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Bioengineering, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2017)

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Open AccessArticle Microwave-Assisted Alkali Pre-Treatment, Densification and Enzymatic Saccharification of Canola Straw and Oat Hull
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 25; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020025
Received: 1 December 2016 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 19 March 2017 / Published: 26 March 2017
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Abstract
The effects of microwave-assisted alkali pre-treatment on pellets’ characteristics and enzymatic saccharification for bioethanol production using lignocellulosic biomass of canola straw and oat hull were investigated. The ground canola straw and oat hull were immersed in distilled water, sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide
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The effects of microwave-assisted alkali pre-treatment on pellets’ characteristics and enzymatic saccharification for bioethanol production using lignocellulosic biomass of canola straw and oat hull were investigated. The ground canola straw and oat hull were immersed in distilled water, sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide solutions at two concentrations (0.75% and 1.5% w/v) and exposed to microwave radiation at power level 713 W and three residence times (6, 12 and 18 min). Bulk and particle densities of ground biomass samples were determined. Alkaline-microwave pre-treated and untreated samples were subjected to single pelleting test in an Instron universal machine, pre-set to a load of 4000 N. The measured parameters, pellet density, tensile strength and dimensional stability were evaluated and the results showed that the microwave-assisted alkali pre-treated pellets had a significantly higher density and tensile strength compared to samples that were untreated or pre-treated by microwave alone. The chemical composition analysis showed that microwave-assisted alkali pre-treatment was able to disrupt and break down the lignocellulosic structure of the samples, creating an area of cellulose accessible to cellulase reactivity. The best enzymatic saccharification results gave a high glucose yield of 110.05 mg/g dry sample for canola straw ground in a 1.6 mm screen hammer mill and pre-treated with 1.5% NaOH for 18 min, and a 99.10 mg/g dry sample for oat hull ground in a 1.6 mm screen hammer mill and pre-treated with 0.75% NaOH for 18 min microwave-assisted alkali pre-treatments. The effects of pre-treatment results were supported by SEM analysis. Overall, it was found that microwave-assisted alkali pre-treatment of canola straw and oat hull at a short residence time enhanced glucose yield. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Lagrangian Trajectories to Predict the Formation of Population Heterogeneity in Large-Scale Bioreactors
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 27; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020027
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 24 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
Successful scale-up of bioprocesses requires that laboratory-scale performance is equally achieved during large-scale production to meet economic constraints. In industry, heuristic approaches are often applied, making use of physical scale-up criteria that do not consider cellular needs or properties. As a consequence, large-scale
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Successful scale-up of bioprocesses requires that laboratory-scale performance is equally achieved during large-scale production to meet economic constraints. In industry, heuristic approaches are often applied, making use of physical scale-up criteria that do not consider cellular needs or properties. As a consequence, large-scale productivities, conversion yields, or product purities are often deteriorated, which may prevent economic success. The occurrence of population heterogeneity in large-scale production may be the reason for underperformance. In this study, an in silico method to predict the formation of population heterogeneity by combining computational fluid dynamics (CFD) with a cell cycle model of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 was developed. The glucose gradient and flow field of a 54,000 L stirred tank reactor were generated with the Euler approach, and bacterial movement was simulated as Lagrange particles. The latter were statistically evaluated using a cell cycle model. Accordingly, 72% of all cells were found to switch between standard and multifork replication, and 10% were likely to undergo massive, transcriptional adaptations to respond to extracellular starving conditions. At the same time, 56% of all cells replicated very fast, with µ ≥ 0.3 h−1 performing multifork replication. The population showed very strong heterogeneity, as indicated by the observation that 52.9% showed higher than average adenosine triphosphate (ATP) maintenance demands (12.2%, up to 1.5 fold). These results underline the potential of CFD linked to structured cell cycle models for predicting large-scale heterogeneity in silico and ab initio. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hybrid Modelling and Multi-Parametric Control of Bioprocesses)
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Open AccessArticle The Separation of Blood Components Using Standing Surface Acoustic Waves (SSAWs) Microfluidic Devices: Analysis and Simulation
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 28; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020028
Received: 4 February 2017 / Revised: 24 March 2017 / Accepted: 26 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
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Abstract
The separation of blood components (WBCs, RBCs, and platelets) is important for medical applications. Recently, standing surface acoustic wave (SSAW) microfluidic devices are used for the separation of particles. In this paper, the design analysis of SSAW microfluidics is presented. Also, the analysis
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The separation of blood components (WBCs, RBCs, and platelets) is important for medical applications. Recently, standing surface acoustic wave (SSAW) microfluidic devices are used for the separation of particles. In this paper, the design analysis of SSAW microfluidics is presented. Also, the analysis of SSAW force with Rayleigh angle effect and its attenuation in liquid-loaded substrate, viscous drag force, hydrodynamic force, and diffusion force are explained and analyzed. The analyses are provided for selecting the piezoelectric material, width of the main microchannel, working area of SAW, wavelength, minimum input power required for the separation process, and widths of outlet collecting microchannels. The design analysis of SSAW microfluidics is provided for determining the minimum input power required for the separation process with appropriated the displacement contrast of the particles.The analyses are applied for simulation the separation of blood components. The piezoelectric material, width of the main microchannel, working area of SAW, wavelength, and minimum input power required for the separation process are selected as LiNbO3, 120 μm, 1.08 mm2, 300 μm, 371 mW. The results are compared to other published results. The results of these simulations achieve minimum power consumption, less complicated setup, and high collecting efficiency. All simulation programs are built by MATLAB. Full article
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Open AccessArticle 4D Flow Assessment of Vorticity in Right Ventricular Diastolic Dysfunction
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 30; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020030
Received: 19 January 2017 / Revised: 30 March 2017 / Accepted: 3 April 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
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Abstract
Diastolic dysfunction, a leading cause of heart failure in the US, is a complex pathology which manifests morphological and hemodynamic changes in the heart and circulatory system. Recent advances in time-resolved phase-contrast cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (4D Flow) have allowed for characterization of
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Diastolic dysfunction, a leading cause of heart failure in the US, is a complex pathology which manifests morphological and hemodynamic changes in the heart and circulatory system. Recent advances in time-resolved phase-contrast cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (4D Flow) have allowed for characterization of blood flow in the right ventricle (RV) and right atrium (RA), including calculation of vorticity and qualitative visual assessment of coherent flow patterns. We hypothesize that right ventricular diastolic dysfunction (RVDD) is associated with changes in vorticity and right heart blood flow. This paper presents background on RVDD, and 4D Flow tools and techniques used for quantitative and qualitative analysis of cardiac flows in the normal and disease states. In this study, 20 patients with RVDD and 14 controls underwent cardiac 4D Flow and echocardiography. A method for determining the time-step for peak early diastole using 4D Flow data is described. Spatially integrated early diastolic vorticity was extracted from the RV, RA, and combined RV/RA regions of each subject using a range of vorticity thresholding and scaling methods. Statistically significant differences in vorticity were found in the RA and combined RA/RV in RVDD subjects compared to controls when vorticity vectors were both thresholded and scaled by cardiac index. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Biotinylated N-Acetyllactosamine- and N,N-Diacetyllactosamine-Based Oligosaccharides as Novel Ligands for Human Galectin-3
