The colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line Caco-2 is an established cell line to investigate in the intestinal trans-epithelial transport of compounds.
The barrier function of intestinal epithelium is critical for the bioavailability of nutrients as well as for pharmaceutical substances. The assay is performed in Transwell chambers®. In each cavity of the chambers Caco-2 cells are growing on semi-permeable membranes which divide the cavity in an apical and a basolateral compartment. During the cultivation time of 21 days the cells differentiate to cells with similar morphological and functional characteristics (e.g. transport proteins, digestion enzymes) to the human intestine. After incubation of the cells with substances their transport rate can be examined by taking samples from both compartments.
This model can be used for the following fields of application:
Calculation of apparent permeability coefficient (Papp). Based on Papp values the transport rate / velocity of substances can be categorized in low, media or high transported substances across intestinal epithelium.
Samples are taken from the apical and basolateral compartment during the assay and analyzed by LC-MS. Transported amounts across the epithelial barrier will be calculated.