We describe a simple, rapid method of generating 3D tissue-like spheroids and their potential application to quantify differences in cell-cell interactions.
We describe a method of measuring binding energy, expressible as tissue surface tension, between cells within 3D tissue-like aggregates. Differences in tissue surface tension have been demonstrated to correlate with invasiveness of lung, muscle, and brain tumors, and are fundamental determinants of establishing spatial relationships between different cell types.
Derivation of Enriched Oligodendrocyte Cultures and Oligodendrocyte/Neuron Myelinating Co-cultures from Post-natal Murine Tissues
1Regenerative Medicine Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 2Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, 3Department of Pharmacological Sciences, Stony Brook University, 4Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa
This article describes methods to derive enriched populations of murine oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) in primary culture, which differentiate to produce mature oligodendrocytes (OLs). In addition, this report describes techniques to produce murine myelinating co-cultures by seeding mouse OPCs onto a neurite bed of mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons (DRGNs).
The mesothelial clearance assay described here takes advantage of fluorescently labeled cells and time-lapse video microscopy to visualize and quantitatively measure the interactions of ovarian cancer multicellular spheroids and mesothelial cell monolayers. This assay models the early steps of ovarian cancer metastasis.
Isolation of Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells and Their Use in the Study of Neutrophil Transmigration Under Flow Conditions
This article first describes a procedure for isolating human endothelial cells from umbilical veins and then shows how to use these cells to examine neutrophil transmigration under flow conditions. By using a low-volume flow chamber made from a polymer with the optical characteristics of glass, live-cell fluorescent imaging of rare cell populations is also possible.
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.
We describe a qualitative assay for yeast adhesion and agar invasion as a measure of invasive and pseudohyphal differentiation. This simple assay can be used to assess the invasive phenotype of various mutants as well as the effects environmental cues and signaling pathways on yeast differentiation.
1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 3HST Center for Biomedical Engineering and Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School
We describe a protocol to observe and analyze cell rolling trajectories on asymmetric receptor-patterned substrates. The resulting data are useful for engineering of receptor-patterned substrates for label-free cell separation and analysis.
Real-time Digital Imaging of Leukocyte-endothelial Interaction in Ischemia-reperfusion Injury (IRI) of the Rat Cremaster Muscle
Digital intravital epifluorescence microscopy of postcapillary venules in the cremasteric microcirculation is a convenient method to gain insights into leukocyte-endothelial interaction in vivo in ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) of striated muscle tissue. We here provide a detailed protocol to safely perform the technique and discuss its applications and limitations.
1Centre for Medical Parasitology, Department of International Health, Immunology & Microbiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 2Department of Infectious Diseases, Copenhagen University Hospital (Rigshospitalet), 3Institute of Infection and Immunology Research, School of Biology, University of Edinburgh
Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to identify mRNA transcripts in individual cells allows analysis of polygenic activity such as the simultaneous transcription of more than one member of the var multigene family in Plasmodium falciparum infected erythrocytes 1. The technique is adaptable and can be used on different types of genes, cells and organisms.
Microscopic imaging of live endothelial cells expressing GFP-actin allows characterization of dynamic changes in cytoskeletal structures. Unlike techniques that use fixed specimens, this method provides a detailed assessment of temporal changes in the actin cytoskeleton in the same cells before, during, and after various physical, pharmacological, or inflammatory stimuli.
Slice cultures facilitate the manipulation of embryo development by gene and pharmacological perturbations. However, culture conditions must ensure that normal development can proceed within the reduced environment of the slice. We illustrate a protocol that facilitates normal spinal cord development to proceed for at least 24 hr.
Microfluidic flow chambers etched by photolithography and fabricated from PDMS are applied to probe functional outcomes associated with EC dysfunction and inflammation. In a representative experiment, the ability of differential shear stress to modulate monocytic cell adhesion to cytokine activated EC monolayers is demonstrated.
Sampling Human Indigenous Saliva Peptidome Using a Lollipop-Like Ultrafiltration Probe: Simplify and Enhance Peptide Detection for Clinical Mass Spectrometry
Considering saliva sampling for future clinical application, a lollipop-like ultrafiltration (LLUF) probe was fabricated to fit in the human oral cavity. Direct analysis of undigested saliva by NanoLC-LTQ mass spectrometry demonstrated the ability of LLUF probes to remove large proteins and high abundance proteins, and make low-abundant peptides more detectable.
A Simple and Efficient Method to Detect Nuclear Factor Activation in Human Neutrophils by Flow Cytometry
1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, 2División de Estudios de Posgrado e Investigación, Facultad de Odontología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 3Department of Immunology, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Neutrophils are the most abundant leukocytes in blood. Neutrophils possess transcriptionally regulated functions such as production of proinflammatory cytokines and inhibition of apoptosis. These functions can be studied with the method presented here, which allows detection and quantification of nuclear factors by flow cytometry in isolated nuclei
1Australian Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls, School of Botany, University of Melbourne, 2Plant Cell Biology Research Centre, School of Botany, University of Melbourne, 3CSIRO Plant Industry, Black Mountain Laboratories, 4Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, University of Copenhagen
A technique called Comprehensive Microarray Polymer Profiling (CoMPP) for the characterisation of plant cell wall glycans is described. This method combines the specificity of monoclonal antibodies directed to defined glycan-epitopes with a miniature microarray analytical platform allowing screening of glycan occurrence in a broad range of biological contexts.
