Matching Items (13)

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Optical computed tomography for spatially isotropic four-dimensional imaging of live single cells

Description

Quantitative three-dimensional (3D) computed tomography (CT) imaging of living single cells enables orientation-independent morphometric analysis of the intricacies of cellular physiology. Since its invention, x-ray CT has become indispensable in

Quantitative three-dimensional (3D) computed tomography (CT) imaging of living single cells enables orientation-independent morphometric analysis of the intricacies of cellular physiology. Since its invention, x-ray CT has become indispensable in the clinic for diagnostic and prognostic purposes due to its quantitative absorption-based imaging in true 3D that allows objects of interest to be viewed and measured from any orientation. However, x-ray CT has not been useful at the level of single cells because there is insufficient contrast to form an image. Recently, optical CT has been developed successfully for fixed cells, but this technology called Cell-CT is incompatible with live-cell imaging due to the use of stains, such as hematoxylin, that are not compatible with cell viability. We present a novel development of optical CT for quantitative, multispectral functional 4D (three spatial + one spectral dimension) imaging of living single cells. The method applied to immune system cells offers truly isotropic 3D spatial resolution and enables time-resolved imaging studies of cells suspended in aqueous medium. Using live-cell optical CT, we found a heterogeneous response to mitochondrial fission inhibition in mouse macrophages and differential basal remodeling of small (0.1 to 1 fl) and large (1 to 20 fl) nuclear and mitochondrial structures on a 20- to 30-s time scale in human myelogenous leukemia cells. Because of its robust 3D measurement capabilities, live-cell optical CT represents a powerful new tool in the biomedical research field.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-12-06

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A versatile method for dynamically controlled patterning of small populations of epithelial cells on substrates via non-contact piezoelectric inkjet printing

Description

Intercellular interactions play a central role at the tissue and whole organism level modulating key cellular functions in normal and disease states. Studies of cell-cell communications are challenging due to

Intercellular interactions play a central role at the tissue and whole organism level modulating key cellular functions in normal and disease states. Studies of cell-cell communications are challenging due to ensemble averaging effects brought about by intrinsic heterogeneity in cellular function which requires such studies to be conducted with small populations of cells. Most of the current methods for producing and studying such small cell populations are complex to implement and require skilled personnel limiting their widespread utility in biomedical research labs. We present a simple and rapid method to produce small populations with varying size of epithelial cells (10–50 cells/population) with high-throughput (~ 1 population/second) on flat surfaces via patterning of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and random seeding of cells. We demonstrate that despite inherent limitations of non-contact, drop-on-demand piezoelectric inkjet printing for protein patterning, varying mixtures of ECM proteins can be deposited with high reproducibility and level of control on glass substrates using a set of dynamically adjustable optimized deposition parameters. We demonstrate high consistency for the number of cells per population (~1 cell standard error of mean), the population’s size (~0.2 coefficient of variation) and shape, as well as accurate spatial placement of and distance between colonies of a panel of metaplastic and dysplastic esophageal epithelial cells with differing adhesion and motility characteristics. The number of cells per colony, colony size and shape can be varied by dynamically varying the amount of ECM proteins deposited per spatial location and the number of spatial locations on the substrate. The method is applicable to a broad range of biological and biomedical studies including cell-cell communications, cellular microenvironment, migration, and stimulus response.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-04-26

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Single-Cell Analysis Reveals Early Manifestation of Cancerous Phenotype in Pre-Malignant Esophageal Cells

Description

Cellular heterogeneity plays a pivotal role in a variety of functional processes in vivo including carcinogenesis. However, our knowledge about cell-to-cell diversity and how differences in individual cells manifest in

Cellular heterogeneity plays a pivotal role in a variety of functional processes in vivo including carcinogenesis. However, our knowledge about cell-to-cell diversity and how differences in individual cells manifest in alterations at the population level remains very limited mainly due to the lack of appropriate tools enabling studies at the single-cell level. We present a study on changes in cellular heterogeneity in the context of pre-malignant progression in response to hypoxic stress. Utilizing pre-malignant progression of Barrett’s esophagus (BE) as a disease model system we studied molecular mechanisms underlying the progression from metaplastic to dysplastic (pre-cancerous) stage. We used newly developed methods enabling measurements of cell-to-cell differences in copy numbers of mitochondrial DNA, expression levels of a set of mitochondrial and nuclear genes involved in hypoxia response pathways, and mitochondrial membrane potential. In contrast to bulk cell studies reported earlier, our study shows significant differences between metaplastic and dysplastic BE cells in both average values and single-cell parameter distributions of mtDNA copy numbers, mitochondrial function, and mRNA expression levels of studied genes. Based on single-cell data analysis, we propose that mitochondria may be one of the key factors in pre-malignant progression in BE.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-10-08

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A platform for high-throughput bioenergy production phenotype characterization in single cells

Description

Driven by an increasing number of studies demonstrating its relevance to a broad variety of disease states, the bioenergy production phenotype has been widely characterized at the bulk sample level.