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 31; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020031
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 28 March 2017 / Accepted: 31 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
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Abstract
Galectin inhibitor design is an emerging research field due to the involvement of galectins in cancer. Galectin-3, in particular, plays an important role in tumor progression. To generate inhibitors, modifications of the glycan structure can be introduced. Conjugation of hydrophobic compounds to saccharides
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Galectin inhibitor design is an emerging research field due to the involvement of galectins in cancer. Galectin-3, in particular, plays an important role in tumor progression. To generate inhibitors, modifications of the glycan structure can be introduced. Conjugation of hydrophobic compounds to saccharides has proven to be promising as increased binding of galectin-3 can be observed. In the present study, we report on neo-glycans carrying hydrophobic biotin as novel ligands for human galectin-3. We modified N-acetyllactosamine- and N,N-diacetyllactosamine-based tetrasaccharides at the C6-position of the terminal saccharide unit using selective enzymatic oxidation and subsequent chemical conjugation of biotinamidohexanoic acid hydrazide. These neo-glycans were much better bound by galectin-3 than the unmodified counterparts. High selectivity for galectin-3 over galectin-1 was also proven. We generated multivalent neo-glycoproteins by conjugation of neo-glycans to bovine serum albumin showing high affinity for galectin-3. Compared to non-biotinylated neo-glycoproteins, we achieved high binding levels of galectin-3 with a lesser amount of conjugated neo-glycans. Multivalent ligand presentation of neo-glycoproteins significantly increased the inhibitory potency towards galectin-3 binding to asialofetuin when compared to free monovalent glycans. Our findings show the positive impact of 6-biotinylation of tetrasaccharides on galectin-3 binding, which broadens the recent design approaches for producing high-affinity ligands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recombinant Glycoproteins)
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Open AccessArticle Time-Frequency Distribution of Seismocardiographic Signals: A Comparative Study
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 32; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020032
Received: 10 February 2017 / Revised: 1 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 April 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
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Abstract
Accurate estimation of seismocardiographic (SCG) signal features can help successful signal characterization and classification in health and disease. This may lead to new methods for diagnosing and monitoring heart function. Time-frequency distributions (TFD) were often used to estimate the spectrotemporal signal features. In
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Accurate estimation of seismocardiographic (SCG) signal features can help successful signal characterization and classification in health and disease. This may lead to new methods for diagnosing and monitoring heart function. Time-frequency distributions (TFD) were often used to estimate the spectrotemporal signal features. In this study, the performance of different TFDs (e.g., short-time Fourier transform (STFT), polynomial chirplet transform (PCT), and continuous wavelet transform (CWT) with different mother functions) was assessed using simulated signals, and then utilized to analyze actual SCGs. The instantaneous frequency (IF) was determined from TFD and the error in estimating IF was calculated for simulated signals. Results suggested that the lowest IF error depended on the TFD and the test signal. STFT had lower error than CWT methods for most test signals. For a simulated SCG, Morlet CWT more accurately estimated IF than other CWTs, but Morlet did not provide noticeable advantages over STFT or PCT. PCT had the most consistently accurate IF estimations and appeared more suited for estimating IF of actual SCG signals. PCT analysis showed that actual SCGs from eight healthy subjects had multiple spectral peaks at 9.20 ± 0.48, 25.84 ± 0.77, 50.71 ± 1.83 Hz (mean ± SEM). These may prove useful features for SCG characterization and classification. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Ereptiospiration
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 33; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020033
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 7 April 2017 / Accepted: 9 April 2017 / Published: 12 April 2017
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Abstract
Pure coconut oil, lanolin, and acetaminophen were vaporized at rates of 1–50 mg/min, using a porous network exhibiting a temperature gradient from 5000 to 5500 K/mm, without incurring noticeable chemical changes due to combustion, oxidation, or other thermally-induced chemical structural changes. The newly
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Pure coconut oil, lanolin, and acetaminophen were vaporized at rates of 1–50 mg/min, using a porous network exhibiting a temperature gradient from 5000 to 5500 K/mm, without incurring noticeable chemical changes due to combustion, oxidation, or other thermally-induced chemical structural changes. The newly coined term “ereptiospiration” is used here to describe this combination of thermal transpiration at high temperature gradients since the process can force the creation of thermal aerosols by rapid heating in a localized zone. Experimental data were generated for these materials using two different supports for metering the materials to the battery powered coil: namely, a stainless steel fiber bundle and a 3-D printed steel cartridge. Heating coconut oil, lanolin, or acetaminophen in a beaker to lower temperatures than those achieved at the surface of the coil showed noticeable and rapid degradation in the samples, while visual and olfactory observations for ereptiospiration showed no noticeable degradation in lanolin and coconut oil while HPLC chromatograms along with visual observation confirm that within the limit of detection, acetaminophen remains chemically unaltered by ereptiospiration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Drug Delivery Systems and Devices)
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Open AccessArticle Use of Recombinant Mucin Glycoprotein to Assess the Interaction of the Gastric Pathogen Helicobacter pylori with the Secreted Human Mucin MUC5AC
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 34; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020034
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 11 April 2017 / Accepted: 12 April 2017 / Published: 15 April 2017
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Abstract
There is intense interest in how bacteria interact with mucin glycoproteins in order to colonise mucosal surfaces. In this study, we have assessed the feasibility of using recombinant mucin glycoproteins to study the interaction of the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori with MUC5AC, a
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There is intense interest in how bacteria interact with mucin glycoproteins in order to colonise mucosal surfaces. In this study, we have assessed the feasibility of using recombinant mucin glycoproteins to study the interaction of the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori with MUC5AC, a mucin which the organism exhibits a distinct tropism for. Stable clonal populations of cells expressing a construct encoding for a truncated version of MUC5AC containing N- and C-termini interspersed with two native tandem repeat sequences (N + 2TR + C) were generated. Binding of H. pylori to protein immunoprecipitated from cell lysates and supernatants was assessed. High molecular weight mucin could be detected in both cell lysates and supernatants of transfected cells. Recombinant protein formed high molecular weight oligomers, was both N and O glycosylated, underwent cleavage similar to native MUC5AC and was secreted from the cell. H. pylori bound better to secreted mucin than intracellular mucin suggesting that modifications on extracellular MUC5AC promoted binding. Lectin analysis demonstrated that secreted mucin was differentially glycosylated compared to intracellular mucin. H. pylori also bound to a recombinant C-terminus MUC5AC protein, but binding to this protein did not inhibit binding to the N + 2TR + C protein. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using recombinant mucins containing tandem repeat sequences to assess microbial mucin interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recombinant Glycoproteins)
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Open AccessArticle An Approach to In Vitro Manufacturing of Hypertrophic Cartilage Matrix for Bone Repair
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 35; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020035
Received: 20 February 2017 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 18 April 2017 / Published: 20 April 2017
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Abstract
