Sensor-Instrumented Scaffold Integrated with Microporous Spongelike Ultrabuoy for Long-Term 3D Mapping of Cellular Behaviors and Functions

Real-time monitoring of cellular behaviors and functions with sensor-instrumented scaffolds can provide a profound impact on fundamental studies of the underlying biophysics and disease modeling. Although quantitative measurement of predictive data for in vivo tests and physiologically relevant information in these contexts is important, the long-term reliable monitoring of cellular functions in three-dimensional (3D) environments is limited by the required set under wet cell culture conditions that are unfavorable to electronic instrument settings. Here, we introduce an ultrabuoyant 3D instrumented scaffold that can remain afloat on the surface of culture medium and thereby provides favorable environments for the entire electronic components in the air while the cells reside and grow underneath. This setting enables high-fidelity recording of electrical cell–substrate impedance and electrophysiological signals for a long period of time (weeks). Comprehensive in vitro studies reveal the utility of this platform as an effective tool for drug screening and tissue development.