A method for developing cell culture substrates with the ability to change topography during culture is described. The method makes use of smart materials known as shape memory polymers that have the ability to memorize a permanent shape. This concept is adaptable to a wide range of materials and applications.
A micropunching lithography approach is developed to generate micro- and submicron-patterns on top, sidewall and bottom surfaces of polymer substrates. It overcomes the obstacles of patterning conducting polymers and generating sidewall patterns. This method allows rapid fabrication of multiple features and is free of aggressive chemistry.
Micro 3D Printing Using a Digital Projector and its Application in the Study of Soft Materials Mechanics
We demonstrate controlled pattern transformation of swelling gel tubes by elastic instability. A simple projection micro stereo-lithography setup is built using an off-the-shelf digital data projector to fabricate three-dimensional polymeric structures in a layer-by-layer fashion. Swelling hydrogel tubes under mechanical constraint display various circumferential buckling modes depending on dimension.
1Institute for Molecular Cardiovascular Research, RWTH Aachen University, 2Institute for Textile Technology and Mechanical Engineering, RWTH Aachen University, 3Institute for Applied Medical Engineering, Helmholtz-Institute of RWTH Aachen University, 4Department of Experimental Molecular Imaging, RWTH Aachen University, 5Department of Oral and Maxillofacila Surgery, RWTH Aachen University
A model of stent implantation in mouse carotid artery is described. Compared to other similar methods, this procedure is very rapid, simple and accessible, offering the possibility to study in a convenient way the vascular wall reaction to different drug-eluting stents and the molecular mechanisms of restenosis.
Here are some highlights from the July 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
T-maze Forced Alternation and Left-right Discrimination Tasks for Assessing Working and Reference Memory in Mice
1Division of Systems Medical Science, Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science, Fujita Health University, 2Japan Science and Technology Agency, Core Research for Evolutionary Science and Technology (CREST), 3Center for Genetic Analysis of Behavior, National Institute for Physiological Sciences, National Institutes of Natural Sciences
This article presents the protocol of T-maze tests using a modified automated apparatus for assessing the learning and memory functions in mice.
We present methods for fabrication of patterned microstructures of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs), and their use as master molds for production of polymer microstructures with organized nanoscale surface texture. The CNT forests are densified by condensation of solvent onto the substrate, which significantly increases their packing density and enables self-directed formation of 3D shapes.
Solution-suspendable gold nanotubes with controlled dimensions can be synthesized by electrochemical deposition in porous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes using a hydrophobic polymer core. Gold nanotubes and nanotube arrays hold promise for applications in plasmonic biosensing, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, photo-thermal heating, ionic and molecular transport, microfluidics, catalysis and electrochemical sensing.
1Organic Chemistry Institute and CeNTech, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, 2Laboratory of Macromolecular and Organic Chemistry, Institute for Complex Molecular Systems, Eindhoven University of Technology, 3Laboratory of Materials and Interface Chemistry and Soft Matter Research Unit, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry, Eindhoven University of Technology
The goal of this experiment is to determine and control the size, shape and stability of self-assembled discotic amphiphiles in water. For aqueous based supramolecular polymers such level of control is very difficult. We apply a strategy using both repulsive and attractive interactions. The experimental techniques applied to characterize this system are broadly applicable.
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.
1Laboratory of Biophysics and Surface Analysis, University of Nottingham, 2School of Molecular Medical Sciences, University of Nottingham, 3David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
A description of the formation of a polymer microarray using an on-chip photopolymerization technique. The high throughput surface characterization using atomic force microscopy, water contact angle measurements, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry and a cell attachment assay is also described.
1Centre for Neuroscience, University of Alberta, 2Neuroscience Program, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 3Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Duke University, 4Psychology Department, Neuroscience Program, & Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
We present a protocol that uses functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural correlates of the memory-enhancing effect of emotion. This protocol allows identification of brain activity specifically linked to memory-related processing, contrary to more general perceptual processing, and can be used with healthy and clinical populations.
