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2.  Increasing the library size in cDNA display by optimizing purification procedures 
The library size is critical for selection in evolutionary molecular engineering (directed evolution). Although cDNA display has become a promising in vitro display technology by overcoming the instability of mRNA display, it is hindered by low yields. In this study, we improved the yield of cDNA display molecules by carefully examining each step of the preparation process.
We found that steric hindrance of ribosomes binding to the mRNA-protein fusion molecules was interfering with biotin-streptavidin binding. Additionally, reducing buffer exchange by performing RNase digestion in the His-tag-binding buffer to release the cDNA display molecules improved their His-tag purification.
Our optimized conditions have improved the yield of cDNA display molecules by more than 10 times over currently used methods, making cDNA display more practically available in evolutionary molecular engineering.
PMCID: PMC3680162  PMID: 23697943
Directed evolution; In vitro protein selection; mRNA/cDNA display; Protein engineering; Puromycin
3.  Chicken chorioallantoic membrane as a reliable model to evaluate osteosarcoma—an experimental approach using SaOS2 cell line 
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary tumor that affects usually children. Due to its cellular complex and osteoid formation it is very difficult to understand the mechanism behind the progressiveness of osteosarcoma. Various animal models are available to study the issue but they are time consuming and costly. We aimed to understand the progressiveness and invasiveness of osteosarcoma induced by SaOS2 cells using chicken chorioallantoic membrane. CAM is a well-established model which allows in vivo studies of tumor induced angiogenesis and the testing of anti angiogenic molecules. However only a few reports showed the tumor forming ability of SaOS2 cells on CAM.
Angiogenic ability of SaOS2 cells on CAM was validated by various methods. Angiogenic ability was scored by direct visualization and scanning microscopic analysis. The sprouting ability and growth of the vessel was measured by Angioquant software under different cellular volume. The invasiveness was analyzed by histological staining. Involvement of angiogenic factors at differential stage of progressiveness was confirmed by the molecular and protein level expression analysis.
SaOS2 cells induces sprouting angiogenesis on CAM and shows its aggressiveness by rupturing the ectodermal layer of the CAM. Growth and development of osteosarcoma depends mainly on the activation of VEGF165, MMP2 and MMP9. CAM able to reproduce angiogenic response against the stimulation of SaOS2 cells exactly as in other animal models without inflammatory reactions.
CAM is an excellent alternative in vivo model for studying the aggressiveness and tumor progression of osteosarcoma using various angiogenic techniques in an easily, faster and affordable way. We further provided insight about the involvement of various angiogenic growth factors on the development of osteosarcoma which will enable to find the suitable therapeutic molecule for the treatment of osteosarcoma. CAM model could provide a wide space using modern techniques like micro array or in situ hybridization to have a better understanding about the progression and invasiveness of osteosarcoma cells to develop suitable therapeutic molecules.
PMCID: PMC4479062  PMID: 26109911
Osteosarcoma; SaOS2 cells; Angiogenesis; CAM- chicken chorioallantoic membrane
4.  The diversity of fungal genome 
The genome size of an organism varies from species to species. The C-value paradox enigma is a very complex puzzle with regards to vast diversity in genome sizes in eukaryotes. Here we reported the detailed genomic information of 172 fungal species among different fungal genomes and found that fungal genomes are very diverse in nature. In fungi, the diversity of genomes varies from 8.97 Mb to 177.57 Mb. The average genome sizes of Ascomycota and Basidiomycota fungi are 36.91 and 46.48 Mb respectively. But higher genome size is observed in Oomycota (74.85 Mb) species, a lineage of fungus-like eukaryotic microorganisms. The average coding genes of Oomycota species are almost doubled than that of Acomycota and Basidiomycota fungus.
