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Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering

Lindong Weng, Shannon L Stott, Mehmet Toner
Successful stabilization and preservation of biological materials often utilize low temperatures and dehydration to arrest molecular motion. Cryoprotectants are routinely employed to help the biological entities survive the physicochemical and mechanical stresses induced by cold or dryness. Molecular interactions between biomolecules, cryoprotectants, and water fundamentally determine the outcomes of preservation. The optimization of assays using the empirical approach is often limited in structural and temporal resolution, whereas classical molecular dynamics simulations can provide a cost-effective glimpse into the atomic-level structure and interaction of individual molecules that dictate macroscopic behavior...
December 10, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Eric A Kramer, Mark E Rentschler
As minimally invasive surgical techniques progress, the demand for efficient, reliable methods for vascular ligation and tissue closure becomes pronounced. The surgical advantages of energy-based vessel sealing exceed those of traditional, compression-based ligatures in procedures sensitive to duration, foreign bodies, and recovery time alike. Although the use of energy-based devices to seal or transect vasculature and connective tissue bundles is widespread, the breadth of heating strategies and energy dosimetry used across devices underscores an uncertainty as to the molecular nature of the sealing mechanism and induced tissue effect...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Caroline E Hansen, Yongzhi Qiu, Owen J T McCarty, Wilbur A Lam
The vasculature is a dynamic environment in which blood platelets constantly survey the endothelium for sites of vessel damage. The formation of a mechanically coherent hemostatic plug to prevent blood loss relies on a coordinated series of ligand-receptor interactions governing the recruitment, activation, and aggregation of platelets. The physical biology of each step is distinct in that the recruitment of platelets depends on the mechanosensing of the platelet receptor glycoprotein Ib for the adhesive protein von Willebrand factor, whereas platelet activation and aggregation are responsive to the mechanical forces sensed at adhesive junctions between platelets and at the platelet-matrix interface...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Elise F Morgan, Ginu U Unnikrisnan, Amira I Hussein
The mechanical properties of bone are fundamental to the ability of our skeletons to support movement and to provide protection to our vital organs. As such, deterioration in mechanical behavior with aging and/or diseases such as osteoporosis and diabetes can have profound consequences for individuals' quality of life. This article reviews current knowledge of the basic mechanical behavior of bone at length scales ranging from hundreds of nanometers to tens of centimeters. We present the basic tenets of bone mechanics and connect them to some of the arcs of research that have brought the field to recent advances...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
T L Carlson, J Y Lock, R L Carrier
Mucus selectively controls the transport of molecules, particulate matter, and microorganisms to the underlying epithelial layer. It may be desirable to weaken the mucus barrier to enable effective delivery of drug carriers. Alternatively, the mucus barrier can be strengthened to prevent epithelial interaction with pathogenic microbes or other exogenous materials. The dynamic mucus layer can undergo changes in structure (e.g., pore size) and/or composition (e.g., protein concentrations, mucin glycosylation) in response to stimuli that occur naturally or are purposely administered, thus altering its barrier function...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
John C Bischof, Kenneth R Diller
This review explores bioheat transfer applications at multiple scales from nanoparticle (NP) heating to whole-body thermoregulation. For instance, iron oxide nanoparticles are being used for nanowarming, which uniformly and quickly rewarms 50-80-mL (≤5-cm-diameter) vitrified systems by coupling with radio-frequency (RF) fields where standard convective warming fails. A modification of this approach can also be used to successfully rewarm cryopreserved fish embryos (∼0.8 mm diameter) by heating previously injected gold nanoparticles with millisecond pulsed laser irradiation where standard convective warming fails...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Laura Niklason, Guohao Dai
