3D bioprinting improves orientation of
Nano-in-micro (NIM) system is a promising approach to enhance the performance of devices for a wide range of applications in disease treatment and tissue regeneration. In this study, polymeric nanofibre-integrated alginate (PNA) hydrogel microcapsules were designed using NIM technology. Various ratios of cryo-ground poly (lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) nanofibres (CPN) were incorporated into PNA hydrogel microcapsule. Electrostatic encapsulation method was used to incorporate living cells into the PNA microcapsules (~500 µm diameter). Human liver carcinoma cells, HepG2, were encapsulated into the microcapsules and their physio-chemical properties were studied. Morphology, stability, and chemical composition of the PNA microcapsules were analysed by light microscopy, fluorescent microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The incorporation of CPN caused no significant changes in the morphology, size, and chemical structure of PNA microcapsules in cell culture media. Among four PNA microcapsule products (PNA-0, PNA-10, PNA-30, and PNA-50 with size 489 ± 31 µm, 480 ± 40 µm, 473 ± 51 µm and 464 ± 35 µm, respectively), PNA-10 showed overall suitability for HepG2 growth with high cellular metabolic activity, indicating that the 3D PNA-10 microcapsule could be suitable to maintain better vitality and liver-specific metabolic functions. Overall, this novel design of PNA microcapsule and the one-step method of cell encapsulation can be a more »
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- National Science Foundation
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Combined noninvasive metabolic and spindle imaging as potential tools for embryo and oocyte assessment
Abstract STUDY QUESTION
Is the combined use of fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM)-based metabolic imaging and second harmonic generation (SHG) spindle imaging a feasible and safe approach for noninvasive embryo assessment?
Metabolic imaging can sensitively detect meaningful metabolic changes in embryos, SHG produces high-quality images of spindles and the methods do not significantly impair embryo viability.
WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY
Proper metabolism is essential for embryo viability. Metabolic imaging is a well-tested method for measuring metabolism of cells and tissues, but it is unclear if it is sensitive enough and safe enough for use in embryo assessment.
STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION
PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS
Experiments were performed in mouse embryos and oocytes. Samples were monitored with noninvasive, FLIM-based metabolic imaging of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) autofluorescence. Between NADH cytoplasm, NADH mitochondria and FAD mitochondria, a single metabolic measurement produces up to 12 quantitative parameters for characterizing the metabolic state of an embryo. For safety experiments, live birth rates and pup weights (mean ± SEM) were used as endpoints. For all test conditions, the level of significance was set at P < 0.05.
MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE
Measured FLIM parameters were highly sensitive to metabolic changes due to both metabolic perturbations and embryo development. For oocytes, metabolic parameter values were compared before and after exposure to oxamate and rotenone. The metabolic measurements provided a basis for complete separation of the data sets. For embryos, metabolic parameter values were compared between the first division and morula stages, morula and blastocyst and first division and blastocyst. The metabolic measurements again completely separated the data sets. Exposure of embryos to excessive illumination dosages (24 measurements) had no significant effect on live birth rate (5.1 ± 0.94 pups/mouse for illuminated group; 5.7 ± 1.74 pups/mouse for control group) or pup weights (1.88 ± 0.10 g for illuminated group; 1.89 ± 0.11 g for control group).
LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION
The study was performed using a mouse model, so conclusions concerning sensitivity and safety may not generalize to human embryos. A limitation of the live birth data is also that although cages were routinely monitored, we could not preclude that some runt pups may have been eaten.
WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS
Promising proof-of-concept results demonstrate that FLIM with SHG provide detailed biological information that may be valuable for the assessment of embryo and oocyte quality. Live birth experiments support the method’s safety, arguing for further studies of the clinical utility of these techniques.
STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S)
Supported by the Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator Grant at Harvard University and by the Harvard Catalyst/The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center (National Institutes of Health Award UL1 TR001102), by NSF grants DMR-0820484 and PFI-TT-1827309 and by NIH grant R01HD092550-01. T.S. was supported by a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology grant (1308878). S.F. and S.A. were supported by NSF MRSEC DMR-1420382. Becker and Hickl GmbH sponsored the research with the loaning of equipment for FLIM. T.S. and D.N. are cofounders and shareholders of LuminOva, Inc., and co-hold patents (US20150346100A1 and US20170039415A1) for metabolic imaging methods. D.S. is on the scientific advisory board for Cooper Surgical and has stock options with LuminOva, Inc.
Cells encapsulated in 3D hydrogels exhibit differences in cellular mechanosensing based on their ability to remodel their surrounding hydrogel environment. Although cells in tissue interfaces feature a range of mechanosensitive states, it is challenging to recreate this in 3D biomaterials. Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) encapsulated in methacrylated gelatin (GelMe) hydrogels remodel their local hydrogel environment in a time-dependent manner, with a significant increase in cell volume and nuclear Yes-associated protein (YAP) localization between 3 and 5 days in culture. A finite element analysis model of compression showed spatial differences in hydrogel stress of compressed GelMe hydrogels, and MSC-laden GelMemore »