Liver-on-chip systems are widely seen as having the potential to replace animal testing for long-term liver toxicity assessments. However, such systems necessitate solutions, such as electrochemical microsensors, to provide information about the cells exposed to chemical compounds in a confined space. This study describes the development of microsensors for the detection of alanine-aminotransferase (ALT), an intracellular enzyme found in hepatocytes, for monitoring the viability of in-vitro hepatic cell cultures. The electrochemical sensors were developed by using screen printed electrodes functionalized by drop casting. These technologies are intended to produce disposable and low-cost sensors that can easily be exchanged once their performance is degraded. The sensors are capable of measuring ALT in a microfluidic environment through the detection of changes in glutamate concentration. The microsensors were found to be stable for more than 60 days and were successfully tested using hepatocellular lysates to assess their capability to quantify ALT activity in a hepatic cell culture. These results open the way to their integration in liver bioreactors to assess hepatocellular toxicity in-vitro. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Sensors and Actuators B-Chemical, vol. 228, pp. 360-365, Jun 2016.