Devitalized hypertrophic cartilage matrix (DCM) is an attractive concept for an off-the-shelf bone graft substitute. Upon implantation, DCM can trigger the natural endochondral ossification process, but only when the hypertrophic cartilage matrix has been reconstituted correctly. In vivo hypertrophic differentiation has been reported
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Devitalized hypertrophic cartilage matrix (DCM) is an attractive concept for an off-the-shelf bone graft substitute. Upon implantation, DCM can trigger the natural endochondral ossification process, but only when the hypertrophic cartilage matrix has been reconstituted correctly. In vivo hypertrophic differentiation has been reported for multiple cell types but up-scaling and in vivo devitalization remain a big challenge. To this end, we developed a micro tissue-engineered cartilage (MiTEC) model using the chondrogenic cell line ATDC5. Micro-aggregates of ATDC5 cells (approximately 1000 cells per aggregate) were cultured on a 3% agarose mold consisting of 1585 microwells, each measuring 400 µm in diameter. Chondrogenic differentiation was strongly enhanced using media supplemented with combinations of growth factors e.g., insulin, transforming growth factor beta and dexamethasone. Next, mineralization was induced by supplying the culture medium with beta-glycerophosphate, and finally we boosted the secretion of proangiogenic growth factors using the hypoxia mimetic phenanthroline in the final stage of in vivo culture. Then, ATDC5 aggregates were devitalized by freeze/thawing or sodium dodecyl sulfate treatment before co-culturing with human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs). We observed a strong effect on chondrogenic differentiation of hMSCs. Using this MiTEC model, we were able to not only upscale the production of cartilage to a clinically relevant amount but were also able to vary the cartilage matrix composition in different ways, making MiTEC an ideal model to develop DCM as a bone graft substitute. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biocomposite Engineering and Bio-Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Fed-Batch Synthesis of Poly(3-Hydroxybutyrate) and Poly(3-Hydroxybutyrate-co-4-Hydroxybutyrate) from Sucrose and 4-Hydroxybutyrate Precursors by Burkholderia sacchari Strain DSM 17165
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 36; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020036
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 13 April 2017 / Accepted: 19 April 2017 / Published: 20 April 2017
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Abstract
Based on direct sucrose conversion, the bacterium Burkholderia sacchari is an excellent producer of the microbial homopolyester poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB). Restrictions of the strain’s wild type in metabolizing structurally related 3-hydroxyvalerate (3HV) precursors towards 3HV-containing polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) copolyester calls for alternatives. We demonstrate the
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Based on direct sucrose conversion, the bacterium Burkholderia sacchari is an excellent producer of the microbial homopolyester poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB). Restrictions of the strain’s wild type in metabolizing structurally related 3-hydroxyvalerate (3HV) precursors towards 3HV-containing polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) copolyester calls for alternatives. We demonstrate the highly productive biosynthesis of PHA copolyesters consisting of 3-hydroxybuytrate (3HB) and 4-hydroxybutyrate (4HB) monomers. Controlled bioreactor cultivations were carried out using saccharose from the Brazilian sugarcane industry as the main carbon source, with and without co-feeding with the 4HB-related precursor γ-butyrolactone (GBL). Without GBL co-feeding, the homopolyester PHB was produced at a volumetric productivity of 1.29 g/(L•h), a mass fraction of 0.52 g PHB per g biomass, and a final PHB concentration of 36.5 g/L; the maximum specific growth rate µmax amounted to 0.15 1/h. Adding GBL, we obtained 3HB and 4HB monomers in the polyester at a volumetric productivity of 1.87 g/(L•h), a mass fraction of 0.72 g PHA per g biomass, a final PHA concentration of 53.7 g/L, and a µmax of 0.18 1/h. Thermoanalysis revealed improved material properties of the second polyester in terms of reduced melting temperature Tm (161 °C vs. 178 °C) and decreased degree of crystallinity Xc (24% vs. 71%), indicating its enhanced suitability for polymer processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production)
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Open AccessArticle Bio-Inspired Multi-Functional Drug Transport Design Concept and Simulations
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 37; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020037
Received: 17 February 2017 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 20 April 2017 / Published: 25 April 2017
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Abstract
In this study, we developed a microdevice concept for drug/fluidic transport taking an inspiration from supramolecular motor found in biological cells. Specifically, idealized multi-functional design geometry (nozzle/diffuser/nozzle) was developed for (i) fluidic/particle transport; (ii) particle separation; and (iii) droplet generation. Several design simulations
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In this study, we developed a microdevice concept for drug/fluidic transport taking an inspiration from supramolecular motor found in biological cells. Specifically, idealized multi-functional design geometry (nozzle/diffuser/nozzle) was developed for (i) fluidic/particle transport; (ii) particle separation; and (iii) droplet generation. Several design simulations were conducted to demonstrate the working principles of the multi-functional device. The design simulations illustrate that the proposed design concept is feasible for multi-functionality. However, further experimentation and optimization studies are needed to fully evaluate the multifunctional device concept for multiple applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Drug Delivery Systems and Devices)
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Open AccessArticle Engineering of CHO Cells for the Production of Recombinant Glycoprotein Vaccines with Xylosylated N-glycans
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 38; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020038
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 22 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 28 April 2017
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Abstract
Xylose is a general component of O-glycans in mammals. Core-xylosylation of N-glycans is only found in plants and helminth. Consequently, xylosylated N-glycans cause immunological response in humans. We have used the F-protein of the human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), one
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Xylose is a general component of O-glycans in mammals. Core-xylosylation of N-glycans is only found in plants and helminth. Consequently, xylosylated N-glycans cause immunological response in humans. We have used the F-protein of the human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), one of the main causes of respiratory tract infection in infants and elderly, as a model protein for vaccination. The RSV-F protein was expressed in CHO-DG44 cells, which were further modified by co-expression of β1,2-xylosyltransferase from Nicotiana tabacum. Xylosylation of RSV-F N-glycans was shown by monosaccharide analysis and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. In immunogenic studies with a human artificial lymph node model, the engineered RSV-F protein revealed improved vaccination efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recombinant Glycoproteins)
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Open AccessArticle Nonstandard Finite Difference Method Applied to a Linear Pharmacokinetics Model
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 40; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020040
Received: 4 March 2017 / Revised: 27 April 2017 / Accepted: 28 April 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
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Abstract
We extend the nonstandard finite difference method of solution to the study of pharmacokinetic–pharmacodynamic models. Pharmacokinetic (PK) models are commonly used to predict drug concentrations that drive controlled intravenous (I.V.) transfers (or infusion and oral transfers) while pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic (PD) interaction models
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We extend the nonstandard finite difference method of solution to the study of pharmacokinetic–pharmacodynamic models. Pharmacokinetic (PK) models are commonly used to predict drug concentrations that drive controlled intravenous (I.V.) transfers (or infusion and oral transfers) while pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic (PD) interaction models are used to provide predictions of drug concentrations affecting the response of these clinical drugs. We structure a nonstandard finite difference (NSFD) scheme for the relevant system of equations which models this pharamcokinetic process. We compare the results obtained to standard methods. The scheme is dynamically consistent and reliable in replicating complex dynamic properties of the relevant continuous models for varying step sizes. This study provides assistance in understanding the long-term behavior of the drug in the system, and validation of the efficiency of the nonstandard finite difference scheme as the method of choice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Uncertainty Quantification in Irreversible Electroporation Simulations
