1Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, 2Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Nuclear Engineering, Texas A&M University, 3Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University
We describe a novel method to perform DNA replication via the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Thermal convection is harnessed to continuously shuttle reagents between denaturing, annealing, and extension conditions by maintaining opposing surfaces of the reactor at constant temperature. This inherently simple design promises to make rapid PCR more accessible.
Systemic and Local Drug Delivery for Treating Diseases of the Central Nervous System in Rodent Models
Thorough preclinical testing of drugs that act in the central nervous system often involves assessing and comparing drug biodistribution in association with specific routes of administration. Here, three commonly used methods of systemic delivery (intravenous, intraperitoneal, and oral) as well as a method for local delivery (convection-enhanced delivery) are demonstrated in mice.
A novel directed evolution method specific to the field of thermostability engineering was developed and consequently validated for bacteriolytic enzymes. After only one round of random mutagenesis, an evolved bacteriolytic enzyme, PlyC 29C3, displayed greater than twice the residual activity when compared to the wild-type protein after elevated temperature incubation.
Microwave-assisted Intramolecular Dehydrogenative Diels-Alder Reactions for the Synthesis of Functionalized Naphthalenes/Solvatochromic Dyes
Microwave-assisted intramolecular dehydrogenative Diels-Alder (DA) reactions provide concise access to functionalized cyclopenta[b]naphthalene building blocks. The utility of this methodology is demonstrated by one-step conversion of the dehydrogenative DA cycloadducts into novel solvatochromic fluorescent dyes via Buchwald-Hartwig palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions.
We demonstrated that malignant pigmented lesions with increased metabolic activity generate quantifiable amounts of heat and the measurement of the transient thermal response of the skin to a cooling excitation allows quantitative identification of melanoma and other skin cancers (vs. non-proliferative nevi) at an early stage of the disease.
A method to measure the persistence length or flexural rigidity of biopolymers is described. The method uses a kinesin-driven microtubule gliding assay to experimentally determine the persistence length of individual microtubules and is adaptable to actin-based gliding assays.
Synthesis and Functionalization of Nitrogen-doped Carbon Nanotube Cups with Gold Nanoparticles as Cork Stoppers
We discussed the synthesis of individual graphitic nanocups using a series of techniques including chemical vapor deposition, acid oxidation and probe-tip sonication. By citrate reduction of HAuCl4, the graphitic nanocups were effectively corked with gold nanoparticles due to the chemically reactive edges of the cups.
A simple microfluidic device has been developed to perform anesthetic free in vivo imaging of C. elegans, intact Drosophila larvae and zebrafish larvae. The device utilizes a deformable PDMS membrane to immobilize these model organisms in order to perform time lapse imaging of numerous processes such as heart beat, cell division and sub-cellular neuronal transport. We demonstrate the use of this device and show examples of different types of data collected from different model systems.
Here, we describe a rapid reliable and simple procedure to determine the lowest temperature at which rats or mice show nocifensive behavior, i.e. the thermal nociceptive threshold (TNT). This method applies a slowly increasing thermal stimulus allowing precise and reproducible estimation of TNTs with minimum, if any, stress to the animals.
An integrated microfluidic thermoplastic chip has been developed for use as a molecular diagnostic. The chip performs nucleic acid extraction, reverse transcriptase, and PCR. Methods for fabricating and running the chip are described.
1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2Scholars Academy/MARC Scholar, University of Houston-Downtown, 3Genes and Development Graduate Program, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 4Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
In this article, we demonstrate assays to study thermal nociception in Drosophila larvae. One assay involves spatially-restricted (local) stimulation of thermal nociceptors1,2 while the second involves a wholesale (global) activation of most or all such neurons3. Together, these techniques allow visualization and quantification of the behavioral functions of Drosophila nociceptive sensory neurons.
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Ohio State University, 2Department of Biomedical Informatics, The Ohio State University, 3Comprehensive Wound Center, The Ohio State University, 4Department of Surgery, The Ohio State University
A dual-mode imaging system was developed for non-contact assessment of cutaneous tissue oxygenation and vascular function.
Traumatic injury to the spinal cord disrupts communication with the brain. To restore lost connectivity we utilize a peripheral nerve graft to provide a substratum for regenerating fibers in combination with neurotrophic factors and matrix-modulating enzymes to remove inhibitory molecules to promote long distance growth.
