Electrical impulse effects on degenerative human annulus fibrosus model to reduce disc pain using micro-electrical impulse-on-a-chip

Jae Hee Shin, Min Ho Hwang, Seung Min Back, Hyo Geun Nam, Chang Min Yoo, Jeong Hun Park, Hyeong Guk Son, Jae Won Lee, Hyun Jung Lim, Kwang Ho Lee, Hong Joo Moon, Joo Han Kim, Han Sang Cho, Hyuk Choi

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Electrical stimulation of cells and tissues for therapeutic benefit is a well-established method. Although animal studies can emulate the complexity of an organism’s physiology, lab-on-a-chip platforms provide a suitable primary model for follow-up animal studies. Thus, inexpensive and easy-to-use platforms for in vitro human cell studies are required. In the present study, we designed a micro-electrical impulse (micro-EI)-on-a-chip (micro-EI-chip), which can precisely control electron density and adjust the frequency based on a micro-EI. The micro-EI-chip can stimulate cells at various micro-EI densities (0–500 mV/mm) and frequencies (0–300 Hz), which enables multiple co-culture of different cell types with or without electrical stimulation. As a proof-of-concept study, a model involving degenerative inflamed human annulus fibrosus (hAF) cells was established in vitro and the effects of micro-EI on inflamed hAF cells were evaluated using the micro-EI-chip. Stimulation of the cells (150 mV/mm at 200 Hz) inhibited the secretion of inflammatory cytokines and downregulated the activities of extracellular matrix-modifying enzymes and matrix metalloproteinase-1. These results show that micro-EI stimulation could affect degenerative diseases based on inflammation, implicating the micro-EI-chip as being useful for basic research of electroceuticals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5827
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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