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Optimizing Recombinant Protein Production for Domain Antibodies: Proof-of-Concept

Description

Recent studies in traumatic brain injury (TBI) have found a temporal window where therapeutics on the nanometer scale can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the parenchyma. Developing protein-based therapeutics is attractive for a number of reasons, yet, the production

Recent studies in traumatic brain injury (TBI) have found a temporal window where therapeutics on the nanometer scale can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the parenchyma. Developing protein-based therapeutics is attractive for a number of reasons, yet, the production pipeline for high yield and consistent bioactive recombinant proteins remains a major obstacle. Previous studies for recombinant protein production has utilized gram-negative hosts such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) due to its well-established genetics and fast growth for recombinant protein production. However, using gram-negative hosts require lysis that calls for additional optimization and also introduces endotoxins and proteases that contribute to protein degradation. This project directly addressed this issue and evaluated the potential to use a gram-positive host such as Brevibacillus choshinensis (Brevi) which does not require lysis as the proteins are expressed directly into the supernatant. This host was utilized to produce variants of Stock 11 (S11) protein as a proof-of-concept towards this methodology. Variants of S11 were synthesized using different restriction enzymes which will alter the location of protein tags that may affect production or purification. Factors such as incubation time, incubation temperature, and media were optimized for each variant of S11 using a robust design of experiments. All variants of S11 were grown using optimized parameters prior to purification via affinity chromatography. Results showed the efficiency of using Brevi as a potential host for domain antibody production in the Stabenfeldt lab. Future aims will focus on troubleshooting the purification process to optimize the protein production pipeline.

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2019-05

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Time-Lapse Visualization of Microglia Cell Processes using Fluorescent Miniature (Miniscope) Imaging

Description

In the United States, an estimated 2 million cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting in more than 50,000 deaths occur every year. TBI induces an immediate primary injury resulting in local or diffuse cell death in the brain. Then

In the United States, an estimated 2 million cases of traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting in more than 50,000 deaths occur every year. TBI induces an immediate primary injury resulting in local or diffuse cell death in the brain. Then a secondary injury occurs through neuroinflammation from immune cells in response to primary injury. Microglia, the resident immune cell of the central nervous system, play a critical role in neuroinflammation following TBI. Microglia make up 10% of all cells in the nervous system and are the fastest moving cells in the brain, scanning the entire parenchyma every several hours. Microglia have roles in both the healthy and injured brain. In the healthy brain, microglia can produce neuroprotective factors, clear cellular debris, and organize neurorestorative processes to recover from TBI. However, microglia mediated neuroinflammation during secondary injury produces pro-inflammatory and cytotoxic mediators contributing to neuronal dysfunction, inhibition of CNS repair, and cell death. Furthermore, neuroinflammation is a prominent feature in many neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease, of which include overactive microglia function. Microglia cell morphology, activation, and response to TBI is poorly understood. Currently, imaging microglia can only be performed while the animal is stationary and under anesthesia. The Miniscope technology allows for real-time visualization of microglia in awake behaving animals. The Miniscope is a miniature fluorescent microscope that can be implanted over a craniectomy to image microglia. Currently, the goals of Miniscope imaging are to improve image quality and develop time-lapse imaging capabilities. There were five main sub-projects that focused on these goals including surgical nose cone design, surgical holder design, improved GRIN lens setup, improved magnification through achromatic lenses, and time-lapse imaging hardware development. Completing these goals would allow for the visualization of microglia function in the healthy and injured brain, elucidating important immune functions that could provide new strategies for treating brain diseases.

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2019-05

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Image Analysis for Registration, Segmentation, and Intensity Measurement of 2-Photon Microscope Images using MATLAB

Description

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major concern in public health due to its prevalence and effect. Every year, about 1.7 million TBIs are reported [7]. According to the According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 5.5%

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major concern in public health due to its prevalence and effect. Every year, about 1.7 million TBIs are reported [7]. According to the According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 5.5% of all emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths from 2002 to 2006 are due to TBI [8]. The brain's natural defense, the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB), prevents the entry of most substances into the brain through the blood stream, including medicines administered to treat TBI [11]. TBI may cause the breakdown of the BBB, and may result in increased permeability, providing an opportunity for NPs to enter the brain [3,4]. Dr. Stabenfeldt's lab has previously established that intravenously injected nanoparticles (NP) will accumulate near the injury site after focal brain injury [4]. The current project focuses on confirmation of the accumulation or extravasation of NPs after brain injury using 2-photon microscopy. Specifically, the project used controlled cortical impact injury induced mice models that were intravenously injected with 40nm NPs post-injury. The MATLAB code seeks to analyze the brain images through registration, segmentation, and intensity measurement and evaluate if fluorescent NPs will accumulate in the extravascular tissue of injured mice models. The code was developed with 2D bicubic interpolation, subpixel image registration, drawn dimension segmentation and fixed dimension segmentation, and dynamic image analysis. A statistical difference was found between the extravascular tissue of injured and uninjured mouse models. This statistical difference proves that the NPs do extravasate through the permeable cranial blood vessels in injured cranial tissue.

