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Giovanni Nava, Tie Yang, Valerio Vitali, Paolo Minzioni, Ilaria Cristiani, Francesca Bragheri, Roberto Osellame, Lucas Bethge, Sven Klussmann, Elvezia Maria Paraboschi, Rosanna Asselta, Tommaso Bellini
The viscosity of gel-forming fluids is notoriously complex and its study can benefit from new model systems that enable a detailed control of the network features. Here we use a novel and simple microfluidic-based active microrheology approach to study the transition from Newtonian to non-Newtonian behavior in a DNA hydrogel whose structure, connectivity, density of bonds, bond energy and kinetics are strongly temperature dependent and well known. In a temperature range of 15 °C, the system reversibly and continuously transforms from a Newtonian dispersion of low-valence nanocolloids into a strongly shear-thinning fluid, passing through a set of intermediate states where it behaves as a power-law fluid...
April 25, 2018: Soft Matter
Nida Tanataweethum, Adelyn Zelaya, Feipeng Yang, Ronald N Cohen, Eric M Brey, Abhinav Bhushan
Better experimental models are needed to enhance our understanding of metabolic regulation which is seen in obesity and metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes. In vitro models based on microfluidics enable physiological representations of tissues with several advantages over conventional culture systems, such as perfused flow to better mimic the physiological environment. Although cell lines such as 3T3-L1 have been incorporated in microfluidic devices, murine primary preadipocytes have not been differentiated and maintained for long-term monitoring in these culture systems...
April 24, 2018: Biotechnology and Bioengineering
Taisuke Masuda, Mitsuhiro Ukiki, Yuka Yamagishi, Michiya Matsusaki, Mitsuru Akashi, Utako Yokoyama, Fumihito Arai
Although there is a great need for suitable vascular replacements in clinical practice, much progress needs to be made toward the development of a fully functional tissue-engineered construct. We propose a fabrication method of engineered tubular tissue for small blood vessels via a layer-by-layer cellular assembly technique using mouse smooth muscle cells, the construction of a poly-(L-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) (PLCL) scaffold, and integration in a microfluidic perfusion culture system. The cylindrical PLCL scaffold is incised, expanded, and its surface is laminated with the cell layers...
April 21, 2018: Journal of Biotechnology
Ramesh Utharala, Qingzong Tseng, Eileen E M Furlong, Christoph A Merten
Partitioning and sorting particles, including molecules, cells and organisms, is an essential prerequisite for a diverse range of applications. Here, we describe a very economical microfluidic platform (built from parts costing about US$ 6800 for a stand-alone system or US$ 3700, when mounted on an existing fluorescence microscope connected to a computer) to sort droplets, cells and embryos, based on imaging data. Valves operated by a Braille display are used to open and close microfluidic channels, enabling sorting at rates of >2Hz...
April 24, 2018: Analytical Chemistry
Masahide Takahashi
A buckling induced wrinkling is a general phenomenon in daily life, which is induced by mechanical instability at the interface of multi-layered systems. Variety of applications have been proposed for wrinkles in nano to micrometer periodicity on the surface of soft materials. In recent decades, researchers are trying to use wrinkles for variety of sophisticated applications such as micro pattern fabrication, control of wettability, templating/directing substrate for elongated nano materials or virus, size-selective adsorption/desorption of functional objects, cells or microorganisms, delamination induced material fabrication such as micro-rolls, substrates for stretchable electronics, valves for microfluidic devices and soft actuators...
April 24, 2018: Chemical Record: An Official Publication of the Chemical Society of Japan ... [et Al.]
Bingxue Xu, Beiyu Hu, Jian Wang, Ying Lan, Yaxin Zhu, Xin Dai, Li Huang, Ying Huang, Wenbin Du
Three Gram-variable, moderately halophilic, motile, endospore-forming rods, designated P2-C2T , P3-H5T and P3-B8, were isolated from marine sediment of the Southwest Indian Ocean by using the microfluidic streak plate method. Phylogeny based on 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that strains P2-C2T and P3-H5T formed a robust cluster within the genus Virgibacillus and exhibited 16S rRNA gene similarity levels of 95.3-96.8 and 94.9-96.3 % to the type strains of Virgibacillus species, respectively. The 16S rRNA gene similarity between P2-C2T and P3-H5T was 97...
