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  1. Law JX, Chowdhury SR, Aminuddin BS, Ruszymah BHI
    Cell Tissue Bank, 2017 Dec;18(4):585-595.
    PMID: 28748415 DOI: 10.1007/s10561-017-9645-2
    Fibrin has excellent biocompatibility and biological properties to support tissue regeneration and promote wound healing. However, the role of diluted fibrin in wound healing has yet to be elucidated as it is commonly used in high concentration. This study was aimed to examine the effects of diluted plasma-derived fibrin (PDF) on keratinocyte and fibroblast wound healing in term of cell proliferation, migration, extracellular matrix (ECM) production and soluble factor secretion. Two PDF concentrations, 10 and 20% (v/v) were tested on keratinocytes and fibroblasts indirectly co-cultured in the transwell system. The control group was cultured with 5% FBS. Results showed that PDF reduced the keratinocyte growth rate and fibroblast migration, and increased the fibroblast ECM gene expression whereby significant differences were found between the 20% PDF group and the 5% FBS group. Similar trend was seen for the 10% PDF group but the differences were not significant. Comparison of the soluble factors between the PDF groups demonstrated that the level of growth-related oncogene alpha, interleukin-8 and epithelial neutrophil-activating peptide-78 were significantly higher in the 10% PDF group, whilst interleukin-1 alpha and granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor were significantly more concentrated in the 20% PDF group. Our results suggested that PDF selectively elevated the expression of collagen type 1 and collagen type 3 in fibroblasts but slowed down the migration in concentration-dependent manner. These novel findings provide new insight into the role of PDF in wound healing and may have important implications for the use of fibrin in skin tissue engineering.
  2. Shamsul BS, Chowdhury SR, Hamdan MY, Ruszymah BHI
    Indian J. Med. Res., 2019 05;149(5):641-649.
    PMID: 31417032 DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_45_17
    Background & objectives: Seeding density is one of the major parameters affecting the quality of tissue-engineered cartilage. The objective of this study was to evaluate different seeding densities of osteoarthritis chondrocytes (OACs) to obtain the highest quality cartilage.

    Methods: The OACs were expanded from passage 0 (P0) to P3, and cells in each passage were analyzed for gross morphology, growth rate, RNA expression and immunochemistry (IHC). The harvested OACs were assigned into two groups: low (1×10[7] cells/ml) and high (3×10[7] cells/ml) cell density. Three-dimensional (3D) constructs for each group were created using polymerised fibrin and cultured for 7, 14 and 21 days in vitro using chondrocyte growth medium. OAC constructs were analyzed with gross assessments and microscopic evaluation using standard histology, IHC and immunofluorescence staining, in addition to gene expression and biochemical analyses to evaluate tissue development.

    Results: Constructs with a high seeding density of 3×10[7] cells/ml were associated with better quality cartilage-like tissue than those seeded with 1×10[7] cells/ml based on overall tissue formation, cell association and extracellular matrix distribution. The chondrogenic properties of the constructs were further confirmed by the expression of genes encoding aggrecan core protein and collagen type II.

    Interpretation & conclusions: Our results confirmed that cell density was a significant factor affecting cell behaviour and aggregate production, and this was important for establishing good quality cartilage.

