Electrotaxis of lung cancer cells in ordered three-dimensional scaffolds.
ABSTRACT: In this paper, we report a new method to incorporate 3D scaffold with electrotaxis measurement in the microfluidic device. The electrotactic response of lung cancer cells in the 3D foam scaffolds which resemble the in vivo pulmonary alveoli may give more insight on cellular behaviors in vivo. The 3D scaffold consists of ordered arrays of uniform spherical pores in gelatin. We found that cell morphology in the 3D scaffold was different from that in 2D substrate. Next, we applied a direct current electric field (EF) of 338 mV/mm through the scaffold for the study of cells' migration within. We measured the migration directedness and speed of different lung cancer cell lines, CL1-0, CL1-5, and A549, and compared with those examined in 2D gelatin-coated and bare substrates. The migration direction is the same for all conditions but there are clear differences in cell morphology, directedness, and migration speed under EF. Our results demonstrate cell migration under EF is different in 2D and 3D environments and possibly due to different cell morphology and/or substrate stiffness.
Project description:During wound healing, cells migrate with electrotactic bias as a collective entity. Unlike the case of the electric field (EF)-induced single-cell migration, the sensitivity of electrotactic response of the monolayer depends primarily on the integrity of the cell-cell junctions. Although there exist biochemical clues on how cells sense the EF, a well-defined physical portrait to illustrate how collective cells respond to directional EF remains elusive. Here, we developed an EF stimulating system integrated with a hydrogel-based traction measurement platform to quantify the EF-induced changes in cellular tractions, from which the complete in-plane intercellular stress tensor can be calculated. We chose immortalized human keratinocytes, HaCaT, as our model cells to investigate the role of EF in epithelial migration during wound healing. Immediately after the onset of EF (0.5 V/cm), the HaCaT monolayer migrated toward anode with ordered directedness and enhanced speed as early as 15 min. Cellular traction and intercellular stresses were gradually aligned perpendicular to the direction of the EF until 50 min. The EF--induced reorientation of physical stresses was then followed by the delayed cell-body reorientation in the direction perpendicular to the EF. Once the intercellular stresses were aligned, the reversal of the EF direction redirected the reversed migration of the cells without any apparent disruption of the intercellular stresses. The results suggest that the dislodging of the physical stress alignment along the adjacent cells should not be necessary for changing the direction of the monolayer migration.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Electrotaxis is the movement of adherent living cells in response to a direct current (dc) electric field (EF) of physiological strength. Highly metastatic human lung cancer cells, CL1-5, exhibit directional migration and orientation under dcEFs. To understand the transcriptional response of CL1-5 cells to a dcEF, microarray analysis was performed in this study. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:A large electric-field chip (LEFC) was designed, fabricated, and used in this study. CL1-5 cells were treated with the EF strength of 0 mV/mm (the control group) and 300 mV/mm (the EF-treated group) for two hours. Signaling pathways involving the genes that expressed differently between the two groups were revealed. It was shown that the EF-regulated genes highly correlated to adherens junction, telomerase RNA component gene regulation, and tight junction. Some up-regulated genes such as ACVR1B and CTTN, and some down-regulated genes such as PTEN, are known to be positively and negatively correlated to cell migration, respectively. The protein-protein interactions of adherens junction-associated EF-regulated genes suggested that platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptors and ephrin receptors may participate in sensing extracellular electrical stimuli. We further observed a high percentage of significantly regulated genes which encode cell membrane proteins, suggesting that dcEF may directly influence the activity of cell membrane proteins in signal transduction. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:In this study, some of the EF-regulated genes have been reported to be essential whereas others are novel for electrotaxis. Our result confirms that the regulation of gene expression is involved in the mechanism of electrotactic response.
Project description:To repair damaged cardiac tissue, the important principle of in vitro cell culture is to mimic the in vivo cell growth environment. Thus, micro-sized cells are more suitably cultured in three-dimensional (3D) than in two-dimensional (2D) microenvironments (ex: culture dish). With the matching dimensions of works produced by microfluidic technology, chemical engineering and biochemistry applications have used this technology extensively in cellular works. The 3D scaffolds produced in our investigation has essential properties, such has high mass transfer efficiency, and variable pore sizes, to adapt to various needs of different cell types. In addition to the malleability of these innovative scaffolds, fabrication procedure was effortless and fast. Primary neonatal mice cardiomyocytes were successfully harvested and cultured in 3D scaffolds made of gelatin and collagen. Gelatin and gelatin-collagen scaffold were produced by the formation of microbubbles through a microfluidic device, and the mechanical properties of gelatin scaffold and gelatin-collagen scaffold were measured. Cellular properties in the microbubbles were also monitored. Fluorescence staining results assured that cardiomyocytes could maintain in vivo morphology in 3D gelatin scaffold. In addition, it was found that 3D scaffold could prolong the contraction behavior of cardiomyocytes compared with a conventional 2D culture dish. Spontaneously contracted behavior was maintained for the longest (about 1 month) in the 3D gelatin scaffold, about 19 days in the 3D gelatin-collagen scaffold. To sum up, this 3D platform for cell culture has promising potential for myocardial tissue engineering.
