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Microfluidic guillotine reveals multiple timescales and mechanical modes of wound response in Stentor coeruleusAbstract Background Wound healing is one of the defining features of life and is seen not only in tissues but also within individual cells. Understanding wound response at the single-cell level is critical for determining fundamental cellular functions needed for cell repair and survival. This understanding could also enable the engineering of single-cell wound repair strategies in emerging synthetic cell research. One approach is to examine and adapt self-repair mechanisms from a living system that already demonstrates robust capacity to heal from large wounds. Towards this end, Stentor coeruleus , a single-celled free-living ciliate protozoan, is a unique model because of its robust wound healing capacity. This capacity allows one to perturb the wounding conditions and measure their effect on the repair process without immediately causing cell death, thereby providing a robust platform for probing the self-repair mechanism. Results Here we used a microfluidic guillotine and a fluorescence-based assay to probe the timescales of wound repair and of mechanical modes of wound response in Stentor . We found that Stentor requires ~ 100–1000 s to close bisection wounds, depending on the severity of the wound. This corresponds to a healing rate of ~ 8–80 μm 2 /s, faster than most other single cells reportedmore »
The ability to direct cell behavior has been central to the success of numerous therapeutics to regenerate tissue or facilitate device integration. Biomaterial scientists are challenged to understand and modulate the interactions of biomaterials with biological systems in order to achieve effective tissue repair. One key area of research investigates the use of extracellular matrix-derived ligands to target specific integrin interactions and induce cellular responses, such as increased cell migration, proliferation, and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells. These integrin-targeting proteins and peptides have been implemented in a variety of different polymeric scaffolds and devices to enhance tissue regeneration and integration. This review first presents an overview of integrin-mediated cellular processes that have been identified in angiogenesis, wound healing, and bone regeneration. Then, research utilizing biomaterials are highlighted with integrin-targeting motifs as a means to direct these cellular processes to enhance tissue regeneration. In addition to providing improved materials for tissue repair and device integration, these innovative biomaterials provide new tools to probe the complex processes of tissue remodeling in order to enhance the rational design of biomaterial scaffolds and guide tissue regeneration strategies.
Topological Data Analysis Approaches to Uncovering the Timing of Ring Structure Onset in Filamentous NetworksAbstract In developmental biology as well as in other biological systems, emerging structure and organization can be captured using time-series data of protein locations. In analyzing this time-dependent data, it is a common challenge not only to determine whether topological features emerge, but also to identify the timing of their formation. For instance, in most cells, actin filaments interact with myosin motor proteins and organize into polymer networks and higher-order structures. Ring channels are examples of such structures that maintain constant diameters over time and play key roles in processes such as cell division, development, and wound healing. Given the limitations in studying interactions of actin with myosin in vivo, we generate time-series data of protein polymer interactions in cells using complex agent-based models. Since the data has a filamentous structure, we propose sampling along the actin filaments and analyzing the topological structure of the resulting point cloud at each time. Building on existing tools from persistent homology, we develop a topological data analysis (TDA) method that assesses effective ring generation in this dynamic data. This method connects topological features through time in a path that corresponds to emergence of organization in the data. In this work, we also proposemore »
Assembly of multicomponent structures from hundreds of micron-scale building blocks using optical tweezers
The fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) microscale structures is critical for many applications, including strong and lightweight material development, medical device fabrication, microrobotics, and photonic applications. While 3D microfabrication has seen progress over the past decades, complex multicomponent integration with small or hierarchical feature sizes is still a challenge. In this study, an optical positioning and linking (OPAL) platform based on optical tweezers is used to precisely fabricate 3D microstructures from two types of micron-scale building blocks linked by biochemical interactions. A computer-controlled interface with rapid on-the-fly automated recalibration routines maintains accuracy even after placing many building blocks. OPAL achieves a 60-nm positional accuracy by optimizing the molecular functionalization and laser power. A two-component structure consisting of 448 1-µm building blocks is assembled, representing the largest number of building blocks used to date in 3D optical tweezer microassembly. Although optical tweezers have previously been used for microfabrication, those results were generally restricted to single-material structures composed of a relatively small number of larger-sized building blocks, with little discussion of critical process parameters. It is anticipated that OPAL will enable the assembly, augmentation, and repair of microstructures composed of specialty micro/nanomaterial building blocks to be used in new photonic, microfluidic, andmore »
Protocols for Full Thickness Skin Wound Repair Using Prevascularized Human Mesenchymal Stem Cell SheetSplit thickness skin grafts (STSGs) are one of the standard treatments available for full thickness wound repair when full thickness grafts (FTGs) are not viable, such as in the case of wounds with large surface areas. The donor sites of STSGs may be harvested repeatedly, but STSG transplants are still limited by insufficient blood supply at the early stages of wound healing. Prevascularized human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) sheets may accelerate wound healing and improve regeneration by providing pre-formed vessel structures and angiogenic factors to overcome this limitation. This book chapter provides the protocol of co-culturing hMSCs and endothelial cells to attain a prevascularized hMSC cell sheet (PHCS). The protocols for implantation of the prevascularized stem cell sheet for full thickness skin wound repair in a rat autologous skin graft model as well as the evaluation of the wound healing effects are also provided.