  3. Liau LL, Ruszymah BHI, Ng MH, Law JX
    Curr Res Transl Med, 2020 01;68(1):5-16.
    PMID: 31543433 DOI: 10.1016/j.retram.2019.09.001
    Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are widely used in the clinic because they involve fewer ethical issues and safety concerns compared to other stem cells such as embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). MSCs derived from umbilical cord Wharton's jelly (WJ-MSCs) have excellent proliferative potential and a faster growth rate and can retain their multipotency for more passages in vitro compared to adult MSCs from bone marrow or adipose tissue. WJ-MSCs are used clinically for repairing tissue injuries of the spinal cord, liver and heart with the aim of regenerating tissue. On the other hand, WJ-MSCs are also used clinically to ameliorate immune-mediated diseases based on their ability to modulate immune responses. In the field of tissue engineering, WJ-MSCs capable of differentiating into multiple cell lineages have been used to produce a variety of engineered tissues in vitro that can then be transplanted in vivo. This review discusses the characteristics of WJ-MSCs, the differences between WJ-MSCs and adult MSCs, clinical studies involving WJ-MSCs and future perspectives of WJ-MSC research and clinical applications. To summarize, WJ-MSCs have shown promise in treating a variety of diseases clinically. However, most clinical trials/studies reported thus far are relatively smaller in scale. The collected evidence is insufficient to support the routine use of WJ-MSC therapy in the clinic. Thus, rigorous clinical trials are needed in the future to obtain more information on WJ-MSC therapy safety and efficacy.
  4. Ruszymah BHI, Wahida IF, Zakinah Y, Zahari Z, Norazlinda MD, Saim L, et al.
    Med J Malaysia, 2005 Aug;60(3):269-74.
    PMID: 16379178
    Twenty percent of all childhood deafness is due to mutations in the GJB2 gene (Connexin 26). The aim of our study was to determine the prevalence and spectrum of GJB2 mutations in childhood deafness in Malaysia. We analyzed the GJB2 gene in 51 deaf students from Sekolah Pendidikan Khas Alor Setar, Kedah. Bidirectional sequencing indicates that 25% of our childhood deafness has mutation in their GJB2 gene. Sixty two percent of these children demonstrate V37I missense mutation. Interestingly, V37I mutation in the GJB2 gene have been reported as polymorphism in Western countries, however in our country it behaved as a potentially disease-causing missense mutation, causing childhood deafness as it was not found in the normal control.
  5. Fauzi MB, Lokanathan Y, Aminuddin BS, Ruszymah BHI, Chowdhury SR
    Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl, 2016 Nov 01;68:163-171.
    PMID: 27524008 DOI: 10.1016/j.msec.2016.05.109
    Collagen is the most abundant extracellular matrix (ECM) protein in the human body, thus widely used in tissue engineering and subsequent clinical applications. This study aimed to extract collagen from ovine (Ovis aries) Achilles tendon (OTC), and to evaluate its physicochemical properties and its potential to fabricate thin film with collagen fibrils in a random or aligned orientation. Acid-solubilized protein was extracted from ovine Achilles tendon using 0.35M acetic acid, and 80% of extracted protein was measured as collagen. SDS-PAGE and mass spectrometry analysis revealed the presence of alpha 1 and alpha 2 chain of collagen type I (col I). Further analysis with Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) confirms the presence of triple helix structure of col I, similar to commercially available rat tail col I. Drying the OTC solution at 37°C resulted in formation of a thin film with randomly orientated collagen fibrils (random collagen film; RCF). Introduction of unidirectional mechanical intervention using a platform rocker prior to drying facilitated the fabrication of a film with aligned orientation of collagen fibril (aligned collagen film; ACF). It was shown that both RCF and ACF significantly enhanced human dermal fibroblast (HDF) attachment and proliferation than that on plastic surface. Moreover, cells were distributed randomly on RCF, but aligned with the direction of mechanical intervention on ACF. In conclusion, ovine tendon could be an alternative source of col I to fabricate scaffold for tissue engineering applications.
  6. Ude CC, Chen HC, Norhamdan MY, Azizi BM, Aminuddin BS, Ruszymah BHI
    Cell Tissue Bank, 2017 Sep;18(3):355-367.
    PMID: 28667462 DOI: 10.1007/s10561-017-9638-1
    In our quest to standardize our formula for a clinical trial, transforming growth factor-beta3 (TGF-β3) alone and in combination with bone morphogenetic protein-6 (BMP-6) were evaluated for their effectiveness in cartilage differentiation. Bone Marrow Stem Cells (BMSCs) and Adipose Derived Stem Cells (ADSCs) were induced to chondrogenic lineage using two different media. Native chondrocytes served as positive control. ADSCs and BMSCs proved multipotency by tri-lineage differentiations. ADSC has significantly higher growth kinetics compare to Chondrocyte only p ≤ 0.05. Using TGF-β3 alone, BMSC revealed higher expressions for hyaline cartilage genes compare to ADSCs. Chondrocyte has significantly higher early chondrogenic markers expression to ADSCs and BMSCs, while BMSCs was only higher to ADSC at chondroadherin, p ≤ 0.0001. On mature chondrogenic markers, chondrocytes were significantly higher to ADSCs and BMSCs for aggrecan, collagen IX, sry (sex determining region y)-box9, collagen II and fibromodullin; and only to ADSC for collagen XI. BMSC was higher to ADSC for aggrecan and collagen IX, p ≤ 0.0001. The combination of TGF-β3 + BMP-6 revealed increased gene expressions on both BMSCs and ADSCs for early and mature chondrogenic markers, but no significance difference. For dedifferentiation markers, ADSC was significantly higher to chondrocyte for collagen I. Glycosaminoglycan evaluations with both formulas revealed that chondrocytes were significantly higher to ADSCs and BMSCs, but none was significant to each other, p ≤ 0.0001. Combination of 10 ng TGF-β3 with 10 ng of BMP-6 enhanced chondrogenic potentials of BMSCs and ADSCs compare to TGF-β3 alone. This could be the ideal cocktail for either cell's chondrogenic induction.
  7. Hafez P, Chowdhury SR, Jose S, Law JX, Ruszymah BHI, Mohd Ramzisham AR, et al.
    Cardiovasc Eng Technol, 2018 09;9(3):529-538.
    PMID: 29948837 DOI: 10.1007/s13239-018-0368-8
