Electric Cell-Substrate Impedance Sensing (ECIS) can produce reproducible wounding models by mechanically disrupting a cell monolayer. This study compared in vitro wound-healing using human cerebral microvascular endothelial cells (hCMVEC) with both single electrode (8W1E) and multiple electrodes (8W10E+) arrays. Measurements of hCMVEC migration and barrier functions were conducted, revealing variable levels of barrier disruption could be achieved by altering the duration and magnitude of the applied current. In all scenarios, the barrier (Rb) did not recover the strength observed prior to injury. Localization of junctional proteins following wounding were analyzed by immunocytochemistry. Following wounding, cell migration was generally faster on the 8W10E+ than the 8W1E array. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed non-viable cells remained on the 8W1E electrodes but not the 8W10E+ electrodes. However, viable cells partially remained on the 8W10E+ electrodes following wounding. In addition, the 8W10E+ electrodes demonstrated variation in cell loss across electrodes within the same well. This suggests the type of wounding is different on the two array types. However, our data show both arrays can be used to model incomplete barrier recovery and therefore both have potential for testing of drugs to improve endothelial barrier function. This is the first time that the possibility of using the 8W10E+ array as a wounding model is addressed. We highlight the differences in wounding produced between the two arrays, and can be used to study the underlying causes for impaired barrier function following CNS injuries.
Keywords: ECIS; brain endothelium; wound-healing assay.