Cell Biology


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 387 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 1732 Views Aug 20, 2022

Currently, there are several in vitro protocols that focus on directing human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) differentiation into either the cardiac or pulmonary lineage. However, these systemsprotocols are unable to recapitulate the critical exchange of signals and cells between the heart and lungs during early development. To address this gap, here we describe a protocol to co-differentiate cardiac and pulmonary progenitors within a single hiPSC culture by temporal specific modulation of Wnt and Nodal signaling. Subsequently, human cardio-pulmonary micro-tissues (μTs) can be generated by culturing the co-induced cardiac and pulmonary progenitors in 3D suspension culture. Anticipated results include expedited alveolarization in the presence of cardiac cells, and segregation of the cardiac and pulmonary μTs in the absence of exogenous Wnt signaling. This protocol can be used to model cardiac and pulmonary co-development, with potential applications in drug testing, and as a platform for expediting the maturation of pulmonary cells for lung tissue engineering.

0 Q&A 1163 Views Aug 5, 2022

There is an urgent need for the development of brain drug delivery carriers based on middle-sized or macromolecules, to which in vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB) models are expected to contribute significantly through evaluation of BBB permeability. As part of efforts to develop such models, we have been working on human conditionally immortalized cell-based multicellular spheroidal BBB models (hiMCS-BBB models), and we herein introduce the model development protocol. Briefly, astrocytes are first seeded in an ultra-low attachment 3D cell culture plate, to make the central core (Day 0). Next, pericytes are added over the core, to form an outer layer (Day 1). Then, brain microvascular endothelial cells are further added to each well, to create the outmost monolayer serving as the BBB (Day 2). Finally, the spheroids cultured for two days (on Day 4) can be used for assays of interest (e.g., antibody permeability assays). Neither special equipment nor techniques are required to produce hiMCS-BBB models. Therefore, the protocol presented here will not only facilitate the model sharing among the BBB community but also provide some technical clues contributing to the development of similar MCS-BBB models using other cell sources, such as primary or iPS-derived BBB cells.

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0 Q&A 3784 Views Apr 20, 2021

Recent advances in stem cell technology have allowed researchers to generate 3D cerebral organoids (COs) from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Indeed, COs have provided an unprecedented opportunity to model the developing human brain in a 3D context, and in turn, are suitable for addressing complex neurological questions by leveraging advancements in genetic engineering, high resolution microscopy, and tissue transcriptomics. However, the use of this model is limited by substantial variations in the overall morphology and cellular composition of organoids derived from the same pluripotent cell line. To address these limitations, we established a robust, high-efficiency protocol for the production of consistent COs by optimizing the initial phase of embryoid body (EB) formation and neural induction. Using this protocol, COs can be reproducibly generated with a uniform size, shape, and cellular composition across multiple batches. Furthermore, organoids that developed over extended periods of time (3–6 months) showed the establishment of relatively mature features, including electrophysiologically active neurons, and the emergence of oligodendrocyte progenitors. Thus, this platform provides a robust experimental model that can be used to study human brain development and associated disorders.

Graphic abstract:

Overview of cerebral organoid development from pluripotent stem cells

1 Q&A 5730 Views Sep 20, 2020
Induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiovascular progenitor cells (iPSC-CVPCs) provide an unprecedented platform for examining the molecular underpinnings of cardiac development and disease etiology, but also have great potential to play pivotal roles in the future of regenerative medicine and pharmacogenomic studies. Biobanks like iPSCORE ( Stacey et al., 2013; Panopoulos et al., 2017), which contain iPSCs generated from hundreds of genetically and ethnically diverse individuals, are an invaluable resource for conducting these studies. Here, we present an optimized, cost-effective and highly standardized protocol for large-scale derivation of human iPSC-CVPCs using small molecules and purification using metabolic selection. We have successfully applied this protocol to derive iPSC-CVPCs from 154 different iPSCORE iPSC lines obtaining large quantities of highly pure cardiac cells. An important component of our protocol is Cell confluency estimates (ccEstimate), an automated methodology for estimating the time when an iPSC monolayer will reach 80% confluency, which is optimal for initiating iPSC-CVPC derivation, and enables the protocol to be readily used across iPSC lines with different growth rates. Moreover, we showed that cellular heterogeneity across iPSC-CVPCs is due to varying proportions of two distinct cardiac cell types: cardiomyocytes (CMs) and epicardium-derived cells (EPDCs), both of which have been shown to have a critical function in heart regeneration. This protocol eliminates the need of iPSC line-to-line optimization and can be easily adapted and scaled to high-throughput studies or to generate large quantities of cells suitable for regenerative medicine applications.
0 Q&A 8112 Views Feb 5, 2020
Developing protocols to obtain intestinal epithelial monolayers that recapitulate in vivo physiology to overcome the limitations of the organoids’ closed geometry has become of great interest during the last few years. Most of the developed culture models showed physiological-relevant cell composition but did not prove self-renewing capacities. Here, we show a simple method to obtain mouse small intestine-derived epithelial monolayers organized into proliferative crypt-like domains, containing stem cells, and differentiated villus-like regions, closely resembling the in vivo cell composition and distribution. In addition, we adapted our model to a tissue culture format compatible with functional studies and prove close to physiological barrier properties of our in vitro epithelial monolayers. Thus, we have set-up a protocol to generate physiologically relevant intestinal epithelial monolayers to be employed in assays where independent access to both luminal and basolateral compartments is needed, such as drug absorption, intracellular trafficking and microbiome-epithelium interaction assays.
0 Q&A 3550 Views Oct 5, 2019
Co-culture systems utilizing reconstituted or synthetic extracellular matrix (ECM) and micropatterning techniques have enabled the reconstruction of surface epithelial tissues. This technique has been utilized in the regeneration, disease modeling and drug screening of the surface epithelia, such as the skin and esophagus. On the other hand, the reconstruction of glandular epithelia would require more intricate ECM organizations. Here we describe a protocol for a novel three-dimensional organotypic co-culture system for the reconstruction of mammary glands that utilizes the discontinuous ECM. In this technique, primary mammary fibroblasts first establish a layer of the connective tissue rich in collagen I. Then, mammary epithelial cells form acinar structures, the functional glandular units, within the laminin-rich basement membrane embedded in the connective tissue. This method allows for the regeneration of the in vivo-like architecture of mammary glands and could be utilized for monitoring the real-time response of mammary glands to drug treatment.
0 Q&A 3422 Views Oct 5, 2019
Extracellular matrix (ECM)-based tissue engineering scaffolds have an essential role in promoting tissue regeneration. Nerve tissue engineering aims at facilitating the repair of permanent damage to the peripheral and central nervous systems, which are difficult to heal. For this purpose, a variety of biomaterials are being developed consisting of numerous synthetic and/or natural polymers to provide axonal reinnervation and to direct the growth of axons. Here, we present a novel protocol that enables to fabricate a 3-dimensional (3D) decellularized scaffold derived from the bovine spinal cord (BSC) ECM (3D-dCBS) for neural tissue engineering applications. In this protocol, a viscous ECM-derived gel from BSC is prepared, molded, and chemically crosslinked with EDC/NHS (3D-CBS) before decellularization process. Decellularization of 3D-CBS is performed with 1% SDS to attain 3D-dCBS. As compared with other available methods, our protocol is a novel decellularization method that preserves a more significant part of the ECM. We believe that the mentioned protocol has the potential to produce a bioengineered scaffold from spinal cord tissue with desired geometry for regenerative medicine applications related to neural tissue engineering.

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