We provide an improved protocol for extracting high molecular weight DNA from hypersaline microbial mats. Microbial cells are separated from the mat matrix prior to DNA extraction and purification. This enhances the concentrations, quality, and size of the DNA. The protocol may be used for other refractory samples.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis forms drug tolerant biofilms when cultured in certain conditions. Here we describe methods for culturing M. tuberculosis biofilms and determining the frequency of drug tolerant persisters. These protocols will be useful for further studies into the mechanisms of drug tolerance in M. tuberculosis.
We present a novel and powerful integration of nanophotonics (QD-FRET) and microfluidics to investigate the formation of polyelectrolyte polyplexes, which is expected to provide better control and synthesis of uniform and customizable polyplexes for future nucleic acid-based therapeutics.
This protocol involves a non-radioactive in-situ hybridization procedure that enables the simultaneous identification of two transcript species, at a single cell resolution, in thin sections of the vertebrate brain.
Evaluation of Polymeric Gene Delivery Nanoparticles by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis and High-throughput Flow Cytometry
1Biomedical Engineering Department, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2Translational Tissue Engineering Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 3Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 4Institute for Nanobiotechnology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
A protocol for nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and high-throughput flow cytometry to evaluate polymeric gene delivery nanoparticles is described. NTA is utilized to characterize the nanoparticle particle size distribution and the plasmid per particle distribution. High-throughput flow cytometry enables quantitative transfection efficacy evaluation for a library of gene delivery biomaterials.
A versatile plasma lithography technique has been developed to generate stable surface patterns for guiding cellular attachment. This technique can be applied to create cell networks including those that mimic natural tissues and has been used for studying several, distinct cell types.
An Isolated Retinal Preparation to Record Light Response from Genetically Labeled Retinal Ganglion Cells
This article provides a description of how to dissect and record from the isolated retinal preparation in mouse. In particular, we describe how to record light responses from a fluorescently labeled ganglion cell population and subsequently identify and analyze its morphology.
1Laboratory of Nano- and Translational Medicine, Department of Radiation Oncology, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, 2Carolina Center for Nanotechnology Excellence, University of North Carolina
This article describes a nanoprecipitation method to synthesize polymer-based nanoparticles using diblock co-polymers. We will discuss the synthesis of diblock co-polymers, the nanoprecipitation technique, and potential applications.
1UMR CNRS 5557 Ecologie Microbienne, Université Lyon 1, Université de Lyon, 2Département Biosciences, INSA de Lyon, Université de Lyon, 3INSERM U758, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, Université de Lyon, 4Laboratoire de Génie Civil et Ingénierie Environnementale, INSA de Lyon, Université de Lyon
The design of a synthetic operon encoding both the secretory apparatus and the structural monomers of curli fibers is described. Overproduction of these amyloids and adherent polymers allows a measurable gain of adherence of the E. coli chassis1. Easy ways to visualize and quantify adherence are explained.
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.
The biosynthesis of cartilaginous extracellular matrix by chondrocytes can be affected by application of mechanical stimuli. This method describes the technique of applying dynamic compressive strains to chondrocytes encapsulated in 3D constructs and the evaluation of induced changes in chondrocyte metabolism.
This article provides a detailed and visual description of a methodology for collecting and measuring biochemical inflammatory and nociceptive mediators at the surgical wound site following cesarean delivery. This human bioassay has been used to determine correlations between wound and serum cytokine concentrations and drug-mediated changes in wound cytokines, chemokines and neuropetides.
1Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Boston University, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 3Center for Advanced Genomics Technology, Boston University, 4Department of Medicine, Section of Infectious Diseases, Boston University School of Medicine, 5Department of Microbiology, Boston University School of Medicine, 6CNR (National Research Council), Istituto di Chimica del Riconoscimento Molecolare
Quantitative, high-throughput, real-time, and label-free biomolecular detection (DNA, protein, etc.) on SiO2 surfaces can be achieved using a simple interferometric technique which relies on LED illumination, minimal optical components, and a camera. The Interferometric Reflectance Imaging Sensor (IRIS) is inexpensive, simple to use, and amenable to microarray formats.