    Developing experimental models to study ischemic heart disease is necessary for understanding of biological mechanisms to improve the therapeutic approaches for restoring cardiomyocytes function following injury. The aim of this study was to develop an in vitro hypoxic/re-oxygenation model of ischemia using primary human cardiomyocytes (HCM) and define subsequent cytotoxic effects. HCM were cultured in serum and glucose free medium in hypoxic condition with 1% O2 ranging from 30 min to 12 h. The optimal hypoxic exposure time was determined using Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1α (HIF-1α) as the hypoxic marker. Subsequently, the cells were moved to normoxic condition for 3, 6 and 9 h to replicate the re-oxygenation phase. Optimal period of hypoxic/re-oxygenation was determined based on 50% mitochondrial injury via 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-Yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay and cytotoxicity via lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay. It was found that the number of cells expressing HIF-1α increased with hypoxic time and 3 h was sufficient to stimulate the expression of this marker in all the cells. Upon re-oxygenation, mitochondrial activity reduced significantly whereas the cytotoxicity increased significantly with time. Six hours of re-oxygenation was optimal to induce reversible cell injury. The injury became irreversible after 9 h as indicated by > 60% LDH leakage compared to the control group cultured in normal condition. Under optimized hypoxic reoxygenation experimental conditions, mesenchymal stem cells formed nanotube with ischemic HCM and facilitated transfer of mitochondria suggesting the feasibility of using this as a model system to study molecular mechanisms of myocardial injury and rescue.
  8. Ude CC, Seet WT, Sharen Aini S, Aminuddin BS, Ruszymah BHI
    Sci Rep, 2018 03 12;8(1):4345.
    PMID: 29531282 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-22748-1
    The study objectives include, enhancing the proliferations of aged bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs) and adipose stem cells (ADSCs); and evaluating the shelf lives of clinical grade chondrogenically induced cells from both samples. ADSCs and BMSCs from 56 patients (76 ± 8 yrs) were proliferated using basal medium (FD) and at (5, 10, 15, 20 and 25) ng/ml of basal fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). They were induced to chondrogenic lineage and stored for more than 120 hrs in FD, serum, Dulbecco's phosphate buffered saline (DPBS) and saline at 4 °C. In FD, cells stagnated and BMSCs' population doubling time (PDT) was 137 ± 30 hrs, while ADSCs' was 129.7 ± 40 hrs. bFGF caused PDT's decrease to 24.5 ± 5.8 hrs in BMSCs and 22.0 ± 6.5 hrs in ADSCs (p = 0.0001). Both cells were positive to stem cell markers before inductions and thereafter, expressed significantly high chondrogenic genes (p = 0.0001). On shelf life, both cells maintained viabilities and counts above 70% in FD and serum after 120 hrs. BMSCs' viabilities in DPBS fell below 70% after 96 hrs and saline after 72 hrs. ADSCs' viability fell below 70% in DPBS after 24 hrs and saline within 24 hrs. Concentrations between 20 ng/ml bFGF is ideal for aged adult cells' proliferation and delivery time of induced BMSCs and ADSCs can be 120 hrs in 4 °C serum.
  9. Tan KK, Tan GH, Shamsul BS, Chua KH, Ng MHA, Ruszymah BHI, et al.
    Med J Malaysia, 2005 Jul;60 Suppl C:53-8.
    PMID: 16381285
    Spinal fusion using autologous bone graft is performed in an increasing rate for many spinal disorders. However, graft harvesting procedure is associated with prolonged operation time and potential donor site morbidity. We produced an engineered 'bone graft' substitute by using porous hydroxyapatite (HA) scaffold seeded with autologous bone marrow osteoprogenitor cells (OPCs) and fibrin. This obviates bone graft harvesting, thus eliminates donor site morbidity and shortens the operation time. The aim of this study is to evaluate Hydroxyapatite (HA) ceramics as scaffold for autologous tissue engineered bone construct for spinal fusion in a sheep model. The sheep's marrow was aspirated from iliac crest. The bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) were cultured for several passages in the presence of growth and differentiation factors to increase the number of OPCs. After the cultures reached confluence, they were trypsinized and seeded on Hydroxyapatite scaffold (HA). Approximately 5 million cells were generated after 3 weeks of culture. Microscopically, very tight Colony Forming Units (CFU-Fs) were seen on monolayer culture. The Von Kossa and Alizarin Red staining of monolayer culture showed positive mineralization areas; indicating the presence of OPCs. Sheep underwent a posterolateral spinal fusion in which scaffolds with or without OPCs seeded were implanted on both sides of the lumbar spine (L1-L2). Intended fusion segments were immobilized using wires. At the end of third month, the fusion constructs were harvested for histological examination. Fibrous tissue infiltration found in the inter-connecting pores of plain HA ceramics indicates inefficient new bone regeneration. New bone was found surrounding the HA ceramics seeded with autologous cells. The new bone is probably formed by the sheep BMMSCs that were initially encapsulating HA while it remained intact. The new bone is naturally fused with the vertebrae. In conclusion, the incorporation of autologous bone marrow cells improved the effectiveness of HA ceramics as 'bone graft' substitute for spinal fusion.
  10. Tan CW, Ng MH, Ohnmar H, Lokanathan Y, Nur-Hidayah H, Roohi SA, et al.
    Indian J Orthop, 2013 Nov;47(6):547-52.
    PMID: 24379458 DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.121572
    BACKGROUND AND AIM: Synthetic nerve conduits have been sought for repair of nerve defects as the autologous nerve grafts causes donor site morbidity and possess other drawbacks. Many strategies have been investigated to improve nerve regeneration through synthetic nerve guided conduits. Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) that share both Schwann cell and astrocytic characteristics have been shown to promote axonal regeneration after transplantation. The present study was driven by the hypothesis that tissue-engineered poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) seeded with OECs would improve peripheral nerve regeneration in a long sciatic nerve defect.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sciatic nerve gap of 15 mm was created in six adult female Sprague-Dawley rats and implanted with PLGA seeded with OECs. The nerve regeneration was assessed electrophysiologically at 2, 4 and 6 weeks following implantation. Histopathological examination, scanning electron microscopic (SEM) examination and immunohistochemical analysis were performed at the end of the study.