In this video, we demonstrate how to fabricate and utilize microfabricated post array detectors (mPADs) to assess modulations of cellular contractility.
Due to the simplicity of surgery and the robust behavioural outcome, chronic constriction of the sciatic nerve is one of the pre-eminent animal models of neuropathic pain. Within 24 hrs following surgery, pain hypersensitivity is established and can be quantitatively measured using a von Frey aesthesiometer (mechanical test) and plantar analgesia meter (thermal test).
A thermal tumor ablation procedure is described. The entire procedure is detailed, including pretreatment planning and imaging studies, anesthesia, adjuvant techniques to facilitate a percutaneous approach, imaging guidance of the ablation device to the tumor, thermal treatment, post-treatment care and follow-up.
1Institute for Solid State Research, IFW-Dresden, 2Institute of Metal Physics of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 3Diamond Light Source LTD, 4Department of Physics, University of Johannesburg, 5CNR-SPIN, and Dipartimento di Fisica "E. R. Caianiello", Università di Salerno, 6Institute of Physics of Complex Matter, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
The overall goal of this method is to determine the low-energy electronic structure of solids at ultra-low temperatures using Angle-Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy with synchrotron radiation.
A method for large-scale purification of the APP intracellular domain (AICD) is described. We also describe methodology to induce in vitro AICD aggregation and visualization by atomic force microscopy. The methods described are useful for biochemical/structural characterization of the AICD and the effects of molecular chaperones on its aggregation.
Dry Oxidation and Vacuum Annealing Treatments for Tuning the Wetting Properties of Carbon Nanotube Arrays
This article describes a simple method to fabricate vertically aligned carbon nanotube arrays by CVD and to subsequently tune their wetting properties by exposing them to vacuum annealing or dry oxidation treatment.
Synthesis of Phase-shift Nanoemulsions with Narrow Size Distributions for Acoustic Droplet Vaporization and Bubble-enhanced Ultrasound-mediated Ablation
Phase-shift nanoemulsions (PSNE) can be vaporized using high intensity focused ultrasound to enhance localized heating and improve thermal ablation in tumors. In this report, the preparation of stable PSNE with a narrow size distribution is described. Furthermore, the impact of vaporized PSNE on ultrasound-mediated ablation is demonstrated in tissue-mimicking phantoms.
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.
Three-dimensional Cell Culture Model for Measuring the Effects of Interstitial Fluid Flow on Tumor Cell Invasion
Interstitial fluid flow is elevated in solid tumors and can modulate tumor cell invasion. Here we describe a technique to apply interstitial fluid flow to cells embedded in a matrix and then measure its effects on cell invasion. This technique can be easily adapted to study other systems.
Here are some highlights from the May 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
This protocol outlines the simulation, fabrication and characterization of THz metamaterial absorbers. Such absorbers, when coupled with an appropriate sensor, have applications in THz imaging and spectroscopy.
ampliPHOX colorimetric detection technology is presented as an inexpensive alternative to fluorescence detection for microarrays. Based on photopolymerization, ampliPHOX produces solid polymer spots visible to the naked eye in just a few minutes. Results are then imaged and automatically interpreted with a simple yet powerful software package.
The LookOut Mycoplasma PCR Detection Kit utilizes the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which is established as the method of choice for highest sensitivity in the detection of Mycoplasma, Acholeplasma, and Ureaplasma contamination in cell cultures and other cell culture derived biologicals.
The purpose of this investigation was to assess whether using an infra-red thermal camera is a valid tool for detecting and quantifying the muscle soreness after exercising.
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.
A description of the methods used to convert an HP DeskJet 500 printer into a bioprinter. The printer is capable of processing living cells, which causes transient pores in the membrane. These pores can be utilized to incorporate small molecules, including fluorescent G-actin, into the printed cells.
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.
Simultaneous Synthesis of Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene in a Magnetically-enhanced Arc Plasma
Anodic arc discharge is one of the most practical and efficient methods to synthesize various carbon nanostructures. To increase the arc controllability and flexibility, a non-uniform magnetic field was introduced to process the one-step synthesis of large-scale graphene flakes and high-purity single-walled carbon nanotubes.
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.
The Direct PCR approach presented here facilitates PCR amplification directly from small amounts of unpurified plant and animal tissue.
A sustainable auto regulating bacterial system for the remediation of oil pollutions was designed using standard interchangeable DNA parts (BioBricks). An engineered E. coli strain was used to degrade alkanes via β-oxidation in toxic aqueous environments. The respective enzymes from different species showed alkane degradation activity. Additionally, an increased tolerance to n-hexane was achieved by introducing genes from alkane-tolerant bacteria.
