Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 34 in total

  1. Xu F, Binns C, Low WY
    Asia Pac J Public Health, 2020 5 16;32(2-3):134-135.
    PMID: 32410510 DOI: 10.1177/1010539520915009
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Hu J, Wang S, Wang L, Li F, Pingguan-Murphy B, Lu TJ, et al.
    Biosens Bioelectron, 2014 Apr 15;54:585-97.
    PMID: 24333570 DOI: 10.1016/j.bios.2013.10.075
    Advanced diagnostic technologies, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), have been widely used in well-equipped laboratories. However, they are not affordable or accessible in resource-limited settings due to the lack of basic infrastructure and/or trained operators. Paper-based diagnostic technologies are affordable, user-friendly, rapid, robust, and scalable for manufacturing, thus holding great potential to deliver point-of-care (POC) diagnostics to resource-limited settings. In this review, we present the working principles and reaction mechanism of paper-based diagnostics, including dipstick assays, lateral flow assays (LFAs), and microfluidic paper-based analytical devices (μPADs), as well as the selection of substrates and fabrication methods. Further, we report the advances in improving detection sensitivity, quantification readout, procedure simplification and multi-functionalization of paper-based diagnostics, and discuss the disadvantages of paper-based diagnostics. We envision that miniaturized and integrated paper-based diagnostic devices with the sample-in-answer-out capability will meet the diverse requirements for diagnosis and treatment monitoring at the POC.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Yong KW, Wan Safwani WK, Xu F, Wan Abas WA, Choi JR, Pingguan-Murphy B
    Biopreserv Biobank, 2015 Aug;13(4):231-9.
    PMID: 26280501 DOI: 10.1089/bio.2014.0104
    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold many advantages over embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and other somatic cells in clinical applications. MSCs are multipotent cells with strong immunosuppressive properties. They can be harvested from various locations in the human body (e.g., bone marrow and adipose tissues). Cryopreservation represents an efficient method for the preservation and pooling of MSCs, to obtain the cell counts required for clinical applications, such as cell-based therapies and regenerative medicine. Upon cryopreservation, it is important to preserve MSCs functional properties including immunomodulatory properties and multilineage differentiation ability. Further, a biosafety evaluation of cryopreserved MSCs is essential prior to their clinical applications. However, the existing cryopreservation methods for MSCs are associated with notable limitations, leading to a need for new or improved methods to be established for a more efficient application of cryopreserved MSCs in stem cell-based therapies. We review the important parameters for cryopreservation of MSCs and the existing cryopreservation methods for MSCs. Further, we also discuss the challenges to be addressed in order to preserve MSCs effectively for clinical applications.
  11. 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.
  12. Yong KW, Li Y, Huang G, Lu TJ, Safwani WK, Pingguan-Murphy B, et al.
    Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, 2015 Aug 15;309(4):H532-42.
    PMID: 26092987 DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00299.2015
    Cardiac myofibroblast differentiation, as one of the most important cellular responses to heart injury, plays a critical role in cardiac remodeling and failure. While biochemical cues for this have been extensively investigated, the role of mechanical cues, e.g., extracellular matrix stiffness and mechanical strain, has also been found to mediate cardiac myofibroblast differentiation. Cardiac fibroblasts in vivo are typically subjected to a specific spatiotemporally changed mechanical microenvironment. When exposed to abnormal mechanical conditions (e.g., increased extracellular matrix stiffness or strain), cardiac fibroblasts can undergo myofibroblast differentiation. To date, the impact of mechanical cues on cardiac myofibroblast differentiation has been studied both in vitro and in vivo. Most of the related in vitro research into this has been mainly undertaken in two-dimensional cell culture systems, although a few three-dimensional studies that exist revealed an important role of dimensionality. However, despite remarkable advances, the comprehensive mechanisms for mechanoregulation of cardiac myofibroblast differentiation remain elusive. In this review, we introduce important parameters for evaluating cardiac myofibroblast differentiation and then discuss the development of both in vitro (two and three dimensional) and in vivo studies on mechanoregulation of cardiac myofibroblast differentiation. An understanding of the development of cardiac myofibroblast differentiation in response to changing mechanical microenvironment will underlie potential targets for future therapy of cardiac fibrosis and failure.
