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.
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.
1Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, 2Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy and the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary
Neural circuits are topographically organized into functional compartments with specific molecular profiles. Here, we provide the practical and technical steps for revealing global brain topography using a versatile wholemount immunohistochemical staining approach. We demonstrate the utility of the method using the well-understood cytoarchitecture and circuitry of cerebellum.
The anatomical organization of the primate brain can provide important insights into normal and pathological conditions in humans. Unbiased stereology is a method for accurately and efficiently estimating the total neuron number (or other cell type) in a given reference space1.
1Neural Regeneration Laboratory and Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Ottawa, 2Carleton Immersive Media Studio, Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, Carleton University
Here, we describe how to produce, expand, and immunolabel postnatal hippocampal neural progenitor cells (NPCs) in three-dimensional (3D) culture. Next, using hybrid visualization technologies, we demonstrate how digital images of immunolabelled cryosections can be used to reconstruct and map the spatial position of immunopositive cells throughout the entire 3D neurosphere.
The assembly of a nearfield infrared microscope for imaging protein aggregates is described.
We provide a practical guide for delivering tracers in vivo and use the spinocerebellar pathway as a model system to demonstrate essential steps for successful neuronal circuit analysis in mice. We describe in detail our versatile tracing protocol that exploits wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) conjugated to Alexa fluorophores.
This article describes techniques to perform high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging with 1.2 mm sampling in human midbrain and subcortical structures using a 3T scanner. Use of these techniques to resolve topographic maps of visual stimulation in the human superior colliculus (SC) is given as an example.
1Neuro-Oncology Research, Barrow Neurological Institute of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, 2Neurosurgery Research Laboratory, Barrow Neurological Institute of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center
Intracranial implantation of GL261 cells into C57BL/6 mice produces malignant gliomas that recapitulate many of the hallmarks of human glioblastoma multiforme. We used GL261 cells stably expressing luciferase to allow us to use in vivo imaging to follow tumor progression. The surgery and 3D in vivo imaging are demonstrated.
We have developed a simple and reproducible protocol to access stomatal response to live bacteria. This method minimizes wounding and manipulation of the leaf as compared to the use of epidermal peels reported previously.
Methods for bioluminescence imaging of bacterial infections in living animals are decribed. Pathogens are modified to express luciferase allowing optical whole body imaging of infections in live animals. Animal models can be infected with luciferase expressing pathogens and the resulting course of disease visualized in real-time by bioluminescence imaging.
In this video, we demonstrate the steps required to run a brain-computer interface experiment, including setting up the EEG cap, calibrating the system, and training the user to move a cursor in two dimensions using imagined movements.
The mechanical characteristics of endothelial glycocalyx were measured by indentation using micron sized spheres on AFM cantilevers. Endothelial cells were cultured in a custom chamber under physiological flow conditions to induce glycocalyx expression. Data were analyzed using a thin film model to determine the glycocalyx thickness and modulus.
It is widely understood that mechanical forces in the body can influence cell differentiation and proliferation. Here we present a video protocol demonstrating the use of a custom-built bioreactor for delivering uniaxial cyclic tensile strain to stem cells cultured on flexible micropatterned substrates.
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.
Here are some highlights from the July 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Silk films are a novel class of biomaterials readily customizable for an array of biomedical applications. The presented silk film culture system is highly adaptable to a variety of in vitro analyses. This system represents a biomaterial design platform offering in vitro optimization before direct translation to in vivo models.
1Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 2Brain Research Unit, Low Temperature Laboratory and Advanced magnetic Imaging Center, Aalto University School of Science and Technology
In this article, we examine the effects of visually relevant state dependency on TMS induced motive phosphenic presentations.
A formal demonstration of the dissection of a mouse eye, resulting in a whole mount of the retinal pigment epithelium.
The non-human primate is an important translational species for our understanding of development and aging. The anatomical organization of the primate retina may provide important insights into normal and pathological conditions in humans.
Utilizing luciferase and in vivo imaging systems (IVIS) as a novel means to identify disease endpoints before clinical developments occur. IVIS has allowed us to visualize in real time the invasion of encephalitic viruses over multiple days, providing a more accurate disease model for future study. It has also allowed us to identify the potential protective features of antivirals and vaccines faster than currently utilized animal models. The capability to utilize individual animals over multiple time points ensures reduced animal requirements, costs, and overall morbidity to the animals utilized ensuring a more humane and more scientific means of disease study.
