Estimation of dynamic metabolic activity in micro-tissue cultures from sensor recordings with an FEM model

  • Cornelia PfisterEmail author
  • Christian Forstmeier
  • Johannes Biedermann
  • Julia Schermuly
  • Franz Demmel
  • Peter Wolf
  • Bernd Kaspers
  • Martin Brischwein
Original Article


We estimated the dynamic cell metabolic activity and the distribution of the pH value and oxygen concentration in tissue samples cultured in vitro by using real-time sensor records and a numerical simulation of the underlying reaction–diffusion processes. As an experimental tissue model, we used chicken spleen slices. A finite element method model representing the biochemical processes and including the relevant sensor data was set up. By fitting the calculated results to the measured data, we derived the spatiotemporal values of the pH value, the oxygen concentration and the absolute metabolic activity (extracellular acidification and oxygen uptake rate) of the samples. Notably, the location of the samples in relation to the sensors has a great influence on the detectable metabolic rates. The long-term vitality of the tissue samples strongly depends on their size. We further discuss the benefits and limitations of the model.


Finite element method analysis Extracellular acidification rate Oxygen uptake rate Tissue culture Tumor model 



We are greatly indebted to the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for financial support and the cooperating partner HP Medizintechnik GmbH (Oberschleißheim, Germany) for their commitment in that project.


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Copyright information

© International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cornelia Pfister
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Christian Forstmeier
    • 1
  • Johannes Biedermann
    • 1
  • Julia Schermuly
    • 2
  • Franz Demmel
    • 1
    • 3
  • Peter Wolf
    • 3
  • Bernd Kaspers
    • 2
  • Martin Brischwein
    • 1
  1. 1.Heinz Nixdorf-Lehrstuhl für Medizinische ElektronikTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  2. 2.Institut für TierphysiologieMunichGermany
  3. 3.HP Medizintechnik GmbHOberschleißheimGermany

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