A novel approach that allows the high-resolution analysis of cancer cell interactions with exogenous hyaluronic acid (HA) is described. Patterned surfaces are fabricated by combining carbodiimide chemistry and microcontact printing.
The cranial mesenchyme undergoes dramatic morphogenic movements that likely provides a driving force for elevation of the neural folds1,2. Here we describe a simple ex vivo explant assay to characterize the cellular behaviors of the cranial mesenchyme during neurulation. This assay has numerous applications including being amenable to pharmacological manipulations and live imaging analyses.
The process of electrospinning polymers for tissue engineering and cell culture is addressed in this article. Specifically, the electrospinning of photoreactive macromers with additional processing capabilities of photopatterning and multi-polymer electrospinning is described.
We present protocols for the 3-dimensional (3D) encapsulation of cells within synthetic hydrogels. The encapsulation procedure is outlined for two commonly used methods of crosslinking (michael-type addition and light-initiated free radical mechanisms), as well as a number of techniques for assessing encapsulated cell behavior.
Elastomeric PGS scaffolds with vascular smooth muscle cells cultured in a pulsatile flow bioreactor may lead to promising small-diameter arterial constructs with native ECM production in a relatively short culture period.
Density Gradient Multilayered Polymerization (DGMP): A Novel Technique for Creating Multi-compartment, Customizable Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering
1Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Diego, 2Biomedical Sciences Program, University of California, San Diego, 3Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego
Here we describe a unique strategy for creating biocompatible, layered matrices with continuous interfaces between distinct layers for tissue engineering. Such a scaffold could provide an ideal customizable environment to modulate cell behavior by various biological, chemical or mechanical cues
We describe the isolation of neonatal cardiomyocytes and the preparation of the cells for encapsulation in fibrin hydrogel constructs for tissue engineering. We describe methods for analyzing the tissue engineered myocardium after the culture period including active force generated upon electrical stimulation and cell viability and immunohistological staining.
Fabrication of Micropatterned Hydrogels for Neural Culture Systems using Dynamic Mask Projection Photolithography
Simple techniques are described for the rapid production of microfabricated neural culture systems using a digital micromirror device for dynamic mask projection lithography on regular cell culture substrates. These culture systems may be more representative of natural biological architecture, and the techniques described could be adapted for numerous applications.
Culture of normal cells in their three-dimensional context represents an alternative method to study early events required for cellular transformation and tumorigenesis. This method is used to grow normal ovarian and oviductal cells to study early events in ovarian cancer formation.
The study of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (SECs) must be performed with primary cells obtained from the animal as no cell lines exist. This method relies on liver digestion and differential centrifugation for SEC purification for subsequent culturing and experimentation.
A 3D system of culturing human articular chondrocytes in high levels of synovial fluid is described. Synovial fluid reflects the most natural microenvironment for articular cartilage, and can be easily obtained and stored. This system thus can be used for studying cartilage regeneration and for screening therapeutics for treating arthritis.
Ex Vivo Red Blood Cell Hemolysis Assay for the Evaluation of pH-responsive Endosomolytic Agents for Cytosolic Delivery of Biomacromolecular Drugs
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 2Vanderbilt Institute for Nanoscale Science & Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 3Interdisciplinary Materials Science Program, Vanderbilt University, 4Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 5Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Vanderbilt University, 6Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University
A hemolysis assay can be used as a rapid, high-throughput screen of drug delivery systems' cytocompatibility and endosomolytic activity for intracellular cargo delivery. The assay measures the disruption of erythrocyte membranes as a function of environmental pH.
Determination of gastric emptying with a non-invasive [13C]-octanoic acid breath test for tracking gastroparesis in female NOD LtJ mice.
An integrated microfluidic thermoplastic chip has been developed for use as a molecular diagnostic. The chip performs nucleic acid extraction, reverse transcriptase, and PCR. Methods for fabricating and running the chip are described.
A suite of colorimetric assays is described for rapidly distinguishing protein, RNA, DNA, and reducing sugars in potentially heterogeneous biomolecular samples.
