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Intercellular interactions play a central role at the tissue and whole organism level modulating key cellular functions in normal and disease states. Studies of cell-cell communications are challenging due to ensemble averaging effects brought about by intrinsic heterogeneity in cellular function which requires such studies to be conducted with small populations of cells. Most of the current methods for producing and studying such small cell populations are complex to implement and require skilled personnel limiting their widespread utility in biomedical research labs. We present a simple and rapid method to produce small populations with varying size of epithelial cells (10–50 ...

Contributors
Lee, Kristen, Kelbauskas, Laimonas, Brunner, Alan, et al.
Created Date
2017-04-26

The histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor vorinostat has received significant attention in recent years as an ‘epigenetic’ drug used to treat solid tumors. However, its mechanisms of action are not entirely understood, particularly with regard to its interaction with the aberrations in 3D nuclear structure that accompany neoplastic progression. We investigated the impact of vorinostat on human esophageal epithelial cell lines derived from normal, metaplastic (pre-cancerous), and malignant tissue. Using a combination of novel optical computed tomography (CT)-based quantitative 3D absorption microscopy and conventional confocal fluorescence microscopy, we show that subjecting malignant cells to vorinostat preferentially alters their 3D nuclear architecture ...

Contributors
Nandakumar, Vivek, Hansen Katdare, Nanna, Glenn, Honor, et al.
Created Date
2016-08-09

In carcinogenesis, intercellular interactions within and between cell types are critical but remain poorly understood. We present a study on intercellular interactions between normal and premalignant epithelial cells and their functional relevance in the context of premalignant to malignant progression in Barrett’s esophagus. Using whole transcriptome profiling we found that in the presence of normal epithelial cells, dysplastic cells but not normal cells, exhibit marked down-regulation of a number of key signaling pathways, including the transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) and epithelial growth factor (EGF). Functional assays revealed both cell types showed repressed proliferation and significant changes in motility (speed, ...

Contributors
Zeng, Jia, Kelbauskas, Laimonas, Rezaie, Aida, et al.
Created Date
2016-10-12

Migration is a fundamental cellular behavior that plays an indispensable role in development and homeostasis, but can also contribute to pathology such as cancer metastasis. Due to its relevance to many aspects of human health, the ability to accurately measure cell migration is of broad interest, and numerous approaches have been developed. One of the most commonly employed approaches, because of its simplicity and throughput, is the exclusion zone assay in which cells are allowed to migrate into an initially cell-free region. A major drawback of this assay is that it relies on simply counting cells in the exclusion zone ...

Contributors
Glenn, Honor, Messner, Jacob, Meldrum, Deirdre, et al.
Created Date
2016-08-18

Driven by an increasing number of studies demonstrating its relevance to a broad variety of disease states, the bioenergy production phenotype has been widely characterized at the bulk sample level. Its cell-to-cell variability, a key player associated with cancer cell survival and recurrence, however, remains poorly understood due to ensemble averaging of the current approaches. We present a technology platform for performing oxygen consumption and extracellular acidification measurements of several hundreds to 1,000 individual cells per assay, while offering simultaneous analysis of cellular communication effects on the energy production phenotype. The platform comprises two major components: a tandem optical sensor ...

Contributors
Kelbauskas, Laimonas, Glenn, Honor, Anderson, Clifford, et al.
Created Date
2017-03-28

Functional and molecular cell-to-cell variability is pivotal at the cellular, tissue and whole-organism levels. Yet, the ultimate goal of directly correlating the function of the individual cell with its biomolecular profile remains elusive. We present a platform for integrated analysis of functional and transcriptional phenotypes in the same single cells. We investigated changes in the cellular respiration and gene expression diversity resulting from adaptation to repeated episodes of acute hypoxia in a premalignant progression model. We find differential, progression stage-specific alterations in phenotypic heterogeneity and identify cells with aberrant phenotypes. To our knowledge, this study is the first demonstration of ...

Contributors
Kelbauskas, Laimonas, Ashili, Shashaanka, Zeng, Jia, et al.
Created Date
2017-03-16

Core-shell microgels containing sensors/dyes in a matrix were fabricated by two-stage free radical precipitation polymerization method for ratiometric sensing/imaging. The microgels composing of poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAm) shell exhibits a low critical solution temperature (LCST), underwent an entropically driven transition from a swollen state to a deswollen state, which exhibit a hydrodynamic radius of ∼450 nm at 25°C (in vitro) and ∼190 nm at 37°C (in vivo). The microgel’s ability of escaping from lysosome into cytosol makes the microgel be a potential candidate for cytosolic delivery of sensors/probes. Non-invasive imaging/sensing in Antigen-presenting cells (APCs) was feasible by monitoring the changes of fluorescence ...

Contributors
Zhou, Xianfeng, Su, Fengyu, Tian, Yanqing, et al.
Created Date
2014-02-04

Cellular heterogeneity plays a pivotal role in a variety of functional processes in vivo including carcinogenesis. However, our knowledge about cell-to-cell diversity and how differences in individual cells manifest in alterations at the population level remains very limited mainly due to the lack of appropriate tools enabling studies at the single-cell level. We present a study on changes in cellular heterogeneity in the context of pre-malignant progression in response to hypoxic stress. Utilizing pre-malignant progression of Barrett’s esophagus (BE) as a disease model system we studied molecular mechanisms underlying the progression from metaplastic to dysplastic (pre-cancerous) stage. We used newly ...

Contributors
Wang, Jiangxin, Shi, Xu, Johnson, Roger, et al.
Created Date
2013-10-08

Hydrophobic platinum(II)-5,10,15,20-tetrakis-(2,3,4,5,6-pentafluorophenyl)-porphyrin (PtTFPP) was physically incorporated into micelles formed from poly(ε-caprolactone)-block-poly(ethylene glycol) to enable the application of PtTFPP in aqueous solution. Micelles were characterized using dynamic light scattering (DLS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) to show an average diameter of about 140 nm. PtTFPP showed higher quantum efficiency in micellar solution than in tetrahydrofuran (THF) and dichloromethane (CH[subscript 2]Cl[subscript 2]). PtTFPP in micelles also exhibited higher photostability than that of PtTFPP suspended in water. PtTFPP in micelles exhibited good oxygen sensitivity and response time. This study provided an efficient approach to enable the application of hydrophobic oxygen sensors in a ...

Contributors
Su, Fengyu, Alam, Ruhaniyah, Mei, Qian, et al.
Created Date
2012-03-22

With the successful development of organic/polymeric light emitting diodes, many organic and polymeric fluorophores with high quantum efficiencies and optical stability were synthesized. However, most of these materials which have excellent optical properties are insoluble in water, limiting their applications in biological fields. Herein, we used micelles formed from an amino-group-containing poly(ε-caprolactone)-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PCL-b-PEG-NH[subscript 2]) to incorporate a hydrophobic blue emitter oligofluorene (OF) to enable its application in biological conditions. Although OF is completely insoluble in water, it was successfully transferred into aqueous solutions with a good retention of its photophysical properties. OF exhibited a high quantum efficiency of 0.84 ...

Contributors
Su, Fengyu, Alam, Ruhaniyah, Mei, Qian, et al.
Created Date
2011-09-06