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author:("Chen, bingjun")
1.  Light‐Emitting Devices: All‐Copper Nanocluster Based Down‐Conversion White Light‐Emitting Devices (Adv. Sci. 11/2016) 
Advanced Science  2016;3(11):n/a.
Andrey L. Rogach and co‐workers describe the enhanced emission of photoluminescent copper nanoclusters in solution and in powder state, in article 1600182. These blue‐ and orange‐emitting Cu nanoclusters are combined to create white light‐emitting devices.
doi:10.1002/advs.201670060
PMCID: PMC5115520
aggregation‐induced emission enhancement; copper nanoclusters; down‐conversion light‐emitting devices; photoluminescence; white light
2.  All‐Copper Nanocluster Based Down‐Conversion White Light‐Emitting Devices 
Advanced Science  2016;3(11):1600182.
Most of the present‐day down‐conversion white light‐emitting devices (WLEDs) utilize rare‐earth elements, which are expensive and facing the problem of shortage in supply. WLEDs based on the combination of orange and blue emitting copper nanoclusters are introduced, which are easy to produce and low in cost. Orange emitting Cu nanoclusters (NCs) are synthesized using glutathione as both the reduction agent and stabilizer, followed by solvent induced aggregation leading to the emission enhancement. Photoluminescence quantum yields (PL QY) of 24% and 43% in solution and solid state are achieved, respectively. Blue emitting Cu nanoclusters are synthesized by reduction of polyvinylpyrrolidone supported Cu(II) ions using ascorbic acid, followed by surface treatment with sodium citrate which improves both the emission intensity and stability of the clusters, resulting in the PL QY of 14% both in solution and solid state. All‐copper nanocluster based down‐conversion WLEDs are fabricated by integrating powdered orange and blue emitting Cu NC samples on a commercial GaN LED chip providing 370 nm excitation. They show favorable white light characteristics with Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage color coordinates, color rendering index, and correlated color temperature of (0.36, 0.31), 92, and 4163 K, respectively.
doi:10.1002/advs.201600182
PMCID: PMC5102667  PMID: 27980993
aggregation‐induced emission enhancement; copper nanoclusters; down‐conversion light‐emitting devices; photoluminescence; white light
3.  Positively Charged Oligo[Poly(Ethylene Glycol) Fumarate] Scaffold Implantation Results in a Permissive Lesion Environment after Spinal Cord Injury in Rat 
Tissue Engineering. Part A  2015;21(13-14):2099-2114.
Positively charged oligo[poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate] (OPF+) scaffolds loaded with Schwann cells bridge spinal cord injury (SCI) lesions and support axonal regeneration in rat. The regeneration achieved is not sufficient for inducing functional recovery. Attempts to increase regeneration would benefit from understanding the effects of the scaffold and transplanted cells on lesion environment. We conducted morphometric and stereological analysis of lesions in rats implanted with OPF+ scaffolds with or without loaded Schwann cells 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8 weeks after thoracic spinal cord transection. No differences were found in collagen scarring, cyst formation, astrocyte reactivity, myelin debris, or chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG) accumulation. However, when scaffold-implanted animals were compared with animals with transection injuries only, these barriers to regeneration were significantly reduced, accompanied by increased activated macrophages/microglia. This distinctive and regeneration permissive tissue reaction to scaffold implantation was independent of Schwann cell transplantation. Although the tissue reaction was beneficial in the short term, we observed a chronic fibrotic host response, resulting in scaffolds surrounded by collagen at 8 weeks. This study demonstrates that an appropriate biomaterial scaffold improves the environment for regeneration. Future targeting of the host fibrotic response may allow increased axonal regeneration and functional recovery.
doi:10.1089/ten.tea.2015.0019
PMCID: PMC4507127  PMID: 25891264
4.  All‐Copper Nanocluster Based Down‐Conversion White Light‐Emitting Devices 
Advanced Science  2016;3(11):1600182.
