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Wassim A Basheer, Shaohua Xiao, Irina Epifantseva, Ying Fu, Andre G Kleber, TingTing Hong, Robin M Shaw
Rationale: Delivery of connexin 43 (Cx43) to the intercalated disc is a continuous and rapid process critical for intercellular coupling. By a pathway of targeted delivery involving microtubule highways, vesicles of Cx43 hemichannels are efficiently trafficked to adherens junctions at intercalated discs. It has also been identified that actin provides rest stops for Cx43 forward trafficking, and that Cx43 has a 20kDa internally translated small C-terminus isoform (GJA1-20k) which is required for full-length Cx43 trafficking, but by an unknown mechanism...
September 18, 2017: Circulation Research
Massimo Leandri, Lucio Marinelli, Antonio Siri, Luca Pellegrino
BACKGROUND: No satisfactory neurophysiological test for nociceptive afferents is available to date. Laser stimuli present risks of skin damage, whilst electrical stimulation through specially designed electrodes is not selective enough. NEW METHOD: We present a new electrode designed according to critical issues identified in preliminary computer simulations concerning electric field gradient through the skin. To provide selective stimulation the activating electric field must be limited to intraepidermal free nerve endings...
September 9, 2017: Journal of Neuroscience Methods
Yaowen Liu, Guisen Xu, Jiaojun Wei, Qiang Wu, Xiaohong Li
Challenges remain in engineering cardiac tissues with functional and morphological properties similar to those of native myocardium. In the current study, micropatterned fibrous mats are obtained by deposition of electrospun fibers on lithographic collectors to reproduce the anisotropic structure of myocardium, and carbon nanotubes are included in fibers to provide conductivities at the same level of cardiac muscles. The patterned mats are assembled layer-by-layer into patterned scaffolds for coculture of primary cardiomyocytes (CMs) with cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) and endothelial cells (ECs)...
December 1, 2017: Materials Science & Engineering. C, Materials for Biological Applications
Longjian Xue, Belén Sanz, Aoyi Luo, Kevin T Turner, Xin Wang, Di Tan, Rui Zhang, Hang Du, Martin Steinhart, Carmen Mijangos, Markus Guttmann, Michael Kappl, Aránzazu Del Campo
Biological materials achieve directional reinforcement with oriented assemblies of anisotropic building blocks. One such example is the nanocomposite structure of keratinized epithelium on the toe pad of tree frogs, in which hexagonal arrays of (soft) epithelial cells are crossed by densely packed and oriented (hard) keratin nanofibrils. Here, a method is established to fabricate arrays of tree-frog-inspired composite micropatterns composed of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) micropillars embedded with polystyrene (PS) nanopillars...
September 8, 2017: ACS Nano
Bing Yu, Hailin Cong, Zhen Yang, Shujing Yang, Yuezhong Wang, Feng Zhai, Yifan Wang
Humidity-sensitive poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) inverse opals with micropatterns of 2 μm wide anti-swell-broken grooves were prepared using polystyrene (PS) colloidal crystals as templates and colloidal lithography. Monodisperse PS colloids were deposited in an ordered manner onto glass slides using a double-substrate vertical deposition method to form colloidal crystal templates. Poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) with photoinitiator was infiltrated into the interspaces of the colloidal crystals and photo-crosslinked by UV irradiation through a photomask...
September 5, 2017: Materials
Mengfei Wang, Yannian Li, Hiroshi Yokoyama
Disclinations are topological singularities of molecular arrangement in liquid crystals, which typically occur when the average orientation of molecules makes a π rotation along a fictitious closed loop taken inside the liquid crystal. Depending on the sense of molecular rotation, the disclination lines are either of 1/2 or -1/2 strength. When two disclination lines with the opposite strength meet, they are annihilated without trace. It is hence generally considered difficult in the nematic phase to stabilize a condensed array of free-standing disclination lines without the aid of topological objects like colloidal inclusions...
August 30, 2017: Nature Communications
Jian Zhang, Yu-Li Wang
The importance of centrosome in directional cell migration has long been recognized. However, the conventional view that centrosome determines cell's front, based on its often-observed position in front of the nucleus, has been challenged by contradictory observations. Here we show that centrosome defines the rear instead of the front, using cells plated on micropatterned adhesive strips to facilitate directional migration. We found that centrosome is always located proximal to the future rear before polarity is established through symmetry breaking or reversed as the cell reaches a dead end...