Working safely and humanely with research rodents requires a core competency in handling and restraint methods. This article will present the basic principles required to safely handle and effectively administer compounds to mice and rats.
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.
In this video, we demonstrate the EpiDerm Skin Irritation test (EpiDerm SIT) developed and validated for in vitro skin irritation testing of chemicals, including cosmetic and pharmaceutical ingredients.
We present various ways to monitor heart function in the larva of Drosophila for assessing questions dealing with the function of gap junctions, ion channel mutations, modulation of pacemaker activity and pharmacological studies.
Membrane Potentials, Synaptic Responses, Neuronal Circuitry, Neuromodulation and Muscle Histology Using the Crayfish: Student Laboratory Exercises
The experiments demonstrate an easy approach for students to gain experience in examining muscle structure, synaptic responses, the effects of ion gradients and permeability on membrane potentials. Also, a sensory-CNS-motor-muscle circuit is presented to show a means to test effects of compounds on a neuronal circuit.
In this report we demonstrate techniques that can be used to investigate the biology of the crayfish hindgut. We show how to dissect a crayfish abdomen and study the associated anatomy, physiology and modulation of activity. The peristaltic activity and strength of contractions are measured using a force transducer.
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 3D culture system for hematopoiesis is described using human cord blood and leukemic bone marrow cells. The method is based on the use of a porous synthetic polyurethane scaffold coated with extracellular matrix proteins. This scaffold is adaptable to accommodate a wide range of cells.
In this video, we show a procedure for an accurate biolistic delivery of reagents into live tissue with a novel miniature gene gun. We are knocking down the expression of the axon guidance molecule Netrin in leech embryos by delivering molecules of dsRNA into the ventral body wall and ganglia of single segments.
Here we demonstrate how to fabricate thermoplastic microfluidic chips using hot embossing and heat sealing. Then we demonstrate how to use in situ light directed surface grafting and polymerization through the sealed chip to form the composite solid phase columns.
This study concerns the development and standardization of a valuable methodological protocol to determine long-term (14 days) lethal toxicity exerted by chemical substances, industrial wastewater or sewage and liquid environmental samples on the saltwater crustacean, Artemia franciscana.
A technique to collect and measure surgical wound biochemical mediators at specific time points.
Zebrafish represent a powerful vertebrate model that has been under-utilised for metabolic studies. Here we describe a rapid way to measure the in vivo metabolic profile of developing zebrafish that allows the comparison of different mitochondrial function parameters between genetically or pharmacologically manipulated embryos, thereby increasing the applicability of this organism.
Modulation of hippocampally-dependent spatial working memory by direct intrahippocampal microinjection, accompanied and followed by in vivo microdialysis for metabolites in conscious, behaving animals.
We describe a technique of microinjecting the aminoglycoside, gentamicin, into 2 days post-fetilization (dpf) zebrafish larvae to induce acute kidney injury (AKI). We also describe a method for whole mount immunohistochemistry, plastic embedding and sectioning of zebrafish larvae to visualize the AKI mediated damage.
This method for isolating functional immune cells from the heart provides an alternative to the conventional methods of collagenase digestion, which causes unwanted immune cell activation, resulting in a decreased responsiveness of these cells. Our method of isolation yields functional cardiac immune cells by avoiding problems associated with enzymatic digestion.
Optic Nerve transection is a widely used model of adult CNS injury. This model is ideal for performing a number of experimental manipulations that target the retina globally or directly target the injured neuronal population of retinal ganglion cells.
We describe experimental details of the synthesis of patterned and reconfigurable particles from two dimensional (2D) precursors. This methodology can be used to create particles in a variety of shapes including polyhedra and grasping devices at length scales ranging from the micro to centimeter scale.
An In Vitro Preparation for Eliciting and Recording Feeding Motor Programs with Physiological Movements in Aplysia californica
We describe a technique to extracellularly record and stimulate from nerves, muscles, and individual identified neurons in vitro while eliciting and observing different types of feeding behaviors in the feeding apparatus of Aplysia.