PMCID: PMC4392786  PMID: 25866485
Ascomycota; Basidiomycota; Chytridiomycota; Monoblepharidomycota; Neocallimastigomycota; Blastocladiomycota; Glomeromycota; Entomophthoromycota; Stramenopiles and micorsporidia
5.  Evaluation of Epic® label-free technology to quantify functional recombinant hemagglutinin 
Alternative methods are being sought to measure the potency of influenza vaccines. Label-free technologies that do not require the use of hemagglutinin (HA)-specific antisera are particularly attractive as the preparation of antiserum delays availability of potency reagents. The objective of these experiments was to evaluate the use of a Corning Epic® label-free method to quantify functional influenza hemagglutinin in rHA preparations. The method was optimized to quantify recombinant HA (rHA) of B/Brisbane/60/2008 (B/BR/08). Fetuin was immobilized onto plates and the change in wavelength of refracted light measured using an Enspire (Perkin Elmer) instrument.
The change in wavelength measured in response to addition of rHA of B/BR/08 was proportional to its concentration and was optimal in the presence of native rHA conformations. However, the assay was strain-dependent and did not correlate with HAU measured using turkey red blood cells.
The Corning Epic® label-free method is suitable for quantifying the native forms of rHA for B/BR/08 and A/Brisbane/59/2007 (H1N1) and A/Hangxhou/3/2013 (H7N9). This method is a useful tool for research purposes but further investigation is needed to identify suitable glycoproteins to use as ligands that allow quantification of HAs from a broader range of virus strains.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12575-015-0019-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4359790  PMID: 25774096
Influenza; Hemagglutinin; Label-free technology; Potency; Fetuin; Corning; Epic; Enspire; Recombinant
6.  Recombinase-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE) system for functional genomics studies in Mycoplasma mycoides 
We have previously established technologies enabling us to engineer the Mycoplasma mycoides genome while cloned in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, followed by genome transplantation into Mycoplasma capricolum recipient cells to produce M. mycoides with an altered genome. To expand the toolbox for genomic modifications, we designed a strategy based on the Cre/loxP-based Recombinase-Mediated Cassette Exchange (RMCE) system for functional genomics analyses.
In this paper, we demonstrated replacement of an approximately 100 kb DNA segment of the M. mycoides genome with a synthetic DNA counterpart in two orientations. The function of the altered genomes was then validated by genome transplantation and phenotypic characterization of the transplanted cells.
This method offers an easy and efficient way to manipulate the M. mycoides genome and will be a valuable tool for functional genomic studies, such as genome organization and minimization.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12575-015-0016-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4359775  PMID: 25774095
7.  cDNA synthesis for BCR-ABL1 detection at the MMR level: the importance of using the appropriate kit 
The synthesis of complementary DNA (cDNA) for use in the detection of BCR-ABL1 at the Major Molecular Response (MMR) level is a well-established method used by clinical laboratories world-wide. However, the quality of cDNA provides sensitivity challenges and consequently affects the detection of Minimal Residual Disease (MRD).
Herein, we evaluated six commercially available kits for the synthesis of cDNA according to amplification success rate, linearity and ABL1 copy number. Based on our results, the Invitrogen SuperScript® III Reverse Transcriptase kit performed better, among the ones used in this study, for the cDNA synthesis, followed by the First Strand cDNA Synthesis Kit for RT-PCR (AMV), available from Roche Applied Sciences.
Accurate and sensitive testing for the detection of abnormal transcripts, allows the correct stratification and treatment of patients. Hence, the use of a suitable kit for the cDNA synthesis is of great importance. This study provides a comprehensive point of reference for clinical laboratories in an attempt to optimize BCR-ABL1 detection. We propose that the Invitrogen SuperScript® III Reverse Transcriptase kit is the most suitable, among the ones used in this study, for the cDNA synthesis to be used for the detection of BCR-ABL1 at the MMR level in a CML MRD assay.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12575-015-0014-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4321704  PMID: 25667568
BCR-ABL; cDNA synthesis; CML; MMR; MRD
8.  Evaluation of method performance for oxidative stress biomarkers in urine and biological variations in urine of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and diabetic nephropathy 
Oxidative stress biomarkers such as superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD), catalase (CAT) and malondialdehyde (MDA) play an important role in the pathogenesis or progression of numerous diseases. Data regarding the biological variation and analytical quality specifications (imprecision, bias and total error) for judging the acceptability of method performance for oxidative stress biomarkers in urine are conspicuously lacking in the literature. Such data are important in setting analytical quality specifications, assessing the utility of population reference intervals (index of individuality) and assessing the significance of changes in serial results from an individual (reference change value; RCV).
