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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (10)
Articles by Yi-Chun Chen in JoVE
Assessing Replication and Beta Cell Function in Adenovirally-transduced Isolated Rodent Islets
Patrick T. Fueger1,2, Angelina M. Hernandez2, Yi-Chun Chen2, E. Scott Colvin1,2
1Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, 2Department of Cellular & Integrative Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine
This protocol allows one to identify factors that modulate functional beta cell mass to find potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of diabetes. The protocol consists of a streamlined method to assess islet replication and beta cell function in isolated rat islets following manipulation of gene expression with adenoviruses.
Other articles by Yi-Chun Chen on PubMed
Proper Expression of the Gcn5 Histone Acetyltransferase is Required for Neural Tube Closure in Mouse Embryos
Developmental Dynamics : an Official Publication of the American Association of Anatomists. Apr, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18330926
Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) are important to gene activation, altering chromatin structures to facilitate association of transcription proteins with gene promoters. The functions of individual HATs in mammalian developmental are not well defined. Our previous studies demonstrated that Gcn5, a prototypical HAT, is required for mesodermal maintenance in early embryos. Homozygous Gcn5 null embryos die soon after gastrulation, preventing determination of Gcn5 functions later during development. We report here the creation of a Gcn5(flox(neo)) allele, which is only partially functional and gives rise to a hypomorphic phenotype. Mice homozygous for this allele had an increased risk of cranial neural tube closure defects (NTDs) and exencephaly. These defects were found at an even greater penetrance in Gcn5(flox(neo)/Delta) embryos. These results indicate that normal levels of Gcn5 expression are critical for neural tube closure in mice and predict that mutations in this HAT may be associated with increased risk of NTDs in humans.
Cerenkov Radiation Imaging As a Method for Quantitative Measurements of Beta Particles in a Microfluidic Chip
Physics in Medicine and Biology. Nov, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19847018
It has been observed that microfluidic chips used for synthesizing (18)F-labeled compounds demonstrate visible light emission without nearby scintillators or fluorescent materials. The origin of the light was investigated and found to be consistent with the emission characteristics from Cerenkov radiation. Since (18)F decays through the emission of high-energy positrons, the energy threshold for beta particles, i.e. electrons or positrons, to generate Cerenkov radiation was calculated for water and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), the most commonly used polymer-based material for microfluidic chips. Beta particles emitted from (18)F have a continuous energy spectrum, with a maximum energy that exceeds this energy threshold for both water and PDMS. In addition, the spectral characteristics of the emitted light from (18)F in distilled water were also measured, yielding a broad distribution from 300 nm to 700 nm, with higher intensity at shorter wavelengths. A photograph of the (18)F solution showed a bluish-white light emitted from the solution, further suggesting Cerenkov radiation. In this study, the feasibility of using this Cerenkov light emission as a method for quantitative measurements of the radioactivity within the microfluidic chip in situ was evaluated. A detector previously developed for imaging microfluidic platforms was used. The detector consisted of a charge-coupled device (CCD) optically coupled to a lens. The system spatial resolution, minimum detectable activity and dynamic range were evaluated. In addition, the calibration of a Cerenkov signal versus activity concentration in the microfluidic chip was determined. This novel method of Cerenkov radiation measurements will provide researchers with a simple yet robust quantitative imaging tool for microfluidic applications utilizing beta particles.
A Rapid Pathway Toward a Superb Gene Delivery System: Programming Structural and Functional Diversity into a Supramolecular Nanoparticle Library
ACS Nano. Oct, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20925389
Nanoparticles are regarded as promising transfection reagents for effective and safe delivery of nucleic acids into a specific type of cells or tissues providing an alternative manipulation/therapy strategy to viral gene delivery. However, the current process of searching novel delivery materials is limited due to conventional low-throughput and time-consuming multistep synthetic approaches. Additionally, conventional approaches are frequently accompanied with unpredictability and continual optimization refinements, impeding flexible generation of material diversity creating a major obstacle to achieving high transfection performance. Here we have demonstrated a rapid developmental pathway toward highly efficient gene delivery systems by leveraging the powers of a supramolecular synthetic approach and a custom-designed digital microreactor. Using the digital microreactor, broad structural/functional diversity can be programmed into a library of DNA-encapsulated supramolecular nanoparticles (DNA⊂SNPs) by systematically altering the mixing ratios of molecular building blocks and a DNA plasmid. In vitro transfection studies with DNA⊂SNPs library identified the DNA⊂SNPs with the highest gene transfection efficiency, which can be attributed to cooperative effects of structures and surface chemistry of DNA⊂SNPs. We envision such a rapid developmental pathway can be adopted for generating nanoparticle-based vectors for delivery of a variety of loads.