Ex utero Electroporation and Whole Hemisphere Explants: A Simple Experimental Method for Studies of Early Cortical Development
This protocol describes an improved explant procedure that involves ex utero electroporation, dissection and culture of entire cerebral hemispheres from the embryonic mouse. The preparation facilitates pharmacological studies and assays of gene function during early cortical development.
Peptides from Phage Display Library Modulate Gene Expression in Mesenchymal Cells and Potentiate Osteogenesis in Unicortical Bone Defects
A phage display library was used to identify peptide sequences that target bone. The objective was to investigate the effect of these peptides on mesenchymal cell differentiation and to determine their effect on bone regeneration.
Dissection of Organizer and Animal Pole Explants from Xenopus laevis Embryos and Assembly of a Cell Adhesion Assay
This video demonstrates the technique used for preparation of organizer and animal pole explants from Xenopus laevis embryos, including the use of the eyebrow knife - a specialized dissection tool made of one's eyebrow. The protocol for assembling an adhesion assay is also given, which probes for the presence of key adhesion molecules present on the surface organizer or animal pole cells that are critical for proper development.
A method for the assembly of adhesive and soluble gradients in a microscopy chamber for live cell migration studies is described. The engineered environment combines antifouling surfaces and adhesive tracks with solution gradients and therefore allows one to determine the relative importance of guidance cues.
Electrode Fabrication and Implantation in Aplysia californica for Multi-channel Neural and Muscular Recordings in Intact, Freely Behaving Animals
A technique is described for implanting four in vivo electrodes to monitor the neuromuscular control of feeding behavior in Aplysia californica.
Adhesion Frequency Assay for In Situ Kinetics Analysis of Cross-Junctional Molecular Interactions at the Cell-Cell Interface
An adhesion frequency assay for measuring receptor-ligand interaction kinetics when both molecules are anchored on the surfaces of the interacting cells is described. This mechanically-based assay is exemplified using a micropipette-pressurized human red blood cell as adhesion sensor and integrin αLβ2 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 as interacting receptors and ligands.
This protocol describes the stimulation of cultured fibroblasts with low-intensity pulsed ultrasound, which drives focal adhesion formation and Rac1 activation by mimicking engagement of the transmembrane matrix receptor, syndecan-4. This approach allows investigation of a successful clinical technique at the cellular level, thereby providing opportunities for refinement of the therapy.
This is a method to visualise leukocyte adhesion to the endothelium in harvested pressurised vessels. The technique enables studying vascular adhesion under shear flow with differing intraluminal pressures up to 200 mmHg thus mimic-ing the pathophysiological conditions of high blood pressure.
Nanomoulding of Functional Materials, a Versatile Complementary Pattern Replication Method to Nanoimprinting
1Institute of Microengineering (IMT), Photovoltaics and Thin Film Electronics Laboratory, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 2Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, University of California, Berkeley
We describe a nanomoulding technique which allows low-cost nanoscale patterning of functional materials, materials stacks and full devices. Nanomoulding can be performed on any nanoimprinting setup and can be applied to a wide range of materials and deposition processes.
This protocol highlights the principles and practical applications of Phase and Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) Microscopy
This protocol is a simple bacterial adhesion assay consisting in counting the numbers of bacterial colony forming units that are adhered onto cultured cells. The assay is robust, independent of the adhesin studied, and numerous variations are used in most laboratories working on bacterial pathogenesis.
Competitive homing experiments allow to directly assessing the migratory properties of two different cell populations in a single mouse. Here we illustrate this procedure by comparing the migration of ex vivo-generated gut-tropic versus non-gut tropic T cells.
Real-time Imaging of Heterotypic Platelet-neutrophil Interactions on the Activated Endothelium During Vascular Inflammation and Thrombus Formation in Live Mice
Here we report an experimental technique of fluorescence intravital microscopy to visualize heterotypic platelet-neutrophil interactions on the activated endothelium during vascular inflammation and thrombus formation in live mice. This microscopic technology will be valuable to study the molecular mechanism of vascular disease and to test pharmacologic agents under pathophysiological conditions.
Blood vessels as a target for infection, Paris center for cardiovascular research, INSERM U970
During the infection process, a key step is the adhesion of pathogens with host cells. In most instances this adhesion step occurs in the presence of mechanical stress generated by flowing liquid. We describe a technique that introduces shear stress as an important parameter in the study of bacterial adhesion.
An assay to quantitatively measure Transforming Growth Factor (TGF)-β-induced invasion in 3-dimensional collagen gels is described. This assay takes advantage of the MCF10A series of cell lines, which represent different stages of breast cancer development. This method can be adopted to be used with other cell lines and might be used to investigate other potential activators or inhibitors of invasion.