Materials and methods
20 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), 20 patients with diabetic nephropathy (DN) and 14 healthy individuals as control were involved in this study. Timed first morning urine samples were taken from patients and healthy groups on the zero, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 15th and 30th days. Index of individuality and reference change value were calculated from within-subject and between-subject variations. Methods of oxidative stress biomarkers in human blood were adopted in human urine and markers were measured as spectrophotometrically. Also, analytical quality specifications for evaluation of the method performance were established for oxidative stress biomarkers in urine.
Within-subject variations of oxidative stress biomarkers were significantly higher in patients with DN and T2DM compared to healthy subjects. MDA showed low individuality, and within-subject variances of MDA were larger than between-subject variances in all groups. However, CAT and CuZnSOD showed strong individuality, but within-subject variances of them were smaller than between-subject variances in all groups. RCVs of all analytes in diabetic patients were relatively higher, because of high within-subject variation, resulting in a higher RCV. Also, the described methodology achieves these goals, with analytical CVs of < 3.5% for all analytes. Goals for bias and total error were 6.0-7.9% and 12.5-23.3%, respectively.
RCVs concept for predicting the clinical status in diabetic patients represents an optimization of laboratory reporting and could be a valuable tool for clinical decision. Furthermore, for oxidative stress biomarkers’ measurements in urine, the desirable imprecision goals based on biological variation are obtainable by current methodologies.
PMCID: PMC4313470  PMID: 25649751
Biological variation; DN; Oxidative stress biomarkers; Reference change value; T2DM
9.  Thanks to all those who reviewed for Biological Procedures Online in 2014 
Contributing reviewers
A peer-reviewed journal would not survive without the generous time and insightful comments of the reviewers, whose efforts often go unrecognized. Although final decisions are always editorial, they are greatly facilitated by the deeper technical knowledge, scientific insights, understanding of social consequences, and passion that reviewers bring to our deliberations. For these reasons, the Editor-in-Chief and staff of the journal warmly thank the reviewers whose comments helped to shape Biological Procedures Online, for their invaluable assistance with review of manuscripts for the journal in Volume 16 (2014).
PMCID: PMC4312459  PMID: 25642147
10.  Comparison of Vibratome and Compresstome sectioning of fresh primate lymphoid and genital tissues for in situ MHC-tetramer and immunofluorescence staining 
For decades, the Vibratome served as a standard laboratory resource for sectioning fresh and fixed tissues. In skilled hands, high quality and consistent fresh unfixed tissue sections can be produced using a Vibratome but the sectioning procedure is extremely time consuming. In this study, we conducted a systematic comparison between the Vibratome and a new approach to section fresh unfixed tissues using a Compresstome. We used a Vibratome and a Compresstome to cut fresh unfixed lymphoid and genital non-human primate tissues then used in situ tetramer staining to label virus-specific CD8 T cells and immunofluorescent counter-staining to label B and T cells. We compared the Vibratome and Compresstome in five different sectioning parameters: speed of cutting, chilling capability, specimen stabilization, size of section, and section/staining quality.
Overall, the Compresstome and Vibratome both produced high quality sections from unfixed spleen, lymph node, vagina, cervix, and uterus, and subsequent immunofluorescent staining was equivalent. The Compresstome however, offered distinct advantages; producing sections approximately 5 times faster than the Vibratome, cutting tissue sections more easily, and allowing production of larger sections.
A Compresstome can be used to generate fresh unfixed primate lymph node, spleen, vagina, cervix and uterus sections, and is superior to a Vibratome in cutting these fresh tissues.
