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1.  Probing Mechanoregulation of Neuronal Differentiation by Plasma Lithography Patterned Elastomeric Substrates 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6965.
Cells sense and interpret mechanical cues, including cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions, in the microenvironment to collectively regulate various physiological functions. Understanding the influences of these mechanical factors on cell behavior is critical for fundamental cell biology and for the development of novel strategies in regenerative medicine. Here, we demonstrate plasma lithography patterning on elastomeric substrates for elucidating the influences of mechanical cues on neuronal differentiation and neuritogenesis. The neuroblastoma cells form neuronal spheres on plasma-treated regions, which geometrically confine the cells over two weeks. The elastic modulus of the elastomer is controlled simultaneously by the crosslinker concentration. The cell-substrate mechanical interactions are also investigated by controlling the size of neuronal spheres with different cell seeding densities. These physical cues are shown to modulate with the formation of focal adhesions, neurite outgrowth, and the morphology of neuroblastoma. By systematic adjustment of these cues, along with computational biomechanical analysis, we demonstrate the interrelated mechanoregulatory effects of substrate elasticity and cell size. Taken together, our results reveal that the neuronal differentiation and neuritogenesis of neuroblastoma cells are collectively regulated via the cell-substrate mechanical interactions.
PMCID: PMC4223667  PMID: 25376886
2.  Intelligent Systems and Technology for Integrative and Predictive Medicine: An ACP Approach 
One of the principal goals in medicine is to determine and implement the best treatment for patients through fastidious estimation of the effects and benefits of therapeutic procedures. The inherent complexities of physiological and pathological networks that span across orders of magnitude in time and length scales, however, represent fundamental hurdles in determining effective treatments for patients. Here we argue for a new approach, called ACP-based approach that combines artificial (societies), computational (experiments) and parallel (execution)methods in intelligent systems and technology for integrative and predictive medicine, or more general, precision medicine and smart health management. The advent of artificial societies that collect the clinically relevant information in prognostics and therapeutics provides a promising platform for organizing and experimenting complex physiological systems toward integrative medicine. The ability of computational experiments to analyze distinct, interactive systems such as the host mechanisms, pathological pathways, therapeutic strategies as well as other factors using the artificial systems will enable control and management through parallel execution of real and arficial systems concurrently within the integrative medicine context. The development of this framework in integrative medicine fueled by close collaborations between physicians, engineers, and scientists will result in preventive and predictive practices of personal, proactive, and precision nature, including rational combinatorial treatments, adaptive therapeutics, and patient-oriented disease management.
PMCID: PMC4039638  PMID: 24883228
3.  Understanding Crowd-Powered Search Groups: A Social Network Perspective 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39749.
Crowd-powered search is a new form of search and problem solving scheme that involves collaboration among a potentially large number of voluntary Web users. Human flesh search (HFS), a particular form of crowd-powered search originated in China, has seen tremendous growth since its inception in 2001. HFS presents a valuable test-bed for scientists to validate existing and new theories in social computing, sociology, behavioral sciences, and so forth.
In this research, we construct an aggregated HFS group, consisting of the participants and their relationships in a comprehensive set of identified HFS episodes. We study the topological properties and the evolution of the aggregated network and different sub-groups in the network. We also identify the key HFS participants according to a variety of measures.
We found that, as compared with other online social networks, HFS participant network shares the power-law degree distribution and small-world property, but with a looser and more distributed organizational structure, leading to the diversity, decentralization, and independence of HFS participants. In addition, the HFS group has been becoming increasingly decentralized. The comparisons of different HFS sub-groups reveal that HFS participants collaborated more often when they conducted the searches in local platforms or the searches requiring a certain level of professional knowledge background. On the contrary, HFS participants did not collaborate much when they performed the search task in national platforms or the searches with general topics that did not require specific information and learning. We also observed that the key HFS information contributors, carriers, and transmitters came from different groups of HFS participants.
PMCID: PMC3384627  PMID: 22761888
4.  Correction: Statistical Metamodeling for Revealing Synergistic Antimicrobial Interactions 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):10.1371/annotation/d598d976-2604-429b-a76f-14aeca628a8e.
PMCID: PMC3128627
5.  Statistical Metamodeling for Revealing Synergistic Antimicrobial Interactions 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(11):e15472.
Many bacterial pathogens are becoming drug resistant faster than we can develop new antimicrobials. To address this threat in public health, a metamodel antimicrobial cocktail optimization (MACO) scheme is demonstrated for rapid screening of potent antibiotic cocktails using uropathogenic clinical isolates as model systems. With the MACO scheme, only 18 parallel trials were required to determine a potent antimicrobial cocktail out of hundreds of possible combinations. In particular, trimethoprim and gentamicin were identified to work synergistically for inhibiting the bacterial growth. Sensitivity analysis indicated gentamicin functions as a synergist for trimethoprim, and reduces its minimum inhibitory concentration for 40-fold. Validation study also confirmed that the trimethoprim-gentamicin synergistic cocktail effectively inhibited the growths of multiple strains of uropathogenic clinical isolates. With its effectiveness and simplicity, the MACO scheme possesses the potential to serve as a generic platform for identifying synergistic antimicrobial cocktails toward management of bacterial infection in the future.
PMCID: PMC2988685  PMID: 21124958

Results 1-5 (5)