Live Cell Response to Mechanical Stimulation Studied by Integrated Optical and Atomic Force Microscopy
1Department of Systems Biology and Translational Medicine, College of Medicine, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Texas A&M Health Science Center, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Texas A&M University
This paper aims to instruct the reader in the operation of an integrated atomic force-optical imaging microscope for mechanical stimulation of live cells in culture. A step-by-step protocol is presented. A representative data set that shows live cell response to mechanical stimulation is presented.
1Department of Neurosurgery, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, UCLA, 2Basic Medicine School, Fourth Military Medical University, 3Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, 4Aerospace Medicine School, Fourth Military Medical Univeristy
In this protocol, we described a new method to study the influence of glial cell heterogeneity on axon growth with an in vitro co-culture system. Rat cortical glial cells were cultured to confluence and cocultured with highly purified rat dorsal root ganglia neurons. Different glial cell influence on neurons adhesion and axon growth was compared directly in the same culture. This method provides a new way to directly study the glial cell heterogeneity influence on neuron adhesion and axon growth.
In this video, we demonstrate the experimental techniques used to fabricate compliant, extracellular matrix (ECM) coated substrates suitable for cell culture, and which are amenable to traction force microscopy and observing effects of ECM stiffness on cell behavior.
Parallel-plate Flow Chamber and Continuous Flow Circuit to Evaluate Endothelial Progenitor Cells under Laminar Flow Shear Stress
1Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, 3School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 4Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Duke University Medical Center
We are describing a method to subject adherent cells to laminar flow shear stress in a sterile continuous flow circuit. The cells' adhesion, morphology can be studied through the transparent chamber, samples obtained from the circuit for metabolite analysis and cells harvested after shear exposure for future experiments or culture.
1Department of Physics, Clemson University, 2Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, East Carolina University, 3Department of Bioengineering, Clemson University, 4Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies, Clemson University
Graphene offers potential as a coating material for biomedical implants. In this study we demonstrate a method for coating nitinol alloys with nanometer thick layers of graphene and determine how graphene may influence implant response.
The platelet adhesion cascade takes place in the presence of shear flow, a factor not accounted for in conventional (static) well-plate assays. This article reports on a platelet-aggregation assay utilizing a microfluidic well-plate format to emulate physiological shear flow conditions.
Here are some highlights from the September 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Concurrent Quantitative Conductivity and Mechanical Properties Measurements of Organic Photovoltaic Materials using AFM
Organic photovoltaic (OPV) materials are inherently inhomogeneous at the nanometer scale. Nanoscale inhomogeneity of OPV materials affects performance of photovoltaic devices. In this paper, we describe a protocol for quantitative measurements of electrical and mechanical properties of OPV materials with sub-100 nm resolution.
The mechanical characteristics of endothelial glycocalyx were measured by indentation using micron sized spheres on AFM cantilevers. Endothelial cells were cultured in a custom chamber under physiological flow conditions to induce glycocalyx expression. Data were analyzed using a thin film model to determine the glycocalyx thickness and modulus.
A methodology to investigate the neural mechanisms that support aware and unaware memory processes during fear conditioning is described. This method monitors blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging, skin conductance response, and unconditioned stimulus expectancy during Pavlovian fear conditioning to assess the neural correlates of distinct memory processes.
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.
Nanotopology of Cell Adhesion upon Variable-Angle Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy (VA-TIRFM)
Topology of cell adhesion on a substrate is measured with nanometre precision by variable-angle total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (VA-TIRFM).
The effect of substrata stiffness on cellular function can be modeled in vitro using polyacrylamide hydrogels of varying compliances.
We present a procedure for forming a poly(ethylene glycol) self-assembled monolayer (PEG-SAM) on a silicon substrate with gold microelectrodes. The PEG-SAM is formed in a single step and prevents biofouling on silicon and gold surfaces. Electrophoresis is then used for patterning biomolecules down to the nanoscale.
A Chitosan Based, Laser Activated Thin Film Surgical Adhesive, 'SurgiLux': Preparation and Demonstration
The fabrication of a novel, flexible thin film surgical adhesive from FDA approved ingredients, chitosan and indocyanine green is described. Bonding of this adhesive to collagenous tissue through a simple activation process with a low-powered infra-red laser is demonstrated.
Circulating tumor cells are isolated from the blood of cancer patients without inflicting cellular damage. Isolation of tumor cells is accomplished using a bimolecular surface of E-selectin in addition to antibodies against epithelial markers. A nanotube coating specifically promotes cancer cell adhesion resulting in high capture purities.
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
The generation of aligned myocardial tissue is a key requirement for adapting the recent advances in stem cell biology to clinically useful purposes. Herein we describe a microcontact printing approach for the precise control of cell shape and function. Using highly purified populations of embryonic stem cell derived cardiac progenitors, we then generate anisotropic functional myocardial tissue.
Crude and fractionated Xenopus egg extracts can be used to provide ingredients for reconstituting cellular processes for morphological and biochemical analysis. Egg lysis and differential centrifugation are used to prepare the crude extract which in turn in used to prepare fractionated extracts and light membrane preparations.