Matching Items (40)

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Engineering a Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (hiPSC)-Based Model of Alzheimer's Disease

Description

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) affects over 5 million individuals in the U.S. and has a direct cost estimated in excess of $200 billion per year. Broadly speaking, there are two forms of AD—early-onset, familial AD (FAD) and late-onset-sporadic AD (SAD). Animal

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) affects over 5 million individuals in the U.S. and has a direct cost estimated in excess of $200 billion per year. Broadly speaking, there are two forms of AD—early-onset, familial AD (FAD) and late-onset-sporadic AD (SAD). Animal models of AD, which rely on the overexpression of FAD-related mutations, have provided important insights into the disease. However, these models do not display important disease-related pathologies and have been limited in their ability to model the complex genetics associated with SAD.

Advances in cellular reprogramming, have enabled the generation of in vitro disease models that can be used to dissect disease mechanisms and evaluate potential therapeutics. To that end, efforts by many groups, including the Brafman laboratory, to generated patient-specific hiPSCs have demonstrated the promise of studying AD in a simplified and accessible system. However, neurons generated from these hiPSCs have shown some, but not all, of the early molecular and cellular hallmarks associated with the disease. Additionally, phenotypes and pathological hallmarks associated with later stages of the human disease have not been observed with current hiPSC-based systems. Further, disease relevant phenotypes in neurons generated from SAD hiPSCs have been highly variable or largely absent. Finally, the reprogramming process erases phenotypes associated with cellular aging and, as a result, iPSC-derived neurons more closely resemble fetal brain rather than adult brain.

It is well-established that in vivo cells reside within a complex 3-D microenvironment that plays a significant role in regulating cell behavior. Signaling and other cellular functions, such as gene expression and differentiation potential, differ in 3-D cultures compared with 2-D substrates. Nonetheless, previous studies using AD hiPSCs have relied on 2-D neuronal culture models that do not reflect the 3-D complexity of native brain tissue, and therefore, are unable to replicate all aspects of AD pathogenesis. Further, the reprogramming process erases cellular aging phenotypes. To address these limitations, this project aimed to develop bioengineering methods for the generation of 3-D organoid-based cultures that mimic in vivo cortical tissue, and to generate an inducible gene repression system to recapitulate cellular aging hallmarks.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Cell labeling techniques to assess Alzheimer's disease model

Description

Effectively modeling Alzheimer’s disease will lend to a more comprehensive
understanding of the disease pathology, more efficacious drug development and
regenerative medicine as a form of treatment. There are limitations with current
transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease and the

Effectively modeling Alzheimer’s disease will lend to a more comprehensive
understanding of the disease pathology, more efficacious drug development and
regenerative medicine as a form of treatment. There are limitations with current
transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease and the study of post mortem brain tissue of Alzheimer’s diseases patients. Stem cell models can overcome the lack of clinical relevance and impracticality associated with current models. Ideally, the use of stem cell models provides the foundation to study the biochemical and physiological aspects of Alzheimer’s disease, but at the cellular level. Moreover, the future of drug development and disease modeling can be improved by developing a reproducible and well-characterized model of AD that can be scaled up to meet requirements for basic and translational applications. Characterization and analysis of a heterogenic neuronal culture developed from induced pluripotent stem cells calls for the understanding of single cell identity and cell viability. A method to analyze RNA following intracellular sorting was developed in order to analyze single cell identity of a heterogenic population
of human induced pluripotent stem cells and neural progenitor cells. The population was intracellularly stained and sorted for Oct4. RNA was isolated and analyzed with qPCR, which demonstrated expected expression profiles for Oct4+ and Oct4- cells. In addition, a protocol to label cells with pO2 sensing nanoprobes was developed to assess cell viability. Non-destructive nanoprobe up-take by neural progenitor cells was assessed with fluorescent imaging and flow cytometry. Nanoprobe labeled neurons were cultured long-term and continued to fluoresce at day 28. The proof of concept experiments demonstrated will be further expanded upon and utilized in developing a more clinically relevant and cost-effective model of Alzheimer’s disease with downstream applications
in drug development and regenerative medicine.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Plasmid Design for Making a HEK293t Reporter Cell Line to Study Gene Expression Dynamics

Description

Cell fate is a complex and dynamic process with many genetic components. It has often been likened to “multistable” mathematical systems because of the numerous possible “stable” states, or cell types, that cells may end up in. Due

