Comparison of polynomial fitting versus single time point analysis of ECIS data for barrier assessment

Karthik Suresh, Laura Servinsky, Laura Johnston, Naresh M. Punjabi, Steven M. Dudek, Mahendra Damarla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electrical cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) is an in vitro methodology for measuring the barrier integrity of a variety of cell types, including pulmonary endothelial cells. These experiments are frequently used for in vitro assessment of lung injury. The data derived from ECIS experiments consists of repeated measures of resistance across an endothelial monolayer. As such, these data reflect the dynamic changes in electrical resistance that occur over time. Currently methodologies for assessing ECIS data rely on single point assessments of barrier function, such as the maximal drop in trans-endothelial electrical resistance (TERMax). However, this approach ignores the myriad of changes in resistance that occur before and after the TERMax data point. Herein, we utilize polynomial curve fitting on experimentally generated ECIS data, thus allowing for comparing ECIS experiments by examining the mean polynomial coefficients between groups. We show that polynomial curves accurately fit a variety of ECIS data, and that concordance between TERMax and coefficient analysis varies by type of stimulus, suggesting that TERMax differences may not always correlate with a significant difference in the overall shape of the ECIS profile. Lastly, we identify factors that impact coefficient values obtained in our analyses, including the length of time devoted to baseline measurements before addition of stimuli. Polynomial coefficient analysis is another tool that can be used for more comprehensive interrogation of ECIS data to better understand the biological underpinnings that lead to changes in barrier dysfunction in vitro.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14983
JournalPhysiological Reports
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • barrier function
  • electrical cell-substrate impedance sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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