Novel system to study the impact of epithelial barriers on cellular metabolism

Rhonda M. Brand, Tracy L. Hannah, Cynthia Mueller, Yuksel Cetin, Frederick G. Hamel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Medications introduced into the systematic circulation must be transported across biological barriers such as skin, gastrointestinal, or bronchial epithelia, which can alter their kinetic and metabolic profiles. It is, therefore, important to understand diffusion kinetics across barrier membranes when choosing a dosing regime that will elicit the greatest cellular response. An in vitro system that combines membrane transport studies with a downstream cell culture chamber has been developed. The system has been tested with skin and a small intestine model (Caco-2 cell monolayers) as barriers, the peroxovanadium compound [VO(O2)2 1, 10 phenanthroline] bpV(phen), as the test chemical, Hep-G2 (liver) as the test cells, and glucose consumption as the test assay. Peroxovanadium has insulin mimetic properties and has been previously demonstrated to effectively lower blood glucose levels in diabetic rats when administered transdermally. A dose of 10 mM bpV(phen) placed on the skin epidermis with a continuous iontophoretic current of 0.5 mA/cm2 for 4.5 h led to a net 22% increase in glucose consumption by Hep-G2 cells. The same dose of bpV(phen) passively diffusing across a Caco-2 cell monolayer led to an increase in glucose consumption by Hep-G2 cells of 23%. This system is highly versatile and can be used to study many other processes, involving a variety of biological membranes, cell types, chemicals and assays, making it a valuable research tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1210-1217
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of biomedical engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Novel system to study the impact of epithelial barriers on cellular metabolism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this