Special Issue "Biophysical Micro- and Nano-Actuators"

A special issue of Actuators (ISSN 2076-0825).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2015).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ebrahim Ghafar-Zadeh
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biological actuations are defined as physical stimulation (e.g., mechanical, electrical, etc.) techniques to control or change the cell or molecular activities. Recent advances of micro- and nanotechnologies have received significant attention from researchers for the development of novel biological actuation techniques for various in vitro and in vivo life science applications, including, but not limited to, rare cell isolation, separation of macromolecules, such as DNA, RNA, and proteins from a sample, cell Lysis, precise localization of cells for microscopic purposes, enhancing the sensitivity of biosensors by manipulating the labeled cells/molecules toward recognition element (e.g., Antibody, DNA, Aptemer), opening the blood brain barrier (BBB) for drug delivery, creating pores in the cell membrane for molecular transfection, cell stimulation using various physical factors for stem cell differentiation and tissue engineering, and neural cell stimulation. To date, many biophysical techniques, such as Dielectrophoresis (DEP), Electrophoresis, Electroporation, magnetic cellular manipulation using micro-beads or magnetic nano-particles, optical tweezers, patch-clamping methods, MRI-guided nanoparticles for crossing BBB, and ultrasonic techniques for crossing BBB have been applied.

This Special Issue targets the recent progress, including simulation, modeling and experimental works, on the following topics:

  1. DEP manipulation for cell separation, levitation, trapping, etc.
  2. Magnetic manipulation using magnetic/super-paramagnetic micro-beads or nano-particles
  3. Ultrasound manipulation for cell separation
  4. Ultrasound manipulation for opening BBB
  5. MRI-guided drug delivery toward the target tissue in the body
  6. Electroporation to deliver small or large molecules into cells
  7. Mechanical stimulation cells for tissue engineering
  8. Electrical Excitation of neural cells for neuroscience studies
  9. Electrophoresis for molecular separation in microfluidic devices
  10. Optogenetic actuators for controlling cellular activities
  11. Thermal Stimulation of cells
  12. Other biological actuation techniques

Dr. Ebrahim Ghafar-Zadeh
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Actuators is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Role of α and β Transmembrane Domains in Integrin Clustering
Actuators 2015, 4(4), 267-280; https://doi.org/10.3390/act4040267 - 20 Nov 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4136
Abstract
Integrins are transmembrane proteins playing a crucial role in the mechanical signal transduction from the outside to the inside of a cell, and vice versa. Nevertheless, this signal transduction could not be implemented by a single protein. Rather, in order for integrins to [...] Read more.
Integrins are transmembrane proteins playing a crucial role in the mechanical signal transduction from the outside to the inside of a cell, and vice versa. Nevertheless, this signal transduction could not be implemented by a single protein. Rather, in order for integrins to be able to participate in signal transduction, they need to be activated and produce clusters first. As integrins consist of α- and β-subunits that are separate in the active state, studying both subunits separately is of a great importance, for, in the active state, the distance between α- and β-subunits is long enough that they do not influence one another significantly. Thus, this study aims to investigate the tendency of transmembrane domains of integrins to form homodimers. We used both Steered and MARTINI Coarse-grained molecular dynamics method to perform our simulations, mainly because of a better resolution and computational feasibility that each of these methods could provide to us. Using the Steered molecular dynamics method for α- and β-subunits, we found that the localized lipid packing prevented them from clustering. Nonetheless, the lipid packing phenomenon was found to be an artifact after investigating this process using a coarse grained (CG) model. Exploiting the coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, we found that α- and β-subunits tend to form a stable homo-dimer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biophysical Micro- and Nano-Actuators)
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Article
Ionic Polymer Microactuator Activated by Photoresponsive Organic Proton Pumps
Actuators 2015, 4(4), 237-254; https://doi.org/10.3390/act4040237 - 26 Oct 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4682
Abstract
An ionic polymer microactuator driven by an organic photoelectric proton pump transducer is described in this paper. The light responsive transducer is fabricated by using molecular self-assembly to immobilize oriented bacteriorhodopsin purple membrane (PM) patches on a bio-functionalized porous anodic alumina (PAA) substrate. [...] Read more.
An ionic polymer microactuator driven by an organic photoelectric proton pump transducer is described in this paper. The light responsive transducer is fabricated by using molecular self-assembly to immobilize oriented bacteriorhodopsin purple membrane (PM) patches on a bio-functionalized porous anodic alumina (PAA) substrate. When exposed to visible light, the PM proton pumps produce a unidirectional flow of ions through the structure’s nano-pores and alter the pH of the working solution in a microfluidic device. The change in pH is sufficient to generate an osmotic pressure difference across a hydroxyethyl methacrylate-acrylic acid (HEMA-AA) actuator shell and induce volume expansion or contraction. Experiments show that the transducer can generate an ionic gradient of 2.5 μM and ionic potential of 25 mV, producing a pH increase of 0.42 in the working solution. The ΔpH is sufficient to increase the volume of the HEMA-AA microactuator by 80%. The volumetric transformation of the hydrogel can be used as a valve to close a fluid transport micro-channel or apply minute force to a mechanically flexible microcantilever beam. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biophysical Micro- and Nano-Actuators)
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