In animals with large identified neurons (e.g. mollusks), analysis of motor pools is done using intracellular techniques1,2,3,4. Recently, we developed a technique to extracellularly stimulate and record individual neurons in Aplysia californica5. We now describe a protocol for using this technique to uniquely identify and characterize motor neurons within a motor pool.
The model organism C. elegans uses pseudocoelomic fluid as a passive circulatory system. Direct assay of this fluid has not been previously possible. Here we present a novel technique to directly assay the extracellular space, and use systemic silencing signals during an RNAi response as a proof of principle example.
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.
Mice and rats, due to their innate cautiousness, are initially slow in consuming a novel food, particularly in a novel place. This hyponeophagia can readily be measured in the laboratory, even though laboratory animals are much less anxious than their wild counterparts
Medaka and zebrafish are complementary for genetic dissection of vertebrate genome functions. This protocol highlights the key points for successful microinjection into medaka embryos, an important technique for embryological and genetic analysis using medaka and zebrafish in a laboratory.
Combining Behavioral Endocrinology and Experimental Economics: Testosterone and Social Decision Making
The procedure described in this protocol shows that testosterone administration and folk beliefs about testosterone may be associated with directly opposed social behaviors.
1Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 2The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 3Internal Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
A useful tool to analyze the effects of drugs, growth factors, and/or manipulated cells in an animal model of wound repair is described. This technique utilizes the properties of a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) sponge to deliver and contain the desired treatment and also provide a platform to be excised and analyzed.
1Institute for Physiological Chemistry, Department of Biochemical Endocrinology, University of Duisburg-Essen, 2Institute for Anatomy, Department of Neuroanatomy, University of Duisburg-Essen, 3Morphoplant GmbH, 4ARCONS Institute for Applied Research and Didactics
The chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) is a unique, naturally immunodeficient supportive culture environment to study angiogenesis and tumorigenesis. This video article demonstrates the different steps in chick ex ovo culture, application of potentially angiogenic substances and successful inoculation of tumor cells and tissues on the surface of the CAM.
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.
Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) are an important innate immune mechanism to fight pathogenic bacteria, fungi and parasites. Here we describe methods to isolate neutrophil granulocytes from human blood and to activate them to form NETs. We present preparation techniques to visualize NETs in light and electron microscopy.
Adult cardiac myocytes are primary cells that can be isolated from animal hearts and cultured for several days. Within this culture period adenoviral gene transfer can be used to express genetically encoded biosensors (GEBs) or fluorescent fusion proteins. Both approaches allow cellular investigations by means of confocal microscopy.
A rapid method to obtain infiltrating leukocytes from the murine brain is described. This method utilizes a continuous Percoll gradient and discontinuous Ficoll gradient to select and purify the leukocyte-enriched layer. Isolated leukocytes may then be characterized by flow cytometric measurements.
This video article demonstrates the establishment of organotypic retinal wholemount cultures and a cytospin procedure for analysis of exogenously induced effects. Organotypic retinal wholemount cultures mimic the in vivo situation and significantly facilitate the accessibility of murine retinas for experimental manipulations while circumventing the disadvantages of classical murine animal models.
Postsynaptic Recordings at Afferent Dendrites Contacting Cochlear Inner Hair Cells: Monitoring Multivesicular Release at a Ribbon Synapse
1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery., The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2Instituto de Investigaciones en Ingeniería Genética y Biología Molecular, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from auditory nerve fiber dendrites at the inner hair cell ribbon synapse in the mammalian cochlea.
Here we describe a novel high-content chemically induced inflammation assay aiming at the identification of immune-modulatory bioactives. We have successfully combined automated microscopy with custom developed software scripts enabling automated quantification of the inflammatory response as well as further data processing, analysis, mining, and storage.
Application of electrophysiology to accessible synapses provides a quantifiable measure of synaptic activity, useful in analyzing synaptic mutants. This article describes a dissection method used to expose the neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and briefly discusses some of the uses to which this preparation can be applied.
The goal of this technique is to assess serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmitter function in the live and free-breathing animal with pharmacological magnetic resonance imaging (phMRI) and an intravenous challenge with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), fluoxetine.