Cell fate is a complex and dynamic process with many genetic components. It has often been likened to “multistable” mathematical systems because of the numerous possible “stable” states, or cell types, that cells may end up in. Due to its complexity, understanding the process of cell fate and differentiation has proven challenging. A better understanding of cell differentiation has applications in regenerative stem cell therapies, disease pathologies, and gene regulatory networks.
A variety of different genes have been associated with cell fate. For example, the Nanog/Oct-4/Sox2 network forms the core interaction of a gene network that maintains stem cell pluripotency, and Oct-4 and Sox2 also play a role in the tissue types that stem cells eventually differentiate into. Using the CRISPR/cas9 based homology independent targeted integration (HITI) method developed by Suzuki et al., we can integrate fluorescent tags behind genes with reasonable efficiency via the non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) DNA repair pathway. With human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293T cells, which can be transfected with high efficiencies, we aim to create a three-parameter reporter cell line with fluorescent tags for three different genes related to cell fate. This cell line would provide several advantages for the study of cell fate, including the ability to quantitatively measure cell state, observe expression heterogeneity among a population of genetically identical cells, and easily monitor fluctuations in expression patterns.
The project is partially complete at this time. This report discusses progress thus far, as well as the challenges faced and the future steps for completing the reporter line.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Lipopolymer-Mediated Transgene Delivery to Human Stem Cells

Description

Genetic manipulation of human cell lines has widespread applications in biomedical research ranging from disease modeling to therapeutic development. Human cells are generally difficult to genetically engineer, but exogenous nucleic acids can be expressed by viral, chemical, or nonchemical means.

Genetic manipulation of human cell lines has widespread applications in biomedical research ranging from disease modeling to therapeutic development. Human cells are generally difficult to genetically engineer, but exogenous nucleic acids can be expressed by viral, chemical, or nonchemical means. Chemical transfections are simpler in practice than both viral and nonchemical delivery of genetic material, but often suffer from cytotoxicity and low efficiency. Novel aminoglycoside antibiotic-derived lipopolymers have been synthesized to mediate transgene delivery to human cells. These polymers are comprised of either paromomycin or apramycin crosslinked with glycerol diglycidylether and derivatized with stearoyl chloride in varying molar ratios. In this work, three previously identified target lipopolymers were screened against a library of human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cell lines. Cells were transfected with a plasmid encoding green fluorescent protein (GFP) and expression was quantified with flow cytometry 48 hours after transfection. Transfection efficiency was evaluated between three distinct lipopolymers and four lipopolymer:DNA mass ratios. GFP expression was compared to that of cells transfected with commercially available chemical gene delivery reagent controls\u2014JetPEI, Lipofectamine, and Fugene\u2014at their recommended reagent:DNA ratios. Improved transgene expression in stem cell lines allows for improved research methods. Human stem cell-derived neurons that have been genetically manipulated to express phenotypic characteristics of aging can be utilized to model neurodegenerative diseases, elucidating information about these diseases that would be inaccessible in unmanipulated tissue.

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Date Created
2017-05

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Stem Cell Growth Factor Supplementation: Efficacy of PRP and Prolotherapy Treatment Evidence

Description

the project led by Professor Emma Frow, researching of stem cell clinics focused on stem cell applications, adherence to FDA guidelines, and characterization of information available and physician credentials. Regenerative medicine clinics commonly offered stem cell therapy, but introduced platelet

the project led by Professor Emma Frow, researching of stem cell clinics focused on stem cell applications, adherence to FDA guidelines, and characterization of information available and physician credentials. Regenerative medicine clinics commonly offered stem cell therapy, but introduced platelet rich plasma (PRP) and prolotherapy as regenerative therapies.
PRP and Prolotherapy are individual treatments that were even suggested and used in combination with stem cell therapies. Prolotherapy predates PRP as a chemical irritant therapy originally used to sclerose tissues. Prolotherapy is meant to stimulate platelet derived growth factors release to improve tissue healing response. Prolotherapy shows negligible efficacy improvements over corticosteroids, but may have underlying side effects from being an irritant. PRP is a more modern therapy for improved healing. Speculations state initial use was in an open heart surgery to improve healing post-surgery. PRP is created via centrifugation of patient blood to isolate growth factors by removing serum and other biological components to increase platelet concentration. PRP is comparable to corticosteroid injections in efficacy, but as an autologous application, there are no side effects making it more advantageous. Growth factors induce healing response and reduce inflammation. Growth factors stimulate cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, and stimulate cellular response mechanism such as angiogenesis and mitogenesis. The growth factor stimulation of PRP and prolotherapy both assist stem cell proliferation. Additional research is needed to determine differential capacity to ensure multipotent stem cells regenerate the correct cell type from the increased differential capacity offered by growth factor recruitment. The application of combination therapy for stem cells is unsubstantiated and applications violate FDA ‘minimal manipulation’ guidelines.

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Date Created
2017-05

Diagnostic Research Proposal for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Description

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative brain disease that results from repetitive brain trauma causing brain structure, personality, behavioral, and cognitive changes. CTE is currently undiagnosable and untreatable in living patients. This thesis investigates research surrounding CTE and presents

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative brain disease that results from repetitive brain trauma causing brain structure, personality, behavioral, and cognitive changes. CTE is currently undiagnosable and untreatable in living patients. This thesis investigates research surrounding CTE and presents a comparative discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of current diagnostic methods used for other neurodegenerative diseases that may be useful for the diagnosis of CTE.