  13. Dai K, Han P, Zou X, Jiang S, Xu F, Wang H, et al.
    Food Res Int, 2021 02;140:110021.
    PMID: 33648251 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodres.2020.110021
    Chinese bayberry fruit were treated with hot air (HA) at 48 ℃ for 3 h and then stored at 4 ℃ for 15 d. Changes in fungal communities were analyzed by high-throughput sequencing (HTS), and decay and fruit quality were monitored during storage. The results showed that HA treatment effectively maintains fruit quality and the richness and diversity of fungal communities. Heat treatment inhibited decay development and reduced the growth of fungi in the genera Botryotinia spp., Davidiella spp., Hanseniaspora spp., and Candida spp. Canonical correspondence analysis further revealed that Botryotinia spp. and Davidiella spp. were positively correlated with fruit decay and weight loss. FUNGuild analysis demonstrated that HA-treated bayberries had a lower relative abundance within the plant pathogen guild, but higher relative abundance within the endophyte guild. The results suggest that HA treatment reduces pathogens by favoring the increase of endophytes, providing new insight into the decay development and quality changes during the storage of postharvest Chinese bayberries.
  14. Hong X, Liu SN, Xu FF, Han LL, Jiang P, Wang ZQ, et al.
    Trop Biomed, 2020 Mar 01;37(1):237-250.
    PMID: 33612735
    Spirometra larvae are etiological agents of human sparganosis. However, the systematics of spirometrid cestodes has long been controversial. In order to determine the current knowledge on the evolution and genetic structure of Spirometra, an exhaustive population diversity analysis of spirometrid cestodes using the mitochondrial gene: cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) was performed. All publicly available cox1 sequences available in the GenBank and 127 new sequencing genes from China were used as the dataset. The haplotype identify, network, genetic differentiation and phylogenetic analysis were conducted successively. A total of 488 sequences from 20 host species, representing four spirometrid tapeworms (S. decipiens, S. ranarum, S. erinaceieuropaei and Sparganum proliferum) and several unclassified American and African isolates from 113 geographical locations in 17 countries, identified 45 haplotypes. The genetic analysis revealed that there are four clades of spirometrid cestodes: Clade 1 (Brazil + USA) and Clade 2 (Argentina + Venezuela) included isolates from America, Clade 3 contained African isolates and one Korean sample, and the remainders from Asia and Australia belonged to Clade 4; unclassified Spirometra from America and Africa should be considered the separate species within the genus; and the taxonomy of two Korea isolates (S. erinaceieuropaei KJ599680 and S. decipiens KJ599679) was still ambiguous and needs to be further identified. In addition, the demographical analyses supported population expansion for the total spirometrid population. In summary, four lineages were found in the spirometrid tapeworm, and further investigation with deeper sampling is needed to elucidate the population structure.
  15. Dai K, Wei Y, Jiang S, Xu F, Wang H, Zhang X, et al.
    Foods, 2021 Dec 31;11(1).
    PMID: 35010225 DOI: 10.3390/foods11010099
    Thinned peach polyphenols (TPPs) were extracted by ultrasonic disruption and purified using macroporous resin. Optimized extraction conditions resulted in a TPPs yield of 1.59 ± 0.02 mg GAE/g FW, and optimized purification conditions resulted in a purity of 43.86% with NKA-9 resin. TPPs composition was analyzed by UPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS/MS; chlorogenic acid, catechin, and neochlorogenic acid were the most abundant compounds in thinned peaches. Purified TPPs exhibited scavenging activity on DPPH, ABTS, hydroxyl radical, and FRAP. TPPs inhibited α-amylase and α-glucosidase by competitive and noncompetitive reversible inhibition, respectively. TPPs also exhibited a higher binding capacity for bile acids than cholestyramine. In summary, TPPs from thinned peaches are potentially valuable because of their high antioxidant, hypoglycemic, and hypolipidemic capacities, and present a new incentive for the comprehensive utilization of thinned peach fruit.
  16. Wang D, Tan KS, Zeng W, Li S, Wang Y, Xu F, et al.
    Life Sci, 2022 Mar 15;293:120336.
    PMID: 35065166 DOI: 10.1016/j.lfs.2022.120336
    AIMS: Individuals with nonalcoholic hepatosteatosis (NAFLD) have a worse atherogenic lipoprotein profile and are susceptible to cardiovascular diseases. The MEK-ERK signaling cascades are central regulators of the levels of LDL receptor (LDLR), a major determinant of circulating cholesterol. It is elusive how hepatic steatosis contributes to dyslipidemia, especially hypercholesterolemia.