PMCID: PMC4318225  PMID: 25657614
Compresstome; Vibratome; Unfixed fresh tissue sectioning; Vagina; Cervix; Uterus; Spleen; Lymph node; Immunohistochemistry; in situ tetramer staining
11.  Model of Cation Transportation Mediated by High-Affinity Potassium Transporters (HKTs) in Higher Plants 
Trk/Ktr/HKT transporters probably were evolved from simple K+ channels KcsA. HKT transporters, which mediate Na+-uniport or Na+/K+-symport, maintain K+/Na+ homeostasis and increase salinity tolerance, can be classified into three subfamilies in higher plants. In this review, we systematically analyzed the characteristics of amino acids sequences and physiological functions of HKT transporters in higher plant. Furthermore, we depicted the hypothetical models of cations selection and transportation mediated by HKT transporters according to the highly conserved structure for the goal of better understanding the cations transportation processes.
PMCID: PMC4334588  PMID: 25698907
HKT transporters; Cation transport; K+/Na+ homeostasis; Na+-uniport; Na+/K+-symport
12.  The functional role of long non-coding RNAs and epigenetics 
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are non-protein coding transcripts longer than 200 nucleotides. The post-transcriptional regulation is influenced by these lncRNAs by interfering with the microRNA pathways, involving in diverse cellular processes. The regulation of gene expression by lncRNAs at the epigenetic level, transcriptional and post-transcriptional level have been well known and widely studied. Recent recognition that lncRNAs make effects in many biological and pathological processes such as stem cell pluripotency, neurogenesis, oncogenesis and etc. This review will focus on the functional roles of lncRNAs in epigenetics and related research progress will be summarized.
PMCID: PMC4177375  PMID: 25276098
lncRNAs; Epigenetics; Transcriptional repression; Chromatin
13.  A novel model of appendicitis and appendectomy to investigate inflammatory bowel disease pathogenesis and remediation 
The appendix contains copious lymphoid tissue and is constantly exposed to gut flora. Appendicitis and appendectomy (AA) has been shown to prevent or significantly ameliorate ulcerative colitis. In our novel murine AA model, the only existing experimental model of AA, the appendiceal pathology closely resembles that of human appendicitis; and AA offers an age-, bacteria- and antigen-dependent protection against colitis. Appendicitis and appendectomy performed in the most proximal colon curbs T helper 17 cell activity, curtails autophagy, modulates interferon activity-associated molecules, and suppresses endothelin vasoactivity-mediated immunopathology/vascular remodelling in the most distal colon. These AA-induced changes contribute to the limitation/amelioration of colitis pathology. Investigating strategies to manipulate and modulate different aspects of these pathways (using monoclonal antibodies, combinatorial peptides, and small molecules) would offer novel insight into inflammatory bowel disease pathogenesis, and will augment the development of new therapeutic options to manage recalcitrant colitis.
PMCID: PMC4082674  PMID: 24999306
Appendicitis; Appendectomy; Inflammatory bowel disease; Colitis; Autophagy; Antigen-processing
14.  A convenient, optimized pipeline for isolation, fluorescence microscopy and molecular analysis of live single cells 
Heterogeneity within cell populations is relevant to the onset and progression of disease, as well as development and maintenance of homeostasis. Analysis and understanding of the roles of heterogeneity in biological systems require methods and technologies that are capable of single cell resolution. Single cell gene expression analysis by RT-qPCR is an established technique for identifying transcriptomic heterogeneity in cellular populations, but it generally requires specialized equipment or tedious manipulations for cell isolation.
We describe the optimization of a simple, inexpensive and rapid pipeline which includes isolation and culture of live single cells as well as fluorescence microscopy and gene expression analysis of the same single cells by RT-qPCR. We characterize the efficiency of single cell isolation and demonstrate our method by identifying single GFP-expressing cells from a mixed population of GFP-positive and negative cells by correlating fluorescence microscopy and RT-qPCR.
Single cell gene expression analysis by RT-qPCR is a convenient means for investigating cellular heterogeneity, but is most useful when correlating observations with additional measurements. We demonstrate a convenient and simple pipeline for multiplexing single cell RT-qPCR with fluorescence microscopy which is adaptable to other molecular analyses.
