Diabetes patients are at risk of having chronic wounds, which would take months to years to resolve naturally. Chronic wounds can be countered using the electrical stimulation technique (EST) by dielectrophoresis (DEP), which is label-free, highly sensitive, and selective for particle trajectory. In this study, we focus on the validation of polystyrene particles of 3.2 and 4.8 μm to predict the behavior of keratinocytes to estimate their crossover frequency (fXO) using the DEP force (FDEP) for particle manipulation. MyDEP is a piece of java-based stand-alone software used to consider the dielectric particle response to AC electric fields and analyzes the electrical properties of biological cells. The prototypic 3.2 and 4.8 μm polystyrene particles have fXO values from MyDEP of 425.02 and 275.37 kHz, respectively. Fibroblast cells were also subjected to numerical analysis because the interaction of keratinocytes and fibroblast cells is essential for wound healing. Consequently, the predicted fXO from the MyDEP plot for keratinocyte and fibroblast cells are 510.53 and 28.10 MHz, respectively. The finite element method (FEM) is utilized to compute the electric field intensity and particle trajectory based on DEP and drag forces. Moreover, the particle trajectories are quantified in a high and low conductive medium. To justify the simulation, further DEP experiments are carried out by applying a non-uniform electric field to a mixture of different sizes of polystyrene particles and keratinocyte cells, and these results are well agreed. The alive keratinocyte cells exhibit NDEP force in a highly conductive medium from 100 kHz to 25 MHz. 2D/3D motion analysis software (DIPP-MotionV) can also perform image analysis of keratinocyte cells and evaluate the average speed, acceleration, and trajectory position. The resultant NDEP force can align the keratinocyte cells in the wound site upon suitable applied frequency. Thus, MyDEP estimates the Clausius-Mossotti factors (CMF), FEM computes the cell trajectory, and the experimental results of prototypic polystyrene particles are well correlated and provide an optimistic response towards keratinocyte cells for rapid wound healing applications.
Widefield surface plasmon resonance (WSPR) microscopy provides high resolution imaging of interfacial interactions. We report the application of the WSPR imaging system in the study of the interaction between keratinocytes and liquid crystals (LC). Imaging of fixed keratinocytes cultured on gold coated surface plasmon substrates functionalized with a thin film of liquid crystals was performed in air using a 1.45NA objective based system. Focal adhesion of the cells adhered to glass and LC were further studied using immunofluorescence staining of the vinculin. The imaging system was also simulated with 2×2 scattering matrix to investigate the optical reflection of the resonant plasmonic wave via the glass/gold/cell and glass/gold/LC/cell layers. WSPR imaging indicated that keratinocytes are less spread and formed distinct topography of cell-liquid crystal couplings when cultured on liquid crystal coated substrates. The simulation indicates that glass/LC shifted the surface plasmon excitation angle to 75.39° as compared to glass/air interface at 44°. The WSPR microcopy reveals that the cells remodelled their topography of adhesion at different interfaces.
The unique potential of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) has generated much research interest recently, particularly in exploring the regenerative nature of these cells. Previously, MSC were thought to be found only in the BM. However, further studies have shown that MSC can also be isolated from umbilical cord blood, adipose tissue and amniotic fluid. In this study, we explored the possibility of MSC residing in the cornea.
Skin plays an important role in defense against infection and other harmful biological agents. Due to its fragile structure, skin can be easily damaged by heat, chemicals, traumatic injuries and diseases. An autologous bilayered human skin equivalent, MyDerm™, was engineered to provide a living skin substitute to treat critical skin loss. However, one of the disadvantages of living skin substitute is its short shelf-life, hence limiting its distribution worldwide. The aim of this study was to evaluate the shelf-life of MyDerm™ through assessment of cell morphology, cell viability, population doubling time and functional gene expression levels before transplantation. Skin samples were digested with 0.6% Collagenase Type I followed by epithelial cells dissociation with TrypLE Select. Dermal fibroblasts and keratinocytes were culture-expanded to obtain sufficient cells for MyDerm™ construction. MyDerm™ was constructed with plasma-fibrin as temporary biomaterial and evaluated at 0, 24, 48 and 72 hours after storage at 4°C for its shelf-life determination. The morphology of skin cells derived from MyDerm™ remained unchanged across storage times. Cells harvested from MyDerm™ after storage appeared in good viability (90.5%±2.7% to 94.9%±1.6%) and had short population doubling time (58.4±8.7 to 76.9±19 hours). The modest drop in cell viability and increased in population doubling time at longer storage duration did not demonstrate a significant difference. Gene expression for CK10, CK14 and COL III were also comparable between different storage times. In conclusion, MyDerm™ can be stored in basal medium at 4°C for at least 72 hours before transplantation without compromising its functionality.