In this article, we present a simple methodology to enable long-term ex-ovo avian embryo culture. This technique is ideal for longitudinal experimentation requiring complete optical accessibility and/or sterile transportation in avian embryos.
1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, 2Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Med Center, 3Centre de Recherche de l'institut du Cerveau et la Moelle Epinière (CRICM), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Phosphenes are transient percepts of light that can be induced by applying Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) to visually sensitive regions of cortex. We demonstrate a standard protocol for determining the phosphene threshold value and introduce a novel method for quantifying and analyzing perceived phosphenes.
Imaging Odor-Evoked Activities in the Mouse Olfactory Bulb using Optical Reflectance and Autofluorescence Signals
This article presents the protocols of intrinsic optical signals and flavoproteins autofluorescence signals imaging to map odor-evoked activities at the surface of the olfactory bulb in mice.
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.
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.
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.
1Center for Innovative Fuel Cells and Battery Technologies, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology
We present a unique platform for characterizing electrode surfaces in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) that allows simultaneous performance of multiple characterization techniques (e.g. in situ Raman spectroscopy and scanning probe microscopy alongside electrochemical measurements). Complementary information from these analyses may help to advance toward a more profound understanding of electrode reaction and degradation mechanisms, providing insights into rational design of better materials for SOFCs.
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.
1Department of Chemistry, City College of New York, City University of New York Graduate Center and Institute for Macromolecular Assemblies, 2Department of Chemical Engineering, City College of New York
Aerial plant organs are protected by the cuticle, a supramolecular biopolyester-wax assembly. We present protocols to monitor selective removal of epi- and intracuticular waxes from tomato fruit cuticles on molecular and micro scales by solid-state NMR and atomic force microscopy, respectively, and to assess the cross-linking capacity of engineered cuticular biopolyesters.
This article describes the administration of lux-tagged bacteria to mice and subsequent in vivo analysis using IVIS bioluminescence imaging.
Here we describe a microdissection technique followed by fluorescent dye injection into the acoustic ganglion of early chick embryos for selective tracing of auditory axon fibers in the nerve and hindbrain.
A reliable and repeatable way to produce a cervical unilateral spinal cord injury using the Infinite Horizon impactor is described. The method takes advantage of a custom designed frame and clamp to stabilize the spine. The standardized procedure and biomechanical injury parameters result in sufficient and sustained injuries.
Microiontophoresis and Micromanipulation for Intravital Fluorescence Imaging of the Microcirculation
Microiontophoresis entails movement of ions from a micropipette in response to a difference in electrical potential between the inside and outside of the micropipette. Biologically active molecules are thereby delivered in proportion to electrical current. We illustrate acetylcholine microiontophoresis in conjunction with micromanipulation to study endothelium-dependent vasodilation in the microcirculation.
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.
Use of photonic crystal slow light waveguides and cavities has been widely adopted by the photonics community in many differing applications. Therefore fabrication and characterization of these devices are of great interest. This paper outlines our fabrication technique and two optical characterization methods, namely: interferometric (waveguides) and resonant scattering (cavities).
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.
A method of using solid-state nanopores to monitor the non-specific adsorption of proteins onto an inorganic surface is described. The method employs the resistive-pulse principle, allowing for the adsorption to be probed in real-time and at the single-molecule level. Because the process of single protein adsorption is far from equilibrium, we propose the employment of parallel arrays of synthetic nanopores, enabling for the quantitative determination of the apparent first-order reaction rate constant of protein adsorption as well as and the Langmuir adsorption constant.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive tool to gain insight on the physiology and function of the human nervous system. Here, we present our TMS techniques to study cortical excitability of the upper limb and lumbar musculature.
Microfluidic Co-culture of Epithelial Cells and Bacteria for Investigating Soluble Signal-mediated Interactions
This protocol describes a microfluidic co-culture model for simultaneous and localized culture of epithelial cells and bacteria. This model can be used for investigating the role of different soluble molecular signals on pathogenesis as well as screen the effectiveness of putative probiotic bacterial strains.
1Center for Neural Science , Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), 2Department of Neuroscience, University of Science and Technology, 3Fab Service Department, Korea Advanced Nano Fab Center
In this article, we described the surgery procedure and handling tips for implantation of ultra-thin polyimide-based microelectrode array (PBM-array) on the mouse skull for acquisition of high-density encephalography (EEG) in a mouse model.
1Institute for Neural Computation, University of California, 2Department of Radiology, University of California, 3Department of Cognitive Science and Program in Neurosciences, University of California
The adaptation and use of a haptic robot in a 3T fMRI is described.