Metabolic memory is the phenomenon by which diabetic complications persist and progress unimpeded even after euglycemia is achieved pharmaceutically. Here we describe a diabetes mellitus zebrafish model which is unique in that it allows for the examination of the mitotically transmissible epigenetic components of metabolic memory in vivo.
Here we describe methods to test C. elegans associative learning and short- and long-term associative memory. These population assays employ the worms abilities to chemotax toward volatile odorants, and form positive associations upon pairing food with the chemoattractant butanone. Increasing the number of conditioning periods induces long-term memory.
Here are some highlights from the November 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Behavioural Pharmacology in Classical Conditioning of the Proboscis Extension Response in Honeybees (Apis mellifera)
We demonstrate how to implement a behavioral pharmacology method in an appetitive olfactory conditioning paradigm in honeybees (Apis mellifera) by systemic application of drugs. This method allows investigation of the mechanisms underlying learning and memory formation in a simple and reliable way.
1Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 2Psychology Department, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 3Neuroscience Program, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 4Beckman Institute for Advanced Science & Technology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
We present a protocol that allows investigation of the neural correlates of recollecting emotional autobiographical memories, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. This protocol can be used with both healthy and clinical participants.
Eye movement monitoring (or eye tracking) reveals where in space the eyes linger, when and for how long. Here, we demonstrate how eye tracking can be used to investigate the integrity of memory in multiple participant populations, without requiring verbal, or otherwise explicit, reports.
Cognitive impairment resulting from the radiotherapeutic management of brain tumors represents a clinically intractable condition that adversely impacts quality of life. The capability to critically evaluate potential interventions for ameliorating radiation-induced cognitive decrements ultimately depends on the capability to undertake rigorous quantitative assessments of cognition.
Behavior assays for measuring locomotor functions, learning, and memory abilities in Drosophila.
The fabrication of electrically addressable, high-aspect-ratio (> 1000:1) metal nanowires separated by gaps of single nanometers using either sacrificial layers of aluminum and silver or self-assembled monolayers as templates is described. These nanogap structures are fabricated without a clean room or any photo- or electron-beam lithographic processes by a form of edge lithography known as nanoskiving.
Aqueous two-phase systems were used to simultaneously pattern multiple populations of cells. This fast and easy method for cell patterning takes advantage of the phase separation of aqueous solutions of dextran and polyethylene glycol and the interfacial tension that exists between the two polymer solutions.
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.
This article and the accompanying video present our protocol for generating tissue-engineered intestine in the mouse, using an organoid units-on-scaffold approach.
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.
We describe a method for generating regulatory, memory and naïve T cells from a single human blood donor. Polarized Tregs can be then compared to other subsets in a variety of genetic and functional applications with genetic homogeneity, including a suppression assay also detailed here.
A combinatorial functional screening method for gaining insights into the impacts of the molecular composition of microenvironments on cellular functions is described. The method takes advantage of existing microarray-based technologies to generate arrays of defined combinatorial microenvironments that support cell adhesion and functional analysis.
In this article, a high throughput method is presented for the synthesis of oligosaccharides and their attachment to the surface of polyanhydride nanoparticles for further use in targeting specific receptors on antigen presenting cells.
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.
This article will describe the procedure for synthesizing a hydrophobically modified Nafion enzyme immobilization membrane and how to immobilize proteins and/or enzymes within the membrane and test their specific activity.
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.
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.
We demonstrate the utility of multicolor flow cytometry for detailed phenotypic and functional characterization of total as well as memory subsets of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in rhesus macaques, the ideal model for HIV/AIDS vaccine studies.
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2State Key Laboratory of Bioelectronics, Southeast University, 3Department of Neurology, University of Michigan, 4Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare Center
Electrospinning techniques can create a variety of nanofibrous scaffolds for tissue engineering or other applications. We describe here a procedure to optimize the parameters of the electrospinning solution and apparatus to obtain fibers with the desired morphology and alignment. Common problems and troubleshooting techniques are also presented.