Synthesis and Functionalization of Nitrogen-doped Carbon Nanotube Cups with Gold Nanoparticles as Cork Stoppers
We discussed the synthesis of individual graphitic nanocups using a series of techniques including chemical vapor deposition, acid oxidation and probe-tip sonication. By citrate reduction of HAuCl4, the graphitic nanocups were effectively corked with gold nanoparticles due to the chemically reactive edges of the cups.
Simple and reproducible procedures are described for making three structurally distinct collagen assemblies from a common commercially available Type I collagen monomer. Native type, fibrous long spacing or segmental long spacing collagen can be constructed by varying the conditions to which the 300 nm long and 1.4 nm diameter monomer building block is exposed.
Dry Oxidation and Vacuum Annealing Treatments for Tuning the Wetting Properties of Carbon Nanotube Arrays
This article describes a simple method to fabricate vertically aligned carbon nanotube arrays by CVD and to subsequently tune their wetting properties by exposing them to vacuum annealing or dry oxidation treatment.
Radical-based biomimetic chemistry has been applied to building-up libraries necessary for biomarker development.
Continuously-stirred Anaerobic Digester to Convert Organic Wastes into Biogas: System Setup and Basic Operation
Laboratory-scale anaerobic digesters allow scientists to research new ways of optimizing existing applications of anaerobic biotechnology and to evaluate the methane producing potential of various organic wastes. This article introduces a generalized model for the construction, inoculation, operation, and monitoring of a laboratory-scale continuously stirred anaerobic digester.
A tool and chemistries are described to sequentially isolate nucleic acids followed by proteins from a sample without the need for electricity. The tool consists of a sorbent held within a transfer pipette while the isolation chemistries are based on solid-phase extraction principles. The isolated macromolecules can be analyzed by immuno-based and PCR-based assays.
The activity of the inducible lysine decarboxylase is monitored by reacting the substrate L-lysine and the product cadaverine with 2,4,6-trinitrobenzensulfonic acid to form adducts that have differential solubility in toluene.
A sustainable auto regulating bacterial system for the remediation of oil pollutions was designed using standard interchangeable DNA parts (BioBricks). An engineered E. coli strain was used to degrade alkanes via β-oxidation in toxic aqueous environments. The respective enzymes from different species showed alkane degradation activity. Additionally, an increased tolerance to n-hexane was achieved by introducing genes from alkane-tolerant bacteria.
1Département Nociception et Douleur, Institut des Neurosciences Cellulaires et Intégratives, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), 2Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology, Columbia University, 3Department of Anesthesiology, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences
Viral vectors allow for targeted gene manipulation. We demonstrate a method for conditional gene expression or ablation in the mouse spinal cord, using stereotaxic injection of a viral vector into the dorsal horn, a prominent site of synaptic contact between primary somatosensory afferents and neurons of the central nervous system.
Aptamers are short ribo-/deoxyribo-oligonucleotides selected by in-vitro evolution methods based on affinity for a specific target. Aptamers are molecular recognition tools with versatile therapeutic, diagnostic, and research applications. We demonstrate methods for selection of aptamers for amyloid β-protein, the causative agent of Alzheimer's disease.
Separation of Single-stranded DNA, Double-stranded DNA and RNA from an Environmental Viral Community Using Hydroxyapatite Chromatography
We describe an efficient method to separate single-stranded DNA, double-stranded DNA and RNA molecules from environmental viral communities. Nucleic acids are fractionated using hydroxyapatite chromatography with increasing concentrations of phosphate-containing buffers. This method permits the isolation of all viral nucleic acid types from environmental samples.
This video protocol illustrates the squash technique used in the Johansen laboratory to prepare Drosophila polytene chromosomes for antibody labeling.
Stable Isotopic Profiling of Intermediary Metabolic Flux in Developing and Adult Stage Caenorhabditis elegans
Stable isotopic profiling by gas chromatography mass spectrometric analysis of intermediary metabolic flux is described in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. Methods are detailed for assessing isotopic enrichment in carbon dioxide, organic acids, and amino acids following isotope exposure either during development on agar plates or during adulthood in liquid culture.
