Matching Items (10)

Filtering by

Clear all filters

152336-Thumbnail Image.png

Frequency response characteristics of respiratory flow-meters

Description

Flow measurement has always been one of the most critical processes in many industrial and clinical applications. The dynamic behavior of flow helps to define the state of a process. An industrial example would be that in an aircraft, where

Flow measurement has always been one of the most critical processes in many industrial and clinical applications. The dynamic behavior of flow helps to define the state of a process. An industrial example would be that in an aircraft, where the rate of airflow passing the aircraft is used to determine the speed of the plane. A clinical example would be that the flow of a patient's breath which could help determine the state of the patient's lungs. This project is focused on the flow-meter that are used for airflow measurement in human lungs. In order to do these measurements, resistive-type flow-meters are commonly used in respiratory measurement systems. This method consists of passing the respiratory flow through a fluid resistive component, while measuring the resulting pressure drop, which is linearly related to volumetric flow rate. These types of flow-meters typically have a low frequency response but are adequate for most applications, including spirometry and respiration monitoring. In the case of lung parameter estimation methods, such as the Quick Obstruction Method, it becomes important to have a higher frequency response in the flow-meter so that the high frequency components in the flow are measurable. The following three types of flow-meters were: a. Capillary type b. Screen Pneumotach type c. Square Edge orifice type To measure the frequency response, a sinusoidal flow is generated with a small speaker and passed through the flow-meter that is connected to a large, rigid container. True flow is proportional to the derivative of the pressure inside the container. True flow is then compared with the measured flow, which is proportional to the pressure drop across the flow-meter. In order to do the characterization, two LabVIEW data acquisition programs have been developed, one for transducer calibration, and another one that records flow and pressure data for frequency response testing of the flow-meter. In addition, a model that explains the behavior exhibited by the flow-meter has been proposed and simulated. This model contains a fluid resistor and inductor in series. The final step in this project was to approximate the frequency response data to the developed model expressed as a transfer function.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2013

Engineering a three dimensional micropatterned tumor model for breast cancer cell migration studies

Description

Breast cancer cell invasion is a highly orchestrated process driven by a myriad of complex microenvironmental stimuli. These complexities make it difficult to isolate and assess the effects of specific parameters including matrix stiffness and tumor architecture on disease progression.

Breast cancer cell invasion is a highly orchestrated process driven by a myriad of complex microenvironmental stimuli. These complexities make it difficult to isolate and assess the effects of specific parameters including matrix stiffness and tumor architecture on disease progression. In this regard, morphologically accurate tumor models are becoming instrumental to perform fundamental studies on cancer cell invasion within well-controlled conditions. In this study, the use of photocrosslinkable hydrogels and a novel, two-step photolithography technique was explored to microengineer a 3D breast tumor model. The microfabrication process presented herein enabled precise localization of the cells and creation of high stiffness constructs adjacent to a low stiffness matrix. To validate the model, breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231, MCF7) and normal mammary epithelial cells (MCF10A) were embedded separately within the tumor model and cellular proliferation, migration and cytoskeletal organization were assessed. Proliferation of metastatic MDA-MB-231 cells was significantly higher than tumorigenic MCF7 and normal mammary MCF10A cells. MDA-MB-231 exhibited highly migratory behavior and invaded the surrounding matrix, whereas MCF7 or MCF10A cells formed clusters that were confined within the micropatterned circular features. F-actin staining revealed unique 3D protrusions in MDA-MB-231 cells as they migrated throughout the surrounding matrix. Alternatively, there were abundance of 3D clusters formed by MCF7 and MCF10A cells. The results revealed that gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) hydrogel, integrated with the two-step photolithography technique, has great promise in creating 3D tumor models with well-defined features and tunable stiffness for detailed studies on cancer cell invasion and drug responsiveness.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

Engineering three dimensional cardiac micro-tissues encapsulated with the co-culture of cardiomyocytes and cardiac fibroblasts

