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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  2. The choroid plexus (ChP) is a complex structure in the human brain that is responsible for the secretion of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and forming the blood–CSF barrier (B-CSF-B). Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have shown promising results in the formation of brain organoids in vitro; however, very few studies to date have generated ChP organoids. In particular, no study has assessed the inflammatory response and the extracellular vesicle (EV) biogenesis of hiPSC-derived ChP organoids. In this study, the impacts of Wnt signaling on the inflammatory response and EV biogenesis of ChP organoids derived from hiPSCs was investigated. During days 10–15, bone morphogenetic protein 4 was added along with (+/−) CHIR99021 (CHIR, a small molecule GSK-3β inhibitor that acts as a Wnt agonist). At day 30, the ChP organoids were characterized by immunocytochemistry and flow cytometry for TTR (~72%) and CLIC6 (~20%) expression. Compared to the −CHIR group, the +CHIR group showed an upregulation of 6 out of 10 tested ChP genes, including CLIC6 (2-fold), PLEC (4-fold), PLTP (2–4-fold), DCN (~7-fold), DLK1 (2–4-fold), and AQP1 (1.4-fold), and a downregulation of TTR (0.1-fold), IGFBP7 (0.8-fold), MSX1 (0.4-fold), and LUM (0.2–0.4-fold). When exposed to amyloid beta 42 oligomers, the +CHIR group had a more sensitive response as evidenced by the upregulation of inflammation-related genes such as TNFα, IL-6, and MMP2/9 when compared to the −CHIR group. Developmentally, the EV biogenesis markers of ChP organoids showed an increase over time from day 19 to day 38. This study is significant in that it provides a model of the human B-CSF-B and ChP tissue for the purpose of drug screening and designing drug delivery systems to treat neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and ischemic stroke. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2024
  3. Retinal organoids are three-dimensional (3D) structures derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) that mimic the retina’s spatial and temporal differentiation, making them useful as in vitro retinal development models. Retinal organoids can be assembled with brain organoids, the 3D self-assembled aggregates derived from hPSCs containing different cell types and cytoarchitectures that resemble the human embryonic brain. Recent studies have shown the development of optic cups in brain organoids. The cellular components of a developing optic vesicle-containing organoids include primitive corneal epithelial and lens-like cells, retinal pigment epithelia, retinal progenitor cells, axon-like projections, and electrically active neuronal networks. The importance of retinal organoids in ocular diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, Stargardt disease, retinitis pigmentosa, and diabetic retinopathy are described in this review. This review highlights current developments in retinal organoid techniques, and their applications in ocular conditions such as disease modeling, gene therapy, drug screening and development. In addition, recent advancements in utilizing extracellular vesicles secreted by retinal organoids for ocular disease treatments are summarized. 
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  4. Abstract

    3D bioprinting improves orientation ofin vitrotumor models by offering layer by layer positioning of cancer cells and cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) which can replicate tumor microenvironment. Aim of this study was to develop a sodium alginate -gelatin (SA-GL) hydrogel by optimizing rheological parameters to print non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patient derived xenograft (PDX) cells and lung CAFs co-cultures. SA-GL hydrogels were prepared, and rheological properties were evaluated. Both the cells were mixed with the hydrogel and printed using INKREDIBLE bioprinter. Hydrogels prepared with 3.25% and 3.5% (w/v) SA and 4% (w/v) GL showed higher printability and cell viability. A significant decline in viscosity with shear rate was observed in these hydrogels suggesting the shear thinning property of hydrogels. Spheroid size distribution after 15 days was in the diameter range of 50–1100 µm. Up-regulation of vimentin, α-SMA and loss of E-cadherin in co-culture spheroids confirmed cellular crosstalk. This study demonstrates that rheological optimization of SA-GL hydrogel enhances printability and viability of NSCLC PDX and CAF co-culture which allows 3D co-culture spheroid formation within the printed scaffold. Therefore, this model can be used for studying high throughput drug screening and other pre-clinical applications.

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  5. The burgeoning field of nanotechnology aims to create and deploy nanoscale structures, devices, and systems with novel, size-dependent properties and functions. The nanotechnology revolution has sparked radically new technologies and strategies across all scientific disciplines, with nanotechnology now applied to virtually every area of research and development in the US and globally. NanoFlorida was founded to create a forum for scientific exchange, promote networking among nanoscientists, encourage collaborative research efforts across institutions, forge strong industry-academia partnerships in nanoscience, and showcase the contributions of students and trainees in nanotechnology fields. The 2019 NanoFlorida International Conference expanded this vision to emphasize national and international participation, with a focus on advances made in translating nanotechnology. This review highlights notable research in the areas of engineering especially in optics, photonics and plasmonics and electronics; biomedical devices, nano-biotechnology, nanotherapeutics including both experimental nanotherapies and nanovaccines; nano-diagnostics and -theranostics; nano-enabled drug discovery platforms; tissue engineering, bioprinting, and environmental nanotechnology, as well as challenges and directions for future research. 
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