Cellular Lipid Extraction for Targeted Stable Isotope Dilution Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Analysis
This protocol will demonstrate the extraction and analysis of free and esterified bioactive fatty acids from cells. Fatty acids are accurately quantified using stable isotope dilution, chiral liquid chromatography, electron capture atmospheric chemical ionization multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (SID-LC-ECAPCI-MRM/MS).
1Center for Human Genetic Research and Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 2Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
We present robust biochemical and microscopic methods for studying Caenorhabditis elegans lipid stores. A rapid, simple, fixing-staining procedure for fluorescent lipid droplet imaging leverages the spectral properties of the lipophilic dye Nile red. We then present biochemical measurement of triglycerides and phospholipids using solid phase extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.
1Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Washington University, 2Department of Biology, Washington University, 3Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering and Department of Biology, Washington University
13C-isotope labeling is a useful technique for determining the cell central metabolism for various types of microorganisms. After cells have been cultured with a specific labeled substrate, GC-MS measurement can reveal functional metabolic pathways based on unique labeling patterns in proteinogenic amino acids.
1Department of Anesthesiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 2Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 3Department of Physiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 4Department of Internal Medicine, Nora Eccles Harrison Cardiovascular Research and Training Institute, University of Utah
Advances in mass spectrometry have allowed the high throughput analysis of protein expression and modification in a host of tissues. Combined with subcellular fractionation and disease models, quantitative mass spectrometry and bioinformatics can reveal new properties in biological systems. The method described herein analyzes chromatin-associated proteins in the setting of heart disease and is readily applicable to other in vivo models of human disease.
A simple method is provided that allows for the rapid extraction and analysis of multiple plant hormones from small tissue samples. The procedure uses vapor phase extraction as the solemn purification step. Samples are analyzed by GC/MS with chemical ionization that produces mainly (M+1)+ ions.
We demonstrate the use of a constant-force extensometer to measure long-term extension (creep) of plant cell wall specimens induced by acidic buffers and expansin protein.
GC-based Detection of Aldononitrile Acetate Derivatized Glucosamine and Muramic Acid for Microbial Residue Determination in Soil
1DOE-Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 3Department of Soil and Water Science, University of Florida
We describe a method protocol for the GC-based analysis of the aldonitrile acetate derivatives of glucosamine and muramic acid extracted from soil. For elucidation of the chemical mechanism, we also present a strategy to confirm the structure of the derivative and the ion fragments formed upon electron ionization.
Extracting DNA from the Gut Microbes of the Termite (Zootermopsis Angusticollis) and Visualizing Gut Microbes
This video illustrates the technique for extracting DNA from the species of microbes resident in the termite hindgut. The preparation of a wet mount slide, which is useful for visualizing the gut microbial community is also illustrated, and a tour through the species-rich gut environment is given.
A novel directed evolution method specific to the field of thermostability engineering was developed and consequently validated for bacteriolytic enzymes. After only one round of random mutagenesis, an evolved bacteriolytic enzyme, PlyC 29C3, displayed greater than twice the residual activity when compared to the wild-type protein after elevated temperature incubation.
Locked Nucleic Acid Flow Cytometry-fluorescence in situ Hybridization (LNA flow-FISH): a Method for Bacterial Small RNA Detection
A novel high-throughput method is described that enables the detection and relative quantitation of small RNA and mRNA expression from single bacterial cells using locked nucleic acid probes and flow cytometry-fluorescence in situ hybridization.
Stable isotope labeling workflows employing 18O-enriched water (LeO-workflows) are versatile tools for quantitative and qualitative proteomics studies. In protease-assisted (PALeO) workflows, 18O-atoms are introduced by proteolytic cleavage and carboxyl oxygen exchange reactions mediated by proteases. In the acid-catalyzed (ALeO) workflow, 18O-atoms are introduced by carboxyl oxygen exchange at low pH.