Cell migration is a key contributor to wound repair. This study presents findings indicating that the liquid crystal based cell traction force transducer (LCTFT) system can be used in conjunction with a bespoke cell traction force mapping (CTFM) software to monitor cell/surface traction forces from quiescent state in real time. In this study, time-lapse photo microscopy allowed cell induced deformations in liquid crystal coated substrates to be monitored and analyzed. The results indicated that the system could be used to monitor the generation of cell/surface forces in an initially quiescent cell, as it migrated over the culture substrate, via multiple points of contact between the cell and the surface. Future application of this system is the real-time assaying of the pharmacological effects of cytokines on the mechanics of cell migration.
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.
Bacterial cellulose (BC)/acrylic acid (AA) hydrogel has successfully been investigated as a wound dressing for partial-thickness burn wound. It is also a promising biomaterial cell carrier because it bears some resemblance to the natural soft tissue. This study assessed its ability to deliver human epidermal keratinocytes (EK) and dermal fibroblasts (DF) for the treatment of full-thickness skin lesions. In vitro studies demonstrated that BC/AA hydrogel had excellent cell attachment, maintained cell viability with limited migration, and allowed cell transfer. In vivo wound closure, histological, immunohistochemistry, and transmission electron microscopy evaluation revealed that hydrogel alone (HA) and hydrogel with cells (HC) accelerated wound healing compared to the untreated controls. Gross appearance and Masson's trichrome staining indicated that HC was better than HA. This study suggests the potential application of BC/AA hydrogel with dual functions, as a cell carrier and wound dressing, to promote full-thickness wound healing.
Skin grafting has been evolving as an important application in reconstructive surgery. Mixed reports about the survival of allogeneic and xenogeneic keratinocytes require further substantiation to determine the role of these cells in wound healing.
Prominent skin involvement is a defining characteristic of autoinflammatory disorders caused by abnormal IL-1 signaling. However, the pathways and cell types that drive cutaneous autoinflammatory features remain poorly understood. We sought to address this issue by investigating the pathogenesis of pustular psoriasis, a model of autoinflammatory disorders with predominant cutaneous manifestations. We specifically characterized the impact of mutations affecting AP1S3, a disease gene previously identified by our group and validated here in a newly ascertained patient resource. We first showed that AP1S3 expression is distinctively elevated in keratinocytes. Because AP1S3 encodes a protein implicated in autophagosome formation, we next investigated the effects of gene silencing on this pathway. We found that AP1S3 knockout disrupts keratinocyte autophagy, causing abnormal accumulation of p62, an adaptor protein mediating NF-κB activation. We showed that as a consequence, AP1S3-deficient cells up-regulate IL-1 signaling and overexpress IL-36α, a cytokine that is emerging as an important mediator of skin inflammation. These abnormal immune profiles were recapitulated by pharmacological inhibition of autophagy and verified in patient keratinocytes, where they were reversed by IL-36 blockade. These findings show that keratinocytes play a key role in skin autoinflammation and identify autophagy modulation of IL-36 signaling as a therapeutic target.
Phenytoin-loaded alkyd nanoemulsions were prepared spontaneously using the phase inversion method from a mixture of novel biosourced alkyds and Tween 80 surfactant. Exposure of human adult keratinocytes (HaCaT cells) for 48 h to alkyd nanoemulsions producing phenytoin concentrations of 3.125-200 μg/mL resulted in relative cell viability readings using tetrazolium dye 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide of 100% confirming nontoxicity and suggesting cell proliferation activity. Phenytoin-loaded alkyd nanoemulsions generally resulted in higher mean cell viability compared with equivalent concentration of phenytoin solutions, suggesting that the nanoemulsions provided a controlled-release property that maintained the optimum phenytoin level for keratinocyte growth. HaCaT cell proliferation, measured by 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine uptake, was found to increase following exposure to increasing phenytoin concentration from 25 to 50 μg/mL in solution or encapsulated in nanoemulsions but declined at a drug concentration of 100 μg/mL. An in vitro cell monolayer wound scratch assay revealed that phenytoin solution or nanoemulsions producing 50 μg/mL phenytoin concentration resulted in 75%-82% "scratch closure" after 36 h, similar to medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum as a cell growth promoter. These findings indicate that phenytoin-loaded alkyd nanoemulsions show potential for promoting topical wound healing through enhanced proliferation of epidermal cells.