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Date Created
2019-05

Endogenous WNT Signaling Regulates hPSC-Derived Neural Progenitor Cell Heterogeneity and Specifies Their Regional Identity

Description

Neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are a multipotent cell population that is capable of nearly indefinite expansion and subsequent differentiation into the various neuronal and supporting cell types that comprise the CNS. However, current

Neural progenitor cells (NPCs) derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) are a multipotent cell population that is capable of nearly indefinite expansion and subsequent differentiation into the various neuronal and supporting cell types that comprise the CNS. However, current protocols for differentiating NPCs toward neuronal lineages result in a mixture of neurons from various regions of the CNS. In this study, we determined that endogenous WNT signaling is a primary contributor to the heterogeneity observed in NPC cultures and neuronal differentiation. Furthermore, exogenous manipulation of WNT signaling during neural differentiation, through either activation or inhibition, reduces this heterogeneity in NPC cultures, thereby promoting the formation of regionally homogeneous NPC and neuronal cultures. The ability to manipulate WNT signaling to generate regionally specific NPCs and neurons will be useful for studying human neural development and will greatly enhance the translational potential of hPSCs for neural-related therapies.

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Date Created
2014-12-09

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May I Cut In? Gene Editing Approaches in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Description

In the decade since Yamanaka and colleagues described methods to reprogram somatic cells into a pluripotent state, human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have demonstrated tremendous promise in numerous disease modeling, drug discovery, and regenerative medicine applications. More recently, the

In the decade since Yamanaka and colleagues described methods to reprogram somatic cells into a pluripotent state, human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have demonstrated tremendous promise in numerous disease modeling, drug discovery, and regenerative medicine applications. More recently, the development and refinement of advanced gene transduction and editing technologies have further accelerated the potential of hiPSCs. In this review, we discuss the various gene editing technologies that are being implemented with hiPSCs. Specifically, we describe the emergence of technologies including zinc-finger nuclease (ZFN), transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN), and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 that can be used to edit the genome at precise locations, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each of these technologies. In addition, we present the current applications of these technologies in elucidating the mechanisms of human development and disease, developing novel and effective therapeutic molecules, and engineering cell-based therapies. Finally, we discuss the emerging technological advances in targeted gene editing methods.

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Date Created
2017-02-06

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Biomaterial Approaches for Stem Cell-Based Myocardial Tissue Engineering

Description

Adult and pluripotent stem cells represent a ready supply of cellular raw materials that can be used to generate the functionally mature cells needed to replace damaged or diseased heart tissue. However, the use of stem cells for cardiac regenerative

Adult and pluripotent stem cells represent a ready supply of cellular raw materials that can be used to generate the functionally mature cells needed to replace damaged or diseased heart tissue. However, the use of stem cells for cardiac regenerative therapies is limited by the low efficiency by which stem cells are differentiated in vitro to cardiac lineages as well as the inability to effectively deliver stem cells and their derivatives to regions of damaged myocardium. In this review, we discuss the various biomaterial-based approaches that are being implemented to direct stem cell fate both in vitro and in vivo. First, we discuss the stem cell types available for cardiac repair and the engineering of naturally and synthetically derived biomaterials to direct their in vitro differentiation to the cell types that comprise heart tissue. Next, we describe biomaterial-based approaches that are being implemented to enhance the in vivo integration and differentiation of stem cells delivered to areas of cardiac damage. Finally, we present emerging trends of using stem cell-based biomaterial approaches to deliver pro-survival factors and fully vascularized tissue to the damaged and diseased cardiac tissue.

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2015-06-01

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Nonsense-Mediated RNA Decay Influences Human Embryonic Stem Cell Fate

Description

Nonsense-mediated RNA decay (NMD) is a highly conserved pathway that selectively degrades specific subsets of RNA transcripts. Here, we provide evidence that NMD regulates early human developmental cell fate. We found that NMD factors tend to be expressed at higher

Nonsense-mediated RNA decay (NMD) is a highly conserved pathway that selectively degrades specific subsets of RNA transcripts. Here, we provide evidence that NMD regulates early human developmental cell fate. We found that NMD factors tend to be expressed at higher levels in human pluripotent cells than in differentiated cells, raising the possibility that NMD must be downregulated to permit differentiation. Loss- and gain-of-function experiments in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) demonstrated that, indeed, NMD downregulation is essential for efficient generation of definitive endoderm. RNA-seq analysis identified NMD target transcripts induced when NMD is suppressed in hESCs, including many encoding signaling components. This led us to test the role of TGF-β and BMP signaling, which we found NMD acts through to influence definitive endoderm versus mesoderm fate. Our results suggest that selective RNA decay is critical for specifying the developmental fate of specific human embryonic cell lineages.

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Date Created
2016-06-14