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2018-05

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Novel siloxane nanoprobes for molecular and cellular imagin

Description

Oxygen delivery is crucial for the development of healthy, functional tissue. Low tissue oxygenation, or hypoxia, is a characteristic that is common in many tumors. Hypoxia contributes to tumor malignancy and can reduce the success of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Oxygen delivery is crucial for the development of healthy, functional tissue. Low tissue oxygenation, or hypoxia, is a characteristic that is common in many tumors. Hypoxia contributes to tumor malignancy and can reduce the success of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. There is a current need to noninvasively measure tumor oxygenation or pO2 in patients to determine a personalized treatment method. This project focuses on creating and characterizing nanoemulsions using a pO2 reporter molecule hexamethyldisiloxane (HMDSO) and its longer chain variants as well as assessing their cytotoxicity. We also explored creating multi-modal (MRI/Fluorescence) nanoemulsions.

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Date Created
2013-05

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Targeting astrogliosis: isolation and characterization of astrocyte specific single chain antibody fragments

Description

Specificity and affinity towards a given ligand/epitope limit target-specific delivery. Companies can spend between $500 million to $2 billion attempting to discover a new drug or therapy; a significant portion of this expense funds high-throughput screening to find the most

Specificity and affinity towards a given ligand/epitope limit target-specific delivery. Companies can spend between $500 million to $2 billion attempting to discover a new drug or therapy; a significant portion of this expense funds high-throughput screening to find the most successful target-specific compound available. A more recent addition to discovering highly specific targets is the application of phage display utilizing single chain variable fragment antibodies (scFv). The aim of this research was to employ phage display to identify pathologies related to traumatic brain injury (TBI), particularly astrogliosis. A unique biopanning method against viable astrocyte cultures activated with TGF-β achieved this aim. Four scFv clones of interest showed varying relative affinities toward astrocytes. One of those four showed the ability to identify reactive astroctyes over basal astrocytes through max signal readings, while another showed a statistical significance in max signal reading toward basal astrocytes. Future studies will include further affinity characterization assays. This work contributes to the development of targeting therapeutics and diagnostics for TBI.

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2013

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Investigating the Relationship Between Traumatic Brain Injury Cortical Lesion Area and TDP-43 Pathologies

Description

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as an injury to the head that disrupts normal brain function. TBI has been described as a disease process that can lead to an increased risk for developing chronic neurodegenerative diseases, like frontotemporal lobar

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as an injury to the head that disrupts normal brain function. TBI has been described as a disease process that can lead to an increased risk for developing chronic neurodegenerative diseases, like frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A pathological hallmark of FTLD and a hallmark of ALS is the nuclear mislocalization of TAR DNA Binding Protein 43 (TDP-43). This project aims to explore neurodegenerative effects of TBI on cortical lesion area using immunohistochemical markers of TDP-43 proteinopathies. We analyzed the total percent of NEUN positive cells displaying TDP-43 nuclear mislocalization. We found that the percent of NEUN positive cells displaying TDP-43 nuclear mislocalization was significantly higher in cortical tissue following TBI when compared to the age-matched control brains. The cortical lesion area was analyzed for each injured brain sample, with respect to days post-injury (DPI), and it was found that there were no statistically significant differences between cortical lesion areas across time points. The percent of NEUN positive cells displaying TDP-43 nuclear mislocalization was analyzed for each cortical tissue sample, with respect to cortical lesion area, and it was found that there were no statistically significant differences between the percent of NEUN positive cells displaying TDP-43 nuclear mislocalization, with respect to cortical lesion area. In conclusion, we found no correlation between the percent of cortical NEUN positive cells displaying TDP-43 nuclear mislocalization with respect to the size of the cortical lesion area.

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2022-05

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Assessment of Necroptosis Acutely Following Traumatic Brain Injury

Description

Annually approximately 1.5 million Americans suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) increasing the risk of developing a further neurological complication later in life [1-3]. The molecular drivers of the subsequent ensuing pathologies after the initial injury event are vast

Annually approximately 1.5 million Americans suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) increasing the risk of developing a further neurological complication later in life [1-3]. The molecular drivers of the subsequent ensuing pathologies after the initial injury event are vast and include signaling processes that may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). One such molecular signaling pathway that may link TBI to AD is necroptosis. Necroptosis is an atypical mode of cell death compared with traditional apoptosis, both of which have been demonstrated to be present post-TBI [4-6]. Necroptosis is initiated by tissue necrosis factor (TNF) signaling through the RIPK1/RIPK3/MLKL pathway, leading to cell failure and subsequent death. Prior studies in rodent TBI models report necroptotic activity acutely after injury, within 48 hours. Here, the study objective was to recapitulate prior data and characterize MLKL and RIPK1 cortical expression post-TBI with our lab’s controlled cortical impact mouse model. Using standard immunohistochemistry approaches, it was determined that the tissue sections acquired by prior lab members were of poor quality to conduct robust MLKL and RIPK1 immunostaining assessment. Therefore, the thesis focused on presenting the staining method completed. The discussion also expanded on expected results from these studies regarding the spatial distribution necroptotic signaling in this TBI model.

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2022-05