This protocol describes an extrusion method for preparing lipid vesicles of sub-micron sizes with a high degree of homogeneity. This method uses a pressure-controlled system with controlled nitrogen flow rates for liposome preparation. The lipid preparation1,2, liposome extrusion, and size characterization will be presented herein.
Utilizing a Cranial Window to Visualize the Middle Cerebral Artery During Endothelin-1 Induced Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion
1Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, University of Florida, 2Department of Neurosurgery, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, 3Department of Anatomical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
This article describes a method for visualizing rat cerebral arteries through a cranial window using temporal craniectomy in order to view proximal portions of the middle cerebral artery (Figure 1). This versatile method can be combined with various techniques of drug delivery to measure cerebral artery reactivity in vivo.
This video shows how to use a programmable puller to make patch pipettes and sharp electrodes for electrophysiology. The same procedure can be used to make a variety of glass tools, including injection needles.
We introduce an approach to evaluate the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration in isolated lymphatics to study Ca2+-dependent and Ca2+-sensitizing mechanisms of lymphatic smooth muscle contraction.
Neural-Colony Forming Cell Assay: An Assay To Discriminate Bona Fide Neural Stem Cells from Neural Progenitor Cells
1Department of Neurosurgery, University of Florida, 2Department of Anatomical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, 3STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.
This video protocol demonstrates how to discriminate and enumerate bona fide neural stem cells in a mixed population of neural precursor cells using the neural colony-forming cell assay.
Simultaneous Synthesis of Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene in a Magnetically-enhanced Arc Plasma
Anodic arc discharge is one of the most practical and efficient methods to synthesize various carbon nanostructures. To increase the arc controllability and flexibility, a non-uniform magnetic field was introduced to process the one-step synthesis of large-scale graphene flakes and high-purity single-walled carbon nanotubes.
In pressure myography, an intact small segment of a vessel is mounted onto two small cannulas and pressurized to a suitable luminal pressure. Here, we describe the method to measure vasorelaxation response of the mouse 3rd order mesenteric arteries in c57 and sGCα1-/- mice using pressure myography.
We have developed a flow cytometer using laser induced ultrasound to detect circulating melanoma cells as an early indicator of metastatic disease.
Laser axotomy followed by time-lapse imaging is a sensitive way to assay the effects of mutations in C. elegans on axon regeneration. A high quality, but inexpensive, laser ablation system can be easily added to most microscopes. Time lapse imaging over 15 hours requires careful immobilization of the worm.
We provide a simple, semi-quantitative method to investigate biofilm formation in vitro. This method takes advantage of the Zeiss stemi 2000-C Dissecting Microscope (with camera attachment) to monitor both the timing and pattern of biofilm formation, as assessed by the development of wrinkled colonies.
A murine model of cutaneous wound healing that can be used to assess therapeutic compounds in physiological and pathophysiological settings.
Single-cell electroporation (SCE) is a specialized technique allowing delivery of DNA or other macromolecules into individual cells within intact tissue, including in vivo preparations. Here we detail the procedure for SCE of a fluorescent dye or plasmid DNA into neurons within the intact brain of the Xenopus laevis tadpole.
We describe the use of a carbon dioxide laser reflow technique to fabricate silica resonant cavities, including free-standing microspheres and on-chip microtoroids. The reflow method removes surface imperfections, allowing long photon lifetimes within both devices. The resulting devices have ultra high quality factors, enabling applications ranging from telecommunications to biodetection.
Manufacturing and Using Piggy-back Multibarrel Electrodes for In vivo Pharmacological Manipulations of Neural Responses
Iontophoresis of neural agonists and antagonists during extracellular in vivo recordings is a powerful way to manipulate a neuron’s microenvironment. These manipulations can most easily be done via piggy-back multibarrel electrodes. Here we describe how to manufacture them and use them during auditory recordings.
Passive mechanical testing of mouse carotid arteries is described, with special consideration for adapting to different specimen ages. The procedures include determining the in vivo length of the artery, mounting it in a pressure myograph, recording data, measuring the unloaded dimensions and analyzing the resulting data.
This is a guide to modifying the shape of glass micropipettes. Specifically, by using heat and air pressure the taper is widened without increasing the tip opening, leading to lower pipette resistance. This is critical to obtain low noise recordings of small cells but is useful in many applications.
Here we describe a quick and simple method to measure cell stiffness. The general principle of this approach is to measure membrane deformation in response to well-defined negative pressure applied through a micropipette to the cell surface. This method provides a powerful tool to study biomechanical properties of substrate-attached cells.
1Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science, and Nutrition , The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2Department of Physics and Astronomy, Ohio University
Ice binding proteins (IBPs), also known as antifreeze proteins, inhibit ice growth and are a promising additive for use in the cryopreservation of tissues. The main tool used to investigate IBPs is the nanoliter osmometer. We developed a home-designed cooling stage mounted on an optical microscope and controlled using a custom-built LabVIEW routine. The nanoliter osmometer described here manipulated the sample temperature in an ultra-sensitive manner.
This video demonstrates how to use a preclinical inexpensive and reliable model to study pathobiological and pathophysiological processes of in-stent restenosis development. Longitudinal in vivo monitoring using OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) and analysis of OCT images are also demonstrated.
Tri-layered Electrospinning to Mimic Native Arterial Architecture using Polycaprolactone, Elastin, and Collagen: A Preliminary Study
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Virginia Commonwealth University, 3Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital of Geneva
The aim of this study was to mimic the native three layered architecture of the arterial wall. To accomplish this, electrospinning was employed with the use of a 3-1 (input-output) nozzle and blends of polycaprolactone, elastin, and collagen.
Cholestasis is a clinical condition commonly encountered by both surgeons and gastroenterologists. Creation of a reversible cholestatic rat model can be challenging in view of the smaller size and unique hepatopancreatobiliary anatomy in rats. This video article demonstrates the creation of a reversible cholestatic model.
We describe a method for in-situ tapering of As2S3 fibers to achieve efficient mid-infrared supercontinuum generation. By tapering while monitoring the supercontinuum’s spectrum, the spectral width can be maximized for a fiber taper. In-situ fiber tapering can be applied to optimize the performance of other fiber-based devices.
1Development and Aging Program, The Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research, 2Cardiac Electrophysiology Group, Dept. of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, The Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research, 3Biology Department and Heart Institute, San Diego State University
We have developed a Semi-automated Optical Heartbeat Analysis method (SOHA) for analyzing high speed optical recordings from Drosophila, zebrafish and embryonic mouse hearts. We demonstrate the application of our methodology to the analysis of heart function in fruit fly and embryonic mouse hearts.
Metamaterials at terahertz frequencies offer unique opportunities, but are challenging to fabricate in bulk. We adapt the fabrication procedure for microstructured polymer optical fibers to inexpensively fabricate metamaterials potentially on an industrial scale. We produce polymethylmethacrylate fibers containing ~10 μm diameter indium wires separated by ~100 μm, which exhibit a terahertz plasmonic response.
Optokinetic response has been widely used to assess the visual functions of larval zebrafish. Nevertheless, the standard protocol for larval fish is not yet readily applicable in adults1-5. Here, we introduce how to measure the OKR of adult zebrafish using a new protocol which is established in our lab.
Protocol describing the application of a flow cell system for growing and analyzing microbial biofilms for Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM).
Directed Cellular Self-Assembly to Fabricate Cell-Derived Tissue Rings for Biomechanical Analysis and Tissue Engineering
This article outlines a versatile method to create cell-derived tissue rings by cellular self-assembly. Smooth muscle cells seeded into ring-shaped agarose wells aggregate and contract to form robust three-dimensional (3D) tissues within 7 days. Millimeter-scale tissue rings are conducive to mechanical testing and serve as building blocks for tissue assembly.
A protocol to construct and test coin cells of lithium ion batteries is described. The specific procedures of making a working electrode, preparing a counter electrode, assembling a cell inside a glovebox and testing the cell are presented.
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.
A method of using solid-state nanopores to monitor the non-specific adsorption of proteins onto an inorganic surface is described. The method employs the resistive-pulse principle, allowing for the adsorption to be probed in real-time and at the single-molecule level. Because the process of single protein adsorption is far from equilibrium, we propose the employment of parallel arrays of synthetic nanopores, enabling for the quantitative determination of the apparent first-order reaction rate constant of protein adsorption as well as and the Langmuir adsorption constant.
This protocol describes how to generate carbon fiber electrodes. The electrodes are subsequently used to detect catecholamine release from vesicles with carbon fiber amperometry.
Intravital microscopy to follow temporal and spatial hemodynamic and inflammatory events in the pial microcirculation.
Protocols are presented for two established motor coordination tasks, the accelerating rotarod and horizontal bar, also two tests developed in Oxford recently, the static rods and parallel bars. These tests can detect motor impairments potentially of interest in their own right, as well as being possible variables in tests of other areas of behavior.
Targeting of Deep Brain Structures with Microinjections for Delivery of Drugs, Viral Vectors, or Cell Transplants
In this article, we show a method to make glass capillary needles with a 50-μm lumen. This technique significantly reduces the brain damage, minimizes passive diffusion of drugs and allows a precise targeting into the rodent brain.
