Abstract: Tissues in the body are hierarchically structured composite materials with tissue-specific chemical and topographical properties. Here we report the preparation of tissue scaffolds with macroscopic pores generated via the dissolution of a sacrificial supramolecular polymer-based crystal template (urea) from a biodegradable polymer-based scaffold (polycaprolactone, PCL). Furthermore, we report a method of aligning the supramolecular polymer-based crystals within the PCL, and that the dissolution of the sacrificial urea yields scaffolds with macroscopic pores that are aligned over long, clinically-relevant distances (i.e., centimeter scale). The pores act as topographical cues to which rat Schwann cells respond by aligning with the long axis of the pores. Generation of an interpenetrating network of polypyrrole (PPy) and poly(styrene sulfonate) (PSS) in the scaffolds yields electroactive tissue scaffolds that allow the electrical stimulation of Schwann cells cultured on the scaffolds which increases the production of nerve growth factor (NGF).
Abstract: A thermoelectric biosensor for the detection of L-glutamate concentration was developed. The thermoelectric sensor is integrated into a micro-calorimeter which measures the heat produced by biochemical reactions. The device contains a single flow channel that is 120 µm high and 10 mm wide with two fluid inlets and one fluid outlet. An antimony-bismuth (Sb-Bi) thermopile with high common mode rejection ratio is attached to the lower channel wall and measures the dynamic changes in the temperature when L-glutamate undergoes oxidative deamination in the presence of glutamate oxidase (GLOD). The thermopile has a Seebeck coefficient of ~7 µV·(m·K)−1. The device geometry, together with hydrodynamic focusing, eliminates the need of extensive temperature control. Layer-by-layer assembly is used to immobilize GLOD on the surface of glass coverslips by alternate electrostatic adsorption of polyelectrolyte and GLOD. The impulse injection mode using a 6-port injection valve minimizes sample volume to 5 µL. The sensitivity of the sensor for glutamate is 17.9 nVs·mM−1 in the linear range of 0–54 mM with an R2 value of 0.9873. The lowest detection limit of the sensor for glutamate is 5.3 mM.
Abstract: Filtration steps are ubiquitous in biotech processes due to the simplicity of operation, ease of scalability and the myriad of operations that they can be used for. Microfiltration, depth filtration, ultrafiltration and diafiltration are some of the most commonly used biotech unit operations. For clean feed streams, when fouling is minimal, scaling of these unit operations is performed linearly based on the filter area per unit volume of feed stream. However, for cases when considerable fouling occurs, such as the case of harvesting a therapeutic product expressed in Pichia pastoris, linear scaling may not be possible and current industrial practices involve use of 20–30% excess filter area over and above the calculated filter area to account for the uncertainty in scaling. In view of the fact that filters used for harvest are likely to have a very limited lifetime, this oversizing of the filters can add considerable cost of goods for the manufacturer. Modeling offers a way out of this conundrum. In this paper, we examine feasibility of using the various proposed models for filtration of a therapeutic product expressed in Pichia pastoris at constant pressure. It is observed that none of the individual models yield a satisfactory fit of the data, thus indicating that more than one fouling mechanism is at work. Filters with smaller pores were found to undergo fouling via complete pore blocking followed by cake filtration. On the other hand, filters with larger pores were found to undergo fouling via intermediate pore blocking followed by cake filtration. The proposed approach can be used for more accurate sizing of microfilters and depth filters.
Abstract: Fluorescent conjugated materials exhibiting reasonable biocompatibility that are capable of interacting with biological molecules are of interest for bio-sensing and imaging applications. Traditional approaches do not allow for the synthesis of conjugated materials in the presence of biologically relevant substrates. Further conjugated polymers synthesized using conventional methods are doped and not fluorescent. Here we explore the possibility of synthesizing fluorescent oligomers of indole using enzymes as catalyst under mild conditions. The peroxidase catalyzed coupling reaction presented here creates a photoluminescent material that allows for direct utilization (without purification and separation of the dopant) in biosensing applications. The polymerization reaction proceeds smoothly in just deionized water and ethanol. Monitoring of the absorption and fluorescence spectra over one hour shows that the concentration of both absorbing and emitting species grows steadily over time. The presence of anionic buffers and templates is shown to effectively retard the development of light emitting species and instead leads to the formation of an electrically doped conjugated polymer. Structural characterization through FTIR and 1H-NMR analysis suggests that the oligomer is coupled through the 2 and 3 positions on the indole ring.
Abstract: Recruitment of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) into the field of tissue engineering is a promising development since these cells can be expanded vivo to clinically relevant numbers and, after expansion, retain their ability to differentiate into various cell lineages. Safety requirements and the necessity to obtain high cell numbers without frequent subcultivation of cells raised the question of the possibility of expanding MSC in one-way (single-use) disposable bioreactors. In this study, umbilical cord-derived MSC (UC-MSC) were expanded in a disposable Z 2000 H bioreactor under dynamic conditions. Z was characterized regarding residence time and mixing in order to evaluate the optimal bioreactor settings, enabling optimal mass transfer in the absence of shear stress, allowing an reproducible expansion of MSC, while maintaining their stemness properties. Culture of the UC-MSC in disposable Z 2000 H bioreactor resulted in a reproducible 8-fold increase of cell numbers after 5 days. Cells were shown to maintain specific MSC surface marker expression as well as trilineage differentiation potential and lack stress-induced premature senescence.