April 24, 2018: International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology
Thomas R Carey, Kristen L Cotner, Brian Li, Lydia L Sohn
Advancements in microfluidic technologies have led to the development of many new tools for both the characterization and sorting of single cells without the need for exogenous labels. Label-free microfluidics reduce the preparation time, reagents needed, and cost of conventional methods based on fluorescent or magnetic labels. Furthermore, these devices enable analysis of cell properties such as mechanical phenotype and dielectric parameters that cannot be characterized with traditional labels. Some of the most promising technologies for current and future development toward label-free, single-cell analysis and sorting include electronic sensors such as Coulter counters and electrical impedance cytometry; deformation analysis using optical traps and deformation cytometry; hydrodynamic sorting such as deterministic lateral displacement, inertial focusing, and microvortex trapping; and acoustic sorting using traveling or standing surface acoustic waves...
April 24, 2018: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
N Apichitsopa, A Jaffe, J Voldman
An abundance of label-free microfluidic techniques for measuring cell intrinsic markers exists, yet these techniques are seldom combined because of integration complexity such as restricted physical space and incompatible modes of operation. We introduce a multiparameter intrinsic cytometry approach for the characterization of single cells that combines ≥2 label-free measurement techniques onto the same platform and uses cell tracking to associate the measured properties to cells. Our proof-of-concept implementation can measure up to five intrinsic properties including size, deformability, and polarizability at three frequencies...
April 24, 2018: Lab on a Chip
Dhiman Das, Kathyayini Sivasubramanian, Chun Yang, Manojit Pramanik
Dual-modal photoacoustic (PA) and ultrasound (US) contrast agents are becoming increasingly popular in recent years. Here, a flow-focusing junction based microfluidic device is used for the generation of nitrogen microbubbles (<7 μm) in two photoacoustic contrast agents: methylene blue (MB) and black ink (BI). The microbubble diameter and production rate could be precisely controlled in both MB and BI solutions. Microbubbles were collected from the outlet of the microfluidic device and optical microscope was used to study the size distributions in both solutions...
April 23, 2018: Scientific Reports
Ievgen Kurylo, Guillaume Gines, Yannick Rondelez, Yannick Coffinier, Alexis Vlandas
In recent years, DNA computing frameworks have been developed to create dynamical systems which can be used for information processing. These emerging synthetic biochemistry tools can be leveraged to gain a better understanding of fundamental biology but can also be implemented in biosensors and unconventional computing. Most of the efforts so far have focused on changing the topologies of DNA molecular networks or scaling them up. Several issues have thus received little attention and remain to be solved to turn them into real life technologies...
April 23, 2018: Scientific Reports
Jing Song, Yu Zhang, Chengqian Zhang, Xiaohui Du, Zhe Guo, Yanbin Kuang, Yingyan Wang, Peng Wu, Kun Zou, Lijuan Zou, Jianxin Lv, Qi Wang
Bacterial cancer targeting may become an efficacious cancer therapy, but the mechanisms underlying bacterial specificity for cancer cells need to be explored prior to adopting it as a new clinical application. To characterize the mechanism of bacterial chemotactic preference towards cancer cells, we developed a microfluidic device for in vitro study. The device consists of a cell culture chamber on both sides of a central bacteria channel, with micro-channels used as barriers between them. The device, when used as model for lung cancer, was able to provide simultaneous three-dimensional co-culture of multiple cell lines in separate culture chambers, and when used as model for bacterial chemotaxis, established constant concentration gradients of biochemical compounds in a central channel by diffusion through micro-channels...
April 23, 2018: Scientific Reports
L A Tiemeijer, J-P Frimat, O M J A Stassen, C V C Bouten, C M Sahlgren
Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, is a vital process for tissue growth and development. The Notch cell-cell signalling pathway plays an important role in endothelial cell specification during angiogenesis. Dll4 - Notch1 signalling directs endothelial cells into migrating tip or proliferating stalk cells. We used the directing properties of Dll4 to spatially control endothelial cell fate and the direction of endothelial sprouts. We created linear arrays of immobilized Dll4 using micro contact printing...
April 23, 2018: Scientific Reports
William Gilpin
Fluids may store and manipulate information, enabling complex applications ranging from digital logic gates to algorithmic self-assembly. While controllable hydrodynamic chaos has previously been observed in viscous fluids and harnessed for efficient mixing, its application to the manipulation of digital information has been sparsely investigated. We show that chaotic stirring of a viscous fluid naturally produces a characteristic signature of the stirring process in the arrangement of particles in the fluid, and that this signature directly satisfies the requirements for a cryptographic hash function...