Most of the present‐day down‐conversion white light‐emitting devices (WLEDs) utilize rare‐earth elements, which are expensive and facing the problem of shortage in supply. WLEDs based on the combination of orange and blue emitting copper nanoclusters are introduced, which are easy to produce and low in cost. Orange emitting Cu nanoclusters (NCs) are synthesized using glutathione as both the reduction agent and stabilizer, followed by solvent induced aggregation leading to the emission enhancement. Photoluminescence quantum yields (PL QY) of 24% and 43% in solution and solid state are achieved, respectively. Blue emitting Cu nanoclusters are synthesized by reduction of polyvinylpyrrolidone supported Cu(II) ions using ascorbic acid, followed by surface treatment with sodium citrate which improves both the emission intensity and stability of the clusters, resulting in the PL QY of 14% both in solution and solid state. All‐copper nanocluster based down‐conversion WLEDs are fabricated by integrating powdered orange and blue emitting Cu NC samples on a commercial GaN LED chip providing 370 nm excitation. They show favorable white light characteristics with Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage color coordinates, color rendering index, and correlated color temperature of (0.36, 0.31), 92, and 4163 K, respectively.
doi:10.1002/advs.201600182
PMCID: PMC5102667  PMID: 27980993
aggregation‐induced emission enhancement; copper nanoclusters; down‐conversion light‐emitting devices; photoluminescence; white light
5.  A Safety Study on Intrathecal Delivery of Autologous Mesenchymal Stromal Cells in Rabbits Directly Supporting Phase I Human Trials 
Transfusion  2014;55(5):1013-1020.
Background
There are no effective treatments that slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. A major challenge of treatment in neurodegenerative diseases is appropriate delivery of pharmaceuticals into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of affected individuals. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs – either naïve or modified) are a promising therapy in neurodegenerative diseases and may be delivered directly into the CSF where they can reside for months. In this preclinical study, we evaluated the safety of intrathecal autologous MSCs in a rabbit model.
Methods
Autologous adipose-derived MSCs (or a-CSF) were delivered intrathecally, either with single or repeated injections into the foramen magnum of healthy rabbits, and monitored for 4 and 12 weeks, respectively.
Results
Rabbits tolerated injections well and no definitive MSC-related side effects were observed apart from three rabbits that had delayed death secondary to traumatic foramen magnum puncture. Functional assessments and body weights were equivalent between groups. Gross pathology and histology did not reveal any abnormalities or tumor growth. Complete blood count (CBC) data were normal and there were no differences in CSF IL-6 levels in all groups tested.
Discussion
Our data suggest that intrathecal delivery of autologous MSCs is safe in a rabbit model. Data from this study has supported two successful Investigational New Drug (IND) applications to the FDA, resulting in the initiation of two clinical trials using autologous MSCs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple system atrophy.
doi:10.1111/trf.12938
PMCID: PMC4428970  PMID: 25413276
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; cell therapy; intrathecal injection; multiple system atrophy; mesenchymal stromal cell; MSC; rabbit; safety study
6.  Comparison of Cellular Architecture, Axonal Growth, and Blood Vessel Formation Through Cell-Loaded Polymer Scaffolds in the Transected Rat Spinal Cord 
Tissue Engineering. Part A  2014;20(21-22):2985-2997.