The development processes of arteries and veins are fundamentally different, leading to distinct differences in anatomy, structure, and function as well as molecular profiles. Understanding the complex interaction between genetic and epigenetic pathways, as well as extracellular and biomechanical signals that orchestrate arterial venous differentiation, is not only critical for the understanding of vascular diseases of arteries and veins but also valuable for vascular tissue engineering strategies. Recent research has suggested that certain transcriptional factors not only control arterial venous differentiation during development but also play a critical role in adult vessel function and disease processes...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Edward D Bonnevie, Robert L Mauck
The connective tissues of the musculoskeletal system can be grouped into fibrous, cartilaginous, and calcified tissues. While each tissue type has a distinct composition and function, the intersections between these tissues result in the formation of complex, composite, and graded junctions. The complexity of these interfaces is a critical aspect of their healthy function, but poses a significant challenge for their repair. In this review, we describe the organization and structure of complex musculoskeletal interfaces, identify emerging technologies for engineering such structures, and outline the requirements for assessing the complex nature of these tissues in the context of recapitulating their function through tissue engineering...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Russell Urie, Deepanjan Ghosh, Inam Ridha, Kaushal Rege
Inorganic nanomaterials have witnessed significant advances in areas of medicine including cancer therapy, imaging, and drug delivery, but their use in soft tissue repair and regeneration is in its infancy. Metallic, ceramic, and carbon allotrope nanoparticles have shown promise in facilitating tissue repair and regeneration. Inorganic nanomaterials have been employed to improve stem cell engraftment in cellular therapy, material mechanical stability in tissue repair, electrical conductivity in nerve and cardiac regeneration, adhesion strength in tissue approximation, and antibacterial capacity in wound dressings...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Yonggang Ke, Carlos Castro, Jong Hyun Choi
Structural DNA nanotechnology utilizes synthetic or biologic DNA as designer molecules for the self-assembly of artificial nanostructures. The field is founded upon the specific interactions between DNA molecules, known as Watson-Crick base pairing. After decades of active pursuit, DNA has demonstrated unprecedented versatility in constructing artificial nanostructures with significant complexity and programmability. The nanostructures could be either static, with well-controlled physicochemical properties, or dynamic, with the ability to reconfigure upon external stimuli...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Eric Lin, Thong Cao, Sunitha Nagrath, Michael R King
Metastasis contributes to poor prognosis in many types of cancer and is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Tumor cells metastasize to distant sites via the circulatory and lymphatic systems. In this review, we discuss the potential of circulating tumor cells for diagnosis and describe the experimental therapeutics that aim to target these disseminating cancer cells. We discuss the advantages and limitations of such strategies and how they may lead to the development of the next generation of antimetastasis treatments...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Josef R Bober, Chase L Beisel, Nikhil U Nair
An increasing number of studies have strongly correlated the composition of the human microbiota with many human health conditions and, in several cases, have shown that manipulating the microbiota directly affects health. These insights have generated significant interest in engineering indigenous microbiota community members and nonresident probiotic bacteria as biotic diagnostics and therapeutics that can probe and improve human health. In this review, we discuss recent advances in synthetic biology to engineer commensal and probiotic lactic acid bacteria, bifidobacteria, and Bacteroides for these purposes, and we provide our perspective on the future potential of these technologies...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Xiongbiao Luo, Kensaku Mori, Terry M Peters
Interventional endoscopy (e.g., bronchoscopy, colonoscopy, laparoscopy, cystoscopy) is a widely performed procedure that involves either diagnosis of suspicious lesions or guidance for minimally invasive surgery in a variety of organs within the body cavity. Endoscopy may also be used to guide the introduction of certain items (e.g., stents) into the body. Endoscopic navigation systems seek to integrate big data with multimodal information (e.g., computed tomography, magnetic resonance images, endoscopic video sequences, ultrasound images, external trackers) relative to the patient's anatomy, control the movement of medical endoscopes and surgical tools, and guide the surgeon's actions during endoscopic interventions...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Siobhan A O'Leary, Nikolaos K Paschos, Jarrett M Link, Eric O Klineberg, Jerry C Hu, Kyriacos A Athanasiou