Description

Cardiac tissue engineering has major applications in regenerative medicine, disease modeling and fundamental biological studies. Despite the significance, numerous questions still need to be explored to enhance the functionalities of the engineered tissue substitutes. In this study, three dimensional (3D)

Cardiac tissue engineering has major applications in regenerative medicine, disease modeling and fundamental biological studies. Despite the significance, numerous questions still need to be explored to enhance the functionalities of the engineered tissue substitutes. In this study, three dimensional (3D) cardiac micro-tissues were developed through encapsulating co-culture of cardiomyocytes and cardiac fibroblasts, as the main cellular components of native myocardium, within photocrosslinkable gelatin-based hydrogels. Different co-culture ratios were assessed to optimize the functional properties of constructs. The geometry of the micro-tissues was precisely controlled using micro-patterning techniques in order to evaluate their role on synchronous contraction of the cells. Cardiomyocytes exhibited a native-like phenotype when co-cultured with cardiac fibroblasts as compared to the mono-culture condition. Particularly, elongated F-actin fibers with abundance of sarcomeric α-actinin and troponin-I were observed within all layers of the hydrogel constructs. Higher expressions of connexin-43 and integrin β1 indicated improved cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. Amongst co-culture conditions, 2:1 (cardiomyocytes: cardiac fibroblasts) ratio exhibited enhanced functionalities, whereas decreasing the construct size adversely affected the synchronous contraction of the cells. Therefore, this study indicated that cell-cell ratio as well as the geometrical features of the micropatterned constructs are among crucial parameters, which need to be optimized in order to enhance the functionalities of engineered tissue substitutes and cardiac patches.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

154728-Thumbnail Image.png

A robust vitronectin-derived peptide substrate for the scalable long-term expansion and neuronal differentiation of human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived neural progenitor cells (hNPCs)

Description

Several debilitating neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and spinal cord injury, are characterized by the damage or loss of neuronal cell types in the central nervous system (CNS). Human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) derived from human pluripotent stem

Several debilitating neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and spinal cord injury, are characterized by the damage or loss of neuronal cell types in the central nervous system (CNS). Human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) can proliferate extensively and differentiate into the various neuronal subtypes and supporting cells that comprise the CNS. As such, hNPCs have tremendous potential for disease modeling, drug screening, and regenerative medicine applications. However, the use hNPCs for the study and treatment of neurological diseases requires the development of defined, robust, and scalable methods for their expansion and neuronal differentiation. To that end a rational design process was used to develop a vitronectin-derived peptide (VDP)-based substrate to support the growth and neuronal differentiation of hNPCs in conventional two-dimensional (2-D) culture and large-scale microcarrier (MC)-based suspension culture. Compared to hNPCs cultured on ECMP-based substrates, hNPCs grown on VDP-coated surfaces displayed similar morphologies, growth rates, and high expression levels of hNPC multipotency markers. Furthermore, VDP surfaces supported the directed differentiation of hNPCs to neurons at similar levels to cells differentiated on ECMP substrates. Here it has been demonstrated that VDP is a robust growth and differentiation matrix, as demonstrated by its ability to support the expansions and neuronal differentiation of hNPCs derived from three hESC (H9, HUES9, and HSF4) and one hiPSC (RiPSC) cell lines. Finally, it has been shown that VDP allows for the expansion or neuronal differentiation of hNPCs to quantities (>1010) necessary for drug screening or regenerative medicine purposes. In the future, the use of VDP as a defined culture substrate will significantly advance the clinical application of hNPCs and their derivatives as it will enable the large-scale expansion and neuronal differentiation of hNPCs in quantities necessary for disease modeling, drug screening, and regenerative medicine applications.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

153963-Thumbnail Image.png

Investigation of implantable multichannel neurostimulators

Description

There is a strong medical need and important therapeutic applications for improved wireless bioelectric interfaces to the nervous system. Multichannel devices are desired for neural control of robotic prosthetics that interface to remaining nerves in limb stumps of amputees and

