A protein associated with neuron damage in people with Alzheimer’s disease is surprisingly useful in promoting neuron growth in the lab, according to a new study by engineering researchers at Brown University. The findings, in press at the journal Biomaterials, suggest a better method of growing neurons outside the body that might then be implanted to treat people with neurodegenerative diseases.
Posts Tagged ‘cell culture’
Using Bio-Rad’s TC10 automated cell counter is a breeze! Watch this video and learn how to use the TC10 counter to count cells in less than 30 seconds before splitting them or running an experiment. He discusses the innovative auto-focus technology and how it helps to increase accuracy and reproducibility.
Researchers from Clemson University have found a way to create temporary holes in the membranes of live cells using a standard inkjet printer. The method will be published in JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, on March 16.
“We first had the idea for this method when we wanted to be able to visualize changes in the cytoskeleton arrangement due to applied forces on cells,” said paper-author Dr. Delphine Dean.
She said other researchers have been using this method to print cells onto slides, but that they have only recently discovered that printing the cells causes the disruption in their membranes for a few hours. Creating temporary pores allow researchers to put molecules inside of cells that wouldn’t otherwise fit, and study how the cells react.
“The authors have used an extremely innovative approach for bioprinting cells. Moreover, this approach can be used for applications other than cell printing,” said JoVE Science Editor, Dr. Nandita Singh. “Matrix proteins can be printed onto substrates with this technique for cell patterning. This JoVE publication will make this approach simple and approachable and enable other labs to replicate the procedure.”
The printer is modified by removing the paperfeed mechanism and adding a “stage” from which to feed the slides. The ink is replaced with a cell solution, and the cells are printed directly on to the slides.
Using this method, the researchers are able to process thousands of cells in a matter of minutes. Dr. Dean’s team used the holes to introduce fluorescent molecules that illuminate the skeleton of the cell.
“We are actually interested in the cell mechanics of compressed cells. This method allows us to push on the cells and watch the response easily,” said Dr. Dean. “We are interested in cardiovascular cells, and how they respond to mechanical force.”
Dr. Dean chose to submit her method to JoVE, the only peer reviewed, PubMed-indexed science journal to publish all of its content in both text and video format, because, according to her, “until you’ve seen it done, it’s hard to understand the process.”
To watch the full video article, please click here: http://www.jove.com/video/3681/creating-transient-cell-membrane-pores-using-a-standard-inkjet-printer#
But according to Dr. David Sprinzak, a new faculty recruit of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, cells know when to transmit signals — and they know when it’s time to shut up and let other cells do the talking. In collaboration with a team of researchers at the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Sprinzak has discovered the mechanism that allows cells to switch from sender to receiver mode or vice versa, inhibiting their own signals while allowing them to receive information from other cells — controlling their development like a well-run business meeting.
Dr. Sprinzak’s breakthrough can lead to the development of cancer drugs that specifically target these transactions as needed, further inhibiting or encouraging the flow of information between cells and potentially stopping the uncontrollable proliferation of cancer cells. Dr. Sprinzak’s research appeared in the journal PLoS Computational Biology.
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For over 100 years the hemocytometer has been used by cell biologists to quantitate cells. It was first developed for the quantitation of blood cells but became a popular and effective tool for counting a variety of cell types, particles and even small organisms. Currently, hemocytometers, armed with improved Neubauer grids, are a mainstay of cell biology labs.
Despite its longevity and versatility, hemocytometer counting suffers from a variety of shortcomings. These shortcomings include, but are not limited to, a lack of statistical robustness at low sample concentration, poor counts due to device misuse, and subjectivity of counts among users, in addition to a time-consuming and tedious operation. In recent years automated cell counting has become an attractive alternative to manual hemocytometer-based cell counting, offering more reliable results in a fraction of the time needed for manual counting.
The attached report compares the precision of cell counts obtained with a hemocytometer to hose obtained by automated cell counting using the Bio-Rad TC10 automated cell counter. Sources of error that are inherent to the device, and those introduced by the operator are investigated. We demonstrate that automated cell counting can significantly reduce user and concentration-dependent count variance, while greatly reducing the time needed to perform counts.