Microfluidic Device for Robust Generation of Two-component Liquid-in-air Slugs with Individually Controlled Composition
Microfluidics and Nanofluidics. Oct, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20930933
Using liquid slugs as microreactors and microvessels enable precise control over the conditions of their contents on short-time scales for a wide variety of applications. Particularly for screening applications, there is a need for control of slug parameters such as size and composition. We describe a new microfluidic approach for creating slugs in air, each comprising a size and composition that can be selected individually for each slug. Two-component slugs are formed by first metering the desired volume of each reagent, merging the two volumes into an end-to-end slug, and propelling the slug to induce mixing. Volume control is achieved by a novel mechanism: two closed chambers on the chip are initially filled with air, and a valve in each is briefly opened to admit one of the reagents. The pressure of each reagent can be individually selected and determines the amount of air compression, and thus the amount of liquid that is admitted into each chamber. We describe the theory of operation, characterize the slug generation chip, and demonstrate the creation of slugs of different compositions. The use of microvalves in this approach enables robust operation with different liquids, and also enables one to work with extremely small samples, even down to a few slug volumes. The latter is important for applications involving precious reagents such as optimizing the reaction conditions for radiolabeling biological molecules as tracers for positron emission tomography. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10404-010-0617-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
A Digital Microfluidic Droplet Generator Produces Self-assembled Supramolecular Nanoparticles for Targeted Cell Imaging
Nanotechnology. Nov, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20935351
Controlling the size distribution of polymer-based nanoparticles is a challenging task due to their flexible core and surface structures. To accomplish such as task requires very precise control at the molecular level. Here we demonstrate a new approach whereby uniform-sized supramolecular nanoparticles (SNPs) can be reliably generated using a digital microfluidic droplet generator (DMDG) chip. A microfluidic environment enabled precise control over the processing parameters, and therefore high batch-to-batch reproducibility and robust production of SNPs with a very narrow size distribution could be realized. Digitally adjustment of the mixing ratios of the building blocks on the DMDG chip allowed us to rapidly scan a variety of synthesis conditions without consuming significant amounts of reagents. Nearly uniform SNPs with sizes ranging from 35 to 350 nm were obtained and characterized by transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. In addition, we could fine-tune the surface chemistry of the SNPs by incorporating an additional building block functionalized with specific ligands for targeting cells. The sizes and surface properties of these SNPs correlated strongly with their cell uptake efficiencies. This study showed a feasible method for microfluidic-assisted SNP production and provided a great means for preparing size-controlled SNPs with desired surface ligand coverage.
ACS Nano. Feb, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21214267
Using a combination of piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) and phase-field modeling, we demonstrate ubiquitous formation of center-type and possible ferroelectric closure domain arrangements during polarization switching near the ferroelastic domain walls in (100) oriented rhombohedral BiFeO(3). The formation of these topological defects is determined from the vertical and lateral PFM data and confirmed from the reversible changes in surface topography. These observations provide insight into the mechanisms of tip-induced ferroelastic domain control and suggest that formation of topological defect states under the action of local defect- and tip-induced fields is much more common than previously believed.
Molecular Imaging. Jun, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21496447
Methods for tagging biomolecules with fluorine 18 as immuno-positron emission tomography (immunoPET) tracers require tedious optimization of radiolabeling conditions and can consume large amounts of scarce biomolecules. We describe an improved method using a digital microfluidic droplet generation (DMDG) chip, which provides computer-controlled metering and mixing of 18F tag, biomolecule, and buffer in defined ratios, allowing rapid scouting of reaction conditions in nanoliter volumes. The identified optimized conditions were then translated to bench-scale 18F labeling of a cancer-specific engineered antibody fragments, enabling microPET imaging of tumors in xenografted mice at 0.5 to 4 hours postinjection.
Nano Letters. Aug, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21702441
Development of magnetoelectric, electromechanical, and photovoltaic devices based on mixed-phase rhombohedral-tetragonal (R-T) BiFeO(3) (BFO) systems is possible only if the control of the engineered R phase variants is realized. Accordingly, we explore the mechanism of a bias induced phase transformation in this system. Single point spectroscopy demonstrates that the T → R transition is activated at lower voltages compared to T → -T polarization switching. With phase field modeling, the transition is shown to be electrically driven. We further demonstrate that symmetry of formed R-phase rosettes can be broken by a proximal probe motion, allowing controlled creation of R variants with defined orientation. This approach opens a pathway to designing next-generation magnetoelectronic and data storage devices in the nanoscale.
Human Molecular Genetics. Jan, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22002997
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by expansion of a CAG repeat encoding a polyglutamine tract in ATXN7, a component of the SAGA histone acetyltransferase (HAT) complex. Previous studies provided conflicting evidence regarding the effects of polyQ-ATXN7 on the activity of Gcn5, the HAT catalytic subunit of SAGA. Here, we report that reducing Gcn5 expression accelerates both cerebellar and retinal degeneration in a mouse model of SCA7. Deletion of Gcn5 in Purkinje cells in mice expressing wild-type (wt) Atxn7, however, causes only mild ataxia and does not lead to the early lethality observed in SCA7 mice. Reduced Gcn5 expression strongly enhances retinopathy in SCA7 mice, but does not affect the known transcriptional targets of Atxn7, as expression of these genes is not further altered by Gcn5 depletion. These findings demonstrate that loss of Gcn5 functions can contribute to the time of onset and severity of SCA7 phenotypes, and suggest that non-transcriptional functions of SAGA may play a role in neurodegeneration in this disease.
Advanced Materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.). Jun, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22570278