There is a strong medical need and important therapeutic applications for improved wireless bioelectric interfaces to the nervous system. Multichannel devices are desired for neural control of robotic prosthetics that interface to remaining nerves in limb stumps of amputees and as alternatives to traditional wired arrays used in for some types of brain stimulation. This present work investigates a new approach to ultrasound-powering of implantable microelectronic devices within the tissue that may better support such applications. These devices are of ultra-miniature size that is enabled by a wireless technique. This study investigates two types of ultrasound-powered neural interfaces for multichannel sensory feedback in neurostimulation. The piezoceramics lead zirconate titanate (PZT) ceramic and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) polymer were the primary materials used to build the devices. They convert ultrasound to electricity that when rectified by a diode produce a current output that is neuro stimulatory to peripheral nerve or the neurons in the brain. Multichannel devices employ a form of spatial multiplexing that directs focused ultrasound towards localized and segmented regions of PVDF or PZT that allows independent channels of nerve actuation. Different frequencies of ultrasound were evaluated for best results. Firstly, a 2.25 MHz frequency signal that is reasonably penetrating through body tissue to an implant several centimeters deep and also a 5 MHz frequency more suited to application for actuation of devices within a less than a centimeter of nerve. Results show multichannel device performance to have a complex inter-relationship with frequency, size and thickness, angular incidence, channel separations, and number of folds (layers connected in series and parallel). The output electrical port impedances of PVDF devices were examined in relationship to that of stimulating electrodes and tissue interfaces. Miniature multichannel devices were constructed using an unreported method of employing state of the art laser cutting systems. The results show that PVDF based devices have advantages over PZT, because of better acoustic coupling with tissue, known better biocompatibility, and better separation between multiple channels. However, the PZT devices proved to be better overall in terms of compactness and higher outputs for a given ultrasound power level.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015

The Effect of GATA6 Expression and Its Neighborhood Impact Factor on Regulating Cell Fate

Description

A genetically engineered line of human induced pluripotent stem cells was used to study the effects of gene expression on cell fate. These cells were designed to activate expression of the gene GATA6 when exposed to the small molecule

A genetically engineered line of human induced pluripotent stem cells was used to study the effects of gene expression on cell fate. These cells were designed to activate expression of the gene GATA6 when exposed to the small molecule doxycycline. This gene was chosen because it plays an important role in the developmental biology stages of liver formation. Because of the way the cells were engineered, a given population would have a heterogeneous expression of GATA6 because each cell could have a different copy number of the exogenous gene. This variation allows for the differentiation of multiple cell types, and is used to grow liver organoids. The early liver organoid samples were studied via immunofluorescent staining, imaging, and quantitative image analysis. It was originally hypothesized that absolute gene expression was not the most important factor in determining cell fate, but relative gene expression was. This meant that the spatial location of the cells and their local environment were critical in determining cell fate. In other words, the level of GATA6 of a cell is important, but so is the level of GATA6 in the surrounding cells, or neighborhood, of that cell. This hypothesis was analyzed with the creation of various Neighborhood Impact Factor (NIF) methods. Multiple time points of growth were analyzed to study the temporal effect, in addition to the gene expression and NIF influence on a cell’s fate. Direct gene expression level showed correlation with certain cell fate markers. In addition to GATA6 expression levels, NIF results from early and late time point experiments show statistical significance with relatively small neighborhood radii. The NIF analysis was useful for examining the effect of neighboring cells and determining the size of the neighborhood – how far cells influence one another. While these systems are complex, the NIF analysis provides a way to look at gene expression and its influence in spatial context.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017

156803-Thumbnail Image.png

Development of Pediatric Patient-Derived Extracellular Matrix-Incorporated Gelatin-Based Hydrogels for Cardiac Tissue Engineering

Description

Severe cases of congenital heart defect (CHD) require surgeries to fix the structural problem, in which artificial grafts are often used. Although outcome of surgeries has improved over the past decades, there remains to be patients who require re-operations due