August 30, 2017: Molecular Biology of the Cell
Zhi-Gang Zheng, Cong-Long Yuan, Wei Hu, Hari Krishna Bisoyi, Ming-Jie Tang, Zhen Liu, Pei-Zhi Sun, Wei-Qiang Yang, Xiao-Qian Wang, Dong Shen, Yannian Li, Fangfu Ye, Yan-Qing Lu, Guoqiang Li, Quan Li
Uniform and patterned orientation of a crystallographic direction of ordered materials is of fundamental significance and of great interest for electronic and photonic applications. However, such orientation control is generally complicated and challenging with regard to inorganic and organic crystalline materials due to the occurrence of uncontrollable dislocations or defects. Achieving uniform lattice orientation in frustrated liquid-crystalline phases, like cubic blue phases, is a formidable task. Taming and tailoring the ordering of such soft, cubic lattices along predetermined or desired directions, and even imparting a prescribed pattern on lattice orientation, are more challenging, due to the entropy-domination attribute of soft matter...
August 28, 2017: Advanced Materials
James Bullock, Hiroki Ota, Hanchen Wang, Zhaoran Xu, Mark Hettick, Di Yan, Christian Samundsett, Yimao Wan, Stephanie Essig, Monica Morales-Masis, Andrés Cuevas, Ali Javey
There is tremendous interest in reducing losses caused by the metal contacts in silicon photovoltaics, particularly the optical and resistive losses of the front metal grid. One commonly sought-after goal is the creation of high aspect-ratio metal fingers which provide an optically narrow and low resistance pathway to the external circuit. Currently, the most widely used metal contact deposition techniques are limited to widths and aspect-ratios of ~40 μm and ~0.5, respectively. In this study, we introduce the use of a micropatterned polydimethylsiloxane encapsulation layer to form narrow (~20 μm) microchannels, with aspect-ratios up to 8, on the surface of solar cells...
August 22, 2017: Scientific Reports
Chian-Hui Lai, Ying-Chih Chang
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are an important biomarker and their analysis can be considered a form of "liquid biopsy." The purpose of this book chapter is to describe the use of the 4-channel CMx (cells captured in maximum) microfluidic chip, containing special micropatterns coated with an antibody-conjugated supported lipid bilayer (SLB) on its surface, to capture and isolate CTCs from the blood of cancer patients. Captured CTCs are subsequently released by an air foam to an immunofluorescence (IF) staining panel that enables further analysis, including the identification of the primary cancer source of the CTCs...
2017: Methods in Molecular Biology
Jiangwa Xing, Yue Cao, Yang Yu, Huan Li, Ziwei Song, Hanry Yu
Exposure to teratogenic chemicals during pregnancy may cause severe birth defects. Due to high inter-species variation of drug responses as well as financial and ethical burdens, despite the widely use of in vivo animal tests, it's crucial to develop highly predictive human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-based in vitro assays to identify potential teratogens. Previously we have shown that the morphological disruption of mesoendoderm patterns formed by geometrically-confined cell differentiation and migration using hPSCs could potentially serve as a sensitive morphological marker in teratogen detection...
August 17, 2017: Scientific Reports
Hsin-Yi Hsieh, Chiao-Wen Chu, Ming-Hsuan Chiu, Shueh-Yao Chu, Tsu-Wei Huang, Fan-Gang Tseng
Artificial guidance for cellular alignment is a hot topic in the field of tissue engineering. Most of the previous research has investigated single strain-induced cellular alignment on a cell-laden hydrogel by using complex experimental processes and mass controlling systems, which are usually associated with contamination issues. Thus, in this article, we propose a simple approach to building a gradient static strain using a fluidic chip with a plastic PDMS cover and a UV transparent glass substrate for the stimulation of cellular behavior in a 3D hydrogel...
August 8, 2017: Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
Jiaoni Ma, Chuenwai Li, Nan Huang, Xinna Wang, Minghui Tong, Alfonso H W Ngan, Barbara P Chan
Cell-matrix adhesions are important structures governing the interactions between cells and their microenvironment at the cell-matrix interface. The focal complex (FC) and focal adhesion (FA) have been substantially investigated in conventional planar culture systems using fibroblasts as an in vitro model. However, the formation of more mature types of cell-matrix adhesion in human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs), including fibrillar adhesion (FBA) and 3D matrix adhesion (3DMA), have not been fully elucidated...
