During brain development, neural stem cells (NSCs) receive on-or-off signals important for regulating their amplification and reaching adequate neuron density. However, how a coordinated regulation of intracellular pathways and genetic programs is achieved has remained elusive. Here, we found that the embryonic (e) CSF contains 1012 nanoparticles/ml (77 nm diameter), some of which were identified as exosome nanovesicles that contain evolutionarily conserved molecules important for coordinating intracellular pathways. eCSF nanovesicles collected from rodent and human embryos encapsulate protein and microRNA components of the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling pathway. Supplementation of eCSF nanovesicles to a mixed culture containing eNSCs activated the IGF-mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway in eNSCs and expanded the pool of proliferative eNSCs. These data show that the eCSF serves as a medium for the distribution of nanovesicles, including exosomes, and the coordinated transfer of evolutionary conserved molecules that regulate eNSC amplification during corticogenesis.
Treating large bone defects represents a major challenge in traumatic and orthopedic surgery. Bone tissue engineering provides a promising therapeutic option to improve the local bone healing response. In the present study tissue biocompatibility, systemic toxicity and tumorigenicity of a newly developed composite material consisting of polylactic acid (PLA) and 20% or 40% bioglass (BG20 and BG40), respectively, were analyzed. These materials were seeded with mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) and tested in a rat calvarial critical size defect model for 3 months and compared to a scaffold consisting only of PLA. Serum was analyzed for organ damage markers such as GOT and creatinine. Leukocyte count, temperature and free radical indicators were measured to determine the degree of systemic inflammation. Possible tumor occurrence was assessed macroscopically and histologically in slides of liver, kidney and spleen. Furthermore, the concentrations of serum malondialdehyde (MDA) and sodium oxide dismutase (SOD) were assessed as indicators of tumor progression. Qualitative tissue response towards the implants and new bone mass formation was histologically investigated. BG20 and BG40, with or without progenitor cells, did not cause organ damage, long-term systemic inflammatory reactions or tumor formation. BG20 and BG40 supported bone formation, which was further enhanced in the presence of EPCs and MSCs.
This investigation reflects good biocompatibility of the biomaterials BG20 and BG40 and provides evidence that additionally seeding EPCs and MSCs onto the scaffold does not induce tumor formation.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) has shown to be a promising technique to treat various forms of malignant neoplasia. The photodynamic eradication of the tumor cells is achieved by applying a photosensitizer either locally or systemically and following local activation through irradiation of the tumor mass with light of a specific wavelength after a certain time of incubation. Due to preferential accumulation of the photosensitizer in tumor cells, this procedure allows a selective inactivation of the malignant tumor while sparing the surrounding tissue to the greatest extent. These features and requirements make the PDT an attractive therapeutic option for the treatment of retinoblastoma, especially when surgical enucleation is a curative option. This extreme solution is still in use in case of tumours that are resistant to conventional chemotherapy or handled too late due to poor access to medical care in less advanced country. In this study we initially conducted in-vitro investigations of the new cationic water-soluble photo sensitizer tetrahydroporphyrin-tetratosylat (THPTS) regarding its photodynamic effect on human Rb-1 and Y79 retinoblastoma cells. We were able to show, that neither the incubation with THPTS without following illumination, nor the sole illumination showed a considerable effect on the proliferation of the retinoblastoma cells, whereas the incubation with THPTS combined with following illumination led to a maximal cytotoxic effect on the tumor cells. Moreover the phototoxicity was lower in normal primary cells from retinal pigmented epithelium demonstrating a higher phototoxic effect of THPTS in cancer cells than in this normal retinal cell type. The results at hand form an encouraging foundation for further in-vivo studies on the therapeutic potential of this promising photosensitizer for the eyeball and vision preserving as well as potentially curative therapy of retinoblastoma.
