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Trends in Biotechnology

Mehdi Farokhi, Fatemeh Mottaghitalab, Yousef Fatahi, Ali Khademhosseini, David L Kaplan
Recently, biomimetic wound dressings were introduced as potential replacements for treating skin injuries. Although there are some clinically available skin replacements, the range of wound types and locations necessitates a broader range of options for the clinic. Natural polymeric-based dressings are of central interest in this area due to their outstanding biocompatibility, biodegradability, low toxicity, and non-allergenic nature. Among them, silk fibroin (SF) has exceptional characteristics as a wound dressing...
May 12, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Syed Shan-E-Ali Zaidi, M Shahid Mukhtar, Shahid Mansoor
Plant pathogens pose a major threat to crop productivity. Typically, phytopathogens exploit plants' susceptibility (S) genes to facilitate their proliferation. Disrupting these S genes may interfere with the compatibility between the host and the pathogens and consequently provide broad-spectrum and durable disease resistance. In the past, genetic manipulation of such S genes has been shown to confer disease resistance in various economically important crops. Recent studies have accomplished this task in a transgene-free system using new genome editing tools, including clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR)...
May 8, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Brendan F Gilmore, Padrig B Flynn, Séamus O'Brien, Noreen Hickok, Theresa Freeman, Paula Bourke
Bacterial biofilm infections account for a major proportion of chronic and medical device associated infections in humans, yet our ability to control them is compromised by their inherent tolerance to antimicrobial agents. Cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) represents a promising therapeutic option. CAP treatment of microbial biofilms represents the convergence of two complex phenomena: the production of a chemically diverse mixture of reactive species and intermediates, and their interaction with a heterogeneous 3D interface created by the biofilm extracellular polymeric matrix...
May 2, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Daniel Irimia, Xiao Wang
Inflammation is the typical result of activating the host immune system against pathogens, and it helps to clear microbes from tissues. However, inflammation can occur in the absence of pathogens, contributing to tissue damage and leading to disease. Understanding how immune cells coordinate their activities to initiate, modulate, and terminate inflammation is key to developing effective interventions to preserve health and combat diseases. Towards this goal, inflammation-on-a-chip tools provide unique features that greatly benefit the study of inflammation...
May 1, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Ino D Karemaker, Michiel Vermeulen
DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that plays an important role in gene expression regulation, development, and disease. Recent technological innovations have spurred the development of methods that enable us to study the occurrence and biology of this mark at the single-cell level. Apart from answering fundamental biological questions about heterogeneous systems or rare cell types, low-input methods also bring clinical applications within reach. Ultimately, integrating these data with other single-cell data sets will allow deciphering multiple layers of gene expression regulation within each individual cell...
April 30, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Chunming Wang, Zhenzhen Wang, Lei Dong
The recent discovery of the biological corona is revolutionising our understanding of the in vivo behaviour of nanomaterials. Accurate analysis of corona bioactivity is essential for predicting the fate of nanomaterials and thereby improving nanomedicine design. Nevertheless, current biotechniques for protein analysis are not readily adaptable for analysing corona proteins, given that their conformation, activity, and interaction may largely differ from those of the native proteins. Here, we introduce and propose tailor-made modifications to five types of mainstream bioanalytical methodologies...
April 27, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Francis J Cunningham, Natalie S Goh, Gozde S Demirer, Juliana L Matos, Markita P Landry
Genetic engineering of plants has enhanced crop productivity in the face of climate change and a growing global population by conferring desirable genetic traits to agricultural crops. Efficient genetic transformation in plants remains a challenge due to the cell wall, a barrier to exogenous biomolecule delivery. Conventional delivery methods are inefficient, damaging to tissue, or are only effective in a limited number of plant species. Nanoparticles are promising materials for biomolecule delivery, owing to their ability to traverse plant cell walls without external force and highly tunable physicochemical properties for diverse cargo conjugation and broad host range applicability...
April 24, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Zdenko Machala, Matthew J Pavlovich
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
April 24, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Kerstin Göpfrich, Ilia Platzman, Joachim P Spatz
With the ultimate aim to construct a living cell, bottom-up synthetic biology strives to reconstitute cellular phenomena in vitro - disentangled from the complex environment of a cell. Recent work towards this ambitious goal has provided new insights into the mechanisms governing life. With the fast-growing library of functional modules for synthetic cells, their classification and integration become increasingly important. We discuss strategies to reverse-engineer and recombine functional parts for synthetic eukaryotes, mimicking the characteristics of nature's own prototype...
April 21, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Zilan Xiong
Cold atmospheric plasmas (CAPs) can enhance neural cell differentiation into neurons both in vitro and in vivo, which is of great interest for medical treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease and traumatic injuries of the central nervous system. CAPs represent a promising method for future neurological disease therapy.
