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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (11)
- Lab on a Chip
- Applied and Environmental Microbiology
- Applied and Environmental Microbiology
- Lab on a Chip
- PloS One
- Biophysical Journal
- Biomedical Microdevices
- Journal of Bacteriology
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Biophysical Journal
- Annals of Biomedical Engineering
Articles by Mingming Wu in JoVE
Assessing Neural Stem Cell Motility Using an Agarose Gel-based Microfluidic Device
Kevin Wong1, Angel Ayuso-Sacido2,3, Patrick Ahyow1, Andrew Darling4, John A. Boockvar2, Mingming Wu4
1Biomedical Engineering Department, Cornell University, 2Neurosurgical Laboratory for Translational Stem Cell Research, Weill Cornell Brain Tumor Center, Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University, 3Cell Morphology Department, Instituto de Investigacion Principe Felipe, 4Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University
We demonstrate that the over expression of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) enhances the motility of neural stem cells(NSCs) using a novel agarose gel based microfluidic device. This technology can be readily adaptable to other mammalian cell systems where cell sources are scarce, such as human neural stem cells, and the turn around time is critical.
Other articles by Mingming Wu on PubMed
A Three-channel Microfluidic Device for Generating Static Linear Gradients and Its Application to the Quantitative Analysis of Bacterial Chemotaxis
Lab on a Chip. Mar, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16511621
We have developed a prototype three-channel microfluidic chip that is capable of generating a linear concentration gradient within a microfluidic channel and is useful in the study of bacterial chemotaxis. The linear chemical gradient is established by diffusing a chemical through a porous membrane located in the side wall of the channel and can be established without through-flow in the channel where cells reside. As a result, movement of the cells in the center channel is caused solely by the cells chemotactic response and not by variations in fluid flow. The advantages of this microfluidic chemical linear gradient generator are (i) its ability to produce a static chemical gradient, (ii) its rapid implementation, and (iii) its potential for highly parallel sample processing. Using this device, wildtype Escherichia coli strain RP437 was observed to move towards an attractant (e.g., l-asparate) and away from a repellent (e.g., glycerol) while derivatives of RP437 that were incapable of motility or chemotaxis showed no bias of the bacteria's distribution. Additionally, the degree of chemotaxis could be easily quantified using this assay in conjunction with fluorescence imaging techniques, allowing for estimation of the chemotactic partition coefficient (CPC) and the chemotactic migration coefficient (CMC). Finally, using this approach we demonstrate that E. coli deficient in autoinducer-2-mediated quorum sensing respond to the chemoattractant l-aspartate in a manner that is indistinguishable from wildtype cells suggesting that chemotaxis is insulated from this mode of cell-cell communication.
Collective Bacterial Dynamics Revealed Using a Three-dimensional Population-scale Defocused Particle Tracking Technique
Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Jul, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16820497
An ability to monitor bacterial locomotion and collective dynamics is crucial to our understanding of a number of well-characterized phenotypes including biofilm formation, chemotaxis, and virulence. Here, we report the tracking of multiple swimming Escherichia coli cells in three spatial dimensions and at single-cell resolution using a novel three-dimensional (3D) defocused particle tracking (DPT) method. The 3D trajectories were generated for wild-type Escherichia coli strain RP437 as well as for isogenic derivatives that display smooth swimming due to a cheA deletion (strain RP9535) or incessant tumbling behavior due to a cheZ deletion (strain RP1616). The 3D DPT method successfully differentiated these three modes of locomotion and allowed direct calculation of the diffusion coefficient for each strain. As expected, we found that the smooth swimmer diffused more readily than the wild type, and both the smooth swimmer and the wild-type cells exhibited diffusion coefficients that were at least two orders of magnitude larger than that of the tumbler. Finally, we found that the diffusion coefficient increased with increasing cell density, a phenomenon that can be attributed to the hydrodynamic disturbances caused by neighboring bacteria.
Assessing Adhesion Forces of Type I and Type IV Pili of Xylella Fastidiosa Bacteria by Use of a Microfluidic Flow Chamber
Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Apr, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17293518
Xylella fastidiosa, a bacterium responsible for Pierce's disease in grapevines, possesses both type I and type IV pili at the same cell pole. Type IV pili facilitate twitching motility, and type I pili are involved in biofilm development. The adhesiveness of the bacteria and the roles of the two pili types in attachment to a glass substratum were evaluated using a microfluidic flow chamber in conjunction with pilus-defective mutants. The average adhesion force necessary to detach wild-type X. fastidiosa cells was 147 +/- 11 pN. Mutant cells possessing only type I pili required a force of 204 +/- 22 pN for removal, whereas cells possessing only type IV pili required 119 +/- 8 pN to dislodge these cells. The experimental results demonstrate that microfluidic flow chambers are useful and convenient tools for assessing the drag forces necessary for detaching bacterial cells and that with specific pilus mutants, the role of the pilus type can be further assessed.