Concentration Determination of Nucleic Acids and Proteins Using the Micro-volume Bio-spec Nano Spectrophotometer
This communication presents data on the accuracy and reproducibility of the BioSpec-nano UV-VIS spectrophotometer for dsDNA and protein quantitation. Even with ultra-small volumes (1 to 2 L), reproducibility is excellent, while the automated wiping function improves throughput and results in minimal carryover for more precise results.
1Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, 2Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Tucson, AZ, 3Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, 4Biomedical Diagnostics and Research, Tucson, AZ, 5Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson
Reduced/absent expression of Pms2 and/or ERCC1 in entire crypts is a frequent event within 10 cm on each side of colonic adenocarcinomas, likely the basis of a field defect with high mutability and progression to cancer. Deficiency in Ku86 or CcOI is much less frequent in these field defects.
The 3DNA software package is a popular and versatile bioinformatics tool with capabilities to analyze, construct, and visualize three-dimensional nucleic acid structures. This article presents detailed protocols for a subset of new and popular features available in 3DNA, applicable to both individual structures and ensembles of related structures.
Biophysical and biochemical studies of interactions among membrane-embedded protein domains face many technical challenges, the first of which is obtaining appropriate study material. This article describes a protocol for producing and purifying disulfide-stabilized transmembrane peptide complexes that are suitable for structural analysis by solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and other analytical applications.
The Citrobacter rodentium Mouse Model: Studying Pathogen and Host Contributions to Infectious Colitis
Citrobacter rodentium infection provides a valuable model to study enteric bacterial infections as well as host immune responses and colitis in mice. This protocol outlines the measurement of barrier integrity, pathogen load and histological damage allowing for the thorough characterization of pathogen and host contributions to murine infectious colitis.
We describe methods to study aspects of amylopathies in the worm C. elegans. We show how to construct worms expressing human Aβ42 in neurons and how to test their function in behavioral assays. We further show how to obtain primary neuronal cultures that can be used for pharmacological testing.
1Department of Integrative Oncology, BC Cancer Research Centre, 2Interdisciplinary Oncology Program, University of British Columbia - UBC, 3Photography/Video Production, Multi-Media Services, BC Cancer Agency, 4Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia - UBC
This video demonstrates the protocol for DNA extraction from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded material. This is a multi-day procedure in which tissue sections are deparaffinized with xylene, rehydrated with ethanol and treated with proteinase K to purify and isolate DNA for subsequent gene-specific or genome-wide analysis.
The biarsenical dyes FlAsH and ReAsH bind specifically to tetracysteine motifs in proteins and can selectively label proteins in live cells. Recently this labeling strategy has been used to develop sensors for different protein conformations or oligomeric states. We describe the labeling approach and methods to quantitatively analyze binding.
Dual Electrophysiological Recordings of Synaptically-evoked Astroglial and Neuronal Responses in Acute Hippocampal Slices
The preparation of acute brain slices from isolated hippocampi, as well as the simultaneous electrophysiological recordings of astrocytes and neurons in stratum radiatum during stimulation of schaffer collaterals is described. The pharmacological isolation of astroglial potassium and glutamate transporter currents is demonstrated.
Analysis of the Solvent Accessibility of Cysteine Residues on Maize rayado fino virus Virus-like Particles Produced in Nicotiana benthamiana Plants and Cross-linking of Peptides to VLPs
1Plant Sciences Institute, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 2Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture
A method to analyze the solvent accessibility of the thiol group of cysteine residues of Maize rayado fino virus (MRFV)-virus-like particles (VLPs) followed by a peptide cross-linking reaction is described. The method takes advantage of the availability of several chemical groups on the surface of the VLPs that can be targets for specific reactions.
RNA In situ Hybridization in Whole Mount Embryos and Cell Histology Adapted for Marine Elasmobranchs
By combining methods for RNA whole mount in situ hybridization and histology, gene expression can be linked with cell fate decisions in the developing embryo. These methods have been adapted to marine elasmobranchs and facilitate the use of these animals as model organisms for biomedical, toxicology and comparative studies.