Correlating Behavioral Responses to fMRI Signals from Human Prefrontal Cortex: Examining Cognitive Processes Using Task Analysis
The goal of our research is to correlate behavior to brain activity. Accurate behavioral measures and imaging techniques allow us to elucidate brain-behavior relationships.
The process of electrospinning polymers for tissue engineering and cell culture is addressed in this article. Specifically, the electrospinning of photoreactive macromers with additional processing capabilities of photopatterning and multi-polymer electrospinning is described.
In this protocol, a novel application of scent discrimination is described. The Dig task is a reasonably inexpensive task that can be used to assess frontally-mediated cognition following brain damage.
We present protocols for the 3-dimensional (3D) encapsulation of cells within synthetic hydrogels. The encapsulation procedure is outlined for two commonly used methods of crosslinking (michael-type addition and light-initiated free radical mechanisms), as well as a number of techniques for assessing encapsulated cell behavior.
Nanoparticles of indinavir, ritonavir, efavirenz and atazanavir were manufactured using wet milling, homogenization and ultrasonication. These nanoformulations, collectively termed nanoformulated antiretroviral therapy (nanoART), assessed macrophage-based drug delivery. Monocyte-derived macrophage nanoART uptake, retention and sustained release were determined. These preliminary studies suggest the potential of nanoART for clinical use.
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.
The Morris water maze is a well-accepted tool used to document the involvement of the hippocampus in a behavioral task.
Femtosecond-laser direct-writing is frequently used to create three-dimensional (3D) patterns in polymers and glasses. However, patterning metals in 3D remains a challenge. We describe a method for fabricating silver nanostructures embedded inside a polymer matrix using a femtosecond laser centered at 800 nm.
1Department of Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 3Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 4Department of Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 5Centre for Neuroscience, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 6Neuroscience Program, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 7Beckman Institute, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
We present a protocol that allows investigation of the neural correlates of deliberate and automatic emotion regulation, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. This protocol can be used in healthy participants, both young and older, as well as in clinical patients.
A method of quantitatively evaluating the chemotactic response of Caenorhabditis elegans is described. A chemotactic index (CI) was employed as a way to precisely evaluate the response of worms to certain targets, and serve as a platform of comparison between strains and compounds of interest.
1Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, and Friedman Brain Institute, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, 2Department of Psychology, New York University, 3Department of Psychology and Center for Neural Science, New York University
Conditioned fear can be diminished through an inhibitory process called extinction, but can resurface under conditions such as the passage of time or exposure to stress. Our protocol presents a novel way of preventing fear recovery by introducing extinction during the reconsolidation window (the re-storage phase of a reactivated memory).
Rapid and Efficient Generation of Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells in a Multititre Plate Format
Protocols for neuronal differentiation of pluripotent human stem cells (hPSCs) are often time-consuming and require substantial cell culture skills. Here, we have adapted a small molecule-based differentiation procedure to a multititre plate format, allowing simple, rapid, and efficient generation of human neurons in a controlled manner.
Measuring the yaw torque of tethered Drosophila with the torque meter allows the neuroscientist exquisite control of the stimulus situation of the experimental animal. Together with the unique genetic tools available in the fruit fly, this paradigm is used for a wide variety of neurobiological research.
Fabrication of Micropatterned Hydrogels for Neural Culture Systems using Dynamic Mask Projection Photolithography
Simple techniques are described for the rapid production of microfabricated neural culture systems using a digital micromirror device for dynamic mask projection lithography on regular cell culture substrates. These culture systems may be more representative of natural biological architecture, and the techniques described could be adapted for numerous applications.
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.
A rapid way is described to gain insights into the structure of polysaccharides in an extracellular matrix. The method takes advantage of the specificity of glycosylhydrolases and the sensitivity of mass spectrometry allowing minute amounts of materials to be analyzed. This technique is adaptable to be used directly on tissue itself.