The zygapophysial joint, a diarthrodial joint commonly referred to as the facet joint, plays a pivotal role in back pain, a condition that has been a leading cause of global disability since 1990. Along with the intervertebral disc, the facet joint supports spinal motion and aids in spinal stability. Highly susceptible to early development of osteoarthritis, the facet is responsible for a significant amount of pain in the low-back, mid-back, and neck regions. Current noninvasive treatments cannot offer long-term pain relief, while invasive treatments can relieve pain but fail to preserve joint functionality...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Bin He, Abbas Sohrabpour, Emery Brown, Zhongming Liu
Brain activity and connectivity are distributed in the three-dimensional space and evolve in time. It is important to image brain dynamics with high spatial and temporal resolution. Electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) are noninvasive measurements associated with complex neural activations and interactions that encode brain functions. Electrophysiological source imaging estimates the underlying brain electrical sources from EEG and MEG measurements. It offers increasingly improved spatial resolution and intrinsically high temporal resolution for imaging large-scale brain activity and connectivity on a wide range of timescales...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Michael R McDevitt, George Sgouros, Stavroula Sofou
α-Particle irradiation of cancerous tissue is increasingly recognized as a potent therapeutic option. We briefly review the physics, radiobiology, and dosimetry of α-particle emitters, as well as the distinguishing features that make them unique for radiopharmaceutical therapy. We also review the emerging clinical role of α-particle therapy in managing cancer and recent studies on in vitro and preclinical α-particle therapy delivered by antibodies, other small molecules, and nanometer-sized particles. In addition to their unique radiopharmaceutical characteristics, the increased availability and improved radiochemistry of α-particle radionuclides have contributed to the growing recent interest in α-particle radiotherapy...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Matthew J Brenner, Jang Hwan Cho, Nicole M L Wong, Wilson W Wong
Cellular immunotherapy holds great promise for the treatment of human disease. Clinical evidence suggests that T cell immunotherapies have the potential to combat cancers that evade traditional immunotherapy. Despite promising results, adverse effects leading to fatalities have left scientists seeking tighter control over these therapies, which is reflected in the growing body of synthetic biology literature focused on developing tightly controlled, context-independent parts. In addition, researchers are adapting these tools for other uses, such as for the treatment of autoimmune disease, HIV infection, and fungal interactions...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Pamela K Kreeger, Laura E Strong, Kristyn S Masters
In their native environment, cells are immersed in a complex milieu of biochemical and biophysical cues. These cues may include growth factors, the extracellular matrix, cell-cell contacts, stiffness, and topography, and they are responsible for regulating cellular behaviors such as adhesion, proliferation, migration, apoptosis, and differentiation. The decision-making process used to convert these extracellular inputs into actions is highly complex and sensitive to changes both in the type of individual cue (e...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Christopher M Madl, Sarah C Heilshorn
Stem cells are a powerful resource for many applications including regenerative medicine, patient-specific disease modeling, and toxicology screening. However, eliciting the desired behavior from stem cells, such as expansion in a naïve state or differentiation into a particular mature lineage, remains challenging. Drawing inspiration from the native stem cell niche, hydrogel platforms have been developed to regulate stem cell fate by controlling microenvironmental parameters including matrix mechanics, degradability, cell-adhesive ligand presentation, local microstructure, and cell-cell interactions...
June 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Michael Levin, Giovanni Pezzulo, Joshua M Finkelstein
Living systems exhibit remarkable abilities to self-assemble, regenerate, and remodel complex shapes. How cellular networks construct and repair specific anatomical outcomes is an open question at the heart of the next-generation science of bioengineering. Developmental bioelectricity is an exciting emerging discipline that exploits endogenous bioelectric signaling among many cell types to regulate pattern formation. We provide a brief overview of this field, review recent data in which bioelectricity is used to control patterning in a range of model systems, and describe the molecular tools being used to