April 23, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
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
Ana C Fernandes, Benjamin Petersen, Lars Møller, Krist V Gernaey, Ulrich Krühne
The need for fast and comprehensive characterization of biocatalysts has pushed the development of new screening platforms based on microfluidics, capable of monitoring several parameters simultaneously, with new configurations of liquid handling, sample treatment and sensing. Modular microfluidics allows the integration of these newly developed approaches in a more flexible way towards increasing applicability of the microfluidic chips to different types of biocatalysts and reactions. A highly relevant operation in such a system is biocatalyst inactivation, which can enable the precise control of reaction time by avoiding the continuation of the reaction in another module or connecting tubes...
April 20, 2018: New Biotechnology
Mohammad Nooraiepour, Hossein Fazeli, Rohaldin Miri, Helge Hellevang
Fracture networks inside the caprock for CO2 storage reservoirs may serve as leakage pathways. Fluid flow through fractured caprocks and bypass conduits, however, can be restrained or diminished by mineral precipitations. This study investigates precipitation of salt crystals in an artificial fracture network as a function of pressure-temperature conditions and CO2 phase states. The impact of CO2 flow rate on salt precipitation was also studied. The primary research objective was to examine whether salt precipitation can block potential CO2 leakage pathways...
April 23, 2018: Environmental Science & Technology
Yuji Nashimoto, Yukako Teraoka, Ramin Banan Sadeghian, Akiko Nakamasu, Yuichiro Arima, Sanshiro Hanada, Hidetoshi Kotera, Koichi Nishiyama, Takashi Miura, Ryuji Yokokawa
A spheroid (a multicellular aggregate) is regarded as a good model of living tissues in the human body. Despite the significant advancement in the spheroid cultures, a perfusable vascular network in the spheroids remains a critical challenge for long-term culture required to maintain and develop their functions, such as protein expressions and morphogenesis. The protocol presents a novel method to integrate a perfusable vascular network within the spheroid in a microfluidic device. To induce a perfusable vascular network in the spheroid, angiogenic sprouts connected to microchannels were guided to the spheroid by utilizing angiogenic factors from human lung fibroblasts cultured in the spheroid...
April 4, 2018: Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
Navjot Kaur, Bhushan J Toley
There has been a recent resurgence in the use of paper as a substrate for developing point-of-care medical diagnostic tests, possibly triggered by expiring patents published in the 1990s. A hallmark of this resurgence has been the development of advanced shapes and structures made from paper to conduct multi-step fluidic operations using the wicking action of porous materials. Such devices indicate a distinct improvement over lateral flow immunoassays, which are restricted to conducting one-step operations...
April 23, 2018: Analyst
Shi-Yang Tang, Ruirui Qiao, Sheng Yan, Dan Yuan, Qianbin Zhao, Guolin Yun, Thomas P Davis, Weihua Li
Functional nanoparticles comprised of liquid metals, such as eutectic gallium indium (EGaIn) and Galinstan, present exciting opportunities in the fields of flexible electronics, sensors, catalysts, and drug delivery systems. Methods used currently for producing liquid metal nanoparticles have significant disadvantages as they rely on both bulky and expensive high-power sonication probe systems, and also generally require the use of small molecules bearing thiol groups to stabilize the nanoparticles. Herein, an innovative microfluidics-enabled platform is described as an inexpensive, easily accessible method for the on-chip mass production of EGaIn nanoparticles with tunable size distributions in an aqueous medium...
April 22, 2018: Small
Bo Zhang, Fanshu Meng, Jiangang Feng, Jingxia Wang, Yuchen Wu, Lei Jiang
The assembly of nanoparticles into ordered 3D architectures, which requires more complex spatial arrangements of nanoparticles than 2D, is essential to develop new nano- or microdevices in the fields of biotechnology, magnetic devices, catalysis, and optoelectronics. However, because of the long-distance interactions among the nanoparticles or the applied external force, the movement of nanoparticles cannot be precisely controlled, particularly in multidimensional architectures. Therefore, controlling the 3D architecture remains challenging...
April 23, 2018: Advanced Materials
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