The use of multichannel polymer scaffolds in a complete spinal cord transection injury serves as a deconstructed model that allows for control of individual variables and direct observation of their effects on regeneration. In this study, scaffolds fabricated from positively charged oligo[poly(ethylene glycol)fumarate] (OPF+) hydrogel were implanted into rat spinal cords following T9 complete transection. OPF+ scaffold channels were loaded with either syngeneic Schwann cells or mesenchymal stem cells derived from enhanced green fluorescent protein transgenic rats (eGFP-MSCs). Control scaffolds contained extracellular matrix only. The capacity of each scaffold type to influence the architecture of regenerated tissue after 4 weeks was examined by detailed immunohistochemistry and stereology. Astrocytosis was observed in a circumferential peripheral channel compartment. A structurally separate channel core contained scattered astrocytes, eGFP-MSCs, blood vessels, and regenerating axons. Cells double-staining with glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) and S-100 antibodies populated each scaffold type, demonstrating migration of an immature cell phenotype into the scaffold from the animal. eGFP-MSCs were distributed in close association with blood vessels. Axon regeneration was augmented by Schwann cell implantation, while eGFP-MSCs did not support axon growth. Methods of unbiased stereology provided physiologic estimates of blood vessel volume, length and surface area, mean vessel diameter, and cross-sectional area in each scaffold type. Schwann cell scaffolds had high numbers of small, densely packed vessels within the channels. eGFP-MSC scaffolds contained fewer, larger vessels. There was a positive linear correlation between axon counts and vessel length density, surface density, and volume fraction. Increased axon number also correlated with decreasing vessel diameter, implicating the importance of blood flow rate. Radial diffusion distances in vessels significantly correlated to axon number as a hyperbolic function, showing a need to engineer high numbers of small vessels in parallel to improving axonal densities. In conclusion, Schwann cells and eGFP-MSCs influenced the regenerating microenvironment with lasting effect on axonal and blood vessel growth. OPF+ scaffolds in a complete transection model allowed for a detailed comparative, histologic analysis of the cellular architecture in response to each cell type and provided insight into physiologic characteristics that may support axon regeneration.
doi:10.1089/ten.tea.2013.0551
PMCID: PMC4229864  PMID: 24854680
7.  Implantation of cauda equina nerve roots through a biodegradable scaffold at the conus medullaris in rat 
Background context
Traumatic injuries occurring at the conus medullaris of the spinal cord cause both permanent damage to the central nervous system, and to the cauda equina nerve roots.
Purpose
This proof of concept study determined whether implanting the nerve roots into a biodegradable scaffold would improve regeneration after injury.
Study design/setting
All experimental work involving rats was performed according to approved guidelines by the Mayo Clinic Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Surgical procedures were performed on 32 Sprague Dawley rats. Four ventral cauda equina nerve roots were re-implanted either directly into the ventral cord stump or through a poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) scaffold. These experimental groups were compared to a control group in which the nerves were inserted into a muscle fascia barrier that was placed between the spinal cord and nerve roots. Animals were sacrificed at four weeks.
Methods
This work was funded by the authors' institution; Morton Cure Paralysis Fund; The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation; and NIBIB grant R01 EB 02390. There was no conflict of interest between the study funding and the conclusions drawn.
Results
There was no difference in motor neuron counts in the spinal cord rostral to the injury in all treatment groups, implying equal potential for regeneration into implanted nerve roots. One-way ANOVA testing, with Tukey's post-test, showed a statistically significant improvement in axon regeneration through the injury in the PLGA scaffold treatment group compared to the control (p<0.05, scaffold n=11, control n=11).
Conclusion
This pilot study demonstrated that a PLGA scaffold improved regeneration of axons into peripheral nerve roots. However, the number of regenerating axons observed was limited and did not lead to functional recovery. Future experiments will employ a different scaffold material and possible growth factors or enzymes to increase axon populations.
doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2014.01.059
PMCID: PMC4125550  PMID: 24509005
8.  Hemisection spinal cord injury in rat: The value of intraoperative somatosensory evoked potential monitoring 
Journal of neuroscience methods  2012;211(2):179-184.