Here we describe a cost-effective technique for organotypic culture of adult porcine retina for seven days. Briefly, a sterile filter paper was used to lift the neural retina off from the RPE and place photoreceptor side up on an insert raised by a custom-made stand.
1Department of GI-, Thorax- and Vascular Surgery, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, University of Technology Dresden, 2Molecular Diabetology, Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden, 3Department of Pathology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, University of Technology Dresden
The supply of type 2 diabetic islets for research is insufficient. Here we share our protocol for isolating islets from patients undergoing partial pancreatectomy. This approach represents a unique venue for obtaining islets from type 2 diabetic and clinically matched non-diabetic subjects in adequate numbers for basic and clinical studies.
Human Internal Mammary Artery (IMA) Transplantation and Stenting: A Human Model to Study the Development of In-Stent Restenosis
1University Heart Center Hamburg, TSI-Lab, Germany, 2Cardiovascular Research Center, University of Hamburg, 3Department of Medicine, Cardiology Division, Pulmonary Hypertension Program, University of Alberta, 4Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, 5Department of Biomedical Sciences, Institute of Physiology, Pathophysiology, and Biophysics, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, 6Translumina GmbH, Hechingen, 7Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine
This video shows a model to study the development of intimal hyperplasia after stent deployment using a human vessel (IMA) in an immunodeficient rat model.
A method of gene transfer into chicken embryos at later incubation stages (older than Hamburger and Hamilton stage (HH) 22) is described. This method overcomes disadvantages of in ovo electroporation applied to older chicken embryos and is a useful technique to study gene function and regulation at older developmental stages.
Revealing Dynamic Processes of Materials in Liquids Using Liquid Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy
We have developed a self-contained liquid cell, which allows imaging through liquids using a transmission electron microscope. Dynamic processes of nanoparticles in liquids can be revealed in real time with sub-nanometer resolution.
A high-sensitivity photonic micro sensor was developed for electric field detection. The sensor exploits the optical modes of a dielectric sphere. Changes in the external electric field perturb the sphere morphology leading to shifts in its optical modes. The electric field strength is measured by monitoring these optical shifts.
The following protocol outlines the process of pancreatic dissection for virtual slice imaging, and the subsequent quantification of all GFP-tagged beta-cells in the entire pancreas.
Here we describe a procedure for generating dark-adapted slices of the mouse retina for electrophysiological recordings.
In this article, we present a simple methodology to enable long-term ex-ovo avian embryo culture. This technique is ideal for longitudinal experimentation requiring complete optical accessibility and/or sterile transportation in avian embryos.
We describe a simple and low cost technique for introducing high concentration of fluorescent and calcium-sensitive dyes into neurons or any neuronal tract using a polyethylene suction pipette.
An ex vivo preparation is described for isolation of the largest gracilis muscle resistance arterioles for interrogation of both vascular responses to vasoactive stimuli and the assessment of basic structural properties via passive wall mechanics.
The endothelial glycocalyx/endothelial surface layer is ideally studied using intravital microscopy. Intravital microscopy is technically challenging in a moving organ such as the lung. We demonstrate how simultaneous brightfield and fluorescent microscopy may be used to estimate endothelial surface layer thickness in a freely-moving in vivo mouse lung.
1Dental and Craniofacial Research Institute and Section of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, UCLA, 2UCLA and Orthopaedic Hospital, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Orthopaedic Hospital Research Center, UCLA, 3Department of Bioengineering, UCLA, 4Center for Cardiovascular Science, University of Edinburgh
Human perivascular stem cells (PSCs) are a novel stem cell class for skeletal tissue regeneration similar to mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). PSCs can be isolated by FACS (fluorescence activated cell sorting) from adipose tissue procured during standard liposuction procedures, then combined with an osteoinductive scaffold to achieve bone formation in vivo.
A gene transfer method into the developing mouse brain is described by using a unique surgical method and special shape of electrodes. This unique technique allows transfection of plasmid DNA temporally and spatially, which will aid many neuroscientists in studying brain development.
Silk films are a novel class of biomaterials readily customizable for an array of biomedical applications. The presented silk film culture system is highly adaptable to a variety of in vitro analyses. This system represents a biomaterial design platform offering in vitro optimization before direct translation to in vivo models.
Construction and Implantation of a Microinfusion System for Sustained Delivery of Neuroactive Agents.
As neuroscience inquiry becomes more sophisticated, investigation of brain structures and circuitry requires improved levels of accuracy and higher resolution. We have developed a method for the preparation and implantation of a chronic infusion system within the brain utilizing a borosilicate microcannula with a tip diameter of 50 microns.