    RESULTS: Nerve conduction studies revealed a significant improvement of nerve conduction velocities whereby the mean nerve conduction velocity increases from 4.2 ΁ 0.4 m/s at week 2 to 27.3 ΁ 5.7 m/s at week 6 post-implantation (P < 0.0001). Histological analysis revealed presence of spindle-shaped cells. Immunohistochemical analysis further demonstrated the expression of S100 protein in both cell nucleus and the cytoplasm in these cells, hence confirming their Schwann-cell-like property. Under SEM, these cells were found to be actively secreting extracellular matrix.

    CONCLUSION: Tissue-engineered PLGA conduit seeded with OECs provided a permissive environment to facilitate nerve regeneration in a small animal model.

  11. Ude CC, Shamsul BS, Ng MH, Chen HC, Ohnmar H, Amaramalar SN, et al.
    Exp Gerontol, 2018 04;104:43-51.
    PMID: 29421350 DOI: 10.1016/j.exger.2018.01.020
    BACKGROUND: Hyaline articular cartilage, which protects the bones of diarthrodial joints from forces associated with load bearing, frictions, and impacts has very limited capacities for self-repair. Over the years, the trend of treatments has shifted to regenerations and researchers have been on the quest for a lasting regeneration. We evaluated the treatment of osteoarthritis by chondrogenically induced ADSCs and BMSCs for a long time functional recovery.

    METHODS: Osteoarthritis was induced at the right knee of sheep by complete resection of ACL and medial meniscus. Stem cells from sheep were induced to chondrogenic lineage. Test sheep received 5 mls single doses of 2 × 107 autologous PKH26-labelled ADSCs or BMSCs, while controls received basal medium. Functional recovery of the knees was evaluated via electromyography.

    RESULTS: Induced ADSCs had 625, 255, 393, 908, 409, 157 and 1062 folds increases of collagen I, collagen II, aggrecan, SOX9, cartilage oligomeric protein, chondroadherin and fibromodullin compare to uninduced cells, while BMSCs had 702, 657, 321, 276, 337, 233 and 1163 respectively; p = .001. Immunocytochemistry was positive for these chondrogenic markers. 12 months post-treatment, controls scored 4 in most regions using ICRS, while the treated had 8; P = .001. Regenerated cartilages were positive to PKH26 and demonstrated the presence of condensing cartilages on haematoxylin and eosin; and Safranin O. OA degenerations caused significant amplitude shift from right to left hind limb. After treatments, controls persisted with significant decreases; while treated samples regained balance.

    CONCLUSIONS: Both ADSCs and BMSCs had increased chondrogenic gene expressions using TGF-β3 and BMP-6. The treated knees had improved cartilage scores; PKH26 can provide elongated tracking, while EMG results revealed improved joint recoveries. These could be suitable therapies for osteoarthritis.

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