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 41; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020041
Received: 28 March 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 4 May 2017 / Published: 6 May 2017
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Abstract
One recent area of cancer research is irreversible electroporation (IRE). Irreversible electroporation is a minimally invasive procedure where needle electrodes are inserted into the body to ablate tumor cells with electricity. The aim of this paper is to investigate how uncertainty in tissue
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One recent area of cancer research is irreversible electroporation (IRE). Irreversible electroporation is a minimally invasive procedure where needle electrodes are inserted into the body to ablate tumor cells with electricity. The aim of this paper is to investigate how uncertainty in tissue and tumor conductivity propagate into final ablation predictions used for treatment planning. Two dimensional simulations were performed for a circular tumor surrounded by healthy tissue, and electroporated from two monopolar electrodes. The conductivity values were treated as random variables whose distributions were taken from published literature on the average and standard deviation of liver tissue and liver tumors. Three different Monte Carlo setups were simulated each at three different voltages. Average and standard deviation data was reported for a multitude of electrical field properties experienced by the tumor. Plots showing the variability in the electrical field distribution throughout the tumor are also presented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Human Cell Line-Derived Monoclonal IgA Antibodies for Cancer Immunotherapy
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 42; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020042
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 30 April 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 8 May 2017
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Abstract
IgA antibodies have great potential to improve the functional diversity of current IgG antibody-based cancer immunotherapy options. However, IgA production and purification is not well established, which can at least in part be attributed to the more complex glycosylation as compared to IgG
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IgA antibodies have great potential to improve the functional diversity of current IgG antibody-based cancer immunotherapy options. However, IgA production and purification is not well established, which can at least in part be attributed to the more complex glycosylation as compared to IgG antibodies. IgA antibodies possess up to five N-glycosylation sites within their constant region of the heavy chain as compared to one site for IgG antibodies. The human GlycoExpress expression system was developed to produce biotherapeutics with optimized glycosylation and used here to generate a panel of IgA isotype antibodies directed against targets for solid (TA-mucin 1, Her2, EGFR, Thomsen–Friedenreich) and hematological (CD20) cancer indications. The feasibility of good manufacturing practice was shown by the production of 11 g IgA within 35 days in a one liter perfusion bioreactor, and IgA antibodies in high purity were obtained after purification. The monoclonal IgA antibodies possessed a high sialylation degree, and no non-human glycan structures were detected. Kinetic analysis revealed increased avidity antigen binding for IgA dimers as compared to monomeric antibodies. The IgA antibodies exhibited potent Fab- and Fc-mediated functionalities against cancer cell lines, whereby especially granulocytes are recruited. Therefore, for patients who do not sufficiently benefit from therapeutic IgG antibodies, IgA antibodies may complement current regiment options and represent a promising strategy for cancer immunotherapy. In conclusion, a panel of novel biofunctional IgA antibodies with human glycosylation was successfully generated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recombinant Glycoproteins)
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Open AccessArticle In Vitro Growth of Human Keratinocytes and Oral Cancer Cells into Microtissues: An Aerosol-Based Microencapsulation Technique
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 43; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020043
Received: 10 April 2017 / Revised: 8 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 14 May 2017
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Abstract
Cells encapsulation is a micro-technology widely applied in cell and tissue research, tissue transplantation, and regenerative medicine. In this paper, we proposed a growth of microtissue model for the human keratinocytes (HaCaT) cell line and an oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell line
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Cells encapsulation is a micro-technology widely applied in cell and tissue research, tissue transplantation, and regenerative medicine. In this paper, we proposed a growth of microtissue model for the human keratinocytes (HaCaT) cell line and an oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell line (ORL-48) based on a simple aerosol microencapsulation technique. At an extrusion rate of 20 μL/min and air flow rate of 0.3 L/min programmed in the aerosol system, HaCaT and ORL-48 cells in alginate microcapsules were encapsulated in microcapsules with a diameter ranging from 200 to 300 μm. Both cell lines were successfully grown into microtissues in the microcapsules of alginate within 16 days of culture. The microtissues were characterized by using a live/dead cell viability assay, field emission-scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), fluorescence staining, and cell re-plating experiments. The microtissues of both cell types were viable after being extracted from the alginate membrane using alginate lyase. However, the microtissues of HaCaT and ORL-48 demonstrated differences in both nucleus size and morphology. The microtissues with re-associated cells in spheroids are potentially useful as a cell model for pharmacological studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Tissue Engineering Scaffolds)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative N-Glycosylation Analysis of the Fc Portions of a Chimeric Human Coagulation Factor VIII and Immunoglobulin G1
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 44; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020044
Received: 13 April 2017 / Revised: 10 May 2017 / Accepted: 11 May 2017 / Published: 17 May 2017
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Abstract
Prevention and treatment of bleeding in patients suffering from hemophilia A are inconvenient due to repeated intravenous infusions owing to the short half-life of coagulation factor VIII (FVIII) in circulation. Besides (glyco-)pegylation of the FVIII molecule, a bioengineering approach comprises the protein fusion
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Prevention and treatment of bleeding in patients suffering from hemophilia A are inconvenient due to repeated intravenous infusions owing to the short half-life of coagulation factor VIII (FVIII) in circulation. Besides (glyco-)pegylation of the FVIII molecule, a bioengineering approach comprises the protein fusion to Fc-immunoglobulin (Ig)G that mediate protection from clearance or degradation via binding to the neonatal Fc receptor. While human-like N-glycosylation of recombinant FVIII is known to be crucial for the clotting factor’s quality and function, the particular glycosylation of the fused Fc portion has not been investigated in detail so far, despite its known impact on Fcγ receptor binding. Here, we analyzed the N-glycosylation of the Fc part of a chimeric FVIII-Fc protein compared to a commercial IgG1 purified from human plasma. Fc parts from both samples were released by enzymatic cleavage and were subsequently separated via sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Corresponding protein bands were referred to PNGase F in-gel digestion in order to release the respective N-glycans. Analysis via matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry revealed structural differences of both N-glycan patterns. Labeling with 2-aminobenzamide (2AB) and analysis via hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) allowed a quantitative comparison of the respective N-glycosylation. Observed variations in Fc glycosylation of the chimeric FVIII fusion protein and human plasma-derived IgG1, e.g., regarding terminal sialylation, are discussed, focusing on the impact of the clotting factor’s properties, most notably its binding to Fcγ receptors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recombinant Glycoproteins)
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Open AccessArticle OpenDrop: An Integrated Do-It-Yourself Platform for Personal Use of Biochips
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 45; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020045
Received: 1 April 2017 / Revised: 6 May 2017 / Accepted: 11 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
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Abstract
Biochips, or digital labs-on-chip, are developed with the purpose of being used by laboratory technicians or biologists in laboratories or clinics. In this article, we expand this vision with the goal of enabling everyone, regardless of their expertise, to use biochips for their
[...] Read more.
