Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 1179 Views May 5, 2023

Three-dimensional bioprinting utilizes additive manufacturing processes that combine cells and a bioink to create living tissue models that mimic tissues found in vivo. Stem cells can regenerate and differentiate into specialized cell types, making them valuable for research concerning degenerative diseases and their potential treatments. 3D bioprinting stem cell–derived tissues have an advantage over other cell types because they can be expanded in large quantities and then differentiated to multiple cell types. Using patient-derived stem cells also enables a personalized medicine approach to the study of disease progression. In particular, mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are an attractive cell type for bioprinting because they are easier to obtain from patients in comparison to pluripotent stem cells, and their robust characteristics make them desirable for bioprinting. Currently, both MSC bioprinting protocols and cell culturing protocols exist separately, but there is a lack of literature that combines the culturing of the cells with the bioprinting process. This protocol aims to bridge that gap by describing the bioprinting process in detail, starting with how to culture cells pre-printing, to 3D bioprinting the cells, and finally to the culturing process post-printing. Here, we outline the process of culturing MSCs to produce cells for 3D bioprinting. We also describe the process of preparing Axolotl Biosciences TissuePrint - High Viscosity (HV) and Low Viscosity (LV) bioink, the incorporation of MSCs to the bioink, setting up the BIO X and the Aspect RX1 bioprinters, and necessary computer-aided design (CAD) files. We also detail the differentiation of 2D and 3D cell cultures of MSC to dopaminergic neurons, including media preparation. We have also included the protocols for viability, immunocytochemistry, electrophysiology, and performing a dopamine enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), along with the statistical analysis.

Graphical overview

0 Q&A 2286 Views Apr 20, 2022

Targeting receptor-mediated transcytosis (RMT) is a successful strategy for drug delivery of biologic agents across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The recent development of human BBB organoid models is a major advancement to help characterize the mechanisms of RMT and thus accelerate the design of brain delivery technologies. BBB organoids exhibit self-organization, which resembles the architecture of the neurovascular unit, and low paracellular permeability, due to the formation of tight junctions between endothelial cells. However, current methods of organoid generation have low throughput, exhibit substantial heterogeneity across experiments, and require extensive manual handling. These limitations prevent the use of BBB organoids as a screening tool for discovery and optimization of therapeutic molecules. In this protocol, we use hydrogel-based arrays to generate human BBB organoids, with a 35-fold increase in organoid yield as compared to previous protocols using 96-well plates. We incubate BBB organoid arrays with monoclonal antibody-based constructs and use a custom semi-automated imaging assay to assess RMT within the organoid core. The experimental and analytical tools described in this protocol provide a scalable platform that can be incorporated in the early stages of drug discovery to accelerate the development and optimization of brain delivery technologies to cross the BBB.

0 Q&A 4303 Views Jun 5, 2021

Three-dimensional cell cultures (“organoids”) promise to better recapitulate native tissue physiology than traditional 2D cultures and are becoming increasingly interesting for disease modeling and compound screening efforts. While a number of protocols for the generation of neural organoids have been published, most protocols require extensive manual handling and result in heterogeneous aggregates with high sample-to-sample variation, which can hinder screening-based strategies. We have now developed a fast and efficient protocol for the generation and maintenance of highly homogeneous and reproducible midbrain organoids. The protocol is streamlined for use in fully automated workflows but can also be performed manually without the need for highly specialized equipment. It relies on the aggregation of small molecule neural precursor cells (smNPCs) in standard 96-well V-bottomed plates under static culture conditions without cumbersome matrix embedding. The result is ready-to-assay uniform 3D human midbrain organoids available in freely scalable quantities for downstream analyses in 3D cell culture

Graphic abstract:

Automated midbrain organoid generation workflow and timeline

0 Q&A 3153 Views Mar 20, 2020
The Drosophila retina contains light-sensitive photoreceptors (R cells) with distinct spectral sensitivities that allow them to distinguish light by its spectral composition. R7 and R8 photoreceptors are important for color vision, and can be further classified into pale (p) or yellow (y) subtypes depending on the rhodopsin expressed. While both R7y and R7p are sensitive to UV light, R8y and R8p detect light in the green and blue spectrum, respectively. The ability of R7 and R8 photoreceptors to distinguish different spectral sensitivities and the natural preference for Drosophila towards light sources (phototaxis), allow for the development of a phototactic T-maze assay that compares the functionality of different R7 and R8 subtypes. A “UV vs. blue” choice can compare the functionalities of R7p and R8p photoreceptors, while a “UV vs. green” choice can compare the functionalities of R7y and R8y photoreceptors. Additionally, a “blue vs. green” choice could be used to compare R8p and R8y photoreceptors, while a “dark vs. light" choice could be used to determine overall vision functionality. Although electrophysiological recordings and calcium imaging have been used to examine functionality of R7 and R8 photoreceptors, these approaches require expensive equipment and are technically challenging. The phototactic T-maze assay we present here is a robust, straight-forward and an inexpensive method to study genetic and developmental factors that contribute to the individual functionality of R7 and R8 photoreceptors, and is especially useful when performing large-scale genetic screens.
1 Q&A 5063 Views Sep 5, 2019
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult onset neurological disorder characterized by loss of motor neurons leading to progressive muscle wasting and eventually death. Astrocytes play a key role in disease pathogenesis. However, the ability to study astrocytic support towards motor neurons in ALS has been limited by a lack of sustainable high-throughput human cell models. Moreover, the ability to assess how astrocytic support of motor neurons is influenced by drug treatment or nutritional supplementation has been hampered by the lack of robust methodology. We have developed a high-throughput astrocyte motor neuron co-culture assay, which, by using Hb9-GFP+ motor neurons enables researchers to assess how ALS affects the ability of astrocytes to support motor neurons in 384-well plates. Moreover, astrocyte function can be manipulated by nutritional supplementation or drug treatment to identify possible therapeutic targets.

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