In this work, a novel enzymatically crosslinked injectable hydrogel comprising hyaluronic acid (HyA), dopamine (DA), and 3-(4-Hydroxyphenyl) propionic acid (HPA) conjugates was successfully developed. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first time that HPA is conjugated to a HyA-based backbone. In situ hydrogelation of HyA-DA-HPA occurred in the presence of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as an oxidant and horseradish peroxidase (HRP) as a catalyst. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to characterize the chemical reactions between HyA, DA, and HPA. Gel formation completed between 3 s to 5 min depending on the concentrations of polymer, HRP, and H2O2. Crosslinked HyA-DA-HPA gels acquired storage moduli ranging from ~100 Pa to ~20000 Pa (at f = 2000 rad/s). Biocompatibility of the hydrogels was examined with human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem cells. The hydrogels made of 2.0 w/v % HyA-DA-HPA hydrogels, 0.24 U/mL HRP and ≤ 0.5 µmol/mL H2O2 were found biocompatible with hMSCs cultured on and encapsulated within the hydrogels. Since HyA serves as a backbone of the extracellular matrix in the central nervous system (CNS) and DA acquires the ability to restore dopaminergic neurons, use of this injectable HyA-DA-HPA hydrogel for stem cell transplantation is a potential treatment strategy for CNS repair and regeneration.
The development of techniques to create and use multiphase microstructured hydrogels (granular hydrogels or microgels) has enabled the generation of cultures with more biologically relevant architecture and use of structured hydrogels is especially pertinent to the development of new types of central nervous system (CNS) culture models and therapies. We review material choice and the customisation of hydrogel structure, as well as the use of hydrogels in developmental models. Combining the use of structured hydrogel techniques with developmentally relevant tissue culture approaches will enable the generation of more relevant models and treatments to repair damaged CNS tissue architecture.
Amyloid fibrillation is a nucleation-dependent process known be involved in the development of more than 20 progressive and chronic diseases. The detection of amyloid formation at the nucleation stage can greatly advance early diagnoses and treatment of diseases. In this work, we developed a new assay for the early detection of amylin fibrillation using the biarsenical dye 4,5-bis(1,3,2-dithiarsolan-2-yl)fluorescein (FlAsH), which could recognise tetracysteine... Expand abstract
Stem cells with the capability to self-renew and differentiate into multiple cell derivatives provide platforms for drug screening and promising treatment options for a wide variety of neural diseases. Nevertheless, clinical applications of stem cells have been hindered partly owing to a lack of standardized techniques to characterize cell molecular profiles noninvasively and comprehensively. Here, we demonstrate that a label-free and noninvasive single-cell Raman microspectroscopy (SCRM) platform was able to identify neural cell lineages derived from clinically relevant human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). By analyzing the intrinsic biochemical profiles of single cells at a large scale (8,774 Raman spectra in total), iPSCs and iPSC-derived neural cells can be distinguished by their intrinsic phenotypic Raman spectra. We identified a Raman biomarker from glycogen to distinguish iPSCs from their neural derivatives, and the result was verified by the conventional glycogen detection assays. Further analysis with a machine learning classification model, utilizing t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding (t-SNE)-enhanced ensemble stacking, clearly categorized hiPSCs in different developmental stages with 97.5% accuracy. The present study demonstrates the capability of the SCRM-based platform to monitor cell development using high content screening with a noninvasive and label-free approach. This platform as well as our identified biomarker could be extensible to other cell types and can potentially have a high impact on neural stem cell therapy.
The pandemic coronavirus SARS‐CoV‐2 in the world has caused a large infected population suffering from COVID‐19. To curb the spreading of the virus, WHO urgently demanded an extension of screening and testing; thus, a rapid and simple diagnostic method is needed. We applied a reverse transcription‐loop‐mediated isothermal amplification (RT‐LAMP) to achieve the detection of SARS‐CoV‐2 in 30 min. We designed four sets of LAMP primers (6 primers in each set), targeting the viral RNA of SARS‐CoV‐2 in the regions of orf1ab, S gene and N gene. A colorimetric change was used to report the results, which enables the outcome of viral RNA amplification to be read by the naked eye without the need of expensive or dedicated instrument. The sensitivity can be 80 copies of viral RNA per ml in a sample. We validated the RT‐LAMP method in a hospital in China, employing 16 clinic samples with 8 positives and 8 negatives. The testing results are consistent with the conventional RT‐qPCR. In addition, we also show that one‐step process without RNA extraction is feasible to achieve RNA amplification directly from a sample. This rapid, simple and sensitive RT‐LAMP method paves a way for a large screening at public domain and hospitals, particularly regional hospitals and medical centres in rural areas.
We present an example of applying ‘need-driven’ product design principle to the development of a rapid test kit to detect SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19). The tests are intended for use in the field and, longer term, for home use. They detect whether a subject is currently infected with the virus and is infectious. The urgent need for large numbers of tests in field setting imposes constraints such as short test time and lack of access to specialist equipment, laboratories and skilled technicians to perform the test and interpret results. To meet these needs, an antigen test based on RT-LAMP with colorimetric readout was chosen. Direct use of swab sample with no RNA extraction was explored. After extensive experimental study (reported elsewhere), a rapid test kit has been fabricated to satisfy all design criteria.