bims-cateng Biomed News
on Cell and tissue engineering
Issue of 2023‒09‒24
eight papers selected by
Chance Bowman, Dartmouth College

  1. Med Rev (Berl). 2022 Oct;2(5): 512-523
      The organoid field has been developing rapidly during the last decade. Organoids for human pre-, peri- and post-implantation development have opened an avenue to study these biological processes in vitro, which have been hampered by lack of accessible research models for long term. The technologies of four fields, single cell omics sequencing, genome editing and lineage tracing, microfluidics and tissue engineering, have fueled the rapid development of the organoid field. In this review, we will discuss the organoid research on human early development as well as future directions of the organoid field combining with other powerful technologies.
    Keywords:  genome editing; implantation; microfluidics; organoid; single cell sequencing; tissue engineering
  2. STAR Protoc. 2023 Sep 20. pii: S2666-1667(23)00550-6. [Epub ahead of print]4(4): 102583
      Prime editing introduces single-nucleotide polymorphism changes, small deletions, or insertions at a specific genome site without double-stranded DNA breaks or the need for the donor template. Here, we present a protocol to design, conduct, and evaluate prime editing in human pluripotent stem cells. We describe steps for pegRNA and nicking sgRNA design and cloning, the prime editing tool electroporation, and the efficiency evaluation using Miseq. We elaborate the process of GBA (N370S) mutation induction and correction as an example. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Li et al. (2022).1.
    Keywords:  CRISPR; Stem Cells
  3. APL Bioeng. 2023 Sep;7(3): 031504
      Cell manipulation techniques such as those based on three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting and microfluidic systems have recently been developed to reconstruct complex 3D tissue structures in vitro. Compared to these technologies, magnetic force-based cell manipulation is a simpler, scaffold- and label-free method that minimally affects cell viability and can rapidly manipulate cells into 3D tissue constructs. As such, there is increasing interest in leveraging this technology for cell assembly in tissue engineering. Cell manipulation using magnetic forces primarily involves two key approaches. The first method, positive magnetophoresis, uses magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) which are either attached to the cell surface or integrated within the cell. These MNPs enable the deliberate positioning of cells into designated configurations when an external magnetic field is applied. The second method, known as negative magnetophoresis, manipulates diamagnetic entities, such as cells, in a paramagnetic environment using an external magnetic field. Unlike the first method, this technique does not require the use of MNPs for cell manipulation. Instead, it leverages the magnetic field and the motion of paramagnetic agents like paramagnetic salts (Gadobutrol, MnCl2, etc.) to propel cells toward the field minimum, resulting in the assembly of cells into the desired geometrical arrangement. In this Review, we will first describe the major approaches used to assemble cells in vitro-3D bioprinting and microfluidics-based platforms-and then discuss the use of magnetic forces for cell manipulation. Finally, we will highlight recent research in which these magnetic force-based approaches have been applied and outline challenges to mature this technology for in vitro tissue engineering.
  4. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2023 Sep 18.
      CRISPR-based drugs can theoretically manipulate any genetic target. In practice, however, these drugs must enter the desired cell without eliciting an unwanted immune response, so a delivery system is often required. Here, we review drug delivery systems for CRISPR-based genome editors, focusing on adeno-associated viruses and lipid nanoparticles. After describing how these systems are engineered and their subsequent characterization in preclinical animal models, we highlight data from recent clinical trials. Preclinical targeting mediated by polymers, proteins, including virus-like particles, and other vehicles that may deliver CRISPR systems in the future is also discussed.