August 24, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Florencia di Pietro, Léo Valon, Yingbo Li, Rosette Goïame, Auguste Genovesio, Xavier Morin
Oriented cell divisions are controlled by a conserved molecular cascade involving Gαi, LGN, and NuMA. We developed a new cellular model of oriented cell divisions combining micropatterning and localized recruitment of Gαi and performed an RNAi screen for regulators acting downstream of Gαi. Remarkably, this screen revealed a unique subset of dynein regulators as being essential for spindle orientation, shedding light on a core regulatory aspect of oriented divisions. We further analyze the involvement of one novel regulator, the actin-capping protein CAPZB...
August 21, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Laura Hoffman, Christopher C Jensen, Masaaki Yoshigi, Mary Beckerle
Despite the importance of a cell's ability to sense and respond to mechanical force, the molecular mechanisms by which physical cues are converted to cell-instructive chemical information to influence cell behaviors remain to be elucidated. Exposure of cultured fibroblasts to uniaxial cyclic stretch results in an actin stress fiber reinforcement response that stabilizes the actin cytoskeleton. p38 MAPK signaling is activated in response to stretch, and inhibition of p38 MAPK abrogates stretch-induced cytoskeletal reorganization...
August 2, 2017: Molecular Biology of the Cell
Anthony Fernandez, Markville Bautista, Ramunas Stanciauskas, Taerin Chung, Fabien Pinaud
Patterning cells on microcontact-printed substrates is a powerful approach to control cell morphology and introduce specific mechanical cues on a cell's molecular organization. Although global changes in cellular architectures caused by micropatterns can easily be probed with diffraction-limited optical microscopy, studying molecular reorganizations at the nanoscale demands micropatterned substrates that accommodate the optical requirements of single molecule microscopy techniques. Here, we developed a simple micropatterning strategy that provides control of cellular architectures and is optimized for nanometer accuracy single molecule tracking and three-dimensional super-resolution imaging of plasma and nuclear membrane proteins in cells...
August 9, 2017: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Farhad Farjood, Elizabeth Vargis
PURPOSE: To investigate the role of RPE cell-cell contact in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein expression in cultures of primary human RPE (hRPE) cells and a human RPE cell line (ARPE-19). METHODS: Two in vitro methods, scratching and micropatterning, were used to control the physical dissociation of RPE cell-cell junctions. Scratching was performed by scoring monolayers of RPE cells with a cell scraper. Micropatterning was achieved by using a stencil patterning method...
2017: Molecular Vision
Anastasiia Nemashkalo, Albert Ruzo, Idse Heemskerk, Aryeh Warmflash
Paracrine signals maintain developmental states and create cell-fate patterns in vivo, and influence differentiation outcomes in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) in vitro. Systematic investigation of morphogen signaling is hampered by the difficulty of disentangling endogenous signaling from experimentally applied ligands. Here, we grow hESCs in micropatterned colonies of 1-8 cells ("μColonies") to quantitatively investigate paracrine signaling and the response to external stimuli. We examine BMP4-mediated differentiation in μColonies and standard culture conditions and find that in μColonies, above a threshold concentration, BMP4 gives rise to only a single cell fate, contrary to its role as a morphogen in other developmental systems...
July 31, 2017: Development
Suzanne E Thomson, Chloe Charalambous, Carol-Anne Smith, Penelope M Tsimbouri, Theophile Déjardin, Paul J Kingham, Andrew M Hart, Mathis O Riehle
Despite microsurgical repair, recovery of function following peripheral nerve injury is slow and often incomplete. Outcomes could be improved by an increased understanding of the molecular biology of regeneration and by translation of experimental bioengineering strategies. Topographical cues have been shown to be powerful regulators of the rate and directionality of neurite regeneration, and in this study we investigated the downstream molecular effects of linear micropatterned structures in an organotypic explant model...
July 25, 2017: Acta Biomaterialia
Bradley W Tuft, Linjing Xu, Braden Leigh, Daniel Lee, C Allan Guymon, Marlan R Hansen
Developing and regenerating neurites respond to a variety of biophysical and biochemical cues in their microenvironment to reach target cells and establish appropriate synapses. Defining the hierarchal relationship of both types of cues to direct neurite growth carries broad significance for neural development, regeneration, and, in particular, engineering of neural prostheses that improve tissue integration with native neural networks. In this work, chemorepulsive biochemical borders are established on substrates with a range of surface microfeatures to determine the potential of physical cues to overcome conflicting biochemical cues...
July 28, 2017: Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine
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