The sensory innervation of the dental mesenchyme is essential for tooth function and protection. Sensory innervation of the dental pulp is mediated by axons originating from the trigeminal ganglia and is strictly regulated in time. Teeth can develop from cultured re-associations between dissociated dental epithelial and mesenchymal cells from Embryonic Day 14 mouse molars, after implantation under the skin of adult ICR mice. In these conditions however, the innervation of the dental mesenchyme did not occur spontaneously. In order to go further with this question, complementary experimental approaches were designed. Cultured cell re-associations were implanted together with trigeminal ganglia for one or two weeks. Although axonal growth was regularly observed extending from the trigeminal ganglia to all around the forming teeth, the presence of axons in the dental mesenchyme was detected in less than 2.5% of samples after two weeks, demonstrating a specific impairment of their entering the dental mesenchyme. In clinical context, immunosuppressive therapy using cyclosporin A was found to accelerate the innervation of transplanted tissues. Indeed, when cultured cell re-associations and trigeminal ganglia were co-implanted in cyclosporin A-treated ICR mice, nerve fibers were detected in the dental pulp, even reaching odontoblasts after one week. However, cyclosporin A shows multiple effects, including direct ones on nerve growth. To test whether there may be a direct functional relationship between immunomodulation and innervation, cell re-associations and trigeminal ganglia were co-implanted in immunocompromised Nude mice. In these conditions as well, the innervation of the dental mesenchyme was observed already after one week of implantation, but axons reached the odontoblast layer after two weeks only. This study demonstrated that immunodepression per se does stimulate the innervation of the dental mesenchyme.
Mechanical loading of tendon cells results in an upregulation of mechanotransduction signaling pathways, cell-matrix adhesion and collagen synthesis, but whether unloading removes these responses is unclear. We investigated the response to tension release, with regard to matrix proteins, pro-inflammatory mediators and tendon phenotypic specific molecules, in an in vitro model where tendon-like tissue was engineered from human tendon cells. Tissue sampling was performed 1, 2, 4 and 6 days after surgical de-tensioning of the tendon construct. When tensile stimulus was removed, integrin type collagen receptors showed a contrasting response with a clear drop in integrin subunit α11 mRNA and protein expression, and an increase in α2 integrin mRNA and protein levels. Further, specific markers for tendon cell differentiation declined and normal tendon architecture was disturbed, whereas pro-inflammatory molecules were upregulated. Stimulation with the cytokine TGF-β1 had distinct effects on some tendon-related genes in both tensioned and de-tensioned tissue. These findings indicate an important role of mechanical loading for cellular and matrix responses in tendon, including that loss of tension leads to a decrease in phenotypical markers for tendon, while expression of pro-inflammatory mediators is induced.
Soft tissue adhesion on titanium represents a challenge for implantable materials. In order to improve adhesion at the cell/material interface we used a new approach based on the molecular recognition of titanium by specific peptides. Silk fibroin protein was chemically grafted with titanium binding peptide (TiBP) to increase adsorption of these chimeric proteins to the metal surface. Quartz Crystal Microbalance was used to quantify the specific adsorption of TiBP-functionalized silk and an increase in protein deposition by more than 35% was demonstrated due to the presence of the binding peptide. A silk protein grafted with TiBP and fibronectin-derived RGD peptide was then prepared. The adherence of fibroblasts on the titanium surface modified with the multifunctional silk coating demonstrated an increase in the number of adhering cells by 60%. The improved adhesion was demonstrated by Scanning Electron Microscopy and immunocytochemical staining of focal contact points. Chick embryo organotypic culture also revealed strong adhesion of endothelial cells expanding on the multifunctional silk-peptide coating. These results demonstrated that silk functionalized with TiBP and RGD represents a promising approach to modify cell-biomaterial interfaces, opening new perspectives for implantable medical devices, especially when reendothelialization is required.
