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1.  Bioorthogonal, two-component delivery systems based on antibody and drug-loaded nanocarriers for enhanced internalization of nanotherapeutics 
Biomaterials  2013;35(7):2346-2354.
Nanocarriers play an important role in targeted cancer chemotherapy. The optimal nanocarrier delivery system should provide efficient and highly specific recognition of the target cells and rapid internalization of the therapeutic cargo to reduce systemic toxicity as well as to increase the cytotoxicity to cancer cells. To this end, we developed a two-step, two-component targeted delivery system based on antibody and drug-loaded nanocarrier that uses bioorthogonal click reactions for specific internalization of nanotherapeutics. The pretargeting component, anti-HER2 humanized monoclonal antibody, trastuzumab, functionalized with azide groups labels cancer cells that overexpress HER2 surface receptors. The drug carrier component, dibenzylcyclooctyne substituted albumin conjugated with paclitaxel, reacts specifically with the pretargeting component. These two components form cross-linked clusters on the cell surface, which facilitates the internalization of the complex. This strategy demonstrated substantial cellular internalization of clusters consisted of HER2 receptors, modified trastuzumab and paclitaxel-loaded albumin nanocarriers, and subsequent significant cytotoxicity in HER2-positive BT-474 breast cancer cells. Our results show high efficacy of this strategy for targeted nanotherapeutics. We foresee to broaden the applications of this strategy using agents such as radionuclides, toxins, and interfering RNA.
PMCID: PMC4332786  PMID: 24342725
Targeted therapy; Drug delivery; HER2(+) breast cancer; Nanocarriers; Bioorthogonal click chemistry
2.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3875369  PMID: 24268665
3.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3889664  PMID: 24268196
4.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3894569  PMID: 24314553
5.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3900500  PMID: 24268663
6.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3906670  PMID: 24331711
7.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3906732  PMID: 24286816
8.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3923358  PMID: 24360576
9.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3932667  PMID: 24309498
10.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3934503  PMID: 24342726
11.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3937592  PMID: 24360721
12.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3956113  PMID: 24360718
13.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3970236  PMID: 24332391
14.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3984939  PMID: 24314556
15.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3992930  PMID: 24290809
16.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC4012541  PMID: 24332390
17.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC4112409  PMID: 24345734
18.  Enhanced GLT-1 mediated glutamate uptake and migration of primary astrocytes directed by fibronectin-coated electrospun poly-L-lactic acid fibers 
Biomaterials  2013;35(5):1439-1449.
Bioengineered fiber substrates are increasingly studied as a means to promote regeneration and remodeling in the injured central nervous system (CNS). Previous reports largely focused on the ability of oriented scaffolds to bridge injured regions and direct outgrowth of axonal projections. In the present work, we explored the effects of electrospun microfibers on the migration and physiological properties of brain astroglial cells. Primary rat astrocytes were cultured on either fibronectin-coated poly-l-lactic acid (PLLA) films, fibronectin-coated randomly oriented PLLA electrospun fibers, or fibronectin-coated aligned PLLA electrospun fibers. Aligned PLLA fibers strongly altered astrocytic morphology, orienting cell processes, actin microfilaments, and microtubules along the length of the fibers. On aligned fibers, astrocytes also significantly increased their migration rates in the direction of fiber orientation. We further investigated if fiber topography modifies astrocytic neuroprotective properties, namely glutamate and glutamine transport and metabolism. This was done by quantifying changes in mRNA expression (qRT-PCR) and protein levels (Western blotting) for a battery of relevant biomolecules. Interestingly, we found that cells grown on random and/or aligned fibers increased the expression levels of two glutamate transporters, GLAST and GLT-1, and an important metabolic enzyme, glutamine synthetase, as compared to the fibronectin-coated films. Functional assays revealed increases in glutamate transport rates due to GLT-1 mediated uptake, which was largely determined by the dihydrokainate-sensitive GLT-1. Overall, this study suggests that aligned PLLA fibers can promote directed astrocytic migration, and, of most importance, our in vitro results indicate for the first time that electrospun PLLA fibers can positively modify neuroprotective properties of glial cells by increasing rates of glutamate uptake.
PMCID: PMC4183153  PMID: 24246642
Poly-l-lactic acid; Aligned microfibers; Astrocytes; Migration; Glutamate transport; Glutamate metabolism
19.  Discovery of Antibiotics-derived Polymers for Gene Delivery using Combinatorial Synthesis and Cheminformatics Modeling 
Biomaterials  2013;35(6):1977-1988.
