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Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology

Roberta Callari, Yvan Meier, Davide Ravasio, Harald Heider
Production of plant metabolites in microbial hosts represents a promising alternative to traditional chemical-based methods. Diterpenoids are compounds with interesting applications as pharmaceuticals, fragrances and biomaterials. Casbene, in particular, serves as a precursor to many complex diterpenoids found in plants from the Euphorbiaceae family that have shown potential therapeutic effects. Here, we engineered the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae for improved biosynthesis of the diterpene casbene...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Sandeep Kumar Vishwakarma, Avinash Bardia, Chandrakala Lakkireddy, Syed Ameer Basha Paspala, Aleem Ahmed Khan
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the most devastating conditions echoes with inflammation, enhanced fibrosis and larger axonal gaps due to destruction of neurological cells which has caused continuous increasing mortality rate of SCI patients due to absence of suitable treatment modalities. The restoration of structural and functional aspect of damaged neurological tissues at the lesion site in spinal cord has been challenging. Recent developments have showed tremendous potential of neural stem cell-based strategies to form a neuronal relay circuit across the injury gap which facilitates some levels of improvement in SCI condition...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Matthew J Randall, Astrid Jüngel, Markus Rimann, Karin Wuertz-Kozak
The relevance for in vitro three-dimensional (3D) tissue culture of skin has been present for almost a century. From using skin biopsies in organ culture, to vascularized organotypic full-thickness reconstructed human skin equivalents, in vitro tissue regeneration of 3D skin has reached a golden era. However, the reconstruction of 3D skin still has room to grow and develop. The need for reproducible methodology, physiological structures and tissue architecture, and perfusable vasculature are only recently becoming a reality, though the addition of more complex structures such as glands and tactile corpuscles require advanced technologies...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Chiara Tonda-Turo, Irene Carmagnola, Gianluca Ciardelli
The Quartz Crystal Microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) is a tool to measure mass and viscosity in processes occurring at or near surfaces, or within thin films. QCM-D is able to detect extremely small chemical, mechanical, and electrical changes taking place on the sensor surface and to convert them into electrical signals which can be investigated to study dynamic process. Surface nanotopography and chemical composition are of pivotal importance in biomedical applications since interactions of medical devices with the physiological environment are mediated by surface features...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Patrick Diep, Radhakrishnan Mahadevan, Alexander F Yakunin
Wastewater effluents from mines and metal refineries are often contaminated with heavy metal ions, so they pose hazards to human and environmental health. Conventional technologies to remove heavy metal ions are well-established, but the most popular methods have drawbacks: chemical precipitation generates sludge waste, and activated carbon and ion exchange resins are made from unsustainable non-renewable resources. Using microbial biomass as the platform for heavy metal ion removal is an alternative method...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Karoline Pill, Johanna Melke, Severin Mühleder, Marianne Pultar, Sabrina Rohringer, Eleni Priglinger, Heinz R Redl, Sandra Hofmann, Wolfgang Holnthoner
A promising approach to overcome hypoxic conditions in tissue engineered constructs is to use the potential of endothelial cells (EC) to form networks in vitro when co-cultured with a supporting cell type in a 3D environment. Adipose tissue-derived stromal cells (ASC) as well as bone marrow-derived stromal cells (BMSC) have been shown to support vessel formation of EC in vitro , but only very few studies compared the angiogenic potential of both cell types using the same model. Here, we aimed at investigating the ability of ASC and BMSC to induce network formation of EC in a co-culture model in fibrin...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Anna Denchai, Daniele Tartarini, Elisa Mele
Surface properties of biomaterials, such as chemistry and morphology, have a major role in modulating cellular behavior and therefore impact on the development of high-performance devices for biomedical applications, such as scaffolds for tissue engineering and systems for drug delivery. Opportunely-designed micro- and nanostructures provides a unique way of controlling cell-biomaterial interaction. This mini-review discusses the current research on the use of electrospinning (extrusion of polymer nanofibers upon the application of an electric field) as effective technique to fabricate patterns of micro- and nano-scale resolution, and the corresponding biological studies...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Christopher J Creveling, Jourdan Colter, Brittany Coats