silk protein; titanium-binding peptide; peptide grafting; cell adhesion; surface modification
Human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (hESC/hiPSC) are promising cell sources for the derivation of large numbers of specific cell types for tissue engineering and cell therapy applications. We have describe a directed differentiation protocol that generates fibroblasts from both hESC and hiPSC (EDK/iPDK) that support the repair and regeneration of epithelial tissue in engineered, 3D skin equivalents. In the current study, we analyzed the secretory profiles of EDK and iPDK cells to investigate the production of factors that activate and promote angiogenesis. Analysis of in vitro secretion profiles from EDK and iPDK cells demonstrated the elevated secretion of pro-angiogenic soluble mediators, including VEGF, HGF, IL-8, PDGF-AA, and Ang-1, that stimulated endothelial cell sprouting in a 3D model of angiogenesis in vitro. Phenotypic analysis of EDK and iPDK cells during the course of differentiation from hESCs and iPSCs revealed that both cell types progressively acquired pericyte lineage markers NG2, PDGFRβ, CD105, and CD73 and demonstrated transient induction of pericyte progenitor markers CD31, CD34, and Flk1/VEGFR2. Furthermore, when co-cultured with endothelial cells in 3D fibrin-based constructs, EDK and iPDK cells promoted self-assembly of vascular networks and vascular basement membrane deposition. Finally, transplantation of EDK cells into mice with hindlimb ischemia significantly reduced tissue necrosis and improved blood perfusion, demonstrating the potential of these cells to stimulate angiogenic responses in vivo. These findings demonstrate that stable populations of pericyte-like angiogenic cells can be generated with high efficiency from hESC and hiPSC using a directed differentiation approach. This provides new cell sources and opportunities for vascular tissue engineering and for the development of novel strategies in regenerative medicine.
Autologous bone grafting (BG) remains the standard reconstruction strategy for large craniofacial defects. Calcium phosphate (CaP) biomaterials, such as biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP), do not yield consistent results when used alone and must then be combined with cells through bone tissue engineering (BTE). In this context, total bone marrow (TBM) and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are the primary sources of cellular material used with biomaterials. However, several other BTE strategies exist, including the use of growth factors, various scaffolds, and MSC isolated from different tissues. Thus, clinicians might be unsure as to which method offers patients the most benefit. For this reason, the aim of this study was to compare eight clinically relevant BTE methods in an “all-in-one” study.
We used a transgenic rat strain expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP), from which BG, TBM, and MSC were harvested. Progenitor cells were then mixed with CaP materials and implanted subcutaneously into nude mice. After eight weeks, bone formation was evaluated by histology and scanning electron microscopy, and GFP-expressing cells were tracked with photon fluorescence microscopy.
Bone formation was observed in only four groups. These included CaP materials mixed with BG or TBM, in which abundant de novo bone was formed, and BCP mixed with committed cells grown in two- and three-dimensions, which yielded limited bone formation. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that only the TBM and BG groups were positive for GFP expressing-cells, suggesting that these donor cells were still present in the host and contributed to the formation of bone. Since the TBM-based procedure does not require bone harvest or cell culture techniques, but provides abundant de novo bone formation, we recommend consideration of this strategy for clinical applications.
In situ endothelialization of cardiovascular implants has emerged in recent years as an attractive means of targeting the persistent problems of thrombosis and intimal hyperplasia. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of immobilizing anti-CD34 antibodies onto a POSS-PCU nanocomposite polymer surface to sequester endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) from human blood, and to characterize the surface properties and hemocompatibility of this surface. Amine-functionalized fumed silica was used to covalently conjugate anti-CD34 to the polymer surface. Water contact angle, fluorescence microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy were used for surface characterization. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were seeded on modified and pristine POSS-PCU polymer films. After 7 days, adhered cells were immunostained for the expression of EPC and endothelial cell markers, and assessed for the formation of EPC colonies. Hemocompatibility was assessed by thromboelastography, and platelet activation and adhesion assays. The number of EPC colonies formed on anti-CD34-coated POSS-PCU surfaces was not significantly higher than that of POSS-PCU (5.0±1.0 vs. 1.7±0.6, p>0.05). However, antibody conjugation significantly improved hemocompatibility, as seen from the prolonged reaction and clotting times, decreased angle and maximum amplitude (p<0.05), as well as decreased platelet adhesion (76.8±7.8 vs. 8.4±0.7, p<0.05) and activation. Here, we demonstrate that POSS-PCU surface immobilized anti-CD34 antibodies selectively captured CD34+ cells from peripheral blood, although only a minority of these were EPCs. Nevertheless, antibody conjugation significantly improves the hemocompatibility of POSS-PCU, and should therefore continue to be explored in combination with other strategies to improve the specificity of EPC capture to promote in situ endothelialization.