We describe the combinatorial synthesis and cheminformatics modeling of aminoglycoside antibiotics-derived polymers for transgene delivery and expression. Fifty-six polymers were synthesized by polymerizing aminoglycosides with diglycidyl ether cross-linkers. Parallel screening resulted in identification of several lead polymers that resulted in high transgene expression levels in cells. The role of polymer physicochemical properties in determining efficacy of transgene expression was investigated using Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) cheminformatics models based on Support Vector Regression (SVR) and ‘building block’ polymer structures. The QSAR model exhibited high predictive ability, and investigation of descriptors in the model, using molecular visualization and correlation plots, indicated that physicochemical attributes related to both, aminoglycosides and diglycidyl ethers facilitated transgene expression. This work synergistically combines combinatorial synthesis and parallel screening with cheminformatics-based QSAR models for discovery and physicochemical elucidation of effective antibiotics-derived polymers for transgene delivery in medicine and biotechnology.
PMCID: PMC4238925  PMID: 24331709
Gene Delivery; Rational Design; Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) models; Aminoglycosides
20.  Photopolymerized microfeatures for directed spiral ganglion neurite and Schwann cell growth 
Biomaterials  2012;34(1):42-54.
Cochlear implants (CIs) provide auditory perception to individuals with severe hearing impairment. However, their ability to encode complex auditory stimuli is limited due, in part, to poor spatial resolution caused by electrical current spread in the inner ear. Directing nerve cell processes towards target electrodes may reduce the problematic current spread and improve stimulatory specificity. In this work, photopolymerization was used to fabricate micro- and nano-patterned methacrylate polymers to probe the extent of spiral ganglion neuron (SGN) neurite and Schwann cell (SGSC) contact guidance based on variations in substrate topographical cues. Micropatterned substrates are formed in a rapid, single-step reaction by selectively blocking light with photomasks which have parallel line-space gratings with periodicities of 10 – 100 μm. Channel amplitudes of 250 nm – 10 μm are generated by modulating UV exposure time, light intensity, and photoinitiator concentration. Gradual transitions are observed between ridges and grooves using scanning electron and atomic force microscopy. The transitions stand in contrast to vertical features generated via etching lithographic techniques. Alignment of neural elements increases significantly with increasing feature amplitude and constant periodicity, as well as with decreasing periodicity and constant amplitude. SGN neurite alignment strongly correlates (r = 0.93) with maximum feature slope. Multiple neuronal and glial types orient to the patterns with varying degrees of alignment. This work presents a method to fabricate gradually-sloping micropatterns for cellular contact guidance studies and demonstrates spatial control of inner ear neural elements in response to micro- and nano-scale surface topography.
PMCID: PMC4306579  PMID: 23069708
Photopolymerization; Micropatterning; Surface topography; Nerve Guide; Neural Prosthesis
21.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC4295778  PMID: 19726081
22.  Polycation-Functionalized Nanoporous Silicon Particles for Gene Silencing on Breast Cancer Cells 
Biomaterials  2013;35(1):10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.09.033.
Nanoporous silicon particles (pSi), with a pore size in the range of 20~60 nm, were modified with polyethyleimine (PEI) to yield pSi-PEI particles, which were subsequently complexed with siRNA. Thus, pSi-PEI/siRNA particles were fabricated, with the PEI/siRNA nanocomplexes mainly anchored inside the nanopore of the pSi particles. These hybrid particles were used as carriers to deliver siRNA to human breast cancer cells. Due to the gradual degradation of the pSi matrix under physiological conditions, the PEI/siRNA nanocomplexes were released from the pore interior in a sustained manner. Physicochemical characterization revealed that the released PEI/siRNA nanocomplexes exhibited well-defined spherical shape and narrow particle size distribution between 15 and 30 nm. Gene knockdown against the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) cancer gene showed dramatic gene silencing efficacy. Moreover, comprehensive biocompatibility studies were performed for the pSi-PEI/siRNA particles both in vitro and in vivo and demonstrated that the pSi-PEI particles exhibited significantly enhanced biocompatibility. As a consequence, PEI-modified porous silicon particles may have substantial potential as safe and effective siRNA delivery systems.
PMCID: PMC3842233  PMID: 24103653
non-viral gene delivery; polyplex; siRNA; porous silicon particles; breast cancer
23.  A Photo-Degradable Gene Delivery System for Enhanced Nuclear Gene Transcription 
Biomaterials  2013;35(3):10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.10.030.
