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Trends in Biotechnology

Eduardo Anitua, Roberto Prado, Gorka Orive
A new therapeutic tool is emerging based on a biomimetic strategy: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) technology. Allogeneic off-the-shelf PRP represents a safe and cost-effective treatment for osteoarthritis and related diseases. This breakthrough opens the door not only to improved treatments and opportunities but also to new challenges with multiple uncertainties.
November 28, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
David W Green, Besim Ben-Nissan, Kyung Sik Yoon, Bruce Milthorpe, Han-Sung Jung
Coral skeletons can regenerate replacement human bone in nonload-bearing excavated skeletal locations. A combination of multiscale, interconnected pores and channels and highly bioactive surface chemistry has established corals as an important alternative to using healthy host bone replacements. Here, we highlight how coral skeletal systems are being remolded into new calcified structures or synthetic corals by biomimetic processes, as places for the organized permeation of bone tissue cells and blood vessels...
November 23, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Pier-Luc Tremblay, Largus T Angenent, Tian Zhang
Autotrophic microbes can acquire electrons from solid donors such as steel, other microbial cells, or electrodes. Based on this feature, bioprocesses are being developed for the microbial electrosynthesis (MES) of useful products from the greenhouse gas CO2. Extracellular electron-transfer mechanisms involved in the acquisition of electrons from metals by electrical microbially influenced corrosion (EMIC), from other living cells by interspecies electron transfer (IET), or from an electrode during MES rely on: (i) mediators such as H2; (ii) physical contact through electron-transfer proteins; or (iii) mediator-generating enzymes detached from cells...
November 2, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Brandon R McFadden
The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard requires a mandatory label for genetically modified (GM) food. Currently, some aspects of the bill are unknown, including what constitutes a food to be considered GM. The costs associated with this legislation will depend on how actors in the food value chain respond.
October 25, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Sandra Hauser, Friedrich Jung, Jens Pietzsch
Endothelial cell (EC) models have evolved as important tools in biomaterial research due to ubiquitously occurring interactions between implanted materials and the endothelium. However, screening the available literature has revealed a gap between material scientists and physiologists in terms of their understanding of these biomaterial-endothelium interactions and their relative importance. Consequently, EC models are often applied in nonphysiological experimental setups, or too extensive conclusions are drawn from their results...
October 24, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Wei Long Ng, Shuai Wang, Wai Yee Yeong, May Win Naing
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 7, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Raffaele Pugliese, Fabrizio Gelain
Peptidic biomaterials represent a particularly exciting topic in regenerative medicine. Peptidic scaffolds can be specifically designed for biomimetic customization for targeted therapy. The field is at a pivotal point where preclinical research is being translated into clinics, so it is crucial to understand the theory and describe the status of this rapidly developing technology. In this review, we highlight major advantages and current limitations of self-assembling peptide-based biomaterials, and we discuss the most widely used classes of assembling peptides, describing recent and promising approaches in tissue engineering, drug delivery, and clinics...
October 4, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Khaled Moustafa
The sun and sea are inexhaustible sources of energy and water that could be used to transform drylands into more viable ecosystems. A sustainable and cost-effective approach is proposed for greening drylands and restoring wildlife and biodiversity in deserts using seawater desert-houses (or movable seawater ponds) that could offer important environmental advantages.
October 3, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Saheli Sarkar, Pooja Sabhachandani, Tania Konry
Isothermal rolling circle amplification (RCA) is used to detect nucleic and non-nucleic acid biomarkers with high sensitivity. Immuno-RCA, the specific detection of proteins via antigen-antibody recognition, has been miniaturized for microfluidic platforms to reduce reagent and sample consumption, accelerate reaction kinetics, and enhance the sensitivity and specificity of detection.
September 29, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Peng Tan, Lian He, Gang Han, Yubin Zhou
Microbial opsin-based optogenetic tools have been transformative for neuroscience. To extend optogenetic approaches to the immune system to remotely control immune responses with superior spatiotemporal precision, pioneering tools have recently been crafted to modulate lymphocyte trafficking, inflammasome activation, dendritic cell (DC) maturation, and antitumor immunity through the photoactivation of engineered chemokine receptors and calcium release-activated calcium channels. We highlight herein some conceptual design strategies for installing light sensitivities into the immune signaling network and, in parallel, we propose potential solutions for in vivo optogenetic applications in living organisms with near-infrared light-responsive upconversion nanomaterials...