The present work intends to evaluate the use of immediate loaded orthodontic screws in a growing model, and to study the specific bone response. Thirty-two screws (half of stainless steel and half of titanium) were inserted in the alveolar bone of 8 growing pigs. The devices were immediately loaded with a 100 g orthodontic force. Two loading periods were assessed: 4 and 12 weeks. Both systems of screws were clinically assessed. Histological observations and histomorphometric analysis evaluated the percent of “bone-to-implant contact” and static and dynamic bone parameters in the vicinity of the devices (test zone) and in a bone area located 1.5 cm posterior to the devices (control zone). Both systems exhibit similar responses for the survival rate; 87.5% and 81.3% for stainless steel and titanium respectively (p = 0.64; 4-week period), and 62.5% and 50.0% for stainless steel and titanium respectively (p = 0.09; 12-week period). No significant differences between the devices were found regarding the percent of “bone-to-implant contact” (p = 0.1) or the static and dynamic bone parameters. However, the 5% threshold of “bone-to-implant contact” was obtained after 4 weeks with the stainless steel devices, leading to increased survival rate values. Bone in the vicinity of the miniscrew implants showed evidence of a significant increase in bone trabecular thickness when compared to bone in the control zone (p = 0.05). In our study, it is likely that increased trabecular thickness is a way for low density bone to respond to the stress induced by loading.
Cutaneous regeneration utilizes paracrine feedback mechanisms to fine-tune the regulation of epidermal keratinocyte proliferation and migration. However, it is unknown how fibroblast-derived hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) affects these mutually exclusive processes in distinct cell populations. We here show that HGF stimulates the expression and phosphorylation of the microtubule-destabilizing factor stathmin in primary human keratinocytes. Quantitative single cell- and cell population-based analyses revealed that basal stathmin levels are important for the migratory ability of keratinocytes in vitro; however, its expression is moderately induced in the migration tongue of mouse skin or organotypic multi-layered keratinocyte 3D cultures after full-thickness wounding. In contrast, clearly elevated stathmin expression is detectable in hyperproliferative epidermal areas. In vitro, stathmin silencing significantly reduced keratinocyte proliferation. Automated quantitative and time-resolved analyses in organotypic cocultures demonstrated a high correlation between Stathmin/phospho-Stathmin and Ki67 positivity in epidermal regions with proliferative activity. Thus, activation of stathmin may stimulate keratinocyte proliferation, while basal stathmin levels are sufficient for keratinocyte migration during cutaneous regeneration.
To heal tissue defects, cells have to bridge gaps and generate new extracellular matrix (ECM). Macroporous scaffolds are frequently used to support the process of defect filling and thus foster tissue regeneration. Such biomaterials contain micro-voids (pores) that the cells fill with their own ECM over time. There is only limited knowledge on how pore geometry influences cell organization and matrix production, even though it is highly relevant for scaffold design. This study hypothesized that 1) a simple geometric description predicts cellular organization during pore filling at the cell level and that 2) pore closure results in a reorganization of ECM. Scaffolds with a broad distribution of pore sizes (macroporous starPEG-heparin cryogel) were used as a model system and seeded with primary fibroblasts. The strategies of cells to fill pores could be explained by a simple geometrical model considering cells as tensioned chords. The model matched qualitatively as well as quantitatively by means of cell number vs. open cross-sectional area for all pore sizes. The correlation between ECM location and cell position was higher when the pores were not filled with tissue (Pearson’s coefficient ρ = 0.45±0.01) and reduced once the pores were closed (ρ = 0.26±0.04) indicating a reorganization of the cell/ECM network. Scaffold pore size directed the time required for pore closure and furthermore impacted the organization of the fibronectin matrix. Understanding how cells fill micro-voids will help to design biomaterial scaffolds that support the endogenous healing process and thus allow a fast filling of tissue defects.
