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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 485173, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/485173
Research Article

Real-Time Monitoring of Neural Differentiation of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells by Electric Cell-Substrate Impedance Sensing

1Department of Biological Science, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon 406-799, Republic of Korea
2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon 406-799, Republic of Korea
3Department of Life Science, Dongguk University-Seoul, Seoul 100-715, Republic of Korea

Received 21 December 2010; Revised 23 February 2011; Accepted 2 April 2011

Academic Editor: Andre Van Wijnen

Copyright © 2011 Hyo Eun Park et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Stem cells are useful for cell replacement therapy. Stem cell differentiation must be monitored thoroughly and precisely prior to transplantation. In this study we evaluated the usefulness of electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) for in vitro real-time monitoring of neural differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). We cultured hMSCs in neural differentiation media (NDM) for 6 days and examined the time-course of impedance changes with an ECIS array. We also monitored the expression of markers for neural differentiation, total cell count, and cell cycle profiles. Cellular expression of neuron and oligodendrocyte markers increased. The resistance value of cells cultured in NDM was automatically measured in real-time and found to increase much more slowly over time compared to cells cultured in non-differentiation media. The relatively slow resistance changes observed in differentiating MSCs were determined to be due to their lower growth capacity achieved by induction of cell cycle arrest in G0/G1. Overall results suggest that the relatively slow change in resistance values measured by ECIS method can be used as a parameter for slowly growing neural-differentiating cells. However, to enhance the competence of ECIS for in vitro real-time monitoring of neural differentiation of MSCs, more elaborate studies are needed.