Lab on a Chip. Jun, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17538719
We have developed a hydrogel-based microfluidic device that is capable of generating a steady and long term linear chemical concentration gradient with no through flow in a microfluidic channel. Using this device, we successfully monitored the chemotactic responses of wildtype Escherichia coli (suspension cells) to alpha-methyl-DL-aspartate (attractant) and differentiated HL-60 cells (a human neutrophil-like cell line that is adherent) to formyl-Met-Leu-Phe (f-MLP, attractant). This device advances the current state of the art in microchemotaxis devices in that (1) it demonstrates the validity of using hydrogels as the building material for a microchemotaxis device; (2) it demonstrates the potential of the hydrogel based microfluidic device in biological experiments since most of the proteins and nutrients essential for cell survival are readily diffusible in hydrogel; (3) it is capable of applying chemical stimuli independently of mechanical stimuli; (4) it is straightforward to make, and requires very basic tools that are commonly available in biological labs. This device will also be useful in controlling the chemical and mechanical environment during the formation of tissue engineered constructs.
PloS One. 2008 | Pubmed ID: 19107195
The heart is a vital organ that provides essential circulation throughout the body. Malfunction of cardiac pumping, thus, leads to serious and most of the times, to fatal diseases. Mechanics of cardiac pumping is a complex process, and many experimental and theoretical approaches have been undertaken to understand this process. We have taken advantage of the simplicity of the embryonic heart of an invertebrate, Drosophila melanogaster, to understand the fundamental mechanics of the beating heart. We applied a live imaging technique to the beating embryonic heart combined with analytical imaging tools to study the dynamic mechanics of the pumping. Furthermore, we have identified one mutant line that exhibits aberrant pumping mechanics. The Drosophila embryonic heart consists of only 104 cardiac cells forming a simple straight tube that can be easily accessed for real-time imaging. Therefore, combined with the wealth of available genetic tools, the embryonic Drosophila heart may serve as a powerful model system for studies of human heart diseases, such as arrhythmia and congenital heart diseases. We, furthermore, believe our mechanistic data provides important information that is useful for our further understanding of the design of biological structure and function and for engineering the pumps for medical uses.
Biophysical Journal. Mar, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19289068
We studied the response of swimming Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria in a comprehensive set of well-controlled chemical concentration gradients using a newly developed microfluidic device and cell tracking imaging technique. In parallel, we carried out a multi-scale theoretical modeling of bacterial chemotaxis taking into account the relevant internal signaling pathway dynamics, and predicted bacterial chemotactic responses at the cellular level. By measuring the E. coli cell density profiles across the microfluidic channel at various spatial gradients of ligand concentration grad[L] and the average ligand concentration [L] near the peak chemotactic response region, we demonstrated unambiguously in both experiments and model simulation that the mean chemotactic drift velocity of E. coli cells increased monotonically with grad [L]/[L] or approximately grad(log[L])--that is E. coli cells sense the spatial gradient of the logarithmic ligand concentration. The exact range of the log-sensing regime was determined. The agreements between the experiments and the multi-scale model simulation verify the validity of the theoretical model, and revealed that the key microscopic mechanism for logarithmic sensing in bacterial chemotaxis is the adaptation kinetics, in contrast to explanations based directly on ligand occupancy.
Biomedical Microdevices. Aug, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19343497
The current state-of-art in 3D microfluidic chemotaxis device (microFCD) is limited by the inherent coupling of the fluid flow and chemical concentration gradients. Here, we present an agarose-based 3D microFCD that decouples these two important parameters, in that the flow control channels are separated from the cell compartment by an agarose gel wall. This decoupling is enabled by the transport property of the agarose gel, which-in contrast to the conventional microfabrication material such as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-provides an adequate physical barrier for convective fluid flow while at the same time readily allowing protein diffusion. We demonstrate that in this device, a gradient can be pre-established in an agarose layer above the cell compartment (a gradient buffer) before adding the 3D cell-containing matrix, and the dextran (10 kDa) concentration gradients can be re-established within 10 min across the cell-containing matrix and remain stable indefinitely. We successfully quantified the chemotactic response of murine dendritic cells to a gradient of CCL19, an 8.8 kDa lymphoid chemokine, within a type I collagen matrix. This model system is easy to set up, highly reproducible, and will benefit research on 3D chemoinvasion studies, for example with cancer cells or immune cells. Because of its gradient buffering capacity, it is particularly suitable for studying rapidly migrating cells like mature dendritic cells and neutrophils.