Molecular mechanisms leading to pressure ulcer development are scarce in spite of high mortality of patients. Development of pressure ulcers that is initially observed as deep tissue injury is multifactorial. We postulate that biomechanical forces and inflammasome activation, together with ischemia and aging, may play a role in pressure ulcer development. To test this we used a newly-developed bio-mechanical model in which ischemic young and aged human skin was subjected to a constant physiological compressive stress (load) of 300 kPa (determined by pressure plate analyses of a person in a reclining position) for 0.5–4 hours. Collagen orientation was assessed using polarized light, whereas inflammasome proteins were quantified by immunoblotting. Loaded skin showed marked changes in morphology and NLRP3 inflammasome protein expression. Sub-epidermal separations and altered orientation of collagen fibers were observed in aged skin at earlier time points. Aged skin showed significant decreases in the levels of NLRP3 inflammasome proteins. Loading did not alter NLRP3 inflammasome proteins expression in aged skin, whereas it significantly increased their levels in young skin. We conclude that aging contributes to rapid morphological changes and decrease in inflammasome proteins in response to tissue damage, suggesting that a decline in the innate inflammatory response in elderly skin could contribute to pressure ulcer pathogenesis. Observed morphological changes suggest that tissue damage upon loading may not be entirely preventable. Furthermore, newly developed model described here may be very useful in understanding the mechanisms of deep tissue injury that may lead towards development of pressure ulcers.
Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is a pleiotropic cytokine with pro-angiogenic and neurotrophic effects. The angioregulatory role of this molecule may become especially significant in retinal neovascularization, which is a hallmark of a number of ischemic eye diseases. This study was undertaken to reveal expression characteristics of bFGF, produced by retinal glial (Müller) cells, and to determine conditions under which glial bFGF may stimulate the proliferation of retinal microvascular endothelial cells. Immunofluorescence labeling detected bFGF in Müller cells of the rat retina and in acutely isolated Müller cells with bFGF levels, which increased after ischemia-reperfusion in postischemic retinas. In patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy or myopia, the immunoreactivity of bFGF co-localized to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells in surgically excised retinal tissues. RT-PCR and ELISA analyses indicated that cultured Müller cells produce bFGF, which is elevated under hypoxia or oxidative stress, as well as under stimulation with various growth factors and cytokines, including pro-inflammatory factors. When retinal endothelial cells were cultured in the presence of media from hypoxia (0.2%)-conditioned Müller cells, a distinct picture of endothelial cell proliferation emerged. Media from 24-h cultured Müller cells inhibited proliferation, whereas 72-h conditioned media elicited a stimulatory effect. BFGF-neutralizing antibodies suppressed the enhanced endothelial cell proliferation to a similar extent as anti-VEGF antibodies. Furthermore, phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK−1/−2) in retinal endothelial cells was increased when the cells were cultured in 72-h conditioned media, while neutralizing bFGF attenuated the activation of this signaling pathway. These data provide evidence that retinal (glial) Müller cells are major sources of bFGF in the ischemic retina. Müller cells under physiological conditions or transient hypoxia seem to provide an anti-angiogenic environment, but long-lasting hypoxia causes the release of bFGF, which might significantly co-stimulate neovascularization in the retina.
The presence of the conceptus in uterine cavity necessitates an elaborate network of interactions between the implanting embryo and a receptive endometrial tissue. We believe that embryo-derived signals play an important role in the remodeling and the extension of endometrial receptivity period. Our previous studies provided original evidence that human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) modulates and potentiates endometrial epithelial as well as stromal cell responsiveness to interleukin 1 (IL1), one of the earliest embryonic signals, which may represent a novel pathway by which the embryo favors its own implantation and growth within the maternal endometrial host. The present study was designed to gain a broader understanding of hCG impact on the modulation of endometrial cell receptivity, and in particular, cell responsiveness to IL1 and the acquisition of growth-promoting phenotype capable of receiving, sustaining, and promoting early and crucial steps of embryonic development. Our results showed significant changes in the expression of genes involved in cell proliferation, immune modulation, tissue remodeling, apoptotic and angiogenic processes. This points to a relevant impact of these embryonic signals on the receptivity of the maternal endometrium, its adaptation to the implanting embryo and the creation of an environment that is favorable for the implantation and the growth of this latter within a new and likely hostile host tissue. Interestingly our data further identified a complex interaction between IL1 and hCG, which, despite a synergistic action on several significant endometrial target genes, may encompass a tight control of endogenous IL1 and extends to other IL1 family members.