PMCID: PMC4022543  PMID: 24834016
Single cell; RT-qPCR; Gene expression analysis; Fluorescence microscopy
15.  Integration of bioinformatics to biodegradation 
Bioinformatics and biodegradation are two primary scientific fields in applied microbiology and biotechnology. The present review describes development of various bioinformatics tools that may be applied in the field of biodegradation. Several databases, including the University of Minnesota Biocatalysis/Biodegradation database (UM-BBD), a database of biodegradative oxygenases (OxDBase), Biodegradation Network-Molecular Biology Database (Bionemo) MetaCyc, and BioCyc have been developed to enable access to information related to biochemistry and genetics of microbial degradation. In addition, several bioinformatics tools for predicting toxicity and biodegradation of chemicals have been developed. Furthermore, the whole genomes of several potential degrading bacteria have been sequenced and annotated using bioinformatics tools.
PMCID: PMC4012781  PMID: 24808763
16.  A novel recombinant baculovirus overexpressing a Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ab toxin enhances insecticidal activity 
Baculoviruses have been genetically modified to express foreign genes under powerful promoters in order to accelerate their speed of killing. In this study a truncated form of cry1Ab gene derived from Bacillus thuringinsis (Bt) subsp. aegypti isolate Bt7 was engineered into the genome of the baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nuclearpolyhedrosis wild type virus, in place of the polyhedrin gene by using homologous recombination in Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf) cells between a transfer vector carrying the Bt gene and the wild type virus linearized DNA. Recombinant wild type virus containing the cry1Ab gene was detected as blue occlusion-negative plaques in monolayers of Sf cells grown in the presence of X-Gal. In Sf cells infected with plaque-purified recombinant virus, the cry1Ab gene was expressed to yield a protein of approximately 82-kDa, as determined by immunoblot analysis. The toxicity of the recombinant virus expressing the insecticidal crystal protein (ICP) was compared to that of the wild-type virus. Infected-cell extract was toxic to cotton leaf worm Spodoptera littoralis second instar larvae and the estimated LC50 was 1.7 μg/ml for the recombinant virus compared with that of wild-type virus which was 10 μg/ml.
PMCID: PMC4001361  PMID: 24735532
Bacillus thuringiensis; Toxin; Baculovirus; Cry 1Ab; LC50
17.  Real-time vascular mechanosensation through ex vivo artery perfusion 
Cell-based perfusion studies have provided great insight into fluid-sensing mechanisms, such as primary cilia in the renal and vascular systems. However, the intrinsic limitations of in vitro cell culture, such as the inability to reflect cellular organization within tissues, has distanced observed paradigms from possible clinical developments. Here we describe a protocol that applies ex vivo artery perfusion and calcium imaging to observe real-time cellular responses to fluid-shear stress.
Through our ex vivo artery perfusion method, we were able to simulate physiological flow and initiate distinct fluid shear stress mechanosensory responses, as well as induced acetylcholine responses in mouse aortic tissue. The observed calcium profiles confirm results found through previous in vitro cell culture experiments. The overall procedure, including dissection, sample preparation and perfusion, takes around 3 hours to complete.
Through our unique method, we are able to induce laminar flow within intact mouse aortic tissue and illicit subsequent cellular responses. This method of ex vivo artery perfusion provides the opportunity to bridge the novel findings of in vitro studies with subsequent physiological models of fluid-shear stress mechanosensation in vascular tissues.
PMCID: PMC4392510  PMID: 24685068
18.  Detection and quantification of extracellular microRNAs in murine biofluids 
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short RNA molecules which regulate gene expression in eukaryotic cells, and are abundant and stable in biofluids such as blood serum and plasma. As such, there has been heightened interest in the utility of extracellular miRNAs as minimally invasive biomarkers for diagnosis and monitoring of a wide range of human pathologies. However, quantification of extracellular miRNAs is subject to a number of specific challenges, including the relatively low RNA content of biofluids, the possibility of contamination with serum proteins (including RNases and PCR inhibitors), hemolysis, platelet contamination/activation, a lack of well-established reference miRNAs and the biochemical properties of miRNAs themselves. Protocols for the detection and quantification of miRNAs in biofluids are therefore of high interest.
The following protocol was validated by quantifying miRNA abundance in C57 (wild-type) and dystrophin-deficient (mdx) mice. Important differences in miRNA abundance were observed depending on whether blood was taken from the jugular or tail vein. Furthermore, efficiency of miRNA recovery was reduced when sample volumes greater than 50 μl were used.
Here we describe robust and novel procedures to harvest murine serum/plasma, extract biofluid RNA, amplify specific miRNAs by RT-qPCR and analyze the resulting data, enabling the determination of relative and absolute miRNA abundance in extracellular biofluids with high accuracy, specificity and sensitivity.
PMCID: PMC3995583  PMID: 24629058
Extracellular microRNA; miRNA; Biofluid; RT-qPCR; Serum; Plasma
19.  Isolation of T cells from mouse oral tissues 
Utilizing mouse models provides excellent immunological and experimental tools to study oral immune responses. However for functional assays, isolating T lymphocytes from the oral tissues has proved to be challenging due to the absence of reliable methods that yield viable cells with consistency. To study adaptive immune cell interactions in the oral mucosal tissues, it is necessary to isolate T cells with a good viability and study them at the single cell level.
We have established an improved method to isolate immune cells, including Tregs and Th17 cells from intra-epithelial niches and lamina propria of the tongue, gingival and palatal tissues in the oral mucosa of mice.
This new method of isolating immune cells from oral tissues will enable us to further our understanding of oral tissue immune cells and their role during oral infections and oral inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3984730  PMID: 24612879
Murine oral tissue; Leukocyte isolation and oral T cells; Treg; Th17; ILC
20.  Generation of a monoclonal antibody against the glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked protein Rae-1 using genetically engineered tumor cells 
Although genetically engineered cells have been used to generate monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against numerous proteins, no study has used them to generate mAbs against glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins. The GPI-linked protein Rae-1, an NKG2D ligand member, is responsible for interacting with immune surveillance cells. However, very few high-quality mAbs against Rae-1 are available for use in multiple analyses, including Western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and flow cytometry. The lack of high-quality mAbs limits the in-depth analysis of Rae-1 fate, such as shedding and internalization, in murine models. Moreover, currently available screening approaches for identifying high-quality mAbs are excessively time-consuming and costly.
We used Rae-1–overexpressing CT26 tumor cells to generate 60 hybridomas that secreted mAbs against Rae-1. We also developed a streamlined screening strategy for selecting the best anti–Rae-1 mAb for use in flow cytometry assay, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, Western blotting, and immunostaining.
Our cell line–based immunization approach can yield mAbs against GPI-anchored proteins, and our streamlined screening strategy can be used to select the ideal hybridoma for producing such mAbs.
PMCID: PMC3916315  PMID: 24495546
GPI-anchored protein Rae-1; Monoclonal antibody; Hybridomas; Streamlined screening strategy
21.  Reviewer acknowledgement 2013 
Contributing reviewers
A peer-reviewed journal would not survive without the generous time and insightful comments of the reviewers, whose efforts often go unrecognized. Biological Procedures Online has been blessed by the support of highly-qualified peer reviewers, and the Editor-in-Chief, Shulin Li, and staff of the journal would like to show their appreciation by thanking the following for their invaluable assistance with review of manuscripts for the journal in Volume 15 (2013).
PMCID: PMC3896796  PMID: 24444053
22.  Improved reduced representation bisulfite sequencing for epigenomic profiling of clinical samples 
DNA methylation plays crucial roles in epigenetic gene regulation in normal development and disease pathogenesis. Efficient and accurate quantification of DNA methylation at single base resolution can greatly advance the knowledge of disease mechanisms and be used to identify potential biomarkers. We developed an improved pipeline based on reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) for cost-effective genome-wide quantification of DNA methylation at single base resolution. A selection of two restriction enzymes (TaqαI and MspI) enables a more unbiased coverage of genomic regions of different CpG densities. We further developed a highly automated software package to analyze bisulfite sequencing results from the Solexa GAIIx system.
