Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 28 in total

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  1. Zhang W, Huang G, Ng K, Ji Y, Gao B, Huang L, et al.
    Biomater Sci, 2018 Mar 07.
    PMID: 29511758 DOI: 10.1039/c7bm01186e
    Hydrogel particles that can be engineered to compartmentally culture cells in a three-dimensional (3D) and high-throughput manner have attracted increasing interest in the biomedical area. However, the ability to generate hydrogel particles with specially designed structures and their potential biomedical applications need to be further explored. This work introduces a method for fabricating hydrogel particles in an ellipsoidal cap-like shape (i.e., ellipsoidal cap-like hydrogel particles) by employing an open-pore anodic aluminum oxide membrane. Hydrogel particles of different sizes are fabricated. The ability to produce ellipsoidal cap-like magnetic hydrogel particles with controlled distribution of magnetic nanoparticles is demonstrated. Encapsulated cells show high viability, indicating the potential for using these hydrogel particles as structure- and remote-controllable building blocks for tissue engineering application. Moreover, the hydrogel particles are also used as sacrificial templates for fabricating ellipsoidal cap-like concave wells, which are further applied for producing size controllable cell aggregates. The results are beneficial for the development of hydrogel particles and their applications in 3D cell culture.
  2. Yong KW, Safwani WKZW, Xu F, Zhang X, Choi JR, Abas WABW, et al.
    J Tissue Eng Regen Med, 2017 08;11(8):2217-2226.
    PMID: 26756982 DOI: 10.1002/term.2120
    Cryopreservation represents an efficient way to preserve human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) at early culture/passage, and allows pooling of cells to achieve sufficient cells required for off-the-shelf use in clinical applications, e.g. cell-based therapies and regenerative medicine. To fully apply cryopreserved hMSCs in a clinical setting, it is necessary to evaluate their biosafety, e.g. chromosomal abnormality and tumourigenic potential. To date, many studies have demonstrated that cryopreserved hMSCs display no chromosomal abnormalities. However, the tumourigenic potential of cryopreserved hMSCs has not yet been evaluated. In the present study, we cryopreserved human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hASCs) for 3 months, using a slow freezing method with various cryoprotective agents (CPAs), followed by assessment of the tumourigenic potential of the cryopreserved hASCs after thawing and subculture. We found that long-term cryopreserved hASCs maintained normal levels of the tumour suppressor markers p53, p21, p16 and pRb, hTERT, telomerase activity and telomere length. Further, we did not observe significant DNA damage or signs of p53 mutation in cryopreserved hASCs. Our findings suggest that long-term cryopreserved hASCs are at low risk of tumourigenesis. These findings aid in establishing the biosafety profile of cryopreserved hASCs, and thus establishing low hazardous risk perception with the use of long-term cryopreserved hASCs for future clinical applications. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  3. Wong JJ, Phan HP, Phumeetham S, Ong JSM, Chor YK, Qian S, et al.
    Crit. Care Med., 2017 Jul 26.
    PMID: 28749854 DOI: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000002623
    OBJECTIVES: The Pediatric Acute Lung Injury Consensus Conference developed a pediatric specific definition for acute respiratory distress syndrome (PARDS). In this definition, severity of lung disease is stratified into mild, moderate, and severe groups. We aim to describe the epidemiology of patients with PARDS across Asia and evaluate whether the Pediatric Acute Lung Injury Consensus Conference risk stratification accurately predicts outcome in PARDS.

    DESIGN: A multicenter, retrospective, descriptive cohort study.

    SETTING: Ten multidisciplinary PICUs in Asia.

    PATIENTS: All mechanically ventilated children meeting the Pediatric Acute Lung Injury Consensus Conference criteria for PARDS between 2009 and 2015.

    INTERVENTIONS: None.

    MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Data on epidemiology, ventilation, adjunct therapies, and clinical outcomes were collected. Patients were followed for 100 days post diagnosis of PARDS. A total of 373 patients were included. There were 89 (23.9%), 149 (39.9%), and 135 (36.2%) patients with mild, moderate, and severe PARDS, respectively. The most common risk factor for PARDS was pneumonia/lower respiratory tract infection (309 [82.8%]). Higher category of severity of PARDS was associated with lower ventilator-free days (22 [17-25], 16 [0-23], 6 [0-19]; p < 0.001 for mild, moderate, and severe, respectively) and PICU free days (19 [11-24], 15 [0-22], 5 [0-20]; p < 0.001 for mild, moderate, and severe, respectively). Overall PICU mortality for PARDS was 113 of 373 (30.3%), and 100-day mortality was 126 of 317 (39.7%). After adjusting for site, presence of comorbidities and severity of illness in the multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression model, patients with moderate (hazard ratio, 1.88 [95% CI, 1.03-3.45]; p = 0.039) and severe PARDS (hazard ratio, 3.18 [95% CI, 1.68, 6.02]; p < 0.001) had higher risk of mortality compared with those with mild PARDS.

    CONCLUSIONS: Mortality from PARDS is high in Asia. The Pediatric Acute Lung Injury Consensus Conference definition of PARDS is a useful tool for risk stratification.

