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Trans-epithelial Electrical Resistance (TEER) device to study the circadian rhythms of intestinal barrier function

Raised of $4,450 Goal
Funded on 7/27/23
Successfully Funded
  • $4,510
  • 101%
  • Funded
    on 7/27/23

About This Project

Trans-Epithelial Electrical Resistance (TEER) is an important measure of epithelial tissue permeability. Tissue TEER values change dynamically, however current devices capable of continuous TEER measurements are expensive or have limited functionality. Our goal is to develop a scalable, affordable and functional TEER measurement device to assess circadian tissue permeability.

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What is the context of this research?

Barrier function is a critical property of mucosal tissues. Many gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease have disrupted barrier function which can lead to chronic inflammatory conditions. While increased intestinal permeability is associated with inflammatory bowel disease it is also present healthy individuals. Increased permeability can lead to exposure of luminal contents with the mucosal immune system. We hypothesize that periodic and circadian changes in permeability of the intestinal barrier exist and are involved in intestinal homeostasis and regulation of the mucosal immune system.

What is the significance of this project?

The significance of this project are two-fold. The TEER device itself will be an open-science project and freely available for others to build. This will not only reduce lab overhead costs, but will also upgrade functionality. It offers exciting future prospects such as integration with live microscopy, and impedance spectroscopy functionality and use in microfluidic applications. Changes in intestinal permeability are generally associated with disease, but if mucosal barrier permeability displays circadian changes in healthy cells this may change the way we think about intestinal homeostasis in both health and disease states and the oral bioavailability of drug treatments.

What are the goals of the project?

Our goal is to measure and characterize circadian changes in transepithelial electrical resistance in human intestinal cells . To do this we aim to develop a device that will allow continuous TEER measurements that can be transmitted /captured without perturbing cells. The device will be based on the arduino platform, have wireless communication, and computer data logging. Our design is based on 12+ electrode sets that are sequentially read and can modulate current level and frequency. We will interface this device with a platform that hold the inserts where the cells are grown in an incubator and we will non-invasively record the TEER in these cells over several days.


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We are looking to fund the costs involved for the supplies, parts and manufacturing the TEER device. Existing funds in place to cover personnel time and lab infrastructure costs. The funds will enable electronics production, biological reagents and 3D printing. Electronics production involves the assembly of the printed circuit board (PCB) and related components for 2 prototypes (1550 USD). 3D printing costs relate to use of an Stereolithography (SLA) printer, wash station and autoclavable dental resin to produce the housing and electrode arrays that the inserts (transwells) on which epithelial cells are grown will be placed. Biological reagents costs include costs assorted with growing epithelial cells in order to perform initial validation and testing of the device.

Endorsed by

affordable and scalable tools to study epithelial barrier function will be key to understand various aspects of intestine diseases. Time-series tracking of TEER will be a dream-come-true to study epithelial barrier functions in context of physiological rhythm. 100% endorsing the experiment and the team!

Project Timeline

Currently we have completed the schematic for the Flexi-TEER device. Most likely an issue or two will arise from the board during testing and we will have to produce a second prototype. A protype of the sample/electrode holders is already completed and needs to be cast in materials that are autoclavable. After this we can proceed to conducting the experiment and writing a paper about it.

Mar 01, 2023

Schematic Finished

Jun 21, 2023

Prototype Manufactured

Jun 27, 2023

Project Launched

Oct 09, 2023

Prototype Testing Completed

Oct 23, 2023

Prototype Revisions Completed

Meet the Team

Michael Anderson
Michael Anderson
Staff Scientist


Boston Children's Hospital
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Jay Thiagarajah
Jay Thiagarajah
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics


Harvard, Boston Children's Hospital
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Dennis Yaskevich
Dennis Yaskevich
Electronics Engineer

Michael Anderson

Michael is a trained physicist and microscopist. Beyond his expertise in microscopy techniques and microscopes, his interests extend into hardware development. Michael became interested in transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurement techniques due to the interesting interaction of physical forces with biological models.

Jay Thiagarajah

Dr. Jay Thiagarajah is a pediatric gastroenterologist, interested in childhood diseases that cause diarrhea. A physiologist /biophysicist by training, he is interested in how fluid and nutrient absorption is regulated in the intestine and how mucosal surfaces sense and interact with their environment.

Dennis Yaskevich

Dennis is an electronics engineer that has a passion for open hardware science projects.

Project Backers

  • 2Backers
  • 101%Funded
  • $4,510Total Donations
  • $2,255.00Average Donation
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