Transendothelial Electrical Resistance Measurement across the Blood-Brain Barrier: A Critical Review of Methods


The blood-brain barrier (BBB) represents the tightest endothelial barrier within the cardiovascular system characterized by very low ionic permeability. Our aim was to describe the setups, electrodes, and instruments to measure electrical resistance across brain microvessels and culture models of the BBB, as well as critically assess the influence of often neglected physical and technical parameters such as temperature, viscosity, current density generated by different electrode types, surface size, circumference, and porosity of the culture insert membrane. We demonstrate that these physical and technical parameters greatly influence the measurement of transendothelial electrical resistance/resistivity (TEER) across BBB culture models resulting in severalfold differences in TEER values of the same biological model, especially in the low-TEER range. We show that elevated culture medium viscosity significantly increases, while higher membrane porosity decreases TEER values. TEER data measured by chopstick electrodes can be threefold higher than values measured by chamber electrodes due to different electrode size and geometry, resulting in current distribution inhomogeneity. An additional shunt resistance at the circumference of culture inserts results in lower TEER values. A detailed description of setups and technical parameters is crucial for the correct interpretation and comparison of TEER values of BBB models.

Authors Vigh JP, Kincses A, Ozgür B, Walter FR, Santa-Maria AR, Valkai S, Vastag M, Neuhaus W, Brodin B, Dér A, Deli MA
Journal Micromachines
Publication Date 2021 Jun 11;12(6)
PubMed 34208338
PubMed Central PMC8231150
DOI 10.3390/mi12060685

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