September 28, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Tairong Kuang, Lingqian Chang, Xiangfang Peng, Xianglong Hu, Daniel Gallego-Perez
Heterogeneities and oncogenesis essentially result from proteomic disorders orchestrated by changes in DNA and/or cytoplasmic mRNA. These genetic fluctuations, however, cannot be decoded through conventional label-free methods (e.g., patch clamps, electrochemical cellular biosensors, etc.) or morphological characterization. Molecular beacons (MBs) have recently emerged as efficient probes for interrogating biomarkers in live cancer cells. MBs hybridize with their intracellular targets (e.g., mRNAs, DNAs, or proteins), emitting a fluorescent signal that can be quantified and correlated with the expression levels of their targets...
September 28, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Florian Geppert, Dandan Liu, Mieke van Eerten-Jansen, Eckhard Weidner, Cees Buisman, Annemiek Ter Heijne
Bioelectrochemical power-to-gas (BEP2G) is considered a potentially convenient way of storing renewable surplus electricity in the form of methane. In methane-producing bioelectrochemical systems (BESs), carbon dioxide and electrical energy are converted into methane, using electrodes that supply either electrons or hydrogen to methanogenic archaea. This review summarizes the performance of methane-producing BESs in relation to cathode potential, electrode materials, operational strategies, and inoculum. Analysis and estimation of energy input and production rates show that BEP2G may become an attractive alternative for thermochemical methanation, and biochemical methanogenesis...
September 22, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Yue Qu, Helmut Thissen, David McGiffin, Anton Y Peleg
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 22, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Giulio Caracciolo, Omid C Farokhzad, Morteza Mahmoudi
Despite the advances in biomedical applications of nanoparticle (NP) and numerous publications, few NPs have made it to clinical trials and even fewer have reached clinical practice. This wide gap between bench discoveries and clinical applications is mainly because of our limited understanding of the biological identity of NPs. In physiological environments, NPs are coated by a 'protein corona' (PC), critically affecting physiological and therapeutic responses. To date, nearly all studies attempting to characterize the PC have been conducted in vitro...
September 20, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Matthias W Laschke, Michael D Menger
Spheroids provide a 3D environment with intensive cell-cell contacts. As a result of their excellent regenerative properties and rapid progress in their high-throughput production, spheroids are increasingly suggested as building blocks for tissue engineering. In this review, we focus on innovative biotechnological approaches that increase the quality of spheroids for this specific type of application. These include in particular the fabrication of coculture spheroids, mimicking the complex morphology and physiological tasks of natural tissues...
September 12, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Ritesh Mewalal, Durgesh K Rai, David Kainer, Feng Chen, Carsten K├╝lheim, Gary F Peter, Gerald A Tuskan
Research toward renewable and sustainable energy has identified specific terpenes capable of supplementing or replacing current petroleum-derived fuels. Despite being naturally produced and stored by many plants, there are few examples of commercial recovery of terpenes from plants because of low yields. Plant terpene biosynthesis is regulated at multiple levels, leading to wide variability in terpene content and chemistry. Advances in the plant molecular toolkit, including annotated genomes, high-throughput omics profiling, and genome editing, have begun to elucidate plant terpene metabolism, and such information is useful for bioengineering metabolic pathways for specific terpenes...
September 9, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
W Scott Dunbar
Biotechnology could provide many innovative alternatives for changing the way metals are obtained. Microbes have been used to dissolve metallic minerals and release metal ions into solution, from which pure metal can be obtained by electrolysis. Plants that accumulate metals in their roots and leaves have been used to concentrate metals, and mineral-binding peptides might be used to separate minerals. However, for billions of years microbes have been interacting with metals. Microbial communities in and near mineral sources are therefore a rich source of genetic information which could be used to create synthetic or modified microbiomes that concentrate metals...
September 6, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Jessica E Fitzgerald, Eric T H Bui, Naomi M Simon, Hicham Fenniri
Biomimetic crossreactive sensor arrays have been used to detect and analyze a wide variety of vapor and liquid components in applications such as food science, public health and safety, and diagnostics. As technology has advanced over the past three decades, these systems have become selective, sensitive, and affordable. Currently, the need for noninvasive and accurate devices for early disease diagnosis remains a challenge. This Opinion article provides an overview of the various types of biomimetic crossreactive sensor arrays (also referred to as electronic noses or tongues in the literature), their current use and future directions, and an outlook for future technological development...
September 6, 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Marcel Kuntz
The National Academies of Sciences of the USA recently published a report entitled Gene Drive on the Horizon. This commentary discusses the 'Aligning Research with Public Values' aspects in this report, the topic of public engagement, and the worrying ideological shift towards postmodernism which aims to deconstruct Enlightenment values.
December 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
Chun Sheng Goh
Concerns over the sustainability of palm oil have triggered debates about its role in a bio-based economy, but can we get rid of it? Although the quick answer is no, we should eliminate unsustainable land-use practices. However, currently, technical and financial support for land-users to adopt sustainable land-use practices in the cultivation of palm oil is largely missing.
December 2016: Trends in Biotechnology
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