April 21, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Fatemeharefeh Nami, Mohsen Basiri, Leila Satarian, Cameron Curtiss, Hossein Baharvand, Catherine Verfaillie
Programmable nucleases, including zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated 9 (Cas9), have enhanced our ability to edit genomes by the sequence-specific generation of double-strand breaks (DSBs) with subsequent homology-directed repair (HDR) of the DSB. However, the efficiency of the HDR pathway is limited in nondividing cells, which encompass most of the cells in the body. Therefore, the HDR-mediated genome-editing approach has limited in vivo applicability...
April 21, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Antonio Fernandez, Claudia Paoletti
Identifying and assessing unintended effects in genetically modified food and feed are considered paramount by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO), and Codex Alimentarius, despite heated debate. This paper addresses outstanding needs: building consensus on the history-of-safe-use concept, harmonizing criteria to select appropriate conventional counterparts, and improving endpoint selection to identify unintended effects.
April 20, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Deepak Choudhury, Han Win Tun, Tianyi Wang, May Win Naing
The extracellular matrix (ECM) comprises a complex milieu of proteins and other growth factors that provide mechanical, biophysical, and biochemical cues to cells. The ECM is organ specific, and its detailed composition varies across organs. Bioinks are material formulations and biological molecules or cells processed during a bioprinting process. Organ-derived decellularized ECM (dECM) bioinks have emerged as arguably the most biomimetic bioinks. Here, we review bioinks derived from different decellularized organs, the techniques used to obtain these bioinks, and the characterization methods used to evaluate their quality...
April 18, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Zhen Kang, Zhengxiong Zhou, Yang Wang, Hao Huang, Guocheng Du, Jian Chen
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and their oligosaccharides have attracted extensive attention because of their wide applications in cosmetics, health, and clinical treatment of, for example, thrombus, osteoarthritis, rheumatism, and cancer. Compared to conventional preparation approaches, bio-based strategies for producing GAGs and their oligosaccharides are more promising because they avoid cross-infection of human and animal diseases, use green production processes, and can precisely control the degree of sulfation and molecular weight...
April 16, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Tom Kamperman, Marcel Karperien, Séverine Le Gac, Jeroen Leijten
Single-cell-laden microgels effectively act as the engineered counterpart of the smallest living building block of life: a cell within its pericellular matrix. Recent breakthroughs have enabled the encapsulation of single cells in sub-100-μm microgels to provide physiologically relevant microniches with minimal mass transport limitations and favorable pharmacokinetic properties. Single-cell-laden microgels offer additional unprecedented advantages, including facile manipulation, culture, and analysis of individual cell within 3D microenvironments...
April 12, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Brahma N Singh, Braj R Singh, Vijai K Gupta, Ravindra N Kharwar, Lorenzo Pecoraro
Microbial hydrophobin (MH)-based surface coating is emerging as a novel protein engineering approach for drug nanoparticles to enhance the solubility and stability of therapeutic agents. These hydrophobins are amphiphilic proteins that can form self-assembled monolayers on hydrophobic materials and can coat nanoparticles for efficient drug delivery.
April 11, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Marek Drab
Bacteriophages sense alkaline cations in their immediate extracellular environment, which regulates virion-virion interactions. An ion-steerable aggregation-dispersion (A/D) phenomenon among virions is a recently discovered step in group behavior in the phage life cycle. When powered by the octanol-based water-immiscible lipopolysaccharide (LPS) trap (oWILT) purification approach, A/D promises breakthroughs for a plethora of biotechnological applications beyond phage therapy.
April 10, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Daniel J Hageman, Shuying Wu, Sharon Kilbreath, Stanley G Rockson, Chun Wang, Melissa L Knothe Tate
For a century-old problem, edema and its treatment have gone remarkably unnoticed by the biomedical community. Given the prevalence of lymphedema and its debilitating repercussions, there is an acute need for both efficacy-based measures and clinical standards to guide compression garment design and therapeutic application. This review outlines the current state of the art in compression treatment and suggests an integrated biomedical engineering approach going forward. Characterizing the pressure gradient profiles of commercial compression sleeves is necessary to better understand the role of compression treatment in the mitigation of swelling...
March 29, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Eleni Koutra, Christina N Economou, Panagiota Tsafrakidou, Michael Kornaros
In recent years the increasing demand for food, energy, and valuable chemicals has necessitated research and development on renewable, novel, and sustainable sources. Microalgae represent a promising option to produce various products with environmentally friendly applications. However, several challenges must be overcome to reduce production cost. To this end, using effluents from biogas production units, called digestates, in cultivation systems can help to optimize bioprocesses, and several bioproducts including biofuels, biofertilizers, proteins and valuable chemicals can be obtained...
March 28, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
Akhilesh Kumar Shakya, Kutty Selva Nandakumar
The prevalence of autoimmune disorders is increasing steadily and there is no permanent cure available. Immunomodulation through repeated exposure of antigens, known as antigen-specific immune tolerance or antigen-specific immunotherapy (ASI), is a promising approach to treat or prevent autoimmune disorders. Different optimization protocols (immunization routes, delivery systems, and approaches) are being developed to implement ASI against self-proteins. Including appropriate adjuvants, altered peptide ligand, and using multipeptides are approaches that can be used to specifically target autoimmunity...
March 24, 2018: Trends in Biotechnology
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