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Advanced Functional Materials

James Wilson, Leila Sloman, Zhiren He, Aleksei Aksimentiev
An inexpensive, reliable method for protein sequencing is essential to unraveling the biological mechanisms governing cellular behavior and disease. Current protein sequencing methods suffer from limitations associated with the size of proteins that can be sequenced, the time, and the cost of the sequencing procedures. Here, we report the results of all-atom molecular dynamics simulations that investigated the feasibility of using graphene nanopores for protein sequencing. We focus our study on the biologically significant phenylalanine-glycine repeat peptides (FG-nups)-parts of the nuclear pore transport machinery...
July 19, 2016: Advanced Functional Materials
Jiao Wu, Xiang Wei, Jinrui Gan, Lin Huang, Ting Shen, Jiatao Lou, Baohong Liu, John X J Zhang, Kun Qian
We for the first time demonstrate multi-functional magnetic particles based rare cell isolation combined with the downstream laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS) to measure the metabolism of enriched circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The characterization of CTCs metabolism plays a significant role in understanding the tumor microenvironment, through exploring the diverse cellular process. However, characterizing cell metabolism is still challenging due to the low detection sensitivity, high sample complexity, and tedious preparation procedures, particularly for rare cells analysis in clinical study...
June 14, 2016: Advanced Functional Materials
Wujun Zhao, Taotao Zhu, Rui Cheng, Yufei Liu, Jian He, Hong Qiu, Lianchun Wang, Tamas Nagy, Troy D Querec, Elizabeth R Unger, Leidong Mao
In this study, a label-free, low-cost, and fast ferrohydrodynamic cell separation scheme is demonstrated using HeLa cells (an epithelial cell line) and red blood cells. The separation is based on cell size difference, and conducted in a custom-made biocompatible ferrofluid that retains the viability of cells during and after the assay for downstream analysis. The scheme offers moderate-throughput (≈10(6) cells h(-1) for a single channel device) and extremely high recovery rate (>99%) without the use of any label...
June 14, 2016: Advanced Functional Materials
Roozbeh Abedini-Nassab, Daniel Y Joh, Melissa Van Heest, Cody Baker, Ashutosh Chilkoti, David M Murdoch, Benjamin B Yellen
We demonstrate magnetophoretic conductor tracks that can transport single magnetized beads and magnetically labeled single cells in a 3-dimensional time-varying magnetic field. The vertical field bias, in addition to the in-plane rotating field, has the advantage of reducing the attraction between particles, which inhibits the formation of particle clusters. However, the inclusion of a vertical field requires the re-design of magnetic track geometries which can transport magnetized objects across the substrate...
June 14, 2016: Advanced Functional Materials
Christopher M Madl, Lily M Katz, Sarah C Heilshorn
Covalently-crosslinked hydrogels are commonly used as 3D matrices for cell culture and transplantation. However, the crosslinking chemistries used to prepare these gels generally cross-react with functional groups present on the cell surface, potentially leading to cytotoxicity and other undesired effects. Bio-orthogonal chemistries have been developed that do not react with biologically relevant functional groups, thereby preventing these undesirable side reactions. However, previously developed biomaterials using these chemistries still possess less than ideal properties for cell encapsulation, such as slow gelation kinetics and limited tuning of matrix mechanics and biochemistry...
June 7, 2016: Advanced Functional Materials
Rasa Ghaffarian, Edgar Pérez Herrero, Hyuntaek Oh, Srinivasa R Raghavan, Silvia Muro
When administered intravenously, active targeting of drug nanocarriers (NCs) improves biodistribution and endocytosis. Targeting may also improve oral delivery of NCs to treat gastrointestinal (GI) pathologies or for systemic absoption. However, GI instability of targeting moieties compromises this strategy. We explored whether encapsulation of antibody-coated NCs in microcapsules would protect against gastric degradation, providing NCs release and targeting in intestinal conditions. We used nanoparticles coated with antibodies against intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (anti-ICAM) or non-specific IgG...
May 24, 2016: Advanced Functional Materials
Yuan Liu, Zheng Yan, Qing Lin, Xuelin Guo, Mengdi Han, Kewang Nan, Keh-Chih Hwang, Yonggang Huang, Yihui Zhang, John A Rogers
Three-dimensional (3D) helical mesostructures are attractive for applications in a broad range of microsystem technologies, due to their mechanical and electromagnetic properties as stretchable interconnects, radio frequency antennas and others. Controlled compressive buckling of 2D serpentine-shaped ribbons provides a strategy to formation of such structures in wide ranging classes of materials (from soft polymers to brittle inorganic semiconductors) and length scales (from nanometer to centimeter), with an ability for automated, parallel assembly over large areas...