  5. Nanoscale Horiz. 2023 Sep 19.
      The field of nanomaterials has progressed dramatically over the past decades with important contributions to the biomedical area. The physicochemical properties of nanomaterials, such as the size and structure, can be controlled through manipulation of mass and heat transfer conditions during synthesis. In particular, microfluidic systems with rapid mixing and precise fluid control are ideal platforms for creating appropriate synthesis conditions. One notable example of microfluidics-based synthesis is the development of lipid nanoparticle (LNP)-based mRNA vaccines with accelerated clinical translation and robust efficacy during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to LNPs, microfluidic systems have been adopted for the controlled synthesis of a broad range of nanomaterials. In this review, we introduce the fundamental principles of microfluidic technologies including flow field- and multiple field-based methods for fabricating nanoparticles, and discuss their applications in the biomedical field. We conclude this review by outlining several major challenges and future directions in the implementation of microfluidic synthesis of nanomaterials.
  6. Biofabrication. 2023 Sep 19.
      Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most prevalent neuromuscular disease diagnosed in childhood. It is a progressive and wasting disease, characterized by a degeneration of skeletal and cardiac muscles caused by the lack of dystrophin protein. The absence of this crucial structural protein leads to sarcolemmal fragility, resulting in muscle fiber damage during contraction. Despite ongoing efforts, there is no cure available for DMD patients. One of the primary challenges is the limited efficacy of current preclinical tools, which fail in modeling the biological complexity of the disease. Human-based 3D cell culture methods appear as a novel approach to accelerate preclinical research by enhancing the reproduction of pathophysiological processes in skeletal muscle. In this work, we developed a patientderived functional 3D skeletal muscle model of DMD that reproduces the sarcolemmal damage found in the native DMD muscle. These bioengineered skeletal muscle tissues exhibit contractile functionality, as they responded to electrical pulse stimulation (EPS). Sustained contractile regimes induced the loss of myotube integrity, mirroring the pathological myotube breakdown inherent in DMD due to sarcolemmal instability. Moreover, damaged DMD tissues showed disease functional phenotypes, such as tetanic fatigue. We also evaluated the therapeutic effect of utrophin upregulator drug candidates on the functionality of the skeletal muscle tissues, thus providing deeper insight into the real impact of these treatments. Overall, our findings underscore the potential of bioengineered 3D skeletal muscle technology to advance DMD research and facilitate the development of novel therapies for DMD and related neuromuscular disorders.
    Keywords:  3D cell culture; Duchenne muscular dystrophy; disease modelling; drug testing; sarcolemmal damage; skeletal muscle; tissue engineering
  7. Nat Methods. 2023 Sep 21.
      Organoids derived from stem cells have become an increasingly important tool for studying human development and modeling disease. However, methods are still needed to control and study spatiotemporal patterns of gene expression in organoids. Here we combined optogenetics and gene perturbation technologies to activate or knock-down RNA of target genes in programmable spatiotemporal patterns. To illustrate the usefulness of our approach, we locally activated Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) signaling in an organoid model for human neurodevelopment. Spatial and single-cell transcriptomic analyses showed that this local induction was sufficient to generate stereotypically patterned organoids and revealed new insights into SHH's contribution to gene regulation in neurodevelopment. With this study, we propose optogenetic perturbations in combination with spatial transcriptomics as a powerful technology to reprogram and study cell fates and tissue patterning in organoids.
  8. J Biophotonics. 2023 Sep 22. e202300262
      Cellular biomechanical properties provide essential insights into biological functions regarding health and disease. Current measurements of the biomechanical properties of cells require physical contact with cells or pre-loading on the cells. Here, we have developed photoacoustic micro-viscoelastography (PAMVE), which utilizes the phase characteristics of photoacoustic (PA) response, for mapping mechanocellular properties in a load-free manner. PAMVE realizes the local viscoelasticity measurement on the macrophages and red blood cells with micrometer scale. Furthermore, PAMVE can successfully identify the adipose cell and skeletal muscle cell due to the difference in their composition-related biomechanical properties. PAMVE represents an irreplaceable option for interrogating characteristic mechanocellular properties, opening the possibility of studying cellular mechanobiology and pathophysiology. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  cellular mechanics; photoacoustic; viscoelasticity imaging