Objective. 3D cell cultures are becoming a fundamental resource for in-vitro studies, as they mimic more closely in-vivo behavior. The analysis of these constructs, however, generally rely on destructive techniques, that prevent the monitoring over time of the same construct, thus increasing the results variability and the resources needed for each experiment. Approach. In this work, we focus on mineralization, a crucial process during maturation of artificial bone models, and propose electrical impedance tomography (EIT) as an alternative non-destructive approach. In particular, we discuss the development of an integrated hardware/software system capable of acquiring experimental data from 3D scaffolds and reconstructing the corresponding conductivity maps. We also show how the same software can test how the measurement is affected by biological features such as scaffold shrinking during the culture. Main results. An initial validation, comprising the acquisition of both a non- conductive phantom and alginate/gelatin scaffolds with known calcium content will be presented, together with the in-silico study of a cell-induced mineralization process. This analysis will allow for an initial verification of the systems functionality while limiting the effects of biological variability due to cell number and activity. Significance. Our results show the potential of EIT for the non-destructive quantification of matrix mineralization in 3D scaffolds, and open to the possible long term monitoring of this fundamental hallmark of osteogenic differentiation in hybrid tissue engineered constructs.

Development of an electrical impedance tomography set-up for the quantification of mineralization in biopolymer scaffolds

Marilisa Cortesi
Primo
;
Andrea Samorè;Joseph Lovecchio;Roberta Ramilli;Marco Tartagni;Emanuele Giordano;Marco Crescentini
2021

Abstract

Objective. 3D cell cultures are becoming a fundamental resource for in-vitro studies, as they mimic more closely in-vivo behavior. The analysis of these constructs, however, generally rely on destructive techniques, that prevent the monitoring over time of the same construct, thus increasing the results variability and the resources needed for each experiment. Approach. In this work, we focus on mineralization, a crucial process during maturation of artificial bone models, and propose electrical impedance tomography (EIT) as an alternative non-destructive approach. In particular, we discuss the development of an integrated hardware/software system capable of acquiring experimental data from 3D scaffolds and reconstructing the corresponding conductivity maps. We also show how the same software can test how the measurement is affected by biological features such as scaffold shrinking during the culture. Main results. An initial validation, comprising the acquisition of both a non- conductive phantom and alginate/gelatin scaffolds with known calcium content will be presented, together with the in-silico study of a cell-induced mineralization process. This analysis will allow for an initial verification of the systems functionality while limiting the effects of biological variability due to cell number and activity. Significance. Our results show the potential of EIT for the non-destructive quantification of matrix mineralization in 3D scaffolds, and open to the possible long term monitoring of this fundamental hallmark of osteogenic differentiation in hybrid tissue engineered constructs.
Marilisa Cortesi, Andrea Samorè, Joseph Lovecchio, Roberta Ramilli, Marco Tartagni, Emanuele Giordano, Marco Crescentini
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/827365
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