Biochips, or digital labs-on-chip, are developed with the purpose of being used by laboratory technicians or biologists in laboratories or clinics. In this article, we expand this vision with the goal of enabling everyone, regardless of their expertise, to use biochips for their own personal purposes. We developed OpenDrop, an integrated electromicrofluidic platform that allows users to develop and program their own bio-applications. We address the main challenges that users may encounter: accessibility, bio-protocol design and interaction with microfluidics. OpenDrop consists of a do-it-yourself biochip, an automated software tool with visual interface and a detailed technique for at-home operations of microfluidics. We report on two years of use of OpenDrop, released as an open-source platform. Our platform attracted a highly diverse user base with participants originating from maker communities, academia and industry. Our findings show that 47% of attempts to replicate OpenDrop were successful, the main challenge remaining the assembly of the device. In terms of usability, the users managed to operate their platforms at home and are working on designing their own bio-applications. Our work provides a step towards a future in which everyone will be able to create microfluidic devices for their personal applications, thereby democratizing parts of health care. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Hypoxic Three-Dimensional Scaffold-Free Aggregate Cultivation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a Stirred Tank Reactor
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 47; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020047
Received: 26 April 2017 / Revised: 19 May 2017 / Accepted: 21 May 2017 / Published: 23 May 2017
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Abstract
Extensive expansion of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for cell-based therapies remains challenging since long-term cultivation and excessive passaging in two-dimensional conditions result in a loss of essential stem cell properties. Indeed, low survival rate of cells, alteration of surface marker profiles, and reduced
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Extensive expansion of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for cell-based therapies remains challenging since long-term cultivation and excessive passaging in two-dimensional conditions result in a loss of essential stem cell properties. Indeed, low survival rate of cells, alteration of surface marker profiles, and reduced differentiation capacity are observed after in vitro expansion and reduce therapeutic success in clinical studies. Remarkably, cultivation of MSCs in three-dimensional aggregates preserve stem cell properties. Hence, the large scale formation and cultivation of MSC aggregates is highly desirable. Besides other effects, MSCs cultivated under hypoxic conditions are known to display increased proliferation and genetic stability. Therefore, in this study we demonstrate cultivation of adipose derived human MSC aggregates in a stirred tank reactor under hypoxic conditions. Although aggregates were exposed to comparatively high average shear stress of 0.2 Pa as estimated by computational fluid dynamics, MSCs displayed a viability of 78–86% and maintained their surface marker profile and differentiation potential after cultivation. We postulate that cultivation of 3D MSC aggregates in stirred tank reactors is valuable for large-scale production of MSCs or their secreted compounds after further optimization of cultivation parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hybrid Modelling and Multi-Parametric Control of Bioprocesses)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing and Resolving Model Misspecifications in Metabolic Flux Analysis
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 48; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020048
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 30 April 2017 / Accepted: 22 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
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Abstract
Metabolic flux analysis (MFA) is an indispensable tool in metabolic engineering. The simplest variant of MFA relies on an overdetermined stoichiometric model of the cell’s metabolism under the pseudo-steady state assumption to evaluate the intracellular flux distribution. Despite its long history, the issue
[...] Read more.
Metabolic flux analysis (MFA) is an indispensable tool in metabolic engineering. The simplest variant of MFA relies on an overdetermined stoichiometric model of the cell’s metabolism under the pseudo-steady state assumption to evaluate the intracellular flux distribution. Despite its long history, the issue of model error in overdetermined MFA, particularly misspecifications of the stoichiometric matrix, has not received much attention. We evaluated the performance of statistical tests from linear least square regressions, namely Ramsey’s Regression Equation Specification Error Test (RESET), the F-test, and the Lagrange multiplier test, in detecting model misspecifications in the overdetermined MFA, particularly missing reactions. We further proposed an iterative procedure using the F-test to correct such an issue. Using Chinese hamster ovary and random metabolic networks, we demonstrated that: (1) a statistically significant regression does not guarantee high accuracy of the flux estimates; (2) the removal of a reaction with a low flux magnitude can cause disproportionately large biases in the flux estimates; (3) the F-test could efficiently detect missing reactions; and (4) the proposed iterative procedure could robustly resolve the omission of reactions. Our work demonstrated that statistical analysis and tests could be used to systematically assess, detect, and resolve model misspecifications in the overdetermined MFA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applying Systems Biotechnology Tools to Study Cell Metabolism)
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Open AccessArticle Additive Manufacturing of Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate)/poly(ε-caprolactone) Blend Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 49; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020049
Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 19 May 2017 / Accepted: 21 May 2017 / Published: 24 May 2017
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Abstract
Additive manufacturing of scaffolds made of a polyhydroxyalkanoate blended with another biocompatible polymer represents a cost-effective strategy for combining the advantages of the two blend components in order to develop tailored tissue engineering approaches. The aim of this study was the development of
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Additive manufacturing of scaffolds made of a polyhydroxyalkanoate blended with another biocompatible polymer represents a cost-effective strategy for combining the advantages of the two blend components in order to develop tailored tissue engineering approaches. The aim of this study was the development of novel poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate)/ poly(ε-caprolactone) (PHBHHx/PCL) blend scaffolds for tissue engineering by means of computer-aided wet-spinning, a hybrid additive manufacturing technique suitable for processing polyhydroxyalkanoates dissolved in organic solvents. The experimental conditions for processing tetrahydrofuran solutions containing the two polymers at different concentrations (PHBHHx/PCL weight ratio of 3:1, 2:1 or 1:1) were optimized in order to manufacture scaffolds with predefined geometry and internal porous architecture. PHBHHx/PCL scaffolds with a 3D interconnected network of macropores and a local microporosity of the polymeric matrix, as a consequence of the phase inversion process governing material solidification, were successfully fabricated. As shown by scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric, differential scanning calorimetric and uniaxial compressive analyses, blend composition significantly influenced the scaffold morphological, thermal and mechanical properties. In vitro biological characterization showed that the developed scaffolds were able to sustain the adhesion and proliferation of MC3T3-E1 murine preosteoblast cells. The additive manufacturing approach developed in this study, based on a polymeric solution processing method avoiding possible material degradation related to thermal treatments, could represent a powerful tool for the development of customized PHBHHx-based blend scaffolds for tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production)
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Open AccessArticle Utilization of Sugarcane Bagasse by Halogeometricum borinquense Strain E3 for Biosynthesis of Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate)
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 50; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020050
Received: 29 March 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 22 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
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Abstract
Sugarcane bagasse (SCB), one of the major lignocellulosic agro-industrial waste products, was used as a substrate for biosynthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) by halophilic archaea. Among the various wild-type halophilic archaeal strains screened, Halogeometricum borinquense strain E3 showed better growth and PHA accumulation as
[...] Read more.