Driven by an increasing number of studies demonstrating its relevance to a broad variety of disease states, the bioenergy production phenotype has been widely characterized at the bulk sample level. Its cell-to-cell variability, a key player associated with cancer cell survival and recurrence, however, remains poorly understood due to ensemble averaging of the current approaches. We present a technology platform for performing oxygen consumption and extracellular acidification measurements of several hundreds to 1,000 individual cells per assay, while offering simultaneous analysis of cellular communication effects on the energy production phenotype. The platform comprises two major components: a tandem optical sensor for combined oxygen and pH detection, and a microwell device for isolation and analysis of single and few cells in hermetically sealed sub-nanoliter chambers. Our approach revealed subpopulations of cells with aberrant energy production profiles and enables determination of cellular response variability to electron transfer chain inhibitors and ion uncouplers.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-03-28

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Platform for combined analysis of functional and biomolecular phenotypes of the same cell

Description

Functional and molecular cell-to-cell variability is pivotal at the cellular, tissue and whole-organism levels. Yet, the ultimate goal of directly correlating the function of the individual cell with its biomolecular

Functional and molecular cell-to-cell variability is pivotal at the cellular, tissue and whole-organism levels. Yet, the ultimate goal of directly correlating the function of the individual cell with its biomolecular profile remains elusive. We present a platform for integrated analysis of functional and transcriptional phenotypes in the same single cells. We investigated changes in the cellular respiration and gene expression diversity resulting from adaptation to repeated episodes of acute hypoxia in a premalignant progression model. We find differential, progression stage-specific alterations in phenotypic heterogeneity and identify cells with aberrant phenotypes. To our knowledge, this study is the first demonstration of an integrated approach to elucidate how heterogeneity at the transcriptional level manifests in the physiologic profile of individual cells in the context of disease progression.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-03-16

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Transcriptional regulation by normal epithelium of premalignant to malignant progression in Barrett’s esophagus

Description

In carcinogenesis, intercellular interactions within and between cell types are critical but remain poorly understood. We present a study on intercellular interactions between normal and premalignant epithelial cells and their

In carcinogenesis, intercellular interactions within and between cell types are critical but remain poorly understood. We present a study on intercellular interactions between normal and premalignant epithelial cells and their functional relevance in the context of premalignant to malignant progression in Barrett’s esophagus. Using whole transcriptome profiling we found that in the presence of normal epithelial cells, dysplastic cells but not normal cells, exhibit marked down-regulation of a number of key signaling pathways, including the transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) and epithelial growth factor (EGF). Functional assays revealed both cell types showed repressed proliferation and significant changes in motility (speed, displacement and directionality) as a result of interactions between the two cell types. Cellular interactions appear to be mediated through both direct cell-cell contact and secreted ligands. The findings of this study are important in that they reveal, for the first time, the effects of cellular communication on gene expression and cellular function between premalignant (dysplastic) epithelial cells and their normal counterparts.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-10-12

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Ultra High Density Single Cell Metabolic Measurements

Description

In vitro measurements of cellular respiration have proven to be key biomarkers for the early onset of tumor formation in certain pathological mechanisms.1 The examination of isolated single cells has

In vitro measurements of cellular respiration have proven to be key biomarkers for the early onset of tumor formation in certain pathological mechanisms.1 The examination of isolated single cells has shown promise in predicting the onset of cancerous growth much earlier than current methods allow.2 Specifically, measurements of the oxygen consumption rates of precancerous cells have elucidated outliers which predict the early onset of esophageal cancer.2 Single cell profiling can fit in to current pathology studies and can serve as a step along the way, much like PCR or gel assays, in detecting biomarkers earlier than current clinical methods.3 Measurement of these single cell metabolic rates is currently limited to 25 cells per experiment. It is the aim of this project to increase throughput from 25 cells to 225 cells per experiment via the implementation of new hardware and software which fit with current methods to allow the same experimental structure. Successful implementation of such methods will allow for more rapid and efficient data collection, facilitating quantitative results and nine times the yield from the same experimental manpower and funding. This document focuses on the implementation ultra high density (UHD) hardware consisting of a pneumatic molar design, angular adjustment features and a mechanical Z-stage. These components have produced the most encouraging results thus far and are the key changes in transitioning to higher throughput experiments.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Single-Cell Gene Expression in Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

Description

Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is one of the most lethal and fastest growing cancers in the United States. Its onset is commonly triggered by metaplastic transformation of normal squamous esophageal epithelial

Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is one of the most lethal and fastest growing cancers in the United States. Its onset is commonly triggered by metaplastic transformation of normal squamous esophageal epithelial cells to Barrett's esophagus (BE) cells in response to acid reflux. BE patients are believed to progress through non-dysplastic metaplasia and increasing grades of dysplasia prior to EAC. Conventional cancer diagnostic tools rely on bulk-cell analyses that are incapable of identifying intratumoral heterogeneity or rare driver cells that play important roles in cancer progression. An improved single-cell method of cancer diagnosis would overcome this challenge by detecting cancer initiating cells before they progress into untreatable stages. In this study, using EAC as a model, we attempted to identify a more effective method of cancer diagnosis. We quantified the single- and bulk-cell mRNA expression of genes that have been proposed to be instrumental in the progression of EAC through BE. Quantitative Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis was performed on human primary cells to measure the mRNA expression levels of BE- and EAC-associated genes. Our results showed high levels of heterogeneity of CDX2 and TFF3 at the single-cell resolution in human BE and EAC samples. Additionally, while expression of VEGF is generally low at the bulk-cell level, our results showed that a few, rare cells had significantly higher VEGF expression levels than the majority of cells in the EAC sample. In conclusion, we have affirmed that EAC cancer cells, as well as BE cells, show high levels of heterogeneity. Based on the VEGF gene expression pattern, single-cell analysis could potentially be more effective for identifying rare, but essential cells for cancer progression, which could then be targeted for treatment. Future studies will focus on analyzing human samples from thousands of normal and cancer subjects to validate the use of single-cell profiling in cancer.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013-12

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Isotropic 3D Nuclear Morphometry of Normal, Fibrocystic and Malignant Breast Epithelial Cells Reveals New Structural Alterations

Description

Background
Grading schemes for breast cancer diagnosis are predominantly based on pathologists' qualitative assessment of altered nuclear structure from 2D brightfield microscopy images. However, cells are three-dimensional (3D) objects with

Background
Grading schemes for breast cancer diagnosis are predominantly based on pathologists' qualitative assessment of altered nuclear structure from 2D brightfield microscopy images. However, cells are three-dimensional (3D) objects with features that are inherently 3D and thus poorly characterized in 2D. Our goal is to quantitatively characterize nuclear structure in 3D, assess its variation with malignancy, and investigate whether such variation correlates with standard nuclear grading criteria.
Methodology
We applied micro-optical computed tomographic imaging and automated 3D nuclear morphometry to quantify and compare morphological variations between human cell lines derived from normal, benign fibrocystic or malignant breast epithelium. To reproduce the appearance and contrast in clinical cytopathology images, we stained cells with hematoxylin and eosin and obtained 3D images of 150 individual stained cells of each cell type at sub-micron, isotropic resolution. Applying volumetric image analyses, we computed 42 3D morphological and textural descriptors of cellular and nuclear structure.
Principal Findings
We observed four distinct nuclear shape categories, the predominant being a mushroom cap shape. Cell and nuclear volumes increased from normal to fibrocystic to metastatic type, but there was little difference in the volume ratio of nucleus to cytoplasm (N/C ratio) between the lines. Abnormal cell nuclei had more nucleoli, markedly higher density and clumpier chromatin organization compared to normal. Nuclei of non-tumorigenic, fibrocystic cells exhibited larger textural variations than metastatic cell nuclei. At p<0.0025 by ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis tests, 90% of our computed descriptors statistically differentiated control from abnormal cell populations, but only 69% of these features statistically differentiated the fibrocystic from the metastatic cell populations.
Conclusions
Our results provide a new perspective on nuclear structure variations associated with malignancy and point to the value of automated quantitative 3D nuclear morphometry as an objective tool to enable development of sensitive and specific nuclear grade classification in breast cancer diagnosis.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2012-01-05

Rotating live mammalian cells free in media using spatial light modulator (SLM)-generated optical tweezers

Description

In the frenzy of next generation genetic sequencing and proteomics, single-cell level analysis has begun to find its place in the crux of personalized medicine and cancer research. Single live

In the frenzy of next generation genetic sequencing and proteomics, single-cell level analysis has begun to find its place in the crux of personalized medicine and cancer research. Single live cell 3D imaging technology is one of the most useful ways of providing spatial and morphological details inside living single cells. It provides a window to uncover the mysteries of protein structure and folding, as well as genetic expression over time, which will tremendously improve the state of the fields of biophysics and biomedical research. This thesis project specifically demonstrates a method for live single cell rotation required to image them in the single live cell CT imaging platform. The method of rotation proposed in this thesis uses dynamic optical traps generated by a phase-only spatial light modulator (SLM) to exert torque on a single mammalian cell. Laser patterns carrying the holographic information of the traps are delivered from the SLM through a transformation telescope into the objective lens and onto its focal plane to produce the desired optical trap "image". The phase information in the laser patterns being delivered are continuously altered by the SLM such that the structure of the wavefront produces two foci at opposite edges of the cell of interest that each moves along the circumference of the cell in opposite axial directions. Momentum generated by the motion of the foci exerts a torque on the cell, causing it to rotate. The viability of this method was demonstrated experimentally. Software was written using LabVIEW to control the display panel of the SLM.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013