DNA mediated self-assembly of multicellular microtissues
Microphysiological systems (MPS) as a promising alternative can recapitulate the structure and function of native tissues in vitro, accelerating drug development and toxicity screening. DNA mediated self-assembly may encourages cell to communicate with one another and differentiates cells self-assemble into the desired microphysiological structure. Extensive studies have been conducted to construct DNA-mediated self-assembled DNA-lipid hybrid systems by integrating DNA with lipid for achieving multicellular MPS. Realization of multicellular MPS also is allowed to study physicochemical and physiological features of membrane assemblies. In addition, these artificial DNA-lipid hybrid systems show wide applications in drug delivery, synthetic biology, and chemical process control. Herein, we present a critical review on lipid-DNA hybrid systems.
Flushing out the scattering: fast on-chip microfluidic clearing of microtissues
By generating three-dimensional microtissues or organoids that better mimic the in vivo cellular functions than the two-dimensional cell cultures, the organ-on-a-chip technologies have been playing an increasingly important role in fundamental biology and drug discovery (1). The fast-growing on-chip microfluidic field is accompanied by the high demand for on-site imaging of the microtissues’ morphology, function, and molecular signatures.
Prospects and challenges in engineering functional respiratory epithelium for in vitro and in vivo applications
Respiratory diseases are amongst the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. There is therefore significant interest in developing more efficient treatment strategies for respiratory diseases particularly where there is irreversible tissue damage and loss of function.
It has been increasingly realized that the conventional planar cell cultures do not necessarily reproduce human physiology in vitro due to their limited ability to reproduce the structural and functional complexity of the in vivo counterparts, often resulting in biased outcomes of biological and pharmacological interrogations. On the other hand, the animal models, while competent in reproducing the complex physiology, their discrepancy in anatomy and the genetics against the humans inevitably lead to the mismatch in response towards drugs, chemicals, and toxins, thus resulting in inaccurate predictions. These facts apply to essentially every scenario that we can imagine, ranging from basic science discoveries in cell biology where studies are performed on single-cell levels all the way to systems biology where investigations at the tissue/organ levels are conducted—simply because that the three-dimensional, hierarchical microenvironment intertwined with multi-component biochemical and biophysical cues are so important that they significantly affect every level of biological function—from individual cells to tissue building units and to organs.
It has been increasingly realized that the conventional planar cell cultures and the animals do not necessarily reproduce human physiology in vitro due to their limited structural and functional complexity and the genetic difference, respectively, oftentimes leading to inaccurate prediction of drug, chemical, and toxin effects as well as biased outcomes of biological investigations. Miniaturized physiological systems are therefore proposed as alternative platforms that are anticipated to bridge the gap between currently available models and the human body. The Journal Microphysiological Systems (Microphysiol Syst; MPS) aims to provide latest insights and updates on the developments of in vitro tissue and organ models that can be used for applications ranging from biological studies to areas such as regenerative engineering, organs-on-chips, pharmaceutical screening, nanomedicine, and environmental toxicology.
Dr. Zhang received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology (2013), M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis (2011), and B.Eng. in Biomedical Engineering at Southeast University in China (2008). He is currently an Instructor of Medicine and Associate Bioengineer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Zhang has a broad background in biomedical engineering, where his research is based on the investigation of multi-scale biomaterials and biotechnologies to develop functional tissues and organ models and their use in translational therapeutics. In particular, he is highly experienced in research areas related with biomedical and medical devices such as organs-on-chip, biosensing, and imaging, as well as 3D bioprinting, biomaterials, tissue engineering, and drug and cell delivery.
Huh's laboratory aims to develop innovative bioengineering tools and technologies using biologically inspired design principles and micro/nanoengineering approaches to improve human health and promote environmental sustainability. Huh's research focuses primarily on developing i) microengineered biomimetic models of human organs (organs-on-chips), ii) self-assembled tissue/organ scaffolds, iii) cell-based self-regulating "smart" biomedical devices, and iv) efficient biomimetic transport systems. The laboratory explores the use of these bioinspired engineering systems for a variety of biomedical, pharmaceutical, and environmental applications.
Aleksander Skardal is an Assistant Professor at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine with additional appointments in the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences and the Department of Cancer Biology, and is a member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical. Dr. Skardal received his B.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Utah, where his work was focused on developing new hydrogel materials for bioprinting and other tissue biofabrication methods.
Dr. Dai received his B.S in Mechanical Engineering and M.S in Biomechanics from Peking University, China, and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from MIT’s HST Program (Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology). He completed his Post-doctoral training in Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School (Center for Excellence in Vascular Biology).
Current researches in his lab focus on the 3-D bioprinting technology, stem cells and vascular bioengineering, and are funded by major grants from NSF, NIH and American Heart Association. Dr. Dai received the Scientist Development Award from American Heart Association, Faculty Early Career Award from National Science Foundation, Rising Star Award from Biomedical Engineering Society, and Institute’s Faculty Career Award.
Department of Mechanical Engineering,University of Victoria,Canada
Professor Mohsen Akbari received his BSc (2002) and MSc (2005) from Sharif University of Technology (Iran). After moving to Canada, he received a Ph.D. (2011) in Applied Sciences from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, British Columbia). He also conducted research from 2012-2015 as a postdoctoral fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston, USA), Harvard Medical School, and Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.
Dr. Nicole Kleinstreuer is the deputy director of the National Toxicology Program Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM) within the NIEHS, in RTP, NC. She worked previously for Integrated Laboratory Systems as the head of their computational toxicology group. She received degrees in mathematics and biomedical engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her PhD in BioEngineering from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, and completed her postdoctoral training with the U.S.
Weijia Zhang received his doctorate in Chemistry from Fudan University. After graduation, he did his postdoctoral training at Methodist Hospital and Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard Medical School. In 2016, He returned to Fudan university with the financial support from "1000 Youth Talent" program, and joined Department of Chemistry and Institute of Biomedical Science (IBS) at Fudan University as Head of IBS Microfluidic Bioanalytical Instrumentation Laboratory.