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Polypropylene (PP) transvaginal mesh (TVM) repair for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) has shown promising short-term objective cure rates. However, life-altering complications have been associated with the placement of PP mesh for SUI repair. PP degradation as a result of the foreign body reaction (FBR) has been proposed as a contributing factor to mesh complications. We hypothesized that PP oxidizes under in vitro conditions simulating the FBR, resulting in degradation of the PP. Three PP mid-urethral slings from two commercial manufacturers were evaluated. Test specimens (n = 6) were incubated in oxidative medium for up to 5 weeks. Oxidation was assessed by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and degradation was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). FTIR spectra of the slings revealed evidence of carbonyl and hydroxyl peaks after 5 weeks of incubation time, providing evidence of oxidation of PP. SEM images at 5 weeks showed evidence of surface degradation, including pitting and flaking. Thus, oxidation and degradation of PP pelvic mesh were evidenced by chemical and physical changes under simulated in vivo conditions. To assess changes in PP surface chemistry in vivo, fibers were recovered from PP mesh explanted from a single patient without formalin fixation, untreated (n = 5) or scraped (n = 5) to remove tissue, and analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Mechanical scraping removed adherent tissue, revealing an underlying layer of oxidized PP. These findings underscore the need for further research into the relative contribution of oxidative degradation to complications associated with PP-based TVM devices in larger cohorts of patients.
We present an approach toward dynamic nanoimaging: live fluorescence of cells encapsulated in a bionanoreactor is complemented with in situ scanning electron microscopy (SEM) on an integrated microscope. This allows us to take SEM snapshots on-demand, that is, at a specific location in time, at a desired region of interest, guided by the dynamic fluorescence imaging. We show that this approach enables direct visualization, with EM resolution, of the distribution of bioconjugated quantum dots on cellular extensions during uptake and internalization.
During infectious processes, antimicrobial proteins are produced by both epithelial cells and innate immune cells. Some of these antimicrobial molecules function by targeting transition metals and sequestering these metals in a process referred to as "nutritional immunity." This chelation strategy ultimately starves invading pathogens, limiting their growth within the vertebrate host. Recent evidence suggests that these metal-binding antimicrobial molecules have the capacity to affect bacterial virulence, including toxin secretion systems. Our previous work showed that the S100A8/S100A9 heterodimer (calprotectin, or calgranulin A/B) binds zinc and represses the elaboration of the H. pylori cag type IV secretion system (T4SS). However, there are several other S100 proteins that are produced in response to infection. We hypothesized that the zinc-binding protein S100A12 (calgranulin C) is induced in response to H. pylori infection and also plays a role in controlling H. pylori growth and virulence. To test this, we analyzed gastric biopsy specimens from H. pylori-positive and -negative patients for S100A12 expression. These assays showed that S100A12 is induced in response to H. pylori infection and inhibits bacterial growth and viability in vitro by binding nutrient zinc. Furthermore, the data establish that the zinc-binding activity of the S100A12 protein represses the activity of the cag T4SS, as evidenced by the gastric cell "hummingbird" phenotype, interleukin 8 (IL-8) secretion, and CagA translocation assays. In addition, high-resolution field emission gun scanning electron microscopy (FEG-SEM) was used to demonstrate that S100A12 represses biogenesis of the cag T4SS. Together with our previous work, these data reveal that multiple S100 proteins can repress the elaboration of an oncogenic bacterial surface organelle.
Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Understanding the structure-function relationships at cellular, circuit, and organ-wide scale requires 3D anatomical and phenotypical maps, currently unavailable for many organs across species. At the root of this knowledge gap is the absence of a method that enables whole-organ imaging. Herein, we present techniques for tissue clearing in which whole organs and bodies are rendered macromolecule-permeable and optically transparent, thereby exposing their cellular structure with intact connectivity. We describe PACT (passive clarity technique), a protocol for passive tissue clearing and immunostaining of intact organs; RIMS (refractive index matching solution), a mounting media for imaging thick tissue; and PARS (perfusion-assisted agent release in situ), a method for whole-body clearing and immunolabeling. We show that in rodents PACT, RIMS, and PARS are compatible with endogenous-fluorescence, immunohistochemistry, RNA single-molecule FISH, long-term storage, and microscopy with cellular and subcellular resolution. These methods are applicable for high-resolution, high-content mapping and phenotyping of normal and pathological elements within intact organs and bodies.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) induces dramatic remodeling of enterocyte brush borders, a process that includes microvillar effacement and actin pedestal formation. Although the Arp2/3 complex is involved in formation of a branched actin network within pedestals, the fate of parallel actin bundles in microvilli during infection remains unclear. Here, we find that in polarized intestinal epithelial cells, EPEC stimulates long-range microvillar dynamics, pulling protrusions toward sites of bacterial attachment in a process mediated by the adhesion molecule protocadherin-24. Additionally, retraction of the EPEC bundle forming pilus stimulates directed elongation of nearby microvilli. These processes lead to coalescence of microvilli and incorporation of the underlying parallel actin bundles into pedestals. Furthermore, stabilization of microvillar actin bundles delays pedestal formation. Together, these results suggest a model where EPEC takes advantage of pre-existing actin filaments in microvillar core bundles to facilitate pedestal formation.
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS - To investigate the effects of increasing time and magnitude doses of vibration exposure on transcription of the vocal fold's junctional proteins, structural alterations, and functional tissue outcomes.
STUDY DESIGN - Animal study.
METHODS - 100 New Zealand White breeder rabbits were studied. Dependent variables were measured in response to increasing time doses (30, 60, or 120 minutes) and magnitude doses (control, modal intensity, and raised intensity) of vibration exposure. Messenger RNA expression of occludin, zonula occluden-1 (ZO-1), E-cadherin, β-catenin, interleukin 1β, cyclooxygenase-2, transforming growth factor β-1, and fibronectin were measured. Tissue structural alterations were assessed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Transepithelial resistance was used to measure functional tissue outcomes.
RESULTS - Occludin gene expression was downregulated in vocal folds exposed to 120-minute time doses of raised-intensity phonation, relative to control, and modal-intensity phonation. ZO-1 gene expression was upregulated following a 120-minute time dose of modal-intensity phonation, compared to control, and downregulated after a 120-minute time dose of raised-intensity phonation, compared to modal-intensity phonation. E-cadherin gene expression was downregulated after a 120-minute time dose of raised-intensity phonation, compared to control and modal-intensity phonation. TEM revealed extensive desquamation of the stratified squamous epithelial cells with increasing time and magnitude doses of vibration exposure. A general observation of lower transepithelial resistance measures was made in tissues exposed to raised-intensity phonation compared to all other groups.
CONCLUSIONS - This study provides evidence of vocal fold tissue responses to varying time and magnitude doses of vibration exposure.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE - NA.
© 2014 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.
Because the vocal folds undergo repeated trauma during continuous cycles of vibration, the epithelium is routinely susceptible to damage during phonation. Excessive and prolonged vibration exposure is considered a significant predisposing factor in the development of vocal fold pathology. The purpose of the present study was to quantify the extent of epithelial surface damage following increased time and magnitude doses of vibration exposure using an in vivo rabbit phonation model. Forty-five New Zealand white breeder rabbits were randomized to nine groups and received varying phonation time-doses (30, 60, or 120 minutes) and magnitude-doses (control, modal intensity phonation, or raised intensity phonation) of vibration exposure. Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy was used to quantify the degree of epithelial surface damage. Results revealed a significant reduction in microprojection density, microprojection height, and depth of the epithelial surface with increasing time and phonation magnitudes doses, signifying increased epithelial surface damage risk with excessive and prolonged vibration exposure. Destruction to the epithelial cell surface may provide significant insight into the disruption of cell function following prolonged vibration exposure. One important goal achieved in the present study was the quantification of epithelial surface damage using objective imaging criteria. These data provide an important foundation for future studies of long-term tissue recovery from excessive and prolonged vibration exposure.