  4. Hu J, Yew CT, Chen X, Feng S, Yang Q, Wang S, et al.
    Talanta, 2017 Apr 01;165:419-428.
    PMID: 28153277 DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2016.12.086
    The identification and quantification of chemicals play a vital role in evaluation and surveillance of environmental health and safety. However, current techniques usually depend on costly equipment, professional staff, and/or essential infrastructure, limiting their accessibility. In this work, we develop paper-based capacitive sensors (PCSs) that allow simple, rapid identification and quantification of various chemicals from microliter size samples with the aid of a handheld multimeter. PCSs are low-cost parallel-plate capacitors (~$0.01 per sensor) assembled from layers of aluminum foil and filter paper via double-sided tape. The developed PCSs can identify different kinds of fluids (e.g., organic chemicals) and quantify diverse concentrations of substances (e.g., heavy metal ions) based on differences in dielectric properties, including capacitance, frequency spectrum, and dielectric loss tangent. The PCS-based method enables chemical identification and quantification to take place much cheaply, simply, and quickly at the point-of-care (POC), holding great promise for environmental monitoring in resource-limited settings.
  5. Choi JR, Hu J, Wang S, Yang H, Wan Abas WA, Pingguan-Murphy B, et al.
    Crit. Rev. Biotechnol., 2017 Feb;37(1):100-111.
    PMID: 26912259
    Dengue endemic is a serious healthcare concern in tropical and subtropical countries. Although well-established laboratory tests can provide early diagnosis of acute dengue infections, access to these tests is limited in developing countries, presenting an urgent need to develop simple, rapid, and robust diagnostic tools. Point-of-care (POC) devices, particularly paper-based POC devices, are typically rapid, cost-effective and user-friendly, and they can be used as diagnostic tools for the prompt diagnosis of dengue at POC settings. Here, we review the importance of rapid dengue diagnosis, current dengue diagnostic methods, and the development of paper-based POC devices for diagnosis of dengue infections at the POC.
  6. Choi JR, Yong KW, Tang R, Gong Y, Wen T, Yang H, et al.
    Adv Healthc Mater, 2017 Jan;6(1).
    PMID: 27860384 DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201600920
    Paper-based devices have been broadly used for the point-of-care detection of dengue viral nucleic acids due to their simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and readily observable colorimetric readout. However, their moderate sensitivity and functionality have limited their applications. Despite the above-mentioned advantages, paper substrates are lacking in their ability to control fluid flow, in contrast to the flow control enabled by polymer substrates (e.g., agarose) with readily tunable pore size and porosity. Herein, taking the benefits from both materials, the authors propose a strategy to create a hybrid substrate by incorporating agarose into the test strip to achieve flow control for optimal biomolecule interactions. As compared to the unmodified test strip, this strategy allows sensitive detection of targets with an approximately tenfold signal improvement. Additionally, the authors showcase the potential of functionality improvement by creating multiple test zones for semi-quantification of targets, suggesting that the number of visible test zones is directly proportional to the target concentration. The authors further demonstrate the potential of their proposed strategy for clinical assessment by applying it to their prototype sample-to-result test strip to sensitively and semi-quantitatively detect dengue viral RNA from the clinical blood samples. This proposed strategy holds significant promise for detecting various targets for diverse future applications.
  7. Yong KW, Li Y, Liu F, Bin Gao, Lu TJ, Wan Abas WA, et al.
    Sci Rep, 2016 10 05;6:33067.
    PMID: 27703175 DOI: 10.1038/srep33067
    Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) hold great promise in cardiac fibrosis therapy, due to their potential ability of inhibiting cardiac myofibroblast differentiation (a hallmark of cardiac fibrosis). However, the mechanism involved in their effects remains elusive. To explore this, it is necessary to develop an in vitro cardiac fibrosis model that incorporates pore size and native tissue-mimicking matrix stiffness, which may regulate cardiac myofibroblast differentiation. In the present study, collagen coated polyacrylamide hydrogel substrates were fabricated, in which the pore size was adjusted without altering the matrix stiffness. Stiffness is shown to regulate cardiac myofibroblast differentiation independently of pore size. Substrate at a stiffness of 30 kPa, which mimics the stiffness of native fibrotic cardiac tissue, was found to induce cardiac myofibroblast differentiation to create in vitro cardiac fibrosis model. Conditioned medium of hMSCs was applied to the model to determine its role and inhibitory mechanism on cardiac myofibroblast differentiation. It was found that hMSCs secrete hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) to inhibit cardiac myofibroblast differentiation via downregulation of angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) and upregulation of Smad7. These findings would aid in establishment of the therapeutic use of hMSCs in cardiac fibrosis therapy in future.
  8. Gao B, Wang L, Han S, Pingguan-Murphy B, Zhang X, Xu F
    Crit. Rev. Biotechnol., 2016 Aug;36(4):619-29.
    PMID: 25669871 DOI: 10.3109/07388551.2014.1002381
    Diabetes now is the most common chronic disease in the world inducing heavy burden for the people's health. Based on this, diabetes research such as islet function has become a hot topic in medical institutes of the world. Today, in medical institutes, the conventional experiment platform in vitro is monolayer cell culture. However, with the development of micro- and nano-technologies, several microengineering methods have been developed to fabricate three-dimensional (3D) islet models in vitro which can better mimic the islet of pancreases in vivo. These in vitro islet models have shown better cell function than monolayer cells, indicating their great potential as better experimental platforms to elucidate islet behaviors under both physiological and pathological conditions, such as the molecular mechanisms of diabetes and clinical islet transplantation. In this review, we present the state-of-the-art advances in the microengineering methods for fabricating microscale islet models in vitro. We hope this will help researchers to better understand the progress in the engineering 3D islet models and their biomedical applications such as drug screening and islet transplantation.