Techniques used to produce partial spinal cord injuries in animal models have the potential for creating variability in lesions. The amount of tissue affected may influence the functional outcomes assessed in the animals. The recording of somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) may be a valuable tool for assessing the extent of lesion applied in animal models of traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). Intraoperative tibial SSEP recordings were assessed during surgically induced lateral thoracic hemisection SCI in Sprague-Dawley rats. The transmission of SSEPs, or lack thereof, was determined and compared against the integrity of the dosal funiculi on each side of the spinal cord upon histological sectioning. An association was found between the presence of an SSEP signal and presence of intact dorsal funiculus tissue. The relative risk is 4.50 (95% confidence interval: 1.83 to 11.08) for having an intact dorsal funiculus when the ipsilateral SSEP was present compared to when it was absent. Additionally, the amount of spared spinal cord tissue correlates with final functional assessments at nine weeks post injury: BBB (linear regression, R2 = 0.618, p <0.001) and treadmill test (linear regression, R2 = 0.369, p = 0.016). Therefore, we propose intraoperative SSEP monitoring as a valuable tool to assess extent of lesion and reduce variability between animals in experimental studies of SCI.
doi:10.1016/j.jneumeth.2012.08.024
PMCID: PMC3491113  PMID: 22960163
electrophysiology; pathologic correlation; incomplete spinal cord injury; exercise; functional outcome
9.  Comparison of polymer scaffolds in rat spinal cord: A step toward quantitative assessment of combinatorial approaches to spinal cord repair 
Biomaterials  2011;32(32):8077-8086.
The transected rat thoracic (T9/10) spinal cord model is a platform for quantitatively compa0ring biodegradable polymer scaffolds. Schwann cell-loaded scaffolds constructed from poly (lactic co-glycolic acid) (PLGA), poly(ε-caprolactone fumarate) (PCLF), oligo(polyethylene glycol) fumarate (OPF) hydrogel or positively charged OPF (OPF+) hydrogel were implanted into the model. We demonstrated that the mechanical properties (3-point bending and stiffness) of OPF and OPF+ hydrogels closely resembled rat spinal cord. After one month, tissues were harvested and analyzed by morphometry of neurofilament-stained sections at rostral, midlevel, and caudal scaffold. All polymers supported axonal growth. Significantly higher numbers of axons were found in PCLF (P < 0.01) and OPF+ (P < 0.05) groups, compared to that of the PLGA group. OPF+ polymers showed more centrally distributed axonal regeneration within the channels while other polymers (PLGA, PCLF and OPF) tended to show more evenly dispersed axons within the channels. The centralized distribution was associated with significantly more axons regenerating (P < 0.05). Volume of scar and cyst rostral and caudal to the implanted scaffold was measured and compared. There were significantly smaller cyst volumes in PLGA compared to PCLF groups. The model provides a quantitative basis for assessing individual and combined tissue engineering strategies.
doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2011.07.029
PMCID: PMC3163757  PMID: 21803415
OPF; PLGA; PCLF; axon regeneration; spinal cord injury; Schwann cell
10.  Sustained Delivery of Dibutyryl Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate to the Transected Spinal Cord Via Oligo [(Polyethylene Glycol) Fumarate] Hydrogels 
Tissue Engineering. Part A  2011;17(9-10):1287-1302.
This study describes the use of oligo [(polyethylene glycol) fumarate] (OPF) hydrogel scaffolds as vehicles for sustained delivery of dibutyryl cyclic adenosine monophosphate (dbcAMP) to the transected spinal cord. dbcAMP was encapsulated in poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres, which were embedded within the scaffolds architecture. Functionality of the released dbcAMP was assessed using neurite outgrowth assays in PC12 cells and by delivery to the transected spinal cord within OPF seven channel scaffolds, which had been loaded with Schwann cells or mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Our results showed that encapsulation of dbcAMP in microspheres lead to prolonged release and continued functionality in vitro. These microspheres were then successfully incorporated into OPF scaffolds and implanted in the transected thoracic spinal cord. Sustained delivery of dbcAMP inhibited axonal regeneration in the presence of Schwann cells but rescued MSC-induced inhibition of axonal regeneration. dbcAMP was also shown to reduce capillary formation in the presence of MSCs, which was coupled with significant functional improvements. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of incorporating PLGA microsphere technology for spinal cord transection studies. It represents a novel sustained delivery mechanism within the transected spinal cord and provides a platform for potential delivery of other therapeutic agents.
doi:10.1089/ten.tea.2010.0396
PMCID: PMC3079174  PMID: 21198413
11.  Importance of the vasculature in cyst formation after spinal cord injury 
Journal of neurosurgery. Spine  2009;11(4):432-437.