Sugarcane bagasse (SCB), one of the major lignocellulosic agro-industrial waste products, was used as a substrate for biosynthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) by halophilic archaea. Among the various wild-type halophilic archaeal strains screened, Halogeometricum borinquense strain E3 showed better growth and PHA accumulation as compared to Haloferaxvolcanii strain BBK2, Haloarcula japonica strain BS2, and Halococcus salifodinae strain BK6. Growth kinetics and bioprocess parameters revealed the maximum PHA accumulated by strain E3 to be 50.4 ± 0.1 and 45.7 ± 0.19 (%) with specific productivity (qp) of 3.0 and 2.7 (mg/g/h) using NaCl synthetic medium supplemented with 25% and 50% SCB hydrolysate, respectively. PHAs synthesized by strain E3 were recovered in chloroform using a Soxhlet apparatus. Characterization of the polymer using crotonic acid assay, X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential scanning calorimeter (DSC), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), and proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectroscopy analysis revealed the polymer obtained from SCB hydrolysate to be a co-polymer of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) [P(3HB-co-3HV)] comprising of 13.29 mol % 3HV units. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production)
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Open AccessArticle Development and Characterization of a Parallelizable Perfusion Bioreactor for 3D Cell Culture
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 51; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020051
Received: 29 March 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
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Abstract
The three dimensional (3D) cultivation of stem cells in dynamic bioreactor systems is essential in the context of regenerative medicine. Still, there is a lack of bioreactor systems that allow the cultivation of multiple independent samples under different conditions while ensuring comprehensive control
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The three dimensional (3D) cultivation of stem cells in dynamic bioreactor systems is essential in the context of regenerative medicine. Still, there is a lack of bioreactor systems that allow the cultivation of multiple independent samples under different conditions while ensuring comprehensive control over the mechanical environment. Therefore, we developed a miniaturized, parallelizable perfusion bioreactor system with two different bioreactor chambers. Pressure sensors were also implemented to determine the permeability of biomaterials which allows us to approximate the shear stress conditions. To characterize the flow velocity and shear stress profile of a porous scaffold in both bioreactor chambers, a computational fluid dynamics analysis was performed. Furthermore, the mixing behavior was characterized by acquisition of the residence time distributions. Finally, the effects of the different flow and shear stress profiles of the bioreactor chambers on osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells were evaluated in a proof of concept study. In conclusion, the data from computational fluid dynamics and shear stress calculations were found to be predictable for relative comparison of the bioreactor geometries, but not for final determination of the optimal flow rate. However, we suggest that the system is beneficial for parallel dynamic cultivation of multiple samples for 3D cell culture processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hybrid Modelling and Multi-Parametric Control of Bioprocesses)
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Open AccessArticle Molecular Diagnostic for Prospecting Polyhydroxyalkanoate-Producing Bacteria
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 52; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020052
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 25 May 2017
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Abstract
The use of molecular diagnostic techniques for bioprospecting and microbial diversity study purposes has gained more attention thanks to their functionality, low cost and quick results. In this context, ten degenerate primers were designed for the amplification of polyhydroxyalkanoate synthase (phaC)
[...] Read more.
The use of molecular diagnostic techniques for bioprospecting and microbial diversity study purposes has gained more attention thanks to their functionality, low cost and quick results. In this context, ten degenerate primers were designed for the amplification of polyhydroxyalkanoate synthase (phaC) gene, which is involved in the production of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA)—a biodegradable, renewable biopolymer. Primers were designed based on multiple alignments of phaC gene sequences from 218 species that have their genomes already analyzed and deposited at Biocyc databank. The combination of oligos phaCF3/phaCR1 allowed the amplification of the expected product (PHA synthases families types I and IV) from reference organisms used as positive control (PHA producer). The method was also tested in a multiplex system with two combinations of initiators, using 16 colonies of marine bacteria (pre-characterized for PHA production) as a DNA template. All amplicon positive organisms (n = 9) were also PHA producers, thus no false positives were observed. Amplified DNA was sequenced (n = 4), allowing for the confirmation of the phaC gene identity as well its diversity among marine bacteria. Primers were also tested for screening purposes using 37 colonies from six different environments. Almost 30% of the organisms presented the target amplicon. Thus, the proposed primers are an efficient tool for screening bacteria with potential for the production of PHA as well to study PHA genetic diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production)
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Open AccessArticle Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoates Using Hydrolyzates of Spruce Sawdust: Comparison of Hydrolyzates Detoxification by Application of Overliming, Active Carbon, and Lignite
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 53; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020053
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 25 May 2017 / Published: 28 May 2017
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Abstract
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are bacterial polyesters which are considered biodegradable alternatives to petrochemical plastics. PHAs have a wide range of potential applications, however, the production cost of this bioplastic is several times higher. A major percentage of the final cost is represented by the
[...] Read more.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are bacterial polyesters which are considered biodegradable alternatives to petrochemical plastics. PHAs have a wide range of potential applications, however, the production cost of this bioplastic is several times higher. A major percentage of the final cost is represented by the price of the carbon source used in the fermentation. Burkholderia cepacia and Burkholderia sacchari are generally considered promising candidates for PHA production from lignocellulosic hydrolyzates. The wood waste biomass has been subjected to hydrolysis. The resulting hydrolyzate contained a sufficient amount of fermentable sugars. Growth experiments indicated a strong inhibition by the wood hydrolyzate. Over-liming and activated carbon as an adsorbent of inhibitors were employed for detoxification. All methods of detoxification had a positive influence on the growth of biomass and PHB production. Furthermore, lignite was identified as a promising alternative sorbent which can be used for detoxification of lignocellulose hydrolyzates. Detoxification using lignite instead of activated carbon had lower inhibitor removal efficiency, but greater positive impact on growth of the bacterial culture and overall PHA productivity. Moreover, lignite is a significantly less expensive adsorbent in comparison with activated charcoal and; moreover, used lignite can be simply utilized as a fuel to, at least partially, cover heat and energetic demands of fermentation, which should improve the economic feasibility of the process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production)
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Open AccessArticle Polyhydroxyalkanoate Production on Waste Water Treatment Plants: Process Scheme, Operating Conditions and Potential Analysis for German and European Municipal Waste Water Treatment Plants
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 54; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020054
Received: 28 April 2017 / Revised: 2 June 2017 / Accepted: 3 June 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
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Abstract
This work describes the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) as a side stream process on a municipal waste water treatment plant (WWTP) and a subsequent analysis of the production potential in Germany and the European Union (EU). Therefore, tests with different types of sludge
[...] Read more.