    MAIN METHODS: The effects of BChE on signaling pathways were determined by immunoblotting in a BChE knockout hepatocyte cell line. DiI-LDL probe was used to explore the effect of BChE expression on LDL internalization. Co-immunoprecipitation and LC-MS were used to explore the interacting proteins with BChE. Finally, a hepatocyte-restricted BChE silencing mouse model was established by AAV8-Tbg-shRNA, and the hypercholesterolemia was induced by 65% kcal% high-fat, high-sucrose diet feeding.

    MAIN FINDINGS: Here we demonstrate that butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) governs the LDL receptor levels and LDL uptake capacity through the MEK-ERK signaling cascades to promote Ldlr transcription. BChE interacts and co-localizes with PRMT5, a protein methylation modifier controlling the ERK signaling. PRMT5 regulates LDLR-dependent LDL uptake and is a substrate of chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA). BChE deficiency induces the PRTM5 degradation dependent on CMA activity, possibly through facilitating the HSC70 (Heat shock cognate 71 kDa) recognition of PRMT5. Remarkably, in vivo hepatocyte-restricted BChE silencing reduces plasma cholesterol levels substantially. In contrast, the BChE knockout mice are predisposed to hypercholesterolemia.

    SIGNIFICANCE: Taken together, these findings outline a regulatory role for the BChE-PRMT5-ERK-LDLR axis in hepatocyte cholesterol metabolism, and suggest that targeting liver BChE is an effective therapeutic strategy to treat hypercholesterolemia.

  17. Shi M, Ling K, Yong KW, Li Y, Feng S, Zhang X, et al.
    Sci Rep, 2015 Dec 14;5:17928.
    PMID: 26655688 DOI: 10.1038/srep17928
    Cryopreservation is the most promising way for long-term storage of biological samples e.g., single cells and cellular structures. Among various cryopreservation methods, vitrification is advantageous by employing high cooling rate to avoid the formation of harmful ice crystals in cells. Most existing vitrification methods adopt direct contact of cells with liquid nitrogen to obtain high cooling rates, which however causes the potential contamination and difficult cell collection. To address these limitations, we developed a non-contact vitrification device based on an ultra-thin freezing film to achieve high cooling/warming rate and avoid direct contact between cells and liquid nitrogen. A high-throughput cell printer was employed to rapidly generate uniform cell-laden microdroplets into the device, where the microdroplets were hung on one side of the film and then vitrified by pouring the liquid nitrogen onto the other side via boiling heat transfer. Through theoretical and experimental studies on vitrification processes, we demonstrated that our device offers a high cooling/warming rate for vitrification of the NIH 3T3 cells and human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) with maintained cell viability and differentiation potential. This non-contact vitrification device provides a novel and effective way to cryopreserve cells at high throughput and avoid the contamination and collection problems.
  18. Qi H, Huang G, Han Y, Zhang X, Li Y, Pingguan-Murphy B, et al.
    Tissue Eng Part B Rev, 2015 Jun;21(3):288-97.
    PMID: 25547514 DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEB.2014.0494
    Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) emerges as building bricks for the fabrication of nanostructure with complete artificial architecture and geometry. The amazing ability of DNA in building two- and three-dimensional structures raises the possibility of developing smart nanomachines with versatile controllability for various applications. Here, we overviewed the recent progresses in engineering DNA machines for specific bioengineering and biomedical applications.
  19. Han YL, Wang S, Zhang X, Li Y, Huang G, Qi H, et al.
    Drug Discov Today, 2014 Jun;19(6):763-73.
    PMID: 24508818 DOI: 10.1016/j.drudis.2014.01.015
    Regenerative medicine has rapidly evolved over the past decade owing to its potential applications to improve human health. Targeted differentiations of stem cells promise to regenerate a variety of tissues and/or organs despite significant challenges. Recent studies have demonstrated the vital role of the physical microenvironment in regulating stem cell fate and improving differentiation efficiency. In this review, we summarize the main physical cues that are crucial for controlling stem cell differentiation. Recent advances in the technologies for the construction of physical microenvironment and their implications in controlling stem cell fate are also highlighted.
  20. 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.
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