Object
Glial scar and cystic formation greatly contribute to the inhibition of axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI). Attempts to promote axonal regeneration are extremely challenging in this type of hostile environment. The objective of this study was to examine the surgical methods that may be used to assess the factors that influence the level of scar and cystic formation in SCI.
Methods
In the first part of this study, a complete transection was performed at vertebral level T9–10 in adult female Sprague-Dawley rats. The dura mater was either left open (control group) or was closed using sutures or hyaluronic acid. In the second part of the study, complete or subpial transection was performed, with the same dural closure technique applied to both groups. Histological analysis of longitudinal sections of the spinal cord was performed, and the percentage of scar and cyst formation was determined.
Results
Dural closure using sutures resulted in significantly less glial scar formation (p = 0.0248), while incorporation of the subpial transection surgical technique was then shown to significantly decrease cyst formation (p < 0.0001).
Conclusions
In this study, the authors demonstrated the importance of the vasculature in cyst formation after spinal cord trauma and confirmed the importance of dural closure in reducing glial scar formation.
doi:10.3171/2009.4.SPINE08784
PMCID: PMC2981802  PMID: 19929340
traumatic spinal cord injury; vascular injury; glial cell response to injury
12.  Relationship between Scaffold Channel Diameter and Number of Regenerating Axons in the Transected Rat Spinal Cord 
Acta biomaterialia  2009;5(7):2551-2559.
Regeneration of endogenous axons through a Schwann cell (SC)-seeded scaffold implant has been demonstrated in the transected rat spinal cord. The formation of a cellular lining in the scaffold channel may limit the degree of axonal regeneration. Spinal cords of adult rats were transected and implanted with the SC-loaded polylactic co-glycollic acid (PLGA) scaffold implants containing seven parallel-aligned channels, either 450-μm (n=19) or 660-μm in diameter (n=14). Animals were sacrificed after 1, 2, and 3 months. Immunohistochemistry for neurofilament-expression was performed. The cross-sectional area of fibrous tissue and regenerative core was calculated. We found that the 450-μm scaffolds had significantly greater axon fibers per channel at the one month (186 ± 37) and three month (78 ± 11) endpoints than the 660-μm scaffolds (90 ± 19 and 40 ± 6, respectively) (P=0.0164 & 0.0149, respectively). The difference in the area of fibrous rim between the 450-μm and 660-μm channels was most pronounced at the one month endpoint, at 28,046 μm2 ± 6,551 and 58,633 μm2 ± 7,063, respectively (P=0.0105). Our study suggests that fabricating scaffolds with smaller diameter channels promotes greater regeneration over larger diameter channels. Axonal regeneration was reduced in the larger channels due to the generation of a large fibrous rim. Optimization of this scaffold environment establishes a platform for future studies of the effects of cell types, trophic factors or pharmacological agents on the regenerative capacity of the injured spinal cord.
doi:10.1016/j.actbio.2009.03.021
PMCID: PMC2731813  PMID: 19409869
Biomedical Engineering; Tissue Development and Growth; Central Nervous System; Polymeric Scaffolds
13.  Neural Stem Cell– and Schwann Cell–Loaded Biodegradable Polymer Scaffolds Support Axonal Regeneration in the Transected Spinal Cord 
Tissue Engineering. Part A  2009;15(7):1797-1805.