With two sequencing lanes, we were able to quantify ~1.8 million individual CpG sites at a minimum sequencing depth of 10. Overall, about 76.7% of CpG islands, 54.9% of CpG island shores and 52.2% of core promoters in the human genome were covered with at least 3 CpG sites per region.
With this new pipeline, it is now possible to perform whole-genome DNA methylation analysis at single base resolution for a large number of samples for understanding how DNA methylation and its changes are involved in development, differentiation, and disease pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3895702  PMID: 24406024
DNA methylation; Epigenetics; Bisulfite sequencing; Clinical sequencing
23.  Fast automated yeast cell counting algorithm using bright-field and fluorescence microscopic images 
The faithful determination of the concentration and viability of yeast cells is important for biological research as well as industry. To this end, it is important to develop an automated cell counting algorithm that can provide not only fast but also accurate and precise measurement of yeast cells.
With the proposed method, we measured the precision of yeast cell measurements by using 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% viability samples. As a result, the actual viability measured with the proposed yeast cell counting algorithm is significantly correlated to the theoretical viability (R2 = 0.9991). Furthermore, we evaluated the performance of our algorithm in various computing platforms. The results showed that the proposed algorithm could be feasible to use with low-end computing platforms without loss of its performance.
Our yeast cell counting algorithm can rapidly provide the total number and the viability of yeast cells with exceptional accuracy and precision. Therefore, we believe that our method can become beneficial for a wide variety of academic field and industries such as biotechnology, pharmaceutical and alcohol production.
PMCID: PMC3829669  PMID: 24215650
Fast automated counting; Quantitative measurement; Yeast counting; Dual fluorescence
24.  Exploration of two methods for quantitative Mitomycin C measurement in tumor tissue in vitro and in vivo 
Two methods of quantifying Mitomycin C in tumor tissue are explored. A method of ultraviolet-visible absorption microscopy is developed and applied to measure the concentration of Mitomycin C in preserved mouse tumor tissue, as well as in gelatin samples. Concentrations as low as 60 μM can be resolved using this technique in samples that do not strongly scatter light. A novel method for monitoring the Mitomycin C concentrations inside a tumor is developed, based on microdialysis and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy. A pump is used to perfuse a microdialysis probe with Ringer’s solution, which is fed to a flow cell to determine intratumor concentrations in real time to within a few μM. The success and limitations of these techniques are identified, and suggestions are made as to further development. To the authors’ knowledge these are the first attempts made to quantify Mitomycin C concentrations in tumor tissue.
PMCID: PMC3831870  PMID: 24206643
25.  Solution casting of chitosan membranes for in vitro evaluation of bioactivity 
Considerable research is focusing on the surface modification of titanium implants for the treatment of orthopaedic tissue injuries to increase the success of orthopaedic fixations. Chitosan is one of the natural materials under investigation based on several favourable properties. Numerous techniques have been described for the preparation of chitosan membranes, including solution casting methods for the investigation of bioactivity before applying coatings onto potential titanium implants. Solution casting enables the easy in-house evaluation of chitosan membranes and allows for the selection of promising chitosan materials.
We present a method for the standardized and easily applied preparation of chitosan membranes by solution casting. This protocol is suitable for chitosan materials spanning a wide degree of deacetylation, being derived from different chitin sources and chitosan derivatives with novel properties. We detail the preparation and quality control methods in order to prepare membranes with favourable bioactivity, sustaining cell attachment and proliferation for extended culture periods.
The possibilities associated with the use of chitosan in tissue engineering applications are far from being exhausted and numerous challenges remain prior to successful translation into the clinics. Based on our experience, we have developed simple in-house methods for quality control of homogeneous membrane casting and early prediction of successful experimental outcome.
PMCID: PMC4175485  PMID: 24192423
Chitosan; Membranes; Characterization; Titanium; Chitosan derivatives; MC3T3-E1; Fibronectin adsorption; Crosslinking

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