  9. Choi JR, Liu Z, Hu J, Tang R, Gong Y, Feng S, et al.
    Anal. Chem., 2016 06 21;88(12):6254-64.
    PMID: 27012657 DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b00195
    In nucleic acid testing (NAT), gold nanoparticle (AuNP)-based lateral flow assays (LFAs) have received significant attention due to their cost-effectiveness, rapidity, and the ability to produce a simple colorimetric readout. However, the poor sensitivity of AuNP-based LFAs limits its widespread applications. Even though various efforts have been made to improve the assay sensitivity, most methods are inappropriate for integration into LFA for sample-to-answer NAT at the point-of-care (POC), usually due to the complicated fabrication processes or incompatible chemicals used. To address this, we propose a novel strategy of integrating a simple fluidic control strategy into LFA. The strategy involves incorporating a piece of paper-based shunt and a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) barrier to the strip to achieve optimum fluidic delays for LFA signal enhancement, resulting in 10-fold signal enhancement over unmodified LFA. The phenomena of fluidic delay were also evaluated by mathematical simulation, through which we found the movement of fluid throughout the shunt and the tortuosity effects in the presence of PDMS barrier, which significantly affect the detection sensitivity. To demonstrate the potential of integrating this strategy into a LFA with sample-in-answer-out capability, we further applied this strategy into our prototype sample-to-answer LFA to sensitively detect the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) in clinical blood samples. The proposed strategy offers great potential for highly sensitive detection of various targets for wide application in the near future.
  10. Wang L, Li Y, Huang G, Zhang X, Pingguan-Murphy B, Gao B, et al.
    Crit. Rev. Biotechnol., 2016 Jun;36(3):553-65.
    PMID: 25641330 DOI: 10.3109/07388551.2014.993588
    Natural cellular microenvironment consists of spatiotemporal gradients of multiple physical (e.g. extracellular matrix stiffness, porosity and stress/strain) and chemical cues (e.g. morphogens), which play important roles in regulating cell behaviors including spreading, proliferation, migration, differentiation and apoptosis, especially for pathological processes such as tumor formation and progression. Therefore, it is essential to engineer cellular gradient microenvironment incorporating various gradients for the fabrication of normal and pathological tissue models in vitro. In this article, we firstly review the development of engineering cellular physical and chemical gradients with cytocompatible hydrogels in both two-dimension and three-dimension formats. We then present current advances in the application of engineered gradient microenvironments for the fabrication of disease models in vitro. Finally, concluding remarks and future perspectives for engineering cellular gradients are given.
  11. Tang R, Yang H, Choi JR, Gong Y, Hu J, Feng S, et al.
    Talanta, 2016 May 15;152:269-76.
    PMID: 26992520 DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2016.02.017
    Lateral flow assays (LFAs) hold great promise for point-of-care testing, especially in resource-poor settings. However, the poor sensitivity of LFAs limits their widespread applications. To address this, we developed a novel device by integrating dialysis-based concentration method into LFAs. The device successfully achieved 10-fold signal enhancement in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) nucleic acid detection with a detection limit of 0.1nM and 4-fold signal enhancement in myoglobin (MYO) detection with a detection limit of 1.56ng/mL in less than 25min. This simple, low-cost and portable integrated device holds great potential for highly sensitive detection of various target analytes for medical diagnostics, food safety analysis and environmental monitoring.
  12. Choi JR, Hu J, Feng S, Wan Abas WA, Pingguan-Murphy B, Xu F
    Biosens Bioelectron, 2016 May 15;79:98-107.
    PMID: 26700582 DOI: 10.1016/j.bios.2015.12.005
    Lateral flow assays (LFAs) have currently attracted broad interest for point-of-care (POC) diagnostics, but their application has been restricted by poor quantification and limited sensitivity. While the former has been currently solved to some extent by the development of handheld or smartphone-based readers, the latter has not been addressed fully, particularly the potential influences of environmental conditions (e.g., temperature and relative humidity (RH)), which have not yet received serious attention. The present study reports the use of a portable temperature-humidity control device to provide an optimum environmental requirement for sensitivity improvement in LFAs, followed by quantification by using a smartphone. We found that a RH beyond 60% with temperatures of 55-60°C and 37-40°C produced optimum nucleic acid hybridization and antigen-antibody interaction in LFAs, respectively representing a 10-fold and 3-fold signal enhancement over ambient conditions (25°C, 60% RH). We envision that in the future the portable device could be coupled with a fully integrated paper-based sample-to-answer biosensor for sensitive detection of various target analytes in POC settings.
  13. Choi JR, Hu J, Gong Y, Feng S, Wan Abas WA, Pingguan-Murphy B, et al.
    Analyst, 2016 05 10;141(10):2930-9.
    PMID: 27010033 DOI: 10.1039/c5an02532j
