We report a method for introduction, tracking and quantitative analysis of GFP expression in plant cells. This method utilizes a custom-designed robotics system for semi-continuous image collection from large numbers of samples, over time. We also demonstrate the use of ImageJ and ImageReady for analysis of image series.
A simple and efficient method to transform Physcomitrella pantens protoplasts is described. This method is adapted from protocols for Physocmitrella protonemal protoplast and Arabidopsis mesophyll protoplast transformation1.
Programmed cell death assays commonly used in mammalian systems such as DNA laddering or TUNEL assays, are often difficult to reproduce in plants. In combination with a GUS reporter system, we propose a rapid, plant based transient assay to analyze the potential death properties of specific genes.
Transgenic worms are commonly used in C. elegans research. Described is a simple, yet effective, protocol to introduce transgenes into worms using biolistic bombardment with DNA-coated gold particles. The effort involved and results of bombardment compare favorably with microinjection for the generation of transgenic animals.
Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC) Assay for Protein-Protein Interaction in Onion Cells Using the Helios Gene Gun
This article illustrates how to properly use the BioRad Helios Gene Gun to introduce plasmid DNA into onion epidermal cells and how to test for protein-protein interactions in onion cells based on the principle of Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC)
Characterization of Surface Modifications by White Light Interferometry: Applications in Ion Sputtering, Laser Ablation, and Tribology Experiments
White light microscope interferometry is an optical, noncontact and quick method for measuring the topography of surfaces. It is shown how the method can be applied toward mechanical wear analysis, where wear scars on tribological test samples are analyzed; and in materials science to determine ion beam sputtering or laser ablation volumes and depths.
Macromolecular trafficking between plant cells can be assessed by transiently expressing a fluorescently-tagged protein of interest and analyzing its intra- and intercellular distribution by confocal microscopy.
We describe a method for preparing DNA coated gold bullets and demonstrate the use of such bullets to biolistically transfect neurons in cultured hippocampal slices.
The following setup approach details low power optical trapping of dielectric nanoparticles using a double-nanohole in metal film.
1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, 2Center for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences, West Virginia University, 3National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
A whole-body nanoparticle aerosol inhalation exposure facility was constructed for nano-sized titanium dioxide (TiO2) inhalation toxicology studies. This system provides nano-TiO2 aerosol test atmospheres that have: 1) a steady mass concentration; 2) a homogenous composition free of contaminants; and 3) a stable particle size distribution during aerosol generation.
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.
1Experimental and Clinical Research Center, A joint cooperation between the Charité Medical Faculty and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, 2Berlin Ultrahigh Field Facility (B.U.F.F.), Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine
Tracking of cells using MRI has gained remarkable attention in the past years. This protocol describes the labeling of dendritic cells with fluorine (19F)-rich particles, the in vivo application of these cells, and monitoring the extent of their migration to the draining lymph node with 19F/1H MRI and 19F MRS.
A technique for performing quantitative three-dimensional (3D) imaging for a range of fluid flows is presented. Using concepts from the area of Light Field Imaging, we reconstruct 3D volumes from arrays of images. Our 3D results span a broad range including velocity fields and multi-phase bubble size distributions.
Plant viral nanoparticles (VNPs) are promising platforms for applications in biomedicine. Here, we describe the procedures for plant VNP propagation, purification, characterization, and bioconjugation. Finally, we show the application of VNPs for tumor homing and imaging using a mouse xenograft model and fluorescence imaging.
1Department of Radiation Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 2Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Pittsburgh Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Pittsburgh
The ability to produce transgenes for Caenorhabditis elegans using genomic DNA carried by fosmids is particularly attractive as all of the native regulatory elements are retained. Described is a simple and robust procedure for the production of transgenes via recombineering with the galK selectable marker.
We describe the preparation of colloidal quantum dots with minimized hydrodynamic size for single-molecule fluorescence imaging. Compared to conventional quantum dots, these nanoparticles are similar in size to globular proteins and are optimized for single-molecule brightness, stability against photodegradation, and resistance to nonspecific binding to proteins and 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.
A recently developed novel particle agglutination (PA) assay utilizing virus receptor molecule allowed a rapid and easy identification of poliovirus (PV). In this article, we will show the procedure for the PA assay for PV identification.
The localization and distribution of proteins provide important information for understanding their cellular functions. The superior spatial resolution of electron microscopy (EM) can be used to determine the subcellular localization of a given antigen following immunohistochemistry. For tissues of the central nervous system (CNS), preserving structural integrity while maintaining antigenicity has been especially difficult in EM studies. Here, we adopt a procedure that has been used to preserve structures and antigens in the CNS to study and characterize synaptic proteins in rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons.
We present a method of targeted ancient DNA sequence retrieval, which we used to reconstruct the complete mitochondrial genomes of five Neandertal individuals. Comparison of these sequences with present day humans suggests that Neandertals had a long term low effective population size.
Profiling of Methyltransferases and Other S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine-binding Proteins by Capture Compound Mass Spectrometry (CCMS)
Capture Compounds are trifunctional small molecules to reduce the complexity of the proteome by functional reversible small molecule-protein interaction followed by photo-crosslinking and purification. Here we use a Capture Compound with S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine-binding as selectivity function to isolate methyltransferases from an Escherichia coli whole cell lysate and identify them by MS.
Packaging HIV- or FIV-based Lentivector Expression Constructs & Transduction of VSV-G Pseudotyped Viral Particles
Lentiviral expression vectors are the most effective vehicles for stably expressing different effector molecules or reporter constructs in dividing and non-dividing mammalian cells and whole organisms. Here we provide a protocol on how to package lentivector expression constructs in pseudoviral particles and to transduce target cells using the pseudoviral particles.
Combination of genomics, co-expression gene analysis and the identification of target compounds via metabolism give gene functional annotation.
We have used plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition to deposit thin films ranging from a few nm to several 100 nm on nano-sized particles of various materials. We subsequently etch the core material to produce hollow nanoshells whose permeability is controlled by the thickness of the shell. We characterize the permeability of these coatings to small solutes and demonstrate that these barriers can provide sustained release of the core material over several days.
An echo particle image velocimetry (EPIV) system capable of acquiring two-dimensional fields of velocity in optically opaque fluids or through optically opaque geometries is described, and validation measurements in pipe flow are reported.
In this article, we present a microfluidic-based method for particle confinement based on hydrodynamic flow. We demonstrate stable particle trapping at a fluid stagnation point using a feedback control mechanism, thereby enabling confinement and micromanipulation of arbitrary particles in an integrated microdevice.
1Electrical Engineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, 2Bioengineering Department, University of California, Los Angeles, 3California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), University of California, Los Angeles
We review our recent results on the integration of fluorescent microscopy and imaging flow cytometry tools on a cell-phone using compact and cost-effective opto-fluidic attachments. These cell-phone based micro-analysis devices might be useful for cytometric analysis, such as performing various cell counting tasks as well as for high-throughput screening of e.g., water samples in resource limited settings.
Quantitatively Measuring In situ Flows using a Self-Contained Underwater Velocimetry Apparatus (SCUVA)
1Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2Environmental Science and Marine Biology, Roger Williams University, 3Marine Biology Laboratory, Whitman Center, 4Department of Biology, Providence College, 5Departments of Aeronautics and Bioengineering, California Institute of Technology
This protocol provides instructions on how to use a self-contained underwater velocimetry apparatus (SCUVA), which is designed for quantification of in situ animal-generated flows. In addition, this protocol addresses challenges posed by field conditions, and includes operator motion, predicting position of animals, and orientation of SCUVA.
Utilization of Plasmonic and Photonic Crystal Nanostructures for Enhanced Micro- and Nanoparticle Manipulation
1Electrical Engineering Department, University of Washington, 2Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 3Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, University of Washington, 4Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 5Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Plasmonic tweezers and photonic crystal nanostructures are shown to produce useful enhancements in the efficiency and orientation control of optically trapping micro- and nano-particles.
We describe a sensitized method to identify postembryonic regulators of protein expression and localization in C. elegans using an RNAi-based genomic screen and an integrated transgene that expresses a functional, fluorescently tagged protein.
Combining monodisperse drop generation with inertial ordering of cells and particles, we describe a method to encapsulate a desired number of cells or particles in a single drop at kHz rates. We demonstrate efficiencies twice exceeding those of unordered encapsulation for single- and double-particle drops.
Single Particle Electron Microscopy Reconstruction of the Exosome Complex Using the Random Conical Tilt Method
This article describes a standard method to get a three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of biological macromolecules using negative staining electron microscopy (EM). In this protocol, we explain how to get the 3D structure of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae exosome complex at medium resolution using the random conical tilt reconstruction method (RCT).
We present an in vitro, two-color fluorescence assay to visualize the fusion of single virus particles with a fluid target bilayer. By labeling viral particles with fluorophores that differentially stain the viral membrane and its interior, we are able to monitor the kinetics of hemifusion and pore formation.
Micro-particle image velocimetry (μPIV) is used to visualize paired images of micro particles seeded in blood flows which are cross-correlated to give an accurate velocity profile. Shear rate, maximum velocity, velocity profile shape, and flow rate, each of which has clinical applications, can be derived from these measurements.
Separating Beads and Cells in Multi-channel Microfluidic Devices Using Dielectrophoresis and Laminar Flow
1Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2Micro and Nanotechnology Lab, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 3Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 4Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dielectrophoresis (DEP) is an effective method to manipulate cells. Printed circuit boards (PCB) can provide inexpensive, reusable and effective electrodes for contact-free cell manipulation within microfluidic devices. By combining PDMS-based microfluidic channels with coverslips on PCBs, we demonstrate bead and cell manipulation and separation within multichannel microfluidic devices.
Generating induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines produces lines of differing developmental potential even when they pass standard tests for pluripotency. Here we describe a protocol to produce mice derived entirely from iPSCs, which defines the iPSC lines as possessing full pluripotency1.
Preparation and Use of Samarium Diiodide (SmI2) in Organic Synthesis: The Mechanistic Role of HMPA and Ni(II) Salts in the Samarium Barbier Reaction
A straightforward procedure for the preparation of samarium diiodide (SmI2) in THF is described. The role of two main additives namely hexamethylphosphoramide (HMPA) and Ni(acac)2 in Sm mediated reactions is demonstrated in the Sm-Barbier reaction.
Determination of Mammalian Cell Counts, Cell Size and Cell Health Using the Moxi Z Mini Automated Cell Counter
The Moxi Z miniature automated cell counter is a novel instrument that combines the Coulter Principle with patented thin-film sensor technology and a proprietary software algorithm to perform sizing and counting of a broad size range of particles as well as to determine the overall health of monodisperse mammalian cell cultures. This protocol describes the use of this instrument for counting and assessing the health of cell cultures.
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.
Manipulating fluids and suspended particles in the micro- and nano-scale is becoming more of a reality as enabling technologies, like AC electrokinetics, continue to develop. Here, we discuss the physics behind AC electrokinetics, how to fabricate these devices and how to interpret the experimental observations.
The demonstration of the small and wide angle X-ray scattering (SWAXS) procedure has become instrumental in the study of biological macromolecules. Through the use of the instrumentation and procedures of specific angle methods and preparation, the experimental data from the SWAXS displays the atomic and nano-scale characterization of macromolecules.
Isolation and Enrichment of Rat Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) and Separation of Single-colony Derived MSCs
Rat MSCs were isolated from femurs and tibias and then enriched by magnetic cell sorting. Sorted cells were confirmed for the expression of surface markers by flow cytometry. These cells were also cultured at clonal density to form single colonies and then these colonies were separated by cloning cylinders.
The IP-FCM method is presented, which allows a sensitive, robust, biochemical assessment of native protein-protein interactions, without requiring genetic engineering or large sample sizes.
Here, we describe a protocol for isolation and culture of murine pulmonary endothelial cells. This method comprises mechanic and enzymatic lung tissue dissociation as well as a 2-step purification process using anti-PECAM-1 and anti-ICAM-2 antibodies conjugated to magnetic beads, which produces a pure endothelial cell population of mostly microvascular origin.
We describe a method for the affinity-tagged purification of recombinant proteins using liquid-handling robotics. This method is generally applicable to the small-scale purification of soluble His-tagged proteins in a high-throughput format.
Structure of HIV-1 Capsid Assemblies by Cryo-electron Microscopy and Iterative Helical Real-space Reconstruction
This article describes a method to obtain a three-dimensional (3D) structure of helically assembled molecules using cryo-electron microscopy. In this protocol, we use HIV-1 capsid assemblies to illustrate the detailed 3D reconstruction procedure for achieving a density map by the iterative helical real-space reconstruction method.
Combinatorial Synthesis of and High-throughput Protein Release from Polymer Film and Nanoparticle Libraries
This method describes the combinatorial synthesis of biodegradable polyanhydride film and nanoparticle libraries and the high-throughput detection of protein release from these libraries.
1College of Nursing, Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Research Laboratory, Seattle University, 2College of Science and Engineering, Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Research Laboratory, Seattle University
A tapping mode atomic force microscope (AFM) method for the visualization of plasmid DNA, cytoplasmic proteins, and DNA-protein complexes is described. The method includes alternate approaches for preparing samples for AFM imaging following biochemical manipulation. DNA containing specific protein interacting regions are observed in near-physiologic buffer conditions.
1Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University, 3Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 4Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Vanderbilt University
A method is described to individually select, manipulate, and image live pathogens using an optical trap coupled to a spinning disk microscope. The optical trap provides spatial and temporal control of organisms and places them adjacent to host cells. Fluorescence microscopy captures dynamic intercellular interactions with minimal perturbation to cells.
This article describes an optimized sequence of events for multimodal imaging of cellular grafts in rodent brain using: (i) in vivo bioluminescence and magnetic resonance imaging, and (ii) post mortem histological analysis. Combining these imaging modalities on a single animal allows cellular graft evaluation with high resolution, sensitivity and specificity.