This work describes the production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) as a side stream process on a municipal waste water treatment plant (WWTP) and a subsequent analysis of the production potential in Germany and the European Union (EU). Therefore, tests with different types of sludge from a WWTP were investigated regarding their volatile fatty acids (VFA) production-potential. Afterwards, primary sludge was used as substrate to test a series of operating conditions (temperature, pH, retention time (RT) and withdrawal (WD)) in order to find suitable settings for a high and stable VFA production. In a second step, various tests regarding a high PHA production and stable PHA composition to determine the influence of substrate concentration, temperature, pH and cycle time of an installed feast/famine-regime were conducted. Experiments with a semi-continuous reactor operation showed that a short RT of 4 days and a small WD of 25% at pH = 6 and around 30 °C is preferable for a high VFA production rate (PR) of 1913 mgVFA/(L×d) and a stable VFA composition. A high PHA production up to 28.4% of cell dry weight (CDW) was reached at lower substrate concentration, 20 °C, neutral pH-value and a 24 h cycle time. A final step a potential analysis, based on the results and detailed data from German waste water treatment plants, showed that the theoretically possible production of biopolymers in Germany amounts to more than 19% of the 2016 worldwide biopolymer production. In addition, a profound estimation regarding the EU showed that in theory about 120% of the worldwide biopolymer production (in 2016) could be produced on European waste water treatment plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production)
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Open AccessArticle Three-Dimensional Culture Model of Skeletal Muscle Tissue with Atrophy Induced by Dexamethasone
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 56; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020056
Received: 12 April 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
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Abstract
Drug screening systems for muscle atrophy based on the contractile force of cultured skeletal muscle tissues are required for the development of preventive or therapeutic drugs for atrophy. This study aims to develop a muscle atrophy model by inducing atrophy in normal muscle
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Drug screening systems for muscle atrophy based on the contractile force of cultured skeletal muscle tissues are required for the development of preventive or therapeutic drugs for atrophy. This study aims to develop a muscle atrophy model by inducing atrophy in normal muscle tissues constructed on microdevices capable of measuring the contractile force and to verify if this model is suitable for drug screening using the contractile force as an index. Tissue engineered skeletal muscles containing striated myotubes were prepared on the microdevices for the study. The addition of 100 µM dexamethasone (Dex), which is used as a muscle atrophy inducer, for 24 h reduced the contractile force significantly. An increase in the expression of Atrogin-1 and MuRF-1 in the tissues treated with Dex was established. A decrease in the number of striated myotubes was also observed in the tissues treated with Dex. Treatment with 8 ng/mL Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-I) for 24 h significantly increased the contractile force of the Dex-induced atrophic tissues. The same treatment, though, had no impact on the force of the normal tissues. Thus, it is envisaged that the atrophic skeletal muscle tissues induced by Dex can be used for drug screening against atrophy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Organs-on-Chips for In Vitro Disease Models)
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Open AccessArticle The Bistable Behaviour of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 during PHA Depolymerization under Carbon Limitation
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 58; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020058
Received: 14 May 2017 / Revised: 12 June 2017 / Accepted: 13 June 2017 / Published: 19 June 2017
PDF Full-text (2423 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Poly(hydroxyalkanoates) (PHAs) are bacterial polyesters offering a biodegradable alternative to petrochemical plastics. The intracellular formation and degradation of PHAs is a dynamic process that strongly depends on the availability of carbon and other nutrients. Carbon excess and nitrogen limitation are considered to favor
[...] Read more.
Poly(hydroxyalkanoates) (PHAs) are bacterial polyesters offering a biodegradable alternative to petrochemical plastics. The intracellular formation and degradation of PHAs is a dynamic process that strongly depends on the availability of carbon and other nutrients. Carbon excess and nitrogen limitation are considered to favor PHA accumulation, whereas carbon limitation triggers PHA depolymerization when all other essential nutrients are present in excess. We studied the population dynamics of Pseudomonas putida KT2440 at the single cell level during different physiological conditions, favoring first PHA polymerization during growth on octanoic acid, and then PHA depolymerization during carbon limitation. PHAs accumulate intracellularly in granules, and were proposed to separate preferentially together with nucleic acids, leading to two daughter cells containing approximately equal amounts of PHA. However, we could show that such P. putida KT2440 cells show bistable behavior when exposed to carbon limitation, and separate into two subpopulations: one with high and one with low PHA. This suggests an asymmetric PHA distribution during cell division under carbon limitation, which has a significant influence on our understanding of PHA mobilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Cyanobacterial PHA Production—Review of Recent Advances and a Summary of Three Years’ Working Experience Running a Pilot Plant
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 26; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020026
Received: 7 March 2017 / Revised: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 28 March 2017
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Abstract
Cyanobacteria, as photoautotrophic organisms, provide the opportunity to convert CO2 to biomass with light as the sole energy source. Like many other prokaryotes, especially under nutrient deprivation, most cyanobacteria are able to produce polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) as intracellular energy and carbon storage compounds. In
[...] Read more.
Cyanobacteria, as photoautotrophic organisms, provide the opportunity to convert CO2 to biomass with light as the sole energy source. Like many other prokaryotes, especially under nutrient deprivation, most cyanobacteria are able to produce polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) as intracellular energy and carbon storage compounds. In contrast to heterotrophic PHA producers, photoautotrophic cyanobacteria do not consume sugars and, therefore, do not depend on agricultural crops, which makes them a green alternative production system. This review summarizes the recent advances in cyanobacterial PHA production. Furthermore, this study reports the working experience with different strains and cultivating conditions in a 200 L pilot plant. The tubular photobioreactor was built at the coal power plant in Dürnrohr, Austria in 2013 for direct utilization of flue gases. The main challenges were the selection of robust production strains, process optimization, and automation, as well as the CO2 availability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production)
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Open AccessReview So, You Think You Have an Idea: A Practical Risk Reduction-Conceptual Model for Academic Translational Research
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 29; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020029
Received: 12 December 2016 / Revised: 23 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 4 April 2017
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Abstract
Translational research for new drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics encompasses aspects of both basic science and clinical research, requiring multidisciplinary skills and resources that are not all readily available in either a basic laboratory or clinical setting alone. We propose that, to be
[...] Read more.
