In this paper, we focus on the mechanical characterization of co-cultured spheroids of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) (HUVEC/MSC spheroids). HUVEC/MSC spheroids aggregate during culture, thereby decreasing in size. Since this size decrease can be caused by the contractility generated by the actomyosin of MSCs, which are intracellular frames, we can expect that there is a temporal transition for the mechanical characteristics, such as stiffness, during culture. To measure the mechanical characteristics, we use a microfluidic chip that is integrated with force sensor probes. We show the details of the measurement configuration and the results of mechanical characterization of the HUVEC/MSC spheroids. To evaluate the stiffness of the spheroids, we introduce the stiffness index, which essentially shows a spring constant per unit size of the spheroid at a certain time during measurement. From the measurement results, we confirmed that the stiffness index firstly increased during the days of culture, although after four days of culture, the stiffness index decreased. We confirmed that the proposed system can measure the stiffness of HUVEC/MSC spheroids.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering