Supported planar bilayers are powerful tools that can be used to model the molecular interactions in an immunological synapse. Here, we show methods for anchoring cell adhesion proteins known to modulate synapse formation to the upper leaflet of the lipid bilyer and visualize synapse formation using TIRF microscopy.
1Department of Pathology, New York University Langone School of Medicine, 2Program in Molecular Pathogenesis, Marty and Helen Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine and Skirball Institute for Biomolecular Medicine, 3Laboratory of Molecular Immunogenetics, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 4Veteran Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System
This article describes a method to visualize formation of an HIV-1 envelope-induced virological synapse on glass supported planar bilayers by total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy. The method can also be combined with immunofluorescence staining to detect activation and redistribution of signaling molecules that occur during HIV-1 envelope-induced virological synapse formation.
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.
Planar lipid bilayers, also called artificial lipid bilayers, allow you to study ion-conducting channels in a well-defined environment. Here, we demonstrate the individual steps needed to prepare the bilayer chamber, the electrodes and how to test that the bilayer is suitable for single-channel measurements.
A TIRF Microscopy Technique for Real-time, Simultaneous Imaging of the TCR and its Associated Signaling Proteins
The compartmentalization of proteins either within the plasma membrane or into intracellular locations is one regulatory mechanism that can greatly influence signaling outcomes; hence, to understand signaling it is important to study the spatial and temporal behavior of the proteins involved. We describe here a TIRF microscopy based system to study signal transduction in T cells, but is broadly applicable.
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.
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.
Gramicidin-based Fluorescence Assay; for Determining Small Molecules Potential for Modifying Lipid Bilayer Properties
We introduce a fast fluorescence-based assay that monitors the rate of fluorescence quenching as a measure of gramicidin channel activity. The gramicidin channels are used as molecular force transducers to monitor changes in lipid bilayer properties as sensed by bilayer spanning proteins.
Fabrication and validation of an add-on platform that offers enhanced control over the spatial and temporal oxygenation in a 6-well plate. The device is adaptable to a number of culture systems and can be used to investigate the effects of oxygen on wound healing.
Polycrystalline silicon thin-film solar cells on glass are fabricated by deposition of boron and phosphorous doped silicon layers followed by crystallisation, defect passivation and metallisation. Plasmonic light-trapping is introduced by forming Ag nanoparticles on the silicon cell surface capped with a diffused reflector resulting in ~45% photocurrent enhancement.
Membrane protein function is regulated by the cell membrane lipid composition. This video-article details how to form a patch using bilayer patch electrodes, as well as how to use gramicidin channels as reporters of altered membrane properties.
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.
1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2Center for Micro- and Nanotechnology, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 3Presently at the Interdisciplinary Center for Wide Band-gap Semiconductors, University Of California Santa Barbara
Planar and three-dimensional printing of conductive metallic inks is described. Our approach provides new avenues for fabricating printed electronic, optoelectronic, and biomedical devices in unusual layouts at the microscale.
Electrospun scaffolds can be processed post production for tissue engineering applications. Here we describe methods for spinning complex scaffolds (by consecutive spinning), for making thicker scaffolds (by multi-layering using heat or vapour annealing), for achieving sterility (aseptic production or sterilisation post production) and for achieving appropriate biomechanical properties.
Bicelles are lipid/amphiphile mixtures that maintain membrane proteins (MPs) within a lipid bilayer but have unique phase behavior that facilitates high-throughput screening by crystallization robots. This technique has successfully produced a number of high-resolution structures from both prokaryotic and eukaryotic sources. This video describes protocols for generating the lipidic bicelle mixture, incorporating MPs into the bicelle mixture, setting up crystallizations trials (manually as well as robotically) and harvesting crystals from the medium.
A standard approach to prepare adult Drosophila eyes for semi-thin sectioning and light microscopic analysis is presented here. The protocol can be used for gross morphological analysis of eye defects, or with the indicated adjustments can be used to determine genetic requirements of genes in specific cell types of the eye (e.g. clonal analysis of photoreceptors) or for electron microscopic analysis.
Nanodiscs are small discoid particles that incorporate membrane proteins into a small patch of phospholipid bilayer. We provide a visual protocol that shows the step-by-step incorporation of the MalFGK2 transporter into a disc.
Microcontact printing is used extensively to pattern proteins and other molecules on material surfaces. We demonstrate the basic steps of this process, stamping patterns of fibronectin onto glass.
A robust way to study neuronal avalanches, i.e. scale-invariant spatio-temporal activity bursts, indicative of critical state dynamics in cortex. Avalanches emerge spontaneously in developing superficial layers of cultured cortex which allows for long-term measurements of the activity with planar integrated multi-electrode arrays (MEA) under precisely controlled conditions.
This protocol focuses on utilizing the inherent ability of stem cells to take cue from their surrounding extracellular matrix and be induced to differentiate into multiple phenotypes. This methods manuscript extends our description and characterization of a model utilizing a bilayered hydrogel, composed of PEG-fibrin and collagen, to simultaneously co-differentiate adipose-derived stem cells1.
A method allowing for direct pharmacological manipulation of mouse embryos during neurulation that bypasses maternal metabolism is described. The technique can be adapted to study different aspects of neurulation by varying the time point and pharmacological agent.
1Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 2Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging (IBMI), Technical University of Munich and Helmholtz Center Munich, 3Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School and Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Mesoscopic fluorescence tomography operates beyond the penetration limits of tissue-sectioning fluorescence microscopy. The technique is based on multi-projection illumination and a photon transport description. We demonstrate in-vivo whole-body 3D visualization of the morphogenesis of GFP-expressing wing imaginal discs in Drosophila melanogaster.
This protocol details a method for the quantitative measure of peptide translocation into large unilamellar lipid vesicles. This method also provides information about the rate of membrane translocation and can be used to identify peptides that efficiently and spontaneously cross lipid bilayers.
1Institute for Biological Interfaces, Karlsruhe Research Centre, 2Institute for BioMedical Technology, University of Twente, 3Department of Materials Research, Institute for Heavy Ion Research, 4Institute of Microstructure Technology, Karlsruhe Research Centre, 5Institute for Micro Process Engineering, Karlsruhe Research Centre
We present two processes for the microfabrication of porous polymer chips for three-dimensional cell cultivation. The first one is hot embossing combined with a solvent vapour welding process. The second one uses a recently developed microthermoforming process combined with ion track technology leading to a significant simplification of manufacture.
Here are some highlights from the December 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
This video article details the experimental procedure for obtaining the Gibbs free energy of membrane protein folding by tryptophan fluorescence.
1Department of Neurosurgery, The Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, University of California, San Francisco - UCSF, 2Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 3Department of Neuroscience and Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 4Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, 5Center for Motor Neuron Biology and Disease, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University
The lateral ventricle walls contain the largest germinal region in the adult mammalian brain. Traditionally, studies on neurogenesis in this region have relied on classical sectioning techniques for histological analysis. Here we present an alternative approach, the wholemount technique, which provides a comprehensive, en-face view of this germinal region.
We use magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG) to map brain areas involved in the processing of simple sensory stimuli.
We demonstrate protocols for manufacturing and automating elastomeric polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-based microvalve arrays that need no extra energy to close and feature photolithographically defined precise volumes. A parallel subnanoliter-volume mixer and an integrated microfluidic perfusion system are presented.
We demonstrate FRET between conjugated polymer polydiacetylene (PDA) and fluorophore attached to the surface of PDA liposomes for the sensing of biomolecules. PDA liposomes also contained receptor molecules on their surfaces for biomolecules to be used as probes. Ligand-receptor interactions lead to changes in the FRET efficiency between the fluorophore and PDA which is the basis of the sensing mechanism.
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.
Multielectrode array (MEA) recordings provide a method for studying the electrical activity of large populations of neurons. Here, we present the details of a MEA preparation to record from the mouse vomeronasal epithelium while simultaneously stimulating the tissue.
An efficient approach for preparing nanofibers decorated with functional groups capable of specifically interacting with proteins is described. The approach first requires the preparation of a polymer functionalized with the appropriate functional group. The functional polymer is fabricated into nanofibers by electrospinning. The effectiveness of the binding of the nanofibers with a protein is studied by confocal microscopy.
1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 2Departments of Microbiology and Medicine, and Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Rescue of influenza A viruses from plasmid DNA is a basic and essential experimental technique that allows influenza researchers to generate recombinant viruses to study multiple aspects in the biology of influenza virus, and to be used as potential vectors or vaccines.
Surgical Implantation of Chronic Neural Electrodes for Recording Single Unit Activity and Electrocorticographic Signals
We provide useful information for surgeons who are learning the process of implanting chronic neural recording electrodes. Techniques for both penetrating and surface electrode systems are described in a rodent animal model.
Adhesive micropatterns that normalize cellular architecture can be used to increase sensitivity in the detection of drug effects, improve reproducibility and simplify automated image acquisition and analysis. Such technology will benefit drug/siRNA screening assays, performed on conventional cell culture supports and consequently suffering from excessive cell-to-cell variability.
Magnetic Resonance Elastography Methodology for the Evaluation of Tissue Engineered Construct Growth
The procedure demonstrates the methodology of magnetic resonance elastography for monitoring the engineered outcome of adipose and osteogenic tissue engineered constructs through noninvasive local assessment of the mechanical properties using microscopic magnetic resonance elastography (μMRE).
Here are some highlights from the August 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Magnetically-Assisted Remote Controlled Microcatheter Tip Deflection under Magnetic Resonance Imaging
1Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, 2School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, 3Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, UCSF Medical Center, 4University of California, San Francisco, 5Hansen Medical, Mountain View, CA
Current applied to an endovascular microcatheter with microcoil tip made by laser lathe lithography can achieve controllable deflections under magnetic resonance (MR) guidance, which may improve speed and efficacy of navigation of vasculature during various endovascular procedures.
Early development of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is characterized by a number of cell shape changes that are well suited for imaging approaches. This article will describe basic tools and methods required for live confocal imaging of Drosophila embryos, and will focus on a cell shape change called cellularization.
1Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, 2Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, 3Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, 4Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh
We describe a novel approach for simultaneous analysis of brain function and structure using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We assess brain structure with high-resolution diffusion-weighted imaging and white-matter fiber tractography. Unlike standard structural MRI, these techniques allow us to directly relate anatomical connectivity to functional properties of brain networks.
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.
External electric field induces a voltage on the membrane of a cell, termed the induced membrane voltage (ΔΦ). By using the potentiometric dye di-8-ANEPPS, it is possible to measure the ΔΦ noninvasively. This video shows the protocol for measuring ΔΦ using di-8-ANEPPS.
This video shows techniques for labeling of human embryonic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells with fluorescent dyes. This technique can be used for an in vivo tracking of transplanted stem cells with optical imaging and for histopathological correlations with fluorescence microscopy.
A method to process human mammary surgical discard material is described. Processed tissue, in the form of organoids, can be stored frozen indefinitely or placed in culture for long-term growth. This method enables experimental examination of normal human epithelial cell biology, and the effects of exogenous perturbations.
Neuroimaging techniques, such as functional MRI and Diffusion Tensor Imaging have become increasingly useful in characterizing the cognitive and neural deficits in autism. An examination of brain connectivity in autism at a network level along with adaptations for scanning children with developmental disabilities is presented.
An Investigation of the Effects of Sports-related Concussion in Youth Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging and the Head Impact Telemetry System
1Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Science, University of Toronto, 2Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, 3Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, 4Bloorview Kids Rehab, 5Toronto Rehab, 6Cognitive Neurology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 7Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
This article provides an overview of a multi-modal approach to mild traumatic brain injury diagnosis and recovery in youth. This approach combines neuropsychological testing with functional magnetic resonance imaging and the Head Impact Telemetry System to monitor the relationship between head impacts and brain activity during cognitive testing.
1Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 2Research service, 151, Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 3Departments of Medicine, Urology at David Geffen School of Medicine and Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Gentics, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), 4Division of Infectious Diseases, 111F, Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Health Care System
An efficient method to assess surface-exposure of leptospiral proteins is described. The method is specifically designed to avoid disruption of the fragile outer membrane of leptospiral cells. This technique requires employment of several negative controls to assess the integrity of the outer membrane and specificity of antibody reaction.
An efficient procedure to assess the oligomerization propensity of single-pass transmembrane domains (TMDs) is described. Chimeric proteins consisting of the TMD fused to ToxR are expressed in an E. coli reporter strain. TMD-induced oligomerization causes dimerization of ToxR, activation of transcription and production of the reporter protein, -galactosidase.
Dissection and Culture of Mouse Dopaminergic and Striatal Explants in Three-Dimensional Collagen Matrix Assays
Explants from the midbrain dopamine system and striatum are used in a collagen matrix assay for the in vitro analysis of mesostriatal and striatonigral pathway development. In this assay axonal outgrowth and guidance can be manipulated and quantified. It can also be modified for assessing other regions or molecular cues.