Articles by Nicholas A. Kouris in JoVE
A Cre-Lox P Recombination Approach for the Detection of Cell Fusion In Vivo Anthony J. Sprangers1, Brian T. Freeman1, Nicholas A. Kouris1, Brenda M. Ogle2 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science Program, Laboratory for Optical and Computational Instrumentation, University of Wisconsin-Madison A method to track cell fusion in living organisms over time is described. The approach utilizes Cre-LoxP recombination to induce luciferase expression upon cell fusion. The luminescent signal generated can be detected in living organisms using biophotonic imaging systems with a sensitivity of detection of ˜1,000 cells in peripheral tissues.
Other articles by Nicholas A. Kouris on PubMed
Harnessing Endogenous Growth Factor Activity Modulates Stem Cell Behavior Integrative Biology : Quantitative Biosciences from Nano to Macro. Aug, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21720642 The influence of specific serum-borne biomolecules (e.g. heparin) on growth factor-dependent cell behavior is often difficult to elucidate in traditional cell culture due to the random, non-specific nature of biomolecule adsorption from serum. We hypothesized that chemically well-defined cell culture substrates could be used to study the influence of sequestered heparin on human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) behavior. Specifically, we used bio-inert self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) chemically modified with a bioinspired heparin-binding peptide (termed "HEPpep") and an integrin-binding peptide (RGDSP) as stem cell culture substrates. Our results demonstrate that purified heparin binds to HEPpep SAMs in a dose-dependent manner, and serum-borne heparin binds specifically and in a dose-dependent manner to HEPpep SAMs. These heparin-sequestering SAMs enhance hMSC proliferation by amplifying endogenous fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling, and enhance hMSC osteogenic differentiation by amplifying endogenous bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling. The effects of heparin-sequestering are similar to the effects of supraphysiologic concentrations of recombinant FGF-2. hMSC phenotype is maintained over multiple population doublings on heparin-sequestering substrates in growth medium, while hMSC osteogenic differentiation is enhanced in a bone morphogenetic protein-dependent manner on the same substrates during culture in osteogenic induction medium. Together, these observations demonstrate that the influence of the substrate on stem cell phenotype is sensitive to the culture medium formulation. Our results also demonstrate that enhanced hMSC proliferation can be spatially localized by patterning the location of HEPpep on the substrate. Importantly, the use of chemically well-defined SAMs in this study eliminated the confounding factor of random, non-specific biomolecule adsorption, and identified serum-borne heparin as a key mediator of hMSC response to endogenous growth factors.
A Nondenatured, Noncrosslinked Collagen Matrix to Deliver Stem Cells to the Heart Regenerative Medicine. Sep, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21916593 Stem cell transplantation holds promise as a therapeutic approach for the repair of damaged myocardial tissue. One challenge of this approach is efficient delivery and long-term retention of the stem cells. Although several synthetic and natural biomaterials have been developed for this purpose, the ideal formulation has yet to be identified.
Environmental Parameters Influence Non-viral Transfection of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Tissue Engineering Applications Cell and Tissue Research. Jan, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22277991 Non-viral transfection is a promising technique that could be used to increase the therapeutic potential of stem cells. The purpose of this study was to explore practical culture parameters of relevance in potential human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) clinical and tissue engineering applications, including type of polycationic transfection reagent, N/P ratio and dose of polycation/pDNA polyplexes, cell passage number, cell density and cell proliferation. The non-viral transfection efficiency was significantly influenced by N/P ratio, polyplex dose, cell density and cell passage number. hMSC culture conditions that inhibited cell division also decreased transfection efficiency, suggesting that strategies to promote hMSC proliferation may be useful to enhance transfection efficiency in future tissue engineering studies. Non-viral transfection treatments influenced hMSC phenotype, including the expression level of the hMSC marker CD105 and the ability of hMSCs to differentiate down the osteogenic and adipogenic lineages. The parameters found here to promote hMSC transfection efficiency, minimize toxicity and influence hMSC phenotype may be instructive in future non-viral transfection studies and tissue engineering applications.