While several studies have qualitatively investigated age- and region-dependent adhesion between the vitreous and retina, no studies have directly measured the vitreoretinal strength of adhesion. In this study, we developed a rotational peel device and associated methodology to measure the maximum and steady-state peel forces between the vitreous and the retina. Vitreoretinal adhesion in the equator and posterior pole were measured in human eyes from donors ranging 30 to 79 years of age, and in sheep eyes from premature, neonatal, young lamb, and young adult sheep...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Barbara Mugwanya Zawedde, Musa Kwehangana, Herbert K Oloka
Research and development of genetically engineered (GE) crops in Uganda was initiated in 2003 with the launch of a national agricultural biotechnology center at Kawanda in central Uganda. The country has now approved 17 field experiments for GE plants, which were first established in 2006 with the planting of a banana confined field trial that evaluated performance of plants modified to express resistance to black sigatoka disease. Researchers leading the GE experiments have indicated that some of these GE plants are ready for environmental release that is moving beyond confined field testing toward commercialization...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Gustavo Pagotto Borin, Marcelo Falsarella Carazzolle, Renato Augusto Corrêa Dos Santos, Diego Mauricio Riaño-Pachón, Juliana Velasco de Castro Oliveira
The biomass-degrading fungus Trichoderma reesei has been considered a model for cellulose degradation, and it is the primary source of the industrial enzymatic cocktails used in second-generation (2G) ethanol production. However, although various studies and advances have been conducted to understand the cellulolytic system and the transcriptional regulation of T. reesei , the whole set of genes related to lignocellulose degradation has not been completely elucidated. In this study, we inferred a weighted gene co-expression network analysis based on the transcriptome dataset of the T...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
J Sebastian Giudice, David Poulard, Bingbing Nie, Taotao Wu, Matthew B Panzer
As human body finite element models become more integrated with the design of safety countermeasures and regulations, novel models need to be developed that reflect the variation in the population's anthropometry. However, these new models may be missing information which will need to be translated from existing models. During the development of a 5th percentile female occupant model (F05), cortical thickness information of the coxal bone was unavailable due to resolution limits in the computed tomography (CT) scans...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
John Dunbar, Segaran Pillai, David Wunschel, Michael Dickens, Stephen A Morse, David Franz, Andrew Bartko, Jean Challacombe, Timothy Persons, Molly A Hughes, Steve R Blanke, Robin Holland, Janine Hutchison, Eric D Merkley, Katrina Campbell, Catherine S Branda, Shashi Sharma, Luther Lindler, Kevin Anderson, David Hodge
For more than a decade, the United States has performed environmental monitoring by collecting and analyzing air samples for a handful of biological threat agents (BTAs) in order to detect a possible biological attack. This effort has faced numerous technical challenges including timeliness, sampling efficiency, sensitivity, specificity, and robustness. The cost of city-wide environmental monitoring using conventional technology has also been a challenge. A large group of scientists with expertise in bioterrorism defense met to assess the objectives and current efficacy of environmental monitoring and to identify operational and technological changes that could enhance its efficacy and cost-effectiveness, thus enhancing its value...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
M Kalim Akhtar, Dhanya Vijay, Saima Umbreen, Chris J McLean, Yizhi Cai, Dominic J Campopiano, Gary J Loake
Methylated chemicals are widely used as key intermediates for the syntheses of pharmaceuticals, fragrances, flavors, biofuels and plastics. In nature, the process of methylation is commonly undertaken by a super-family of S-adenosyl methionine-dependent enzymes known as methyltransferases. Herein, we describe a novel high throughput enzyme-coupled assay for determining methyltransferase activites. Adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase, xanthine oxidase, and horseradish peroxidase enzymes were shown to function in tandem to generate a fluorescence signal in the presence of S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine and Amplex Red (10-acetyl-3,7-dihydroxyphenoxazine)...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
André P G Castro, Jiang Yao, Tom Battisti, Damien Lacroix