The staggering cost of bringing a drug to market coupled with the extremely high failure rate of prospective compounds in early phase clinical trials due to unexpected human toxicity makes it imperative that more relevant human models be developed to better predict drug toxicity. Drug–induced nephrotoxicity remains especially difficult to predict in both pre-clinical and clinical settings and is often undetected until patient hospitalization. Current pre-clinical methods of determining renal toxicity include 2D cell cultures and animal models, both of which are incapable of fully recapitulating the in vivo human response to drugs, contributing to the high failure rate upon clinical trials. We have bioengineered a 3D kidney tissue model using immortalized human renal cortical epithelial cells with kidney functions similar to that found in vivo. These 3D tissues were compared to 2D cells in terms of both acute (3 days) and chronic (2 weeks) toxicity induced by Cisplatin, Gentamicin, and Doxorubicin using both traditional LDH secretion and the pre-clinical biomarkers Kim-1 and NGAL as assessments of toxicity. The 3D tissues were more sensitive to drug-induced toxicity and, unlike the 2D cells, were capable of being used to monitor chronic toxicity due to repeat dosing. The inclusion of this tissue model in drug testing prior to the initiation of phase I clinical trials would allow for better prediction of the nephrotoxic effects of new drugs.
Silk-based biomaterials in combination with extracellular matrix (ECM) coatings were assessed as templates for cell-seeded bladder tissue engineering approaches. Two structurally diverse groups of silk scaffolds were produced by a gel spinning process and consisted of either smooth, compact multi-laminates (Group 1) or rough, porous lamellar-like sheets (Group 2). Scaffolds alone or coated with collagen types I or IV or fibronectin were assessed independently for their ability to support attachment, proliferation, and differentiation of primary cell lines including human bladder smooth muscle cells (SMC) and urothelial cells as well as pluripotent cell populations, such as murine embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. AlamarBlue evaluations revealed that fibronectin-coated Group 2 scaffolds promoted the highest degree of primary SMC and urothelial cell attachment in comparison to uncoated Group 2 controls and all Group 1 scaffold variants. Real time RT-PCR and immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses demonstrated that both fibronectin-coated silk groups were permissive for SMC contractile differentiation as determined by significant upregulation of α-actin and SM22α mRNA and protein expression levels following TGFβ1 stimulation. Prominent expression of epithelial differentiation markers, cytokeratins, was observed in urothelial cells cultured on both control and fibronectin-coated groups following IHC analysis. Evaluation of silk matrices for ESC and iPS cell attachment by alamarBlue showed that fibronectin-coated Group 2 scaffolds promoted the highest levels in comparison to all other scaffold formulations. In addition, real time RT-PCR and IHC analyses showed that fibronectin-coated Group 2 scaffolds facilitated ESC and iPS cell differentiation toward both urothelial and smooth muscle lineages in response to all trans retinoic acid as assessed by induction of uroplakin and contractile gene and protein expression. These results demonstrate that silk scaffolds support primary and pluripotent cell responses pertinent to bladder tissue engineering and that scaffold morphology and fibronectin coatings influence these processes.
This study deals with the anchorage of polyelectrolyte films onto titanium surfaces via a cathecol-based linker for biomedical applications.
The following study uses a molecule functionalized with a catechol and a carboxylic acid: 3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)propanoic acid. This molecule is anchored to the TiO2 substrate via the catechol while the carboxylic acid reacts with polymers bearing amine groups. By providing a film anchorage of chemisorption type, it makes possible to deposit polyelectrolytes on the surface of titanium.
Infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), contact angle and atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements show that the different steps of grafting have been successfully performed.
This method based on catechol anchorage of polyelectrolytes open a window towards large possibilities of clinical applications.
The repair of central nerves remains a major challenge in regenerative neurobiology. Regenerative guides possessing critical features such as cell adhesion, physical guiding and topical stimulation are needed. To generate such a guide, silk protein materials are prepared using electrospinning. The silk is selected for this study due to its biocompatibility and ability to be electrospun for the formation of aligned biofunctional nanofibers. The addition of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor (CNTF) or both to the electrospun fibers enable enhanced function without impact to the structure or the surface morphology. Only a small fraction of the loaded growth factors is released over time allowing the fibers to continue to provide these factors to the cells for extended periods of time. The entrapped factors remain active and available to the cells as rat retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) exhibit longer axonal growth when in contact with the biofunctionalized fibers. Compare to non-functionalized fibers, the growth of neurites increased 2 fold on fibers containing BDNF, 2.5 fold with fibers containing CNTF and by almost 3-fold on fibers containing both factors. The results demonstrate the potential of aligned and functionalized electrospun silk fibers to promote nerve growth in the central nervous system, underlying the great potential of complex biomaterials in neuroregenerative strategies following axotomy and nerve crush traumas.