Project description:Human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) have been explored for cardiac regeneration and repair as well as for the development of in vitro 3D cardiac tissue models. Existing protocols for cardiac differentiation of hiPSCs utilize a 2D culture system. However, the efficiency of hiPSC differentiation to cardiomyocytes in 3D culture systems has not been extensively explored. In the present study, we investigated the efficiency of cardiac differentiation of hiPSCs to functional cardiomyocytes on 3D nanofibrous scaffolds. Coaxial polycaprolactone (PCL)-gelatin fibrous scaffolds were fabricated by electrospinning and characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. hiPSCs were cultured and differentiated into functional cardiomyocytes on the nanofibrous scaffold and compared with 2D cultures. To assess the relative efficiencies of both the systems, SEM, immunofluorescence staining and gene expression analyses were performed. Contractions of differentiated cardiomyocytes were observed in 2D cultures after 2 weeks and in 3D cultures after 4 weeks. SEM analysis showed no significant differences in the morphology of cells differentiated on 2D versus 3D cultures. However, gene expression data showed significantly increased expression of cardiac progenitor genes (ISL-1, SIRPA) in 3D cultures and cardiomyocytes markers (TNNT, MHC6) in 2D cultures. In contrast, immunofluorescence staining showed no substantial differences in the expression of NKX-2.5 and α-sarcomeric actinin. Furthermore, uniform migration and distribution of the in situ differentiated cardiomyocytes was observed in the 3D fibrous scaffold. Overall, our study demonstrates that coaxial PCL-gelatin nanofibrous scaffolds can be used as a 3D culture platform for efficient differentiation of hiPSCs to functional cardiomyocytes.
Project description:Small direct current (DC) electric fields (EFs) guide neurite growth and migration of rodent neural stem cells (NSCs). However, this could be species dependent. Therefore, it is critical to investigate how human NSCs (hNSCs) respond to EF before any possible clinical attempt. Aiming to characterize the EF-stimulated and guided migration of hNSCs, we derived hNSCs from a well-established human embryonic stem cell line H9. Small applied DC EFs, as low as 16 mV/mm, induced significant directional migration toward the cathode. Reversal of the field polarity reversed migration of hNSCs. The galvanotactic/electrotactic response was both time and voltage dependent. The migration directedness and distance to the cathode increased with the increase of field strength. (Rho-kinase) inhibitor Y27632 is used to enhance viability of stem cells and has previously been reported to inhibit EF-guided directional migration in induced pluripotent stem cells and neurons. However, its presence did not significantly affect the directionality of hNSC migration in an EF. Cytokine receptor [C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4)] is important for chemotaxis of NSCs in the brain. The blockage of CXCR4 did not affect the electrotaxis of hNSCs. We conclude that hNSCs respond to a small EF by directional migration. Applied EFs could potentially be further exploited to guide hNSCs to injured sites in the central nervous system to improve the outcome of various diseases.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>We investigated the in vitro response of Acanthamoeba trophozoites to electric fields (EFs).<h4>Methods</h4>Acanthamoeba castellanii were exposed to varying strengths of an EF. During EF exposure, cell migration was monitored using an inverted microscope equipped with a CCD camera and the SimplePCI 5.3 imaging system to capture time-lapse images. The migration of A. castellanii trophozoites was analyzed and quantified with ImageJ software. For analysis of cell migration in a three-dimensional culture system, Acanthamoeba trophozoites were cultured in agar, exposed to an EF, digitally video recorded, and analyzed at various Z focal planes.<h4>Results</h4>Acanthamoeba trophozoites move at random in the absence of an EF, but move directionally in response to an EF. Directedness in the absence of an EF is 0.08 ± 0.01, while in 1200 mV/mm EF, directedness is significantly higher at -0.65 ± 0.01 (P < 0.001). We find that the trophozoite migration response is voltage-dependent, with higher directionality with higher voltage application. Acanthamoeba move directionally in a three-dimensional (3D) agar system as well when exposed to an EF.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Acanthamoeba trophozoites move directionally in response to an EF in a two-dimensional and 3D culture system. Acanthamoeba trophozoite migration is also voltage-dependent, with increased directionality with increasing voltage. This may provide new treatment modalities for Acanthamoeba keratitis.