Severe cases of congenital heart defect (CHD) require surgeries to fix the structural problem, in which artificial grafts are often used. Although outcome of surgeries has improved over the past decades, there remains to be patients who require re-operations due to graft-related complications and the growth of patients which results in a mismatch in size between the patient’s anatomy and the implanted graft. A graft in which cells of the patient could infiltrate, facilitating transformation of the graft to a native-like tissue, and allow the graft to grow with the patient heart would be ideal. Cardiac tissue engineering (CTE) technologies, including extracellular matrix (ECM)-based hydrogels has emerged as a promising approach for the repair of cardiac damage. However, most of the previous studies have mainly focused on treatments for ischemic heart disease and related heart failure in adults, therefore the potential of CTE for CHD treatment is underexplored. In this study, a hybrid hydrogel was developed by combining the ECM derived from cardiac tissue of pediatric CHD patients and gelatin methacrylate (GelMA). In addition, the influence of incorporating gold nanorods (GNRs) within the hybrid hydrogels was studied. The functionalities of the ECM-GelMA-GNR hydrogels as a CTE scaffold were assessed by culturing neonatal rat cardiomyocytes on the hydrogel. After 8 days of cell culture, highly organized sarcomeric alpha-actinin structures and connexin 43 expression were evident in ECM- and GNR-incorporated hydrogels compared to pristine GelMA hydrogel, indicating cell maturation and formation of cardiac tissue. The findings of this study indicate the promising potential of ECM-GelMA-GNR hybrid hydrogels as a CTE approach for CHD treatment.

As another approach to improve CHD treatment, this study sought the possibility of performing a proteomic analysis on cardiac ECM of pediatric CHD patient tissue. As the ECM play important roles in regulating cell signaling, there is an increasing interest in studying the ECM proteome and the influences caused by diseases. Proteomics on ECM is challenging due to the insoluble nature of ECM proteins which makes protein extraction and digestion difficult. In this study, as a first step to perform proteomics, optimization on sample preparation procedure was attempted.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018

155825-Thumbnail Image.png

Three-Dimensional Microfluidic Based Tumor-Vascular Model to Study Cancer Cell Invasion and Intravasation

Description

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of disease related death in women, contributing over

40,000 fatalities annually. The severe impact of breast cancer can be attributed to a poor

understanding of the mechanisms underlying cancer metastasis. A primary aspect of cancer

metastasis

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of disease related death in women, contributing over

40,000 fatalities annually. The severe impact of breast cancer can be attributed to a poor

understanding of the mechanisms underlying cancer metastasis. A primary aspect of cancer

metastasis includes the invasion and intravasation that results in cancer cells disseminating from

the primary tumor and colonizing distant organs. However, the integrated study of invasion and

intravasation has proven to be challenging due to the difficulties in establishing a combined tumor

and vascular microenvironments. Compared to traditional in vitro assays, microfluidic models

enable spatial organization of 3D cell-laden and/or acellular matrices to better mimic human

physiology. Thus, microfluidics can be leveraged to model complex steps of metastasis. The

fundamental aim of this thesis was to develop a three-dimensional microfluidic model to study the

mechanism through which breast cancer cells invade the surrounding stroma and intravasate into

outerlying blood vessels, with a primary focus on evaluating cancer cell motility and vascular

function in response to biochemical cues.

A novel concentric three-layer microfluidic device was developed, which allowed for

simultaneous observation of tumor formation, vascular network maturation, and cancer cell

invasion/intravasation. Initially, MDA-MB-231 disseminated from the primary tumor and invaded

the acellular collagen present in the adjacent second layer. The presence of an endothelial network

in the third layer of the device drastically increased cancer cell invasion. Furthermore, by day 6 of

culture, cancer cells could be visually observed intravasating into the vascular network.