Translational research for new drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics encompasses aspects of both basic science and clinical research, requiring multidisciplinary skills and resources that are not all readily available in either a basic laboratory or clinical setting alone. We propose that, to be successful, “translational” research ought to be understood as a defined process from basic science through manufacturing, regulatory, clinical testing all the way to market. The authors outline a process which has worked well for them to identify and commercialize academic innovation. The academic environment places a high value on novelty and less value on whether, among other things, data are reproducible, scalable, reimbursable, or have commercial freedom to operate. In other words, when investors, strategic companies, or other later stage stakeholders evaluate academic efforts at translational research the relative lack of attention to clinical, regulatory, reimbursement, and manufacturing and intellectual property freedom to operate almost universally results in more questions and doubts about the potential of the proposed product, thereby inhibiting further interest. This contrasts with industry-based R&D, which often emphasizes manufacturing, regulatory and commercial factors. Academics do not so much choose to ignore those necessary and standard elements of translation development, but rather, they are not built into the culture or incentive structure of the university environment. Acknowledging and addressing this mismatch of approach and lack of common language in a systematic way facilitates a more effective “translation” handoffs of academic project concepts into meaningful clinical solutions help translational researchers more efficiently develop and progress new and better medical products which address validated needs. The authors provide an overview and framework for academic researchers to use which will help them define the elements of a market-driven translational program (1) problem identification and validation; (2) defining the conceptual model of disease; and (3) risk evaluation and mitigation strategies. Full article
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Open AccessReview The Role of Microfluidics for Organ on Chip Simulations
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 39; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020039
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 1 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 4 May 2017
PDF Full-text (2020 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A multichannel three-dimensional chip of a microfluidic cell culture which enables the simulation of organs is called an “organ on a chip” (OC). With the integration of many other technologies, OCs have been mimicking organs, substituting animal models, and diminishing the time and
[...] Read more.
A multichannel three-dimensional chip of a microfluidic cell culture which enables the simulation of organs is called an “organ on a chip” (OC). With the integration of many other technologies, OCs have been mimicking organs, substituting animal models, and diminishing the time and cost of experiments which is better than the preceding conventional in vitro models, which make them imperative tools for finding functional properties, pathological states, and developmental studies of organs. In this review, recent progress regarding microfluidic devices and their applications in cell cultures is discussed to explain the advantages and limitations of these systems. Microfluidics is not a solution but only an approach to create a controlled environment, however, other supporting technologies are needed, depending upon what is intended to be achieved. Microfluidic platforms can be integrated with additional technologies to enhance the organ on chip simulations. Besides, new directions and areas are mentioned for interested researchers in this field, and future challenges regarding the simulation of OCs are also discussed, which will make microfluidics more accurate and beneficial for biological applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Organs-on-Chips for In Vitro Disease Models)
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Open AccessReview Microtechnology-Based Multi-Organ Models
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 46; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020046
Received: 19 March 2017 / Revised: 17 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 21 May 2017
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Abstract
Drugs affect the human body through absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination (ADME) processes. Due to their importance, the ADME processes need to be studied to determine the efficacy and side effects of drugs. Various in vitro model systems have been developed and used
[...] Read more.
Drugs affect the human body through absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination (ADME) processes. Due to their importance, the ADME processes need to be studied to determine the efficacy and side effects of drugs. Various in vitro model systems have been developed and used to realize the ADME processes. However, conventional model systems have failed to simulate the ADME processes because they are different from in vivo, which has resulted in a high attrition rate of drugs and a decrease in the productivity of new drug development. Recently, a microtechnology-based in vitro system called “organ-on-a-chip” has been gaining attention, with more realistic cell behavior and physiological reactions, capable of better simulating the in vivo environment. Furthermore, multi-organ-on-a-chip models that can provide information on the interaction between the organs have been developed. The ultimate goal is the development of a “body-on-a-chip”, which can act as a whole body model. In this review, we introduce and summarize the current progress in the development of multi-organ models as a foundation for the development of body-on-a-chip. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Organs-on-Chips for In Vitro Disease Models)
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Open AccessReview Recent Advances and Challenges towards Sustainable Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 55; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020055
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 9 June 2017 / Published: 11 June 2017
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Abstract
Sustainable biofuels, biomaterials, and fine chemicals production is a critical matter that research teams around the globe are focusing on nowadays. Polyhydroxyalkanoates represent one of the biomaterials of the future due to their physicochemical properties, biodegradability, and biocompatibility. Designing efficient and economic bioprocesses,
[...] Read more.
Sustainable biofuels, biomaterials, and fine chemicals production is a critical matter that research teams around the globe are focusing on nowadays. Polyhydroxyalkanoates represent one of the biomaterials of the future due to their physicochemical properties, biodegradability, and biocompatibility. Designing efficient and economic bioprocesses, combined with the respective social and environmental benefits, has brought together scientists from different backgrounds highlighting the multidisciplinary character of such a venture. In the current review, challenges and opportunities regarding polyhydroxyalkanoate production are presented and discussed, covering key steps of their overall production process by applying pure and mixed culture biotechnology, from raw bioprocess development to downstream processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production)
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Open AccessReview A Review of Microwave-Assisted Reactions for Biodiesel Production
Bioengineering 2017, 4(2), 57; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4020057
Received: 18 May 2017 / Revised: 9 June 2017 / Accepted: 12 June 2017 / Published: 15 June 2017
PDF Full-text (4750 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The conversion of biomass into chemicals and biofuels is an active research area as trends move to replace fossil fuels with renewable resources due to society’s increased concern towards sustainability. In this context, microwave processing has emerged as a tool in organic synthesis
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The conversion of biomass into chemicals and biofuels is an active research area as trends move to replace fossil fuels with renewable resources due to society’s increased concern towards sustainability. In this context, microwave processing has emerged as a tool in organic synthesis and plays an important role in developing a more sustainable world. Integration of processing methods with microwave irradiation has resulted in a great reduction in the time required for many processes, while the reaction efficiencies have been increased markedly. Microwave processing produces a higher yield with a cleaner profile in comparison to other methods. The microwave processing is reported to be a better heating method than the conventional methods due to its unique thermal and non-thermal effects. This paper provides an insight into the theoretical aspects of microwave irradiation practices and highlights the importance of microwave processing. The potential of the microwave technology to accomplish superior outcomes over the conventional methods in biodiesel production is presented. A green process for biodiesel production using a non-catalytic method is still new and very costly because of the supercritical condition requirement. Hence, non-catalytic biodiesel conversion under ambient pressure using microwave technology must be developed, as the energy utilization for microwave-based biodiesel synthesis is reported to be lower and cost-effective. Full article
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