing nano-porous polycarbonate membranes in between two structured wafers and by combining these with glass wafers to provide integrated microfluidic channels. We have characterised the impedimetric properties of our microsystem, demonstrated epithelial cell layer growth within it, and have done the initial electrical characterisations of epithelial cell layers. We believe that our devices will open new perspectives for cell-based diagnostic applications, especially for those where available cell quantities pose a limiting factor. Keywords: Epithelial cell; Biological microsystem; Silicon; Micromachining; Cell culture; Microfluidics; Electrical resistance

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