    Lateral flow assays (LFAs) have been extensively explored in nucleic acid testing (NAT) for medical diagnostics, food safety analysis and environmental monitoring. However, the amount of target nucleic acid in a raw sample is usually too low to be directly detected by LFAs, necessitating the process of amplification. Even though cost-effective paper-based amplification techniques have been introduced, they have always been separately performed from LFAs, hence increasing the risk of reagent loss and cross-contaminations. To date, integrating paper-based nucleic acid amplification into colorimetric LFA in a simple, portable and cost-effective manner has not been introduced. Herein, we developed an integrated LFA with the aid of a specially designed handheld battery-powered system for effective amplification and detection of targets in resource-poor settings. Interestingly, using the integrated paper-based loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP)-LFA, we successfully performed highly sensitive and specific target detection, achieving a detection limit of as low as 3 × 10(3) copies of target DNA, which is comparable to the conventional tube-based LAMP-LFA in an unintegrated format. The device may serve in conjunction with a simple paper-based sample preparation to create a fully integrated paper-based sample-to-answer diagnostic device for point-of-care testing (POCT) in the near future.
  14. Tang RH, Yang H, Choi JR, Gong Y, Feng SS, Pingguan-Murphy B, et al.
    PMID: 27075621 DOI: 10.3109/07388551.2016.1164664
    In recent years, paper-based point-of-care testing (POCT) has been widely used in medical diagnostics, food safety and environmental monitoring. However, a high-cost, time-consuming and equipment-dependent sample pretreatment technique is generally required for raw sample processing, which are impractical for low-resource and disease-endemic areas. Therefore, there is an escalating demand for a cost-effective, simple and portable pretreatment technique, to be coupled with the commonly used paper-based assay (e.g. lateral flow assay) in POCT. In this review, we focus on the importance of using paper as a platform for sample pretreatment. We firstly discuss the beneficial use of paper for sample pretreatment, including sample collection and storage, separation, extraction, and concentration. We highlight the working principle and fabrication of each sample pretreatment device, the existing challenges and the future perspectives for developing paper-based sample pretreatment technique.
  15. Liu X, Wu Y, Chen Y, Xu F, Halliday N, Gao K, et al.
    Res. Microbiol., 2016 Apr;167(3):168-77.
    PMID: 26671319 DOI: 10.1016/j.resmic.2015.11.003
    The σ(S) subunit RpoS of RNA polymerase functions as a master regulator of the general stress response in Escherichia coli and related bacteria. RpoS has been reported to modulate biocontrol properties in the rhizobacterium Serratia plymuthica IC1270. However, the role of RpoS in the stress response and biofilm formation in S. plymuthica remains largely unknown. Here we studied the role of RpoS from an endophytic S. plymuthica G3 in regulating these phenotypes. Mutational analysis demonstrated that RpoS positively regulates the global stress response to acid or alkaline stresses, oxidative stress, hyperosmolarity, heat shock and carbon starvation, in addition to proteolytic and chitinolytic activities. Interestingly, rpoS mutations resulted in significantly enhanced swimming motility, biofilm formation and production of the plant auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), which may contribute to competitive colonization and environmental fitness for survival. These findings provide further insight into the strain-specific role of RpoS in the endophytic strain G3 of S. plymuthica, where it confers resistance to general stresses encountered within the plant environment. The heterogeneous functionality of RpoS in rhizosphere and endophytic S. plymuthica populations may provide a selective advantage for better adaptation to various physiological and environmental stresses.
  16. Choi JR, Hu J, Tang R, Gong Y, Feng S, Ren H, et al.
    Lab Chip, 2016 Feb 7;16(3):611-21.
    PMID: 26759062 DOI: 10.1039/c5lc01388g
    With advances in point-of-care testing (POCT), lateral flow assays (LFAs) have been explored for nucleic acid detection. However, biological samples generally contain complex compositions and low amounts of target nucleic acids, and currently require laborious off-chip nucleic acid extraction and amplification processes (e.g., tube-based extraction and polymerase chain reaction (PCR)) prior to detection. To the best of our knowledge, even though the integration of DNA extraction and amplification into a paper-based biosensor has been reported, a combination of LFA with the aforementioned steps for simple colorimetric readout has not yet been demonstrated. Here, we demonstrate for the first time an integrated paper-based biosensor incorporating nucleic acid extraction, amplification and visual detection or quantification using a smartphone. A handheld battery-powered heating device was specially developed for nucleic acid amplification in POC settings, which is coupled with this simple assay for rapid target detection. The biosensor can successfully detect Escherichia coli (as a model analyte) in spiked drinking water, milk, blood, and spinach with a detection limit of as low as 10-1000 CFU mL(-1), and Streptococcus pneumonia in clinical blood samples, highlighting its potential use in medical diagnostics, food safety analysis and environmental monitoring. As compared to the lengthy conventional assay, which requires more than 5 hours for the entire sample-to-answer process, it takes about 1 hour for our integrated biosensor. The integrated biosensor holds great potential for detection of various target analytes for wide applications in the near future.
  17. Hilpert P, Randall AK, Sorokowski P, Atkins DC, Sorokowska A, Ahmadi K, et al.
    Front Psychol, 2016;7:1404.
    PMID: 27698648
    [This corrects the article on p. 1106 in vol. 7, PMID: 27551269.].
  18. Hilpert P, Randall AK, Sorokowski P, Atkins DC, Sorokowska A, Ahmadi K, et al.
    Front Psychol, 2016;7:1106.
    PMID: 27551269 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01106
    OBJECTIVE: Theories about how couples help each other to cope with stress, such as the systemic transactional model of dyadic coping, suggest that the cultural context in which couples live influences how their coping behavior affects their relationship satisfaction. In contrast to the theoretical assumptions, a recent meta-analysis provides evidence that neither culture, nor gender, influences the association between dyadic coping and relationship satisfaction, at least based on their samples of couples living in North America and West Europe. Thus, it is an open questions whether the theoretical assumptions of cultural influences are false or whether cultural influences on couple behavior just occur in cultures outside of the Western world.