In this study, a combined tilt- and focal series is proposed as a new recording scheme for high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) tomography. Three-dimensional (3D) data were acquired by mechanically tilting the specimen, and recording a through-focal series at each tilt direction. The sample was a whole-mount macrophage cell with embedded gold nanoparticles. The tilt-focal algebraic reconstruction technique (TF-ART) is introduced as a new algorithm to reconstruct tomograms from such combined tilt- and focal series. The feasibility of TF-ART was demonstrated by 3D reconstruction of the experimental 3D data. The results were compared with a conventional STEM tilt series of a similar sample. The combined tilt- and focal series led to smaller "missing wedge" artifacts, and a higher axial resolution than obtained for the STEM tilt series, thus improving on one of the main issues of tilt series-based electron tomography.
Biodegradable tissue engineering scaffolds are commonly fabricated from poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) or similar polyesters that degrade by hydrolysis. PLGA hydrolysis generates acidic breakdown products that trigger an accelerated, autocatalytic degradation mechanism that can create mismatched rates of biomaterial breakdown and tissue formation. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are key mediators of cell function in both health and disease, especially at sites of inflammation and tissue healing, and induction of inflammation and ROS are natural components of the in vivo response to biomaterial implantation. Thus, polymeric biomaterials that are selectively degraded by cell-generated ROS may have potential for creating tissue engineering scaffolds with better matched rates of tissue in-growth and cell-mediated scaffold biodegradation. To explore this approach, a series of poly(thioketal) (PTK) urethane (PTK-UR) biomaterial scaffolds were synthesized that degrade specifically by an ROS-dependent mechanism. PTK-UR scaffolds had significantly higher compressive moduli than analogous poly(ester urethane) (PEUR) scaffolds formed from hydrolytically-degradable ester-based diols (p < 0.05). Unlike PEUR scaffolds, the PTK-UR scaffolds were stable under aqueous conditions out to 25 weeks but were selectively degraded by ROS, indicating that their biodegradation would be exclusively cell-mediated. The in vitro oxidative degradation rates of the PTK-URs followed first-order degradation kinetics, were significantly dependent on PTK composition (p < 0.05), and correlated to ROS concentration. In subcutaneous rat wounds, PTK-UR scaffolds supported cellular infiltration and granulation tissue formation, followed first-order degradation kinetics over 7 weeks, and produced significantly greater stenting of subcutaneous wounds compared to PEUR scaffolds. These combined results indicate that ROS-degradable PTK-UR tissue engineering scaffolds have significant advantages over analogous polyester-based biomaterials and provide a robust, cell-degradable substrate for guiding new tissue formation.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The unique enhanced sensitivity of vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) to the formation and development of amyloid fibrils in solution is extended to four additional fibril-forming proteins or peptides where it is shown that the sign of the fibril VCD pattern correlates with the sense of supramolecular filament chirality and, without exception, to the dominant fibril morphology as observed in AFM or SEM images. Previously for insulin, it has been demonstrated that the sign of the VCD band pattern from filament chirality can be controlled by adjusting the pH of the incubating solution, above pH 2 for "normal" left-hand-helical filaments and below pH 2 for "reversed" right-hand-helical filaments. From AFM or SEM images, left-helical filaments form multifilament braids of left-twisted fibrils while the right-helical filaments form parallel filament rows of fibrils with a flat tape-like morphology, the two major classes of fibril morphology that from deep UV resonance Raman scattering exhibit the same cross-β-core secondary structure. Here we investigate whether fibril supramolecular chirality is the underlying cause of the major morphology differences in all amyloid fibrils by showing that the morphology (twisted versus flat) of fibrils of lysozyme, apo-α-lactalbumin, HET-s (218-289) prion, and a short polypeptide fragment of transthyretin, TTR (105-115), directly correlates to their supramolecular chirality as revealed by VCD. The result is strong evidence that the chiral supramolecular organization of filaments is the principal underlying cause of the morphological heterogeneity of amyloid fibrils. Because fibril morphology is linked to cell toxicity, the chirality of amyloid aggregates should be explored in the widely used in vitro models of amyloid-associated diseases.