Brain banking and systematic sampling of biological material provides the basis for unbiased stereology and maximizes the potential data obtained from each specimen.
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.
In this video we present the microfluidic probe1 (MFP). We explain in detail how to assemble the MFP, mount it atop an inverted microscope, and align it relative to the substrate surface, and finally show how to use it to process a substrate surface immersed in a buffer solution.
Contrast Ultrasound Targeted Treatment of Gliomas in Mice via Drug-Bearing Nanoparticle Delivery and Microvascular Ablation
Insonation of microbubbles is a promising strategy for tumor ablation at reduced time-averaged acoustic powers, as well as for the targeted delivery of therapeutics. The purpose of the present study is to develop low duty cycle ultrasound pulsing strategies and nanocarriers to maximize non-thermal microvascular ablation and payload delivery to subcutaneous C6 gliomas.
PCR has emerged as a common technique in many molecular biology laboratories. Provided here is a quick guide to several conventional PCR protocols. Because each reaction is a unique experiment, optimal conditions required to generate a product vary. Understanding the variables in a reaction will greatly enhance troubleshooting efficiency, thereby increasing the chance to obtain the desired result.
Ice-Cap: A Method for Growing Arabidopsis and Tomato Plants in 96-well Plates for High-Throughput Genotyping
The Ice-Cap method allows one to grow plants in 96-well plates and non-destructively harvest root tissue from each seedling. DNA extracted from this root tissue can be used for genotyping reactions. We have found that Ice-Cap works well for Arabidopsis thaliana, tomato, and rice seedlings.
The main highlights for our May issue include methods for measuring cognition in zero gravity, isolating mosquito immune cells, engineering recombinant SARS vaccines, and detecting tumors with thermal imaging. In addition, procedures for isolating neural stem cells from human fetal brain and culturing antigen-presenting liver cells will also be released.
Here are some highlights from the January 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Intraluminal Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion (MCAO) Model for Ischemic Stroke with Laser Doppler Flowmetry Guidance in Mice
The intraluminal middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model is the most frequent used model among experimental ischemic stroke models. Here we will demonstrate the entire model in detail with the guide of Laser Doppler flowmetry, and its representative results.
1Laboratorio de Investigación y Desarrollo (LID), Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, 2Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 3Laboratorio de Diagnostico Molecular, Facultad de Medicina, University of Concepcion,Chile, 4University of California San Diego School of Medicine
A One-Step RT-PCR assay for detection and genogroup identification of Norovirus isolates from children’s stools, that utilizes primers and TaqMan probes specific to the open reading frame 1 (ORF1)-ORF2 junction region, the most conserved region of the Norovirus genome is described. A non-commercial, cost-effective RNA extraction method is detailed.
Examining the Role of Nasopharyngeal-associated Lymphoreticular Tissue (NALT) in Mouse Responses to Vaccines
Methods to examine contributions of the nasopharyngeal-associated lymphoreticular tissues (NALT) to nasal and systemic immune responses of mice to intranasal vaccines are described. We demonstrate a surgical procedure to establish a NALT-dependent mouse model and ex vivo cultures of extracted NALT.
A general strategy for the development of charge-separating semiconductor nanocrystal composites deployable for solar energy production is presented. We show that assembly of donor-acceptor nanocrystal domains in a single nanoparticle geometry gives rise to a photocatalytic function, while bulk-heterojunctions of donor-acceptor nanocrystal films can be used for photovoltaic energy conversion.
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.
Application and direct measurements of forces on neurons in the 2-1000 microdyne range are achieved with high precision using calibrated glass needles. This methodology can be used to control and measure several aspects of axonal development, including axonal initiation, axonal tension, velocity of axonal elongation, and force vectors.
Slice shear force is a reference method for beef texture analysis. Using an angle adjustable cutting box could increase its accuracy for research purposes. The results from different locations within the longissimus muscle show a high correlation with Warner-Bratzler shear force methodology and high potential adaptability for different muscles.
Application of Light-cured Dental Adhesive Resin for Mounting Electrodes or Microdialysis Probes in Chronic Experiments
In this report, we propose a new application of light-curing dental resins for mounting base of electrodes or microdialysis probes in chronic experiments. This material allows direct bonding to the cranium.