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J Biol Phys. 2015 Jun;41(3):223-34. doi: 10.1007/s10867-014-9374-8. Epub 2015 Jan 10.

In silico validation procedure for cell volume fraction estimation through dielectric spectroscopy.

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Department of Information Engineering, Electronics and Telecommunications, La Sapienza, University of Rome, Via Eudossiana 18, 00184, Rome, Italy.


Dielectric spectroscopy has proved to be a good tool for analyzing the passive electrical properties of biological tissues as well as those of inhomogeneous materials. This technique promises to be a valid alternative to the classical ones based on metabolites to monitor the growth and cell volume fraction of cell cultures in a simple and minimally invasive way. In order to obtain an accurate estimation of the cell volume fraction as a function of the permittivity of the suspension, a simple in silico procedure is proposed. The procedure is designed to perform homogenization from the micro-scale to the macro-scale using simple analytical models and simulation setups hypothesizing the properties of diluted suspension (cell volume fraction less than 0.2). Results obtained show the possibility to overcome some trouble involving the analytical treatment of the cellular shape by considering a sphere with the same permittivity in the quantitative analysis of the cell volume fraction. The entire study is based on computer simulations performed in order to verify the correctness of the procedure. Obtained data are used in a cell volume fraction estimation scenario to show the effectiveness of the procedure.

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