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Bhattacharya A.,University of Pittsburgh | Buxton G.A.,Robert Morris University | Usta O.B.,Center for Engineering in Medicine | Balazs A.C.,University of Pittsburgh
Langmuir | Year: 2012

We model the transport of a microscopic particle via a regular array of beating elastic cilia, whose tips experience an adhesive interaction with the particle's surface. At optimal adhesion strength, the average particle velocity is maximized. Using simulations spanning a range of cilia stiffness and cilia-particle adhesion strength, we explore the parameter space over which the particle can be "released", "propelled", or "trapped" by the cilia. We use a lower-order model to predict parameters for which the cilia are able to "propel" the particle. This is the first study that shows how both stiffness and adhesion strength are crucial for manipulation of particles by active cilia arrays. These results can facilitate the design of synthetic cilia that integrate adhesive and hydrodynamic interactions to selectively repel or trap particulates. Surfaces that are effective at repelling particulates are valuable for antifouling applications, while surfaces that can trap and, thus, remove particulates from the solution are useful for efficient filtration systems. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Berdichevsky Y.,Center for Engineering in Medicine | Berdichevsky Y.,Harvard University | Staley K.J.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Staley K.J.,Harvard University | And 2 more authors.
Lab on a Chip - Miniaturisation for Chemistry and Biology | Year: 2010

Communication between different brain regions, and between local circuits in the same brain region, is an important area of study for basic and translational neuroscience research. Selective and chronic manipulation of one of the components in a given neural pathway is frequently required for development and plasticity studies. We designed an in vitro platform that captures some of the complexity of mammalian brain pathways but permits easy experimental manipulation of their constituent parts. Organotypic cultures of brain slices were carried out in compartments interconnected by microchannels. We show that co-cultures from cortex and hippocampus formed functional connections by extending axons through the microchannels. We report synchronization of neural activity in co-cultures, and demonstrate selective pharmacological manipulation of activity in the constituent slices. Our platform enables chronic, spatially-restricted experimental manipulation of pre- and post-synaptic neurons in organotypic cultures, and will be useful to investigators seeking to understand development, plasticity, and pathologies of neural pathways. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Goldwasser J.,Center for Engineering in Medicine | Goldwasser J.,Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology | Goldwasser J.,Harvard University | Cohen P.Y.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2011

Background & Aims: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects 3% of the world population and is the leading cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. Current standard of care is effective in only 50% of the patients, poorly tolerated, and associated with significant side effects and viral resistance. Recently, our group and others demonstrated that the HCV lifecycle is critically dependent on host lipid metabolism and that its production is metabolically modulated. Methods: The JFH1/Huh7.5.1 full lifecycle model of HCV was used to study the antiviral effects of naringenin on viral replication, assembly, and production. Activation of PPARα was elucidated using GAL4-PPARα fusion reporters, PPRE reporters, qRT-PCR, and metabolic studies. Metabolic results were confirmed in primary human hepatocytes. Results: We demonstrate that the grapefruit flavonoid naringenin dose-dependently inhibits HCV production without affecting intracellular levels of the viral RNA or protein. We show that naringenin blocks the assembly of intracellular infectious viral particles, upstream of viral egress. This antiviral effect is mediated in part by the activation of PPARα, leading to a decrease in VLDL production without causing hepatic lipid accumulation in Huh7.5.1 cells and primary human hepatocytes. Long-term treatment with naringenin leads to a rapid 1.4 log reduction in HCV, similar to 1000 U of interferon. During the washout period, HCV levels returned to normal, consistent with our proposed mechanism of action. Conclusions: The data demonstrates that naringenin is a non-toxic assembly inhibitor of HCV and that other PPARα agonists play a similar role in blocking viral production. The combination of naringenin with STAT-C agents could potentially bring a rapid reduction in HCV levels during the early treatment phase, an outcome associated with sustained virological response. © 2011 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Xu H.,Harvard University | Xu H.,Center for Engineering in Medicine | Berendsen T.,Center for Engineering in Medicine | Kim K.,Harvard University | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Surgical Research | Year: 2012

Background: The shortage in donor livers has led to increased use of allografts derived from donation after cardiac death (DCD). The compromised viability in these livers leads to inferior post-transplantation allograft function and survival compared with donation after brain death (DBD) donor grafts. In this study, we reconditioned DCD livers using an optimized normothermic machine perfusion system. Methods: Livers from 12 Yorkshire pigs (20-30 kg) were subjected to either 0 min (WI-0 group, n = 6) or 60 min (WI-60 group, n = 6) of warm ischemia and 2 h of cold storage in UW solution, followed by 4 h of oxygenated sanguineous normothermic machine perfusion. Liver viability and metabolic function were analyzed hourly. Results: Warm ischemic livers showed elevated transaminase levels and reduced ATP concentration. After the start of machine perfusion, transaminase levels stabilized and there was recovery of tissue ATP, coinciding with an increase in bile production. These parameters reached comparable levels to the control group after 1 h of machine perfusion. Histology and gross morphology confirmed recovery of the ischemic allografts. Conclusion: Our data demonstrate that metabolic and functional parameters of livers with extended warm ischemic time (60 min) can be significantly improved using normothermic machine perfusion. We hereby compound the existing body of evidence that machine perfusion is a viable solution for reconditioning marginal organs.

Goldwasser J.,Center for Engineering in Medicine | Goldwasser J.,Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology | Cohen P.Y.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Yang E.,Center for Engineering in Medicine | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Disruption of lipid and carbohydrate homeostasis is an important factor in the development of prevalent metabolic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and atherosclerosis. Therefore, small molecules that could reduce insulin dependence and regulate dyslipidemia could have a dramatic effect on public health. The grapefruit flavonoid naringenin has been shown to normalize lipids in diabetes and hypercholesterolemia, as well as inhibit the production of HCV. Here, we demonstrate that naringenin regulates the activity of nuclear receptors PPARα, PPARγ, and LXRα. We show it activates the ligand-binding domain of both PPARα and PPARγ, while inhibiting LXRα in GAL4-fusion reporters. Using TR-FRET, we show that naringenin is a partial agonist of LXRα, inhibiting its association with Trap220 co-activator in the presence of TO901317. In addition, naringenin induces the expression of PPARα co-activator, PGC1α. The flavonoid activates PPAR response element (PPRE) while suppressing LXRα response element (LXRE) in human hepatocytes, translating into the induction of PPAR-regulated fatty acid oxidation genes such as CYP4A11, ACOX, UCP1 and ApoAI, and inhibition of LXRα-regulated lipogenesis genes, such as FAS, ABCA1, ABCG1, and HMGR. This effect results in the induction of a fasted-like state in primary rat hepatocytes in which fatty acid oxidation increases, while cholesterol and bile acid production decreases. Our findings explain the myriad effects of naringenin and support its continued clinical development. Of note, this is the first description of a non-toxic, naturally occurring LXRα inhibitor. © 2010 Goldwasser et al.

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