Silk; Nerve regeneration; BDNF; CNTF; biofunctionalization
The following study provides new insight into how surface topography dictates directed collective epithelial cell sheet growth through the guidance of individual cell movement. Collective cell behavior of migrating human corneal limbal-epithelial cell sheets were studied on highly biocompatible flat and micro-patterned silk film surfaces. The silk film edge topography guided the migratory direction of individual cells making up the collective epithelial sheet, which resulted in a 75% increase in total culture elongation. This was due to a 3-fold decrease in cell sheet migration rate efficiency for movement perpendicular to the topography edge. Individual cell migration direction is preferred in the parallel approach to the edge topography where localization of cytoskeletal proteins to the topography’s edge region is reduced, which results in the directed growth of the collective epithelial sheet. Findings indicate customized biomaterial surfaces may be created to direct both the migration rate and direction of tissue epithelialization.
hyaluronan biopolymer is used in dermatology but the underlying mechanism and the impact of its molecular weight have not yet been investigated in skin wound healing. The aim of our work was to study the role of HA molecular weight in the proliferative phase of wound healing and to understand how this physiological biopolymer acts to promote wound healing on a human keratinocyte in vitro model.
Methodology and Findings
wound healing closure was evaluated using scratch test assay, cell proliferation by counting cell with haemocytometer, expression of CD44 and ZO-1 (protein present in tight junctions specific of epithelia) using flow cytometry, and P2X7 receptor activation on living using a cytoflurometric method. Our study showed that medium hyaluronan fragment (MMW-HA, between 100 and 300 kDa) induced a significant increase in wound closure, increased ZO-1 protein expression and induced a slight activation of P2X7 receptor, contrary to high (between 1000 and 1400 kDa) and low (between 5 and 20 kDa) molecular hyaluronan fragments that had no healing effects. Basal activation of P2X7 receptor is already known to stimulate cell proliferation and this activation in our model plays a pivotal role in MMW-HA-induced wound healing. Indeed, we showed that use of BBG, a specific inhibitor of P2X7 receptor, blocked completely the beneficial effects of MMW-HA on wound healing.
taken together, our results showed for the first time the relationship between P2X7 receptor and hyaluronan in wound healing, and that topical use of MMW-HA (fragment between 100 and 300 kDa) could represent a new therapeutic strategy to promote healing.
Complications in dentistry and orthopaedic surgery are mainly induced by peri-implant bacterial infections and current implant devices do not prevent such infections. The coating of antibacterial molecules such as chitosan on its surface would give the implant bioactive properties. The major challenge of this type of coating is the attachment of chitosan to a metal substrate. In this study, we propose to investigate the functionalization of titanium with chitosan via a silanation. Firstly, the surface chemistry and mechanical properties of such coating were evaluated. We also verified if the coated chitosan retained its biocompatibility with the peri-implant cells, as well as its antibacterial properties. FTIR and Tof-SIMS analyses confirmed the presence of chitosan on the titanium surface. This coating showed great scratch resistance and was strongly adhesive to the substrate. These mechanical properties were consistent with an implantology application. The Chitosan-coated surfaces showed strong inhibition of Actinomyces naeslundii growth; they nonetheless showed a non significant inhibition against Porphyromonas gingivalis after 32 hours in liquid media. The chitosan-coating also demonstrated good biocompatibility to NIH3T3 fibroblasts. Thus this method of covalent coating provides a biocompatible material with improved bioactive properties. These results proved that covalent coating of chitosan has significant potential in biomedical device implantation.
Burn demographics, prevention and care have changed considerably since the 1970s. The objectives were to 1) identify new and confirm previously described changes, 2) make comparisons to the American Burn Association National Burn Repository, 3) determine when the administration of fluids in excess of the Baxter formula began and to identify potential causes, and 4) model mortality over time, during a 36-year period (1974–2009) at the Harborview Burn Center in Seattle, WA, USA.
