Tag: Bioengineering

Exploring Electrical Properties of Mesenchymal Stem Cells via Dielectrophoresis

By: Sierra Knowles

Stem cells play an important role in regenerative medicine because of their ability to proliferate into various cell types. Current work focuses on murine mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) differentiating into tenogenically differentiated cells upon exposure to a growth factor TGFβ2. During the course of their differentiation on treatment, MSCs are observed to exhibit different phenotypical and genotypical changes accounting for their change in electrophysiological make-up, i.e., the capacitance and permittivity of both the cell membrane and its interior. In this study, murine MSCs are characterized using dielectrophoresis (DEP), a non-labeling, non-destructive electrokinetic technique using a crossover frequency method. DEP is known to be able to detect subtle changes within the cell. Studies were performed on both untreated and treated (treated with growth factors differentiating into tenogenically modified MSCs) murine MSCs; the treated MSCs were treated on a time scale of days 1, 3, and 7. The results showed that tenogenically modified MSCs differed significantly in their electrical properties and could be distinguished from the untreated MSCs as early as 3 days into treatment.