Biodegradable polymer scaffolds provide an excellent approach to quantifying critical factors necessary for restoration of function after a transection spinal cord injury. Neural stem cells (NSCs) and Schwann cells (SCs) support axonal regeneration. This study examines the compatibility of NSCs and SCs with the poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid polymer scaffold and quantitatively assesses their potential to promote regeneration after a spinal cord transection injury in rats. NSCs were cultured as neurospheres and characterized by immunostaining for nestin (NSCs), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) (astrocytes), βIII-tubulin (immature neurons), oligodendrocyte-4 (immature oligodendrocytes), and myelin oligodendrocyte (mature oligodendrocytes), while SCs were characterized by immunostaining for S-100. Rats with transection injuries received scaffold implants containing NSCs (n = 17), SCs (n = 17), and no cells (control) (n = 8). The degree of axonal regeneration was determined by counting neurofilament-stained axons through the scaffold channels 1 month after transplantation. Serial sectioning through the scaffold channels in NSC- and SC-treated groups revealed the presence of nestin, neurofilament, S-100, and βIII tubulin–positive cells. GFAP-positive cells were only seen at the spinal cord–scaffold border. There were significantly more axons in the NSC- and SC- treated groups compared to the control group. In conclusion, biodegradable scaffolds with aligned columns seeded with NSCs or SCs facilitate regeneration across the transected spinal cord. Further, these multichannel biodegradable polymer scaffolds effectively serve as platforms for quantitative analysis of axonal regeneration.
doi:10.1089/ten.tea.2008.0364
PMCID: PMC2792101  PMID: 19191513
14.  Rigid Fixation of the Spinal Column Improves Scaffold Alignment and Prevents Scoliosis in the Transected Rat Spinal Cord 
Spine  2008;33(24):E914-E919.
Study Design
A controlled study to evaluate a new technique for spinal rod fixation after spinal cord injury in rats. Alignment of implanted tissue-engineered scaffolds was assessed radiographically and by magnetic resonance imaging.
Objective
To evaluate the stability of implanted scaffolds and the extent of kyphoscoliotic deformities after spinal fixation.
Summary of Background Data
Biodegradable scaffolds provide an excellent platform for the quantitative assessment of cellular and molecular factors that promote regeneration within the transected cord. Successful delivery of scaffolds to the damaged cord can be hampered by malalignment following transplantation, which in turn, hinders the assessment of neural regeneration.
Methods
Radio-opaque barium sulfate-impregnated poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid scaffolds were implanted into spinal transection injuries in adult rats. Spinal fixation was performed in one group of animals using a metal rod fixed to the spinous processes above and below the site of injury, while the control group received no fixation. Radiographic morphometry was performed after 2 and 4 weeks, and 3-dimensional magnetic resonance microscopy analysis 4 weeks after surgery.
Results
Over the course of 4 weeks, progressive scoliosis was evident in the unfixed group, where a Cobb angle of 8.13 ± 2.03° was measured. The fixed group demonstrated significantly less scoliosis, with a Cobb angle measurement of 1.89 ± 0.75° (P = 0.0004). Similarly, a trend for less kyphosis was evident in the fixed group (7.33 ± 1.68°) compared with the unfixed group (10.13 ± 1.46°). Quantitative measurements of the degree of malalignment of the scaffolds were also significantly less in the fixed group (5 ± 1.23°) compared with the unfixed group (11 ± 2.82°) (P = 0.0143).
Conclusion
Radio-opaque barium sulfate allows for visualization of scaffolds in vivo using radiographic analysis. Spinal fixation was shown to prevent scoliosis, reduce kyphosis, and reduce scaffold malalignment within the transected rat spinal cord. Using a highly optimized model will increase the potential for finding a therapy for restoring function to the injured cord.
doi:10.1097/BRS.0b013e318186b2b1
PMCID: PMC2773001  PMID: 19011531
spine fixation; transection spinal cord injury; scaffold; scoliosis

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