Additionally, the effect of tumor cells on the formation of the surrounding microvascular network

within the vascular layer was evaluated. Results indicated that the presence of the tumor

significantly reduced vessel diameter and increased permeability, which correlates with prior in vivo

data. The novel three-layer platform mimicked the in vivo spatial organization of the tumor and its

surrounding vasculature, which enabled investigations of cell-cell interactions during cancer

invasion and intravasation. This approach will provide insight into the cascade of events leading up

to intravasation, which could provide a basis for developing more effective therapeutics.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017

154575-Thumbnail Image.png

Using bioengineering approaches to generate a three-dimensional (3D) human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-based model for neurodegenerative diseases

Description

The pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), remain difficult to ascertain in part because animal models fail to fully recapitulate the complex pathophysiology of these diseases. In vitro models of neurodegenerative diseases generated with patient derived human

The pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), remain difficult to ascertain in part because animal models fail to fully recapitulate the complex pathophysiology of these diseases. In vitro models of neurodegenerative diseases generated with patient derived human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) could provide new insight into disease mechanisms. Although protocols to differentiate hiPSCs and hESCs to neurons have been established, standard practice relies on two dimensional (2D) cell culture systems, which do not accurately mimic the complexity and architecture of the in vivo brain microenvironment.

I have developed protocols to generate 3D cultures of neurons from hiPSCs and hESCs, to provide more accurate models of AD. In the first protocol, hiPSC-derived neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) are plated in a suspension of Matrigel™ prior to terminal differentiation of neurons. In the second protocol, hiPSCs are forced into aggregates called embryoid bodies (EBs) in suspension culture and subsequently directed to the neural lineage through dual SMAD inhibition. Culture conditions are then changed to expand putative hNPC populations and finally differentiated to neuronal spheroids through activation of the tyrosine kinase pathway. The gene expression profiles of the 3D hiPSC-derived neural cultures were compared to fetal brain RNA. Our analysis has revealed that 3D neuronal cultures express high levels of mature pan-neuronal markers (e.g. MAP2, β3T) and neural transmitter subtype specific markers. The 3D neuronal spheroids also showed signs of neural patterning, similar to that observed during embryonic development. These 3D culture systems should provide a platform to probe disease mechanisms of AD and enable to generation of more advanced therapeutics.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016

Investigating the Role of the Perivascular Niche on Glioma Stem Cell Invasion in a Three-Dimensional Microfluidic Tumor Microenvironment Model

Description

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is a grade IV astrocytoma and the most aggressive form of cancer that begins within the brain. The two-year average survival rate of GBM in the United States of America is 25%, and it has a higher

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is a grade IV astrocytoma and the most aggressive form of cancer that begins within the brain. The two-year average survival rate of GBM in the United States of America is 25%, and it has a higher incidence in individuals within the ages of 45 - 60 years. GBM Tumor formation can either begin as normal brain cells or develop from an existing low-grade astrocytoma and are housed by the perivascular niche in the brain microenvironment. This niche allows for the persistence of a population of cells known as glioma stem cells (GSC) by supplying optimum growth conditions that build chemoresistance and cause recurrence of the tumor within two to five years of treatment. It has therefore become imperative to understand the role of the perivascular niche on GSCs through in vitro modelling in order to improve the efficiency of therapeutic treatment and increase the survival rate of patients with GBM.

In this study, a unique three dimensional (3D) microfluidic platform that permitted the study of intercellular interactions between three different cell types in the perivascular niche of the brain was developed and utilized for the first time. Specifically, human endothelial cells were embedded in a fibrin matrix and introduced into the vascular layer of the microfluidic platform.

After spontaneous formation of a vascular layer, Normal Human Astrocytes and Patient derived GSC were embedded in a Matrigel® matrix and incorporated in the stroma and tumor regions of the microfluidic device respectively.

Using the established platform, migration, proliferation and stemness of GSCs studies were conducted. The findings obtained indicate that astrocytes in the perivascular niche significantly increase the migratory and proliferative properties of GSCs in the tumor microenvironment, consistent with previous in vivo findings.

The novel GBM tumor microenvironment developed herein, could be utilized for further

in-depth cellular and molecular level studies to dissect the influence of individual factors within the tumor niche on GSCs biology, and could serve as a model for developing targeted therapies.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2020