Ion conductance‐based perfusability assay of vascular vessel models in microfluidic devices

Rise Akasaka, Masashi Ozawa, Yuji Nashimoto, Kosuke Ino, Hitoshi Shiku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We present a novel methodology based on ion conductance to evaluate the perfusability of vascular vessels in microfluidic devices without microscopic imaging. The devices consisted of five channels, with the center channel filled with fibrin/collagen gel containing human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Fibroblasts were cultured in the other channels to improve the vascular network formation. To form vessel structures bridging the center channel, HUVEC monolayers were prepared on both side walls of the gel. During the culture, the HUVECs migrated from the monolayer and connected to the HUVECs in the gel, and vascular vessels formed, resulting in successful perfusion between the channels after culturing for 3–5 d. To evaluate perfusion without microscopic imaging, Ag/AgCl wires were inserted into the channels, and ion currents were obtained to measure the ion conductance between the channels separated by the HUVEC monolayers. As the HUVEC monolayers blocked the ion current flow, the ion currents were low before vessel formation. In contrast, ion currents increased after vessel formation because of creation of ion current paths. Thus, the observed ion currents were correlated with the perfusability of the vessels, indicating that they can be used as indicators of perfusion during vessel formation in microfluidic devices. The developed methodology will be used for drug screening using organs‐on‐a‐chip containing vascular vessels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1491
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec


  • Electrochemical device
  • Ion conductance assay
  • Microfluidic device
  • Perfusability assay
  • Vascular vessel model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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