There currently exists a significant gap in our understanding of how the detailed chemical characteristics of polycation gene carriers influence their delivery performances in overcoming an important cellular-level transport barrier, i.e., intranuclear gene transcription. In this study, a UV-degradable gene carrier material (ENE4-1) was synthesized by crosslinking low molecular weight branched polyethylenimine (bPEI-2k) molecules using UV-cleavable o-nitrobenzyl urethane (NBU) as the linker molecule. NBU degrades upon exposure to mild UV irradiation. Therefore, this UV-degradable carrier allows us to control the chemical characteristics of the polymer/DNA complex (polyplex) particles at desired locations within the intracellular environment. By using this photolytic DNA carrier, we found that the exact timing of the UV degradation significantly influences the gene transfection efficiencies of ENE4-1/DNA(pGL2) polyplexes in HeLa cells. Interestingly, even if the polyplexes were UV-degraded at different intracellular locations/times, their nuclear entry efficiency was not influenced by the location/timing of UV degradation. The UV treatment did not influence the size or binding strength of the polyplexes. However, we confirmed that the degradation of the carrier molecules impacts the chemical characteristics of the polyplexes (it produces carbamic acid and nitrosobenzyl aldehyde groups on ENE4-1). We believe that these anionic acid groups enhance the interaction of the polyplexes with nuclear transcription proteins and thus the final gene expression levels; this effect was found to occur, even though UV irradiation itself has a general effect of reducing transfection efficiencies. Excess (uncomplexed) ENE4-1 polymers appear to not play any role in the UV-enhanced gene transcription phenomenon.
PMCID: PMC3849696  PMID: 24172855
24.  The Enhancement of Bone Regeneration by Gene Activated Matrix Encoding for Platelet Derived Growth Factor 
Biomaterials  2013;35(2):10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.10.021.
Gene therapy using non-viral vectors that are safe and efficient in transfecting target cells is an effective approach to overcome the shortcomings of protein delivery of growth factors. The objective of this study was to develop and test a non-viral gene delivery system for bone regeneration utilizing a collagen scaffold to deliver polyethylenimine (PEI)-plasmid DNA (pDNA) [encoding platelet derived growth factor-B (PDGF-B)] complexes. The PEI-pPDGF-B complexes were fabricated at amine (N) to phosphate (P) ratio of 10 and characterized for size, surface charge, and in vitro cytotoxicity and transfection efficacy in human bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs). The influence of the complex-loaded collagen scaffold on cellular attachment and recruitment was evaluated in vitro using microscopic techniques. The in vivo regenerative capacity of the gene delivery system was assessed in 5 mm diameter critical-sized calvarial defects in Fisher 344 rats. The complexes were ~100 nm in size with a positive surface charge. Complexes prepared at an N/P ratio of 10 displayed low cytotoxicity as assessed by a cell viability assay. Confocal microscopy revealed significant proliferation of BMSCs on complex-loaded collagen scaffolds compared to empty scaffolds. In vivo studies showed significantly higher new bone volume/total volume (BV/TV) % in calvarial defects treated with the complex-activated scaffolds following 4 weeks of implantation (14- and 44-fold higher) when compared to empty defects or empty scaffolds, respectively. Together, these findings suggest that non-viral PDGF-B gene-activated scaffolds are effective for bone regeneration and are an attractive gene delivery system with significant potential for clinical translation.
PMCID: PMC3855224  PMID: 24161167
Plasmid DNA; Polyethylenimine; Gene Delivery; Scaffold; Platelet Derived Growth Factor; Collagen; Bone regeneration
25.  Sandwich-type Fiber Scaffolds with Square Arrayed Microwells and Nanostructured Cues as Microskin Grafts for Skin Regeneration 
Biomaterials  2013;35(2):10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.09.111.
The paper reports the fabrication of sandwich-type scaffolds consisting of radially-aligned nanofibers at the bottom, nanofiber membranes with square arrayed microwells and nanostructured cues at the top, and microskin tissues in between as microskin grafts for use in skin regeneration. This class of nanofiber scaffolds was able to confine the microskin tissues in the square arrayed wells and simultaneously present nanotopographic cues to the cultured NIH 3T3 fibroblasts and primary rat skin cells, guiding and facilitating their migration in vitro. More importantly, we demonstrated that the sandwich-type transplants exhibited an even distribution of microskin grafts, greatly improved the ‘take’ rate of microskin tissues, and promoted re-epithelialization on wound in vivo. In addition, the void area in the scaffolds was well suitable for exudate drainage in wound. The sandwich-type scaffolds show great potential as microskin grafts for repairing extensive burn injuries and may provide a good solution for the treatment of acute skin defects and chronic wounds including diabetic ulcer, pressure ulcer, and venous stasis ulcer.
PMCID: PMC3855253  PMID: 24144904
sandwich-type; nanofiber scaffolds; arrayed microwells; nanotopographic cue; skin regeneration

Results 1-25 (1338)