Advances in tissue engineering led to the development of various tissue-engineered skin substitutes (TESS) for the treatment of skin injuries. The majority of the autologous TESS required lengthy and costly cell expansion process to fabricate. In this study, we determine the possibility of using a low density of human skin cells suspended in platelet-rich plasma (PRP)-enriched medium to promote the healing of full-thickness skin wounds. To achieve this, full-thickness wounds of size 1.767 cm2 were created at the dorsum part of nude mice and treated with keratinocytes (2 × 104 cells/cm2) and fibroblasts (3 × 104 cells/cm2) suspended in 10% PRP-enriched medium. Wound examination was conducted weekly and the animals were euthanized after 2 weeks. Gross examination showed that re-epithelialization was fastest in the PRP+cells group at both day 7 and 14, followed by the PRP group and NT group receiving no treatment. Only the PRP+cells group achieved complete wound closure by 2 weeks. Epidermal layer was presence in the central region of the wound of the PRP+cells and PRP groups but absence in the NT group. Comparison between the PRP+cells and PRP groups showed that the PRP+cells-treated wound was more mature as indicated by the presence of thinner epidermis with single cell layer thick basal keratinocytes and less cellular dermis. In summary, the combination of low cell density and diluted PRP creates a synergistic effect which expedites the healing of full-thickness wounds. This combination has the potential to be developed as a rapid wound therapy via the direct application of freshly harvested skin cells in diluted PRP.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a self-limiting paediatric infectious disease commonly caused by Enterovirus A71 (Genus: Enterovirus, Family: Picornaviridae). Typical lesions in and around the hands, feet, oral cavity and other places may rarely be complicated by acute flaccid paralysis and acute encephalomyelitis. Although virus is readily cultured from skin vesicles and oral secretions, the cellular target/s of Enterovirus A71 in human skin and oral mucosa are unknown. In Enterovirus A71-infected human skin and oral mucosa organotypic cultures derived from the prepuce and lip biopsies, focal viral antigens and viral RNA were localized to cytoplasm of epidermal and mucosal squamous cells as early as 2 days post-infection. Viral antigens/RNA were associated with cytoplasmic vacuolation and cellular necrosis. Infected primary prepuce epidermal keratinocyte cultures showed cytopathic effects with concomitant detection of viral antigens from 2 days post-infection. Supernatant and/or tissue homogenates from prepuce skin organotypic cultures and primary prepuce keratinocyte cultures showed viral titres consistent with active viral replication. Our data strongly support Enterovirus A71 squamous epitheliotropism in the human epidermis and oral mucosa, and suggest that these organs are important primary and/or secondary viral replication sites that contribute significantly to oral and cutaneous viral shedding resulting in person-to-person transmission, and viraemia, which could lead to neuroinvasion.
Graphene oxide (GO) has displayed antibacterial activity that has been investigated in the past, however, information on synergistic activity of GO with conventional antibiotics is still lacking. The objectives of the study were to determine the combinatorial actions of GO and antibiotics against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and the toxicological effects of GO towards human epidermal keratinocytes (HaCaT). Interactions at molecular level between GO and antibiotics were analyzed using Attenuated Total Reflectance-Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). Changes in the antibacterial activity of antibiotics towards bacteria through the addition of GO was investigated. Toxicity of GO towards HaCaT cells were examined as skin cells play a role as the first line of defense of the human body. The ATR-FTIR characterizations of GO and antibiotics showed adsorption of tested antibiotics onto GO. The combinatorial antibacterial activity of GO and antibiotics were found to increase when compared to GO or antibiotic alone. This was attributed to the ability of GO to disrupt bacterial membrane to allow for better adsorption of antibiotics. Cytotoxicity of GO was found to be dose-dependent towards HaCaT cell line, it is found to impose negligible toxic effects against the skin cells at concentration below 100 μg/mL.