This study presents a comparison between the performances of two Finite Element (FE) solvers for the modeling of the poroelastic behavior of highly hydrated collagen hydrogels. Characterization of collagen hydrogels has been a widespread challenge since this is one of the most used natural biomaterials for Tissue Engineering (TE) applications. V-Biomech® is a free custom FE solver oriented to soft tissue modeling, while Abaqus® is a general-purpose commercial FE package which is widely used for biomechanics computational modeling...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Yasuyuki Suzuki, Takuya Inoue, Taishin Nomura
Human movement analysis is often performed with a model of multi-rigid-body system, whereby reflective-marker-based motion capture data are assimilated into the model for characterizing kinematics and kinetics of the movements quantitatively. Accuracy of such analysis is limited, due to motions of the markers on the skin relative to the underlying skeletal system, referred to as the soft tissue artifact (STA). Here we propose a simple algorithm for assimilating motion capture data during periodic human movements, such as bipedal walking, into models of multi-rigid-body systems in a way that the assimilated motions are not affected by STA...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Ashley M Heers, Jeffery W Rankin, John R Hutchinson
Flapping flight is the most power-demanding mode of locomotion, associated with a suite of anatomical specializations in extant adult birds. In contrast, many developing birds use their forelimbs to negotiate environments long before acquiring "flight adaptations," recruiting their developing wings to continuously enhance leg performance and, in some cases, fly. How does anatomical development influence these locomotor behaviors? Isolating morphological contributions to wing performance is extremely challenging using purely empirical approaches...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Kenneth K Y Ho, Ying Lin Wang, Jing Wu, Allen P Liu
Cells in our body experience different types of stress including compression, tension, and shear. It has been shown that some cells experience permanent plastic deformation after a mechanical tensile load was removed. However, it was unclear whether cells are plastically deformed after repetitive compressive loading and unloading. There have been few tools available to exert cyclic compression at the single cell level. To address technical challenges found in a previous microfluidic compression device, we developed a new single-cell microfluidic compression device that combines an elastomeric membrane block geometry to ensure a flat contact surface and microcontact printing to confine cell spreading within cell trapping chambers...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Erica Elisa Ferrandi, Christopher Sayer, Simone Antonio De Rose, Elisa Guazzelli, Carlotta Marchesi, Vahid Saneei, Michail N Isupov, Jennifer A Littlechild, Daniela Monti
Two novel epoxide hydrolases (EHs), Sibe-EH and CH65-EH, were identified in the metagenomes of samples collected in hot springs in Russia and China, respectively. The two α/β hydrolase superfamily fold enzymes were cloned, over-expressed in Escherichia coli , purified and characterized. The new EHs were active toward a broad range of substrates, and in particular, Sibe-EH was excellent in the desymmetrization of cis -2,3-epoxybutane producing the (2 R ,3 R )-diol product with ee exceeding 99%. Interestingly these enzymes also hydrolyse (4 R )-limonene-1,2-epoxide with Sibe-EH being specific for the trans isomer...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Adrian Derungs, Corina Schuster-Amft, Oliver Amft
Background: Physical activity (PA) is essential in stroke rehabilitation of hemiparetic patients to avoid health risks, and moderate to vigorous PA could promote patients' recovery. However, PA assessments are limited to clinical environments. Little is known about PA in unguided free-living. Wearable sensors could reveal patients' PA during rehabilitation, and day-long long-term measurements over several weeks might reveal recovery trends of affected and less-affected body sides. Methods: We investigated PA in an observation study during outpatient rehabilitation in a day-care center...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Victor Morais, Valerie Dee, Norma Suárez
Pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major bacterial disease responsible for many deaths worldwide each year and is particularly dangerous in children under 5 years old and adults over 50. The capsular polysaccharide (CPS) constitutes the outermost layer of the bacterial cell and is the main virulence factor. Regardless of whether pharmaceutical agents are composed of CPS alone or protein-conjugated CPS, CPS purification is essential for the development of vaccines against S. pneumoniae . These vaccines are effective and safe but remain quite expensive...
2018: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
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