May 3, 2016: Advanced Functional Materials
Zheng Yan, Fan Zhang, Jiechen Wang, Fei Liu, Xuelin Guo, Kewang Nan, Qing Lin, Mingye Gao, Dongqing Xiao, Yan Shi, Yitao Qiu, Haiwen Luan, Jung Hwan Kim, Yiqi Wang, Hongying Luo, Mengdi Han, Yonggang Huang, Yihui Zhang, John A Rogers
Origami is a topic of rapidly growing interest in both the scientific and engineering research communities due to its promising potential in a broad range of applications. Previous assembly approaches of origami structures at the micro/nanoscale are constrained by the applicable classes of materials, topologies and/or capability of control over the transformation. Here, we introduce an approach that exploits controlled mechanical buckling for autonomic origami assembly of 3D structures across material classes from soft polymers to brittle inorganic semiconductors, and length scales from nanometers to centimeters...
April 25, 2016: Advanced Functional Materials
Tyler Novak, Benjamin Seelbinder, Celina M Twitchell, Corrinus C van Donkelaar, Sherry L Voytik-Harbin, Corey P Neu
Biological tissues and biomaterials are often defined by unique spatial gradients in physical properties that impart specialized function over hierarchical scales. The structure and organization of these materials forms continuous transitional gradients and discrete local microenvironments between adjacent (or within) tissues, and across matrix-cell boundaries, which can be difficult to replicate with common scaffold systems. Here, we studied the matrix densification of collagen leading to gradients in density, mechanical properties, and fibril morphology...
April 25, 2016: Advanced Functional Materials
Liang Cheng, Sida Shen, Sixiang Shi, Yuan Yi, Xiaoyong Wang, Guosheng Song, Kai Yang, Gang Liu, Todd E Barnhart, Weibo Cai, Zhuang Liu
Multifunctional theranostic agents have become rather attractive to realize image-guided combination cancer therapy. Herein, we develop a novel method to synthesize Bi2Se3 nanosheets decorated with mono-dispersed FeSe2 nanoparticles (FeSe2/Bi2Se3) for tetra-modal image-guided combined photothermal & radiation tumor therapy. Interestingly, upon addition of Bi(NO3)3, pre-made FeSe2 nanoparticles via cation exchange would be gradually converted into Bi2Se3 nanosheets, on which remaining FeSe2 nanoparticles are decorated...
April 5, 2016: Advanced Functional Materials
Fei Wang, Ronnie H Fang, Brian T Luk, Che-Ming J Hu, Soracha Thamphiwatana, Diana Dehaini, Pavimol Angsantikul, Ashley V Kroll, Zhiqing Pang, Weiwei Gao, Weiyue Lu, Liangfang Zhang
With the rising threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, vaccination is becoming an increasingly important strategy to prevent and manage bacterial infections. Made from deactivated bacterial toxins, toxoid vaccines are widely used in the clinic as they help to combat the virulence mechanisms employed by different pathogens. Herein, the efficacy of a biomimetic nanoparticle-based anti-virulence vaccine is examined in a mouse model of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin infection. Vaccination with nanoparticle-detained staphylococcal α-hemolysin (Hla) effectively triggers the formation of germinal centers and induces high anti-Hla titers...
March 8, 2016: Advanced Functional Materials
Santiago Correa, Ki Young Choi, Erik C Dreaden, Kasper Renggli, Aria Shi, Li Gu, Kevin E Shopsowitz, Mohiuddin A Quadir, Elana Ben-Akiva, Paula T Hammond
Layer-by-layer (LbL) self-assembly is a versatile technique from which multicomponent and stimuli-responsive nanoscale drug carriers can be constructed. Despite the benefits of LbL assembly, the conventional synthetic approach for fabricating LbL nanoparticles requires numerous purification steps that limit scale, yield, efficiency, and potential for clinical translation. In this report, we describe a generalizable method for increasing throughput with LbL assembly by using highly scalable, closed-loop diafiltration to manage intermediate purification steps...
February 16, 2016: Advanced Functional Materials
Hongyan Han, Hongyan Ning, Shanshan Liu, Qiang Lu, Zhihai Fan, Haijun Lu, Guozhong Lu, David L Kaplan
Functional vascularization is critical for the clinical regeneration of complex tissues such as kidney, liver or bone. The immobilization or delivery of growth factors has been explored to improve vascularization capacity of tissue engineered constructs, however, the use of growth factors has inherent problems such as the loss of signaling capability and the risk of complications such as immunological responses and cancer. Here, a new method of preparing water-insoluble silk protein scaffolds with vascularization capacity using an all aqueous process is reported...
January 20, 2016: Advanced Functional Materials
Xiangyou Liu, Gary B Braun, Haizheng Zhong, David J Hall, Wenlong Han, Mingde Qin, Chuanzhen Zhao, Meina Wang, Zhi-Gang She, Chuanbao Cao, Michael J Sailor, William B Stallcup, Erkki Ruoslahti, Kazuki N Sugahara
The rapid development of fluorescence imaging technologies requires concurrent improvements in the performance of fluorescent probes. Quantum dots have been extensively used as an imaging probe in various research areas because of their inherent advantages based on unique optical and electronic properties. However, their clinical translation has been limited by the potential toxicity especially from cadmium. Here, a versatile bioimaging probe is developed by using highly luminescent cadmium-free CuInSe2/ZnS core/shell quantum dots conjugated with CGKRK (Cys-Gly-Lys-Arg-Lys) tumor-targeting peptides...