In the field of tissue engineering and reconstruction, the development of efficient biomaterial is in high demand to achieve uncomplicated wound healing. Chronic wounds and excessive scarring are the major complications of tissue repair and, as this inadequate healing continues to increase, novel therapies and treatments for dysfunctional skin repair and reconstruction are important. This paper reviews the various aspects of the complications related to wound healing and focuses on chitosan because of its unique function in accelerating wound healing. The proliferation of keratinocytes is essential for wound closure, and adipose-derived stem cells play a significant role in wound healing. Thus, chitosan in combination with keratinocytes and adipose-derived stem cells may act as a vehicle for delivering cells, which would increase the proliferation of keratinocytes and help complete recovery from injuries.
Psoriasis is a chronic, local as well as a systemic, inflammatory skin condition. Psoriasis influences the quality of life up to 3.8% of the population and occurs often between 15 and 30 years of age. Specific causes are linked to psoriasis, including the interleukin IL-23/IL-17 Axis, human antigen leucocyte (HLA), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). Secukinumab is a monoclonal antibody that specifically binds and neutralizes IL-17A required in the treatment of Psoriasis. The signaling pathways of Wnt govern multiple functions of cell-like fate specification, proliferation, polarity, migration, differentiation with their signaling controlled rigorously, given that dysregulation caused by various stimuli, can lead to alterations in cell proliferation, apoptosis, and human inflammatory disease. Current data has supported non-canonical Wnt signaling pathways in psoriasis development, particularly Wnt5a activated signaling cascades. These interconnected factors are significant in interactions between immune cells, keratinocytes, and inflammatory factors due to a higher degree of transglutaminase 2, mediated by activation of the keratinocyte hyperproliferation of the psoriatic patient's epidermis. This study discusses the pathology of Wnt5a signaling and its involvement in the epidermal inflammatory effects of psoriasis with other related pathways.
Over-induction of epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) by tumor growth factor beta (TGFβ) in keratinocytes is a key feature in keloid scar. The present work seeks to investigate the effect of Kelulut honey (KH) on TGFβ-induced EMT in human primary keratinocytes. Image analysis of the real time observation of TGFβ-induced keratinocytes revealed a faster wound closure and individual migration velocity compared to the untreated control. TGFβ-induced keratinocytes also have reduced circularity and display a classic EMT protein expression. Treatment of 0.0015% (v/v) KH reverses these effects. In untreated keratinocytes, KH resulted in slower initial wound closure and individual migration velocity, which sped up later on, resulting in greater wound closure at the final time point. KH treatment also led to greater directional migration compared to the control. KH treatment caused reduced circularity in keratinocytes but displayed a partial EMT protein expression. Taken together, the findings suggest the therapeutic potential of KH in preventing keloid scar by attenuating TGFβ-induced EMT.
In the present study in vitro expansion of human keratinocytes by supplementing dermal fibroblasts conditioned medium (DFCM) has been reported. Effect of two different DFCM acquired by culturing fibroblasts in keratinocyte-specific medium (defined keratinocytes serum free medium, DFCM-DKSFM) and fibroblast-specific serum free medium (F12: DMEM nutrient mix, DFCM-FD) have been compared. Growth kinetics of keratinocytes in terms of efficiency of cell attachment, expansion index, apparent specific growth rate and growth potential at the end of culture was evaluated in culture supplemented with DFCM-DKSFM and DFCM-FD in comparison with control i.e. DKSFM only. Results indicated that supplementation of DFCM caused significant increase in keratinocyte attachment. Efficiency of keratinocyte attachment in culture supplemented with bFCM-DKSFM was significantly higher compared to those cultured in DFCM-FD and DKSFM. In addition, the expansion index of keratinocytes in cultures supplemented with DFCM-DKSFM and DFCM-FD were 3.7 and 2.2 times higher than that of control condition even though the apparent growth rate and proliferative potential was found significantly lower. These results suggested that supplementation of DFCM enhanced expansion of keratinocyte by increasing efficiency of cell attachment, and DFCM-DKSFM provided suitable condition for in vitro expansion of keratinocytes compared to DFCM-FD and control condition.