    METHOD: In order to examine the cultural influence, using a sample of married individuals (N = 7973) from 35 nations, we used multilevel modeling to test whether the positive association between dyadic coping and relationship satisfaction varies across nations and whether gender might moderate the association.

    RESULTS: RESULTS reveal that the association between dyadic coping and relationship satisfaction varies between nations. In addition, results show that in some nations the association is higher for men and in other nations it is higher for women.

    CONCLUSIONS: Cultural and gender differences across the globe influence how couples' coping behavior affects relationship outcomes. This crucial finding indicates that couple relationship education programs and interventions need to be culturally adapted, as skill trainings such as dyadic coping lead to differential effects on relationship satisfaction based on the culture in which couples live.

  19. Klionsky DJ, Abdelmohsen K, Abe A, Abedin MJ, Abeliovich H, Acevedo Arozena A, et al.
    Autophagy, 2016;12(1):1-222.
    PMID: 26799652 DOI: 10.1080/15548627.2015.1100356
  20. Choi JR, Tang R, Wang S, Wan Abas WA, Pingguan-Murphy B, Xu F
    Biosens Bioelectron, 2015 Dec 15;74:427-39.
    PMID: 26164488 DOI: 10.1016/j.bios.2015.06.065
    Nucleic acid testing (NAT), as a molecular diagnostic technique, including nucleic acid extraction, amplification and detection, plays a fundamental role in medical diagnosis for timely medical treatment. However, current NAT technologies require relatively high-end instrumentation, skilled personnel, and are time-consuming. These drawbacks mean conventional NAT becomes impractical in many resource-limited disease-endemic settings, leading to an urgent need to develop a fast and portable NAT diagnostic tool. Paper-based devices are typically robust, cost-effective and user-friendly, holding a great potential for NAT at the point of care. In view of the escalating demand for the low cost diagnostic devices, we highlight the beneficial use of paper as a platform for NAT, the current state of its development, and the existing challenges preventing its widespread use. We suggest a strategy involving integrating all three steps of NAT into one single paper-based sample-to-answer diagnostic device for rapid medical diagnostics in the near future.
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