Methods and Findings
14,266 consecutive admissions were analyzed in five-year periods and many parameters compared to the National Burn Repository. Fluid resuscitation was compared in five-year periods from 1974 to 2009. Mortality was modeled with the rBaux model. Many changes are highlighted at the end of the manuscript including 1) the large increase in numbers of total and short-stay admissions, 2) the decline in numbers of large burn injuries, 3) that unadjusted case fatality declined to the mid-1980s but has changed little during the past two decades, 4) that race/ethnicity and payer status disparity exists, and 5) that the trajectory to death changed with fewer deaths occurring after seven days post-injury. Administration of fluids in excess of the Baxter formula during resuscitation of uncomplicated injuries was evident at least by the early 1990s and has continued to the present; the cause is likely multifactorial but pre-hospital fluids, prophylactic tracheal intubation and opioids may be involved.
1) The dramatic changes include the rise in short-stay admissions; as a result, the model of burn care practiced since the 1970s is still required but is no longer sufficient. 2) Fluid administration in excess of the Baxter formula with uncomplicated injuries began at least two decades ago. 3) Unadjusted case fatality declined to ∼6% in the mid-1980s and changed little since then. The rBaux mortality model is quite accurate.
We have developed an implantable fuel cell that generates power through glucose oxidation, producing steady-state power and up to peak power. The fuel cell is manufactured using a novel approach, employing semiconductor fabrication techniques, and is therefore well suited for manufacture together with integrated circuits on a single silicon wafer. Thus, it can help enable implantable microelectronic systems with long-lifetime power sources that harvest energy from their surrounds. The fuel reactions are mediated by robust, solid state catalysts. Glucose is oxidized at the nanostructured surface of an activated platinum anode. Oxygen is reduced to water at the surface of a self-assembled network of single-walled carbon nanotubes, embedded in a Nafion film that forms the cathode and is exposed to the biological environment. The catalytic electrodes are separated by a Nafion membrane. The availability of fuel cell reactants, oxygen and glucose, only as a mixture in the physiologic environment, has traditionally posed a design challenge: Net current production requires oxidation and reduction to occur separately and selectively at the anode and cathode, respectively, to prevent electrochemical short circuits. Our fuel cell is configured in a half-open geometry that shields the anode while exposing the cathode, resulting in an oxygen gradient that strongly favors oxygen reduction at the cathode. Glucose reaches the shielded anode by diffusing through the nanotube mesh, which does not catalyze glucose oxidation, and the Nafion layers, which are permeable to small neutral and cationic species. We demonstrate computationally that the natural recirculation of cerebrospinal fluid around the human brain theoretically permits glucose energy harvesting at a rate on the order of at least 1 mW with no adverse physiologic effects. Low-power brain–machine interfaces can thus potentially benefit from having their implanted units powered or recharged by glucose fuel cells.
We demonstrate ensemble three-dimensional cell cultures and quantitative analysis of angiogenic growth from uniform endothelial monolayers. Our approach combines two key elements: a micro-fluidic assay that enables parallelized angiogenic growth instances subject to common extracellular conditions, and an automated image acquisition and processing scheme enabling high-throughput, unbiased quantification of angiogenic growth. Because of the increased throughput of the assay in comparison to existing three-dimensional morphogenic assays, statistical properties of angiogenic growth can be reliably estimated. We used the assay to evaluate the combined effects of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and the signaling lipid sphingoshine-1-phosphate (S1P). Our results show the importance of S1P in amplifying the angiogenic response in the presence of VEGF gradients. Furthermore, the application of S1P with VEGF gradients resulted in angiogenic sprouts with higher aspect ratio than S1P with background levels of VEGF, despite reduced total migratory activity. This implies a synergistic effect between the growth factors in promoting angiogenic activity. Finally, the variance in the computed angiogenic metrics (as measured by ensemble standard deviation) was found to increase linearly with the ensemble mean. This finding is consistent with stochastic agent-based mathematical models of angiogenesis that represent angiogenic growth as a series of independent stochastic cell-level decisions.