Responses of Escherichia Coli Bacteria to Two Opposing Chemoattractant Gradients Depend on the Chemoreceptor Ratio
Journal of Bacteriology. Apr, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20118262
Escherichia coli chemotaxis has long served as a simple model of environmental signal processing, and bacterial responses to single chemical gradients are relatively well understood. Less is known about the chemotactic behavior of E. coli in multiple chemical gradients. In their native environment, cells are often exposed to multiple chemical stimuli. Using a recently developed microfluidic chemotaxis device, we exposed E. coli cells to two opposing but equally potent gradients of major attractants, methyl-aspartate and serine. The responses of E. coli cells demonstrated that chemotactic decisions depended on the ratio of the respective receptor number of Tar/Tsr. In addition, the ratio of Tar to Tsr was found to vary with cells' growth conditions, whereby it depended on the culture density but not on the growth duration. These results provide biological insights into the decision-making processes of chemotactic bacteria that are subjected to multiple chemical stimuli and demonstrate the importance of the cellular microenvironment in determining phenotypic behavior.
Dendritic Cell Chemotaxis in 3D Under Defined Chemokine Gradients Reveals Differential Response to Ligands CCL21 and CCL19
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Apr, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21422278
Dendritic cell (DC) homing to the lymphatics and positioning within the lymph node is important for adaptive immunity, and is regulated by gradients of CCL19 and CCL21, ligands for CCR7. Despite the importance of DC chemotaxis, it is not well understood how DCs interpret gradients of these chemokines in a complex 3D microenvironment. Here, we use a microfluidic device that allows rapid establishment of stable gradients in 3D matrices to show that DC chemotaxis in 3D can respond to CCR7 ligand gradients as small as 0.4%, which helps explain how DCs sense lymphatic vessels in an environment where broadcast distance for chemokine diffusion is hindered by convective flows into the vessel. Interestingly, DCs displayed similar sensitivities to both chemokines at small gradients (≤ 60 nM/mm), but migrated more efficiently towards higher gradients of CCL21, which unlike CCL19 binds strongly to matrix proteoglycans and signals without the need for internalization. Furthermore, cells preferentially migrated towards CCL21 when exposed to equal and opposite gradients of CCL21 and CCL19 simultaneously, even when matrix-binding of CCL21 was prevented. Although these ligands have similar binding affinity to CCR7, our results demonstrate that, in a 3D environment, CCL21 is a more potent directional cue for DC migration than CCL19. These findings provide new quantitative insight into DC chemotaxis in a physiological 3D environment and suggest how CCL19 and CCL21 may signal differently to fine-tune DC homing and positioning within the lymphatic system. These results also have broad relevance to other systems of cell chemotaxis, which remain poorly understood in the 3D context.
Biophysical Journal. Aug, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21806932
In vitro, animal cells are mostly cultured on a gel substrate. It was recently shown that substrate stiffness affects cellular behaviors in a significant way, including adhesion, differentiation, and migration. Therefore, an accurate method is needed to characterize the modulus of the substrate. In situ microscopic measurements of the gel substrate modulus are based on Hertz contact mechanics, where Young's modulus is derived from the indentation force and displacement measurements. In Hertz theory, the substrate is modeled as a linear elastic half-space with an infinite depth, whereas in practice, the thickness of the substrate, h, can be comparable to the contact radius and other relevant dimensions such as the radius of the indenter or steel ball, R. As a result, measurements based on Hertz theory overestimate the Young's modulus. In this work, we discuss the limitations of Hertz theory and then modify it, taking into consideration the nonlinearity of the material and large deformation using a finite-element method. We present our results in a simple correction factor, ψ, the ratio of the corrected Young's modulus and the Hertz modulus in the parameter regime of δ/h ≤ min (0.6, R/h) and 0.3 ≤R/h ≤ 12.7. The ψ factor depends on two dimensionless parameters, R/h and δ/h (where δ is the indentation depth), both of which are easily accessible to experiments. This correction factor agrees with experimental observations obtained with the use of polyacrylamide gel and a microsphere indentation method in the parameter range of 0.1 ≤δ/h ≤ 0.4 and 0.3 ≤R/h ≤ 6.2. The effect of adhesion on the use of Hertz theory for small indentation depth is also discussed.
Annals of Biomedical Engineering. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22189490
The emerging field of micro-technology has opened up new possibilities for exploring cellular chemotaxis in real space and time, and at single cell resolution. Chemotactic cells sense and move in response to chemical gradients and play important roles in a number of physiological and pathological processes, including development, immune responses, and tumor cell invasions. Due to the size proximity of the microfluidic device to cells, microfluidic chemotaxis devices advance the traditional macro-scale chemotaxis assays in two major directions: one is to build well defined and stable chemical gradients at cellular length scales, and the other is to provide a platform for quantifying cellular responses at both cellular and molecular levels using advanced optical imaging systems. Here, we present a critical review on the designing principles, recent development, and potential capabilities of the microfluidic chemotaxis assay for solving problems that are of importance in the biomedical engineering field.