Dielectric spectroscopy for non-invasive monitoring of epithelial cell differentiation within three-dimensional scaffolds

In this study, we introduce a cellular differentiation cellular model based on dielectric spectroscopy that characterizes epithelial differentiation processes. Non-invasive cellular monitoring was achieved within a three-dimensional microenvironment consisting of a cell-containing collagen I gel seeded onto microfabricated scaffolds. In this proof-of-concept investigation, Madin-Darby canine kidney cells were cultured within microfabricated, geometrically controlled scaffolds and allowed us to differentiate to hollow cyst-like structures. This transformation within the three-dimensional environment is monitored and characterized through dielectric spectroscopy while maintaining cell culture in vitro.