January 13, 2016: Advanced Functional Materials
Haishui Huang, Jung Kyu Choi, Wei Rao, Shuting Zhao, Pranay Agarwal, Gang Zhao, Xiaoming He
Cryopreservation of stem cells is important to meet their ever-increasing demand by the burgeoning cell-based medicine. The conventional slow freezing for stem cell cryopreservation suffers from inevitable cell injury associated with ice formation and the vitrification (i.e., no visible ice formation) approach is emerging as a new strategy for cell cryopreservation. A major challenge to cell vitrification is intracellular ice formation (IIF, a lethal event to cells) induced by devitrification (i.e., formation of visible ice in previously vitrified solution) during warming the vitrified cells at cryogenic temperature back to super-zero temperatures...
November 25, 2015: Advanced Functional Materials
Blake N Johnson, Karen Z Lancaster, Gehua Zhen, Junyun He, Maneesh K Gupta, Yong Lin Kong, Esteban A Engel, Kellin D Krick, Alex Ju, Fanben Meng, Lynn W Enquist, Xiaofeng Jia, Michael C McAlpine
An imaging-coupled 3D printing methodology for the design, optimization, and fabrication of a customized nerve repair technology for complex injuries is presented. The custom scaffolds are deterministically fabricated via a microextrusion printing principle which enables the simultaneous incorporation of anatomical geometries, biomimetic physical cues, and spatially controlled biochemical gradients in a one-pot 3D manufacturing approach.
October 21, 2015: Advanced Functional Materials
Rachael H Harrison, Joseph A M Steele, Robert Chapman, Adam J Gormley, Lesley W Chow, Muzamir M Mahat, Lucia Podhorska, Robert G Palgrave, David J Payne, Shehan P Hettiaratchy, Iain E Dunlop, Molly M Stevens
Native tissues are typically heterogeneous and hierarchically organized, and generating scaffolds that can mimic these properties is critical for tissue engineering applications. By uniquely combining controlled radical polymerization (CRP), end-functionalization of polymers, and advanced electrospinning techniques, a modular and versatile approach is introduced to generate scaffolds with spatially organized functionality. Poly-ε-caprolactone is end functionalized with either a polymerization-initiating group or a cell-binding peptide motif cyclic Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser (cRGDS), and are each sequentially electrospun to produce zonally discrete bilayers within a continuous fiber scaffold...
September 2015: Advanced Functional Materials
Yi-Nan Zhang, Reginald K Avery, Queralt Vallmajo-Martin, Alexander Assmann, Andrea Vegh, Adnan Memic, Bradley D Olsen, Nasim Annabi, Ali Khademhosseini
Elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) are promising for biomedical applications due to their unique thermoresponsive and elastic properties. ELP-based hydrogels have been produced through chemical and enzymatic crosslinking or photocrosslinking of modified ELPs. Herein, a photocrosslinked ELP gel using only canonical amino acids is presented. The inclusion of thiols from a pair of cysteine residues in the ELP sequence allows disulfide bond formation upon exposure to UV light, leading to the formation of a highly elastic hydrogel...
August 12, 2015: Advanced Functional Materials
Vahid Serpooshan, Morteza Mahmoudi, Mingming Zhao, Ke Wei, Senthilkumar Sivanesan, Khatereh Motamedchaboki, Andrey V Malkovskiy, Andrew B Gladstone, Jeffrey E Cohen, Phillip C Yang, Jayakumar Rajadas, Daniel Bernstein, Y Joseph Woo, Pilar Ruiz-Lozano
Biomaterials are extensively used to restore damaged tissues, in the forms of implants (e.g. tissue engineered scaffolds) or biomedical devices (e.g. pacemakers). Once in contact with the physiological environment, nanostructured biomaterials undergo modifications as a result of endogenous proteins binding to their surface. The formation of this macromolecular coating complex, known as 'protein corona', onto the surface of nanoparticles and its effect on cell-particle interactions are currently under intense investigation...
July 22, 2015: Advanced Functional Materials
Su Ryon Shin, Courtney Shin, Adnan Memic, Samaneh Shadmehr, Mario Miscuglio, Hyun Young Jung, Sung Mi Jung, Hojae Bae, Ali Khademhosseini, Xiaowu Shirley Tang, Mehmet R Dokmeci
Muscle-based biohybrid actuators have generated significant interest as the future of biorobotics but so far they move without having much control over their actuation behavior. Integration of microelectrodes into the backbone of these systems may enable guidance during their motion and allow precise control over these actuators with specific activation patterns. Here, we addressed this challenge by developing aligned CNT forest microelectrode arrays and incorporated them into scaffolds for stimulating the cells...
July 20, 2015: Advanced Functional Materials
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