Project description:A major road-block in stem cell therapy is the poor homing and integration of transplanted stem cells with the targeted host tissue. Human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells are considered an excellent alternative to embryonic stem (ES) cells and we tested the feasibility of using small, physiological electric fields (EFs) to guide hiPS cells to their target. Applied EFs stimulated and guided migration of cultured hiPS cells toward the anode, with a stimulation threshold of <30 mV/mm; in three-dimensional (3D) culture hiPS cells remained stationary, whereas in an applied EF they migrated directionally. This is of significance as the therapeutic use of hiPS cells occurs in a 3D environment. EF exposure did not alter expression of the pluripotency markers SSEA-4 and Oct-4 in hiPS cells. We compared EF-directed migration (galvanotaxis) of hiPS cells and hES cells and found that hiPS cells showed greater sensitivity and directedness than those of hES cells in an EF, while hES cells migrated toward cathode. Rho-kinase (ROCK) inhibition, a method to aid expansion and survival of stem cells, significantly increased the motility, but reduced directionality of iPS cells in an EF by 70-80%. Thus, our study has revealed that physiological EF is an effective guidance cue for the migration of hiPS cells in either 2D or 3D environments and that will occur in a ROCK-dependent manner. Our current finding may lead to techniques for applying EFs in vivo to guide migration of transplanted stem cells.
Project description:Gelatin hydrogel crosslinked by microbial transglutaminase (mTG) exhibits excellent performance in cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation. We examined the gelation time and gel strength of gelatin/mTG hydrogels in various proportions to investigate their physical properties and tested their degradation performances <i>in vitro</i>. Cell morphology and viability of adipose tissue-derived stromal cells (ADSCs) cultured on the 2D gel surface or in 3D hydrogel encapsulation were evaluated by immunofluorescence staining. Cell proliferation was tested via Alamar Blue assay. To investigate the hydrogel effect on cell differentiation, the cardiac-specific gene expression levelsof Nkx2.5, Myh6, Gja1, and Mef2c in encapsulated ADSCs with or without cardiac induction medium were detected by real-time RT-PCR. Cell release from the encapsulated status and cell migration in a 3D hydrogel model were assessed <i>in vitro</i>. Results show that the gelatin/mTG hydrogels are not cytotoxic and that their mechanical properties are adjustable. Hydrogel degradation is related to gel concentration and the resident cells. Cell growth morphology and proliferative capability in both 2D and 3D cultures were mainly affected by gel concentration. PCR result shows that hydrogel modulus together with induction medium affects the cardiac differentiation of ADSCs. The cell migration experiment and subcutaneous implantation show that the hydrogels are suitable for cell delivery.
Project description:The endogenous electric field (EF) may provide an important signal for directional cell migration during wound healing, embryonic development and cancer metastasis but the mechanism of cell electrotaxis is poorly understood. Additionally, there is no research addressing the question on the difference in electrotactic motility of cells representing various strategies of cell movement-specifically blebbing vs. lamellipodial migration. In the current study we constructed a unique experimental model which allowed for the investigation of electrotactic movement of cells of the same origin but representing different modes of cell migration: weakly adherent, spontaneously blebbing (BC) and lamellipodia forming (LC) WC256 cells. We report that both BC and LC sublines show robust cathodal migration in a physiological EF (1-3 V/cm). The directionality of cell movement was completely reversible upon reversing the field polarity. However, the full reversal of cell direction after the change of EF polarity was much faster in the case of BC (10 minutes) than LC cells (30 minutes). We also investigated the distinct requirements for Rac, Cdc42 and Rho pathways and intracellular Ca2+ in electrotaxis of WC256 sublines forming different types of cell protrusions. It was found that Rac1 is required for directional movement of LC to a much greater extent than for BC, but Cdc42 and RhoA are more crucial for BC than for LC cells. The inhibition of ROCK did not affect electrotaxis of LC in contrast to BC cells. The results also showed that intracellular Ca2+ is essential only for the electrotactic reaction of BC cells. Moreover, inhibition of MLCK and myosin II did not affect the electrotaxis of LC in contrast to BC cells. In conclusion, our results revealed that both lamellipodia and membrane blebs can efficiently drive electrotactic migration of WC 256 carcinosarcoma cells, however directional migration is mediated by different signalling pathways.
Project description:The potential use of a novel scaffold biomaterial consisting of cross-linked hyaluronic acid (HA)-gelatin (Ge) composite microgels is investigated for use in treating vocal fold injury and scarring. Cell adhesion integrins and kinematics of cell motion are investigated in 2D and 3D culture conditions, respectively. Human vocal fold fibroblast (hVFF) cells are seeded on HA-Ge microgels attached to a HA hydrogel thin film. The results show that hVFF cells establish effective adhesion to HA-Ge microgels through the ubiquitous expression of ?1 integrin in the cell membrane. The microgels are then encapsulated in a 3D HA hydrogel for the study of cell migration. The cells within the HA-Ge microgel-reinforced composite hydrogel (MRCH) scaffold have an average motility speed of 0.24 ± 0.08 ?m min(-1) . The recorded microscopic images reveal features that are presumably associated with lobopodial and lamellipodial cell migration modes within the MRCH scaffold. Average cell speed during lobopodial migration is greater than that during lamellipodial migration. The cells move faster in the MRCH than in the HA-Ge gel without microgels. These findings support the hypothesis that HA-Ge MRCH promotes cell adhesion and migration; thereby they constitute a promising biomaterial for vocal fold repair.