Keratinocyte traction forces play a crucial role in wound healing. The aim of this study was to develop a novel cell traction force (CTF) transducer system based on cholesteryl ester liquid crystals (LC). Keratinocytes cultured on LC induced linear and isolated deformation lines in the LC surface. As suggested by the fluorescence staining, the deformation lines appeared to correlate with the forces generated by the contraction of circumferential actin filaments which were transmitted to the LC surface via the focal adhesions. Due to the linear viscoelastic behavior of the LC, Hooke's equation was used to quantify the CTFs by associating Young's modulus of LC to the cell induced stresses and biaxial strain in forming the LC deformation. Young's modulus of the LC was profiled by using spherical indentation and determined at approximately 87.1±17.2kPa. A new technique involving cytochalasin-B treatment was used to disrupt the intracellular force generating actin fibers, and consequently the biaxial strain in the LC induced by the cells was determined. Due to the improved sensitivity and spatial resolution (∼1μm) of the LC based CTF transducer, a wide range of CTFs was determined (10-120nN). These were found to be linearly proportional to the length of the deformations. The linear relationship of CTF-deformations was then applied in a bespoke CTF mapping software to estimate CTFs and to map CTF fields. The generated CTF map highlighted distinct distributions and different magnitude of CTFs were revealed for polarized and non-polarized keratinocytes.
Previous studies suggested telomerase activity as a determinant of cell replicative capacity by delaying cell senescence. This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility of adopting telomerase activity as a selection criterion for in vitro expanded skin cells before autologous transplantation. Fibroblasts and keratinoctyes were derived from the same consenting patients aged 9-69 years, and cultured separately in serum-supplemented and serum-free media, respectively. Telomerase activity of fresh and cultured cells were measured and correlated with cell growth rate, donor age and passage number. The results showed that telomerase activity and cell growth were independent of donor age for both cell types. Telomerase was expressed in freshly digested epidermis and dermis and continued expressing in vitro. Keratinocytes consistently showed 3-12 folds greater telomerase activity than fibroblast both in vivo and in vitro. Conversely, growth rate for fibroblast exceeded that of keratinocyte. Telomerase activity decreased markedly at Passage 6 for keratinocytes and ceased by Passage 3 for fibroblasts. The decrease or cessation of telomerase activity coincided with senescence for keratinocyte but not for fibroblast, implying a telomerase-regulated cell senescence for the former and hence a predictor of replicative capacity for this cell type. Relative telomerase activity for fibroblasts from the younger age group was significantly higher than that from the older age group; 69.7% higher for fresh isolates and 31.1% higher at P0 (p<0.05). No detectable telomerase activity was to be found at later subcultures for both age groups. Similarly for keratinocytes, telomerase activity in the younger age group was significantly higher (p<0.05) compared to that in the older age group; 507.7% at P0, 36.8% at P3 and the difference was no longer significant at P6. In conclusion, the study provided evidence that telomerase sustained the proliferation of keratinocytes but not fibroblasts. Telomerase activity is an important criterion for continued survival and replication of keratinocytes, hence its positive detection before transplantation is desirable. Inferring from our results, the use of keratinocytes from Passage 3 or lesser for construction of skin substitute or cell-based therapy is recommended owing to their sustained telomerase expression.
Our aim of this study was to develop a new methodology for constructing a bilayer human skin equivalent to create a more clinical compliance skin graft composite for the treatment of various skin defects. We utilized human plasma derived fibrin as the scaffold for the development of a living bilayer human skin equivalent: fibrin-fibroblast and fibrin-keratinocyte (B-FF/FK SE). Skin cells from six consented patients were culture-expanded to passage 1. For B-FF/FK SE formation, human fibroblasts were embedded in human fibrin matrix and subsequently another layer of human keratinocytes in human fibrin matrix was stacked on top. The B-FF/FK SE was then transplanted to athymic mice model for 4 weeks to evaluate its regeneration and clinical performance. The in vivo B-FF/FK SE has similar properties as native human skin by histological analysis and expression of basal Keratin 14 gene in the epidermal layer and Collagen type I gene in the dermal layer. Electron microscopy analysis of in vivo B-FF/FK SE showed well-formed and continuous epidermal-dermal junction. We have successfully developed a technique to engineer living bilayer human skin equivalent using human fibrin matrix. The utilization of culture-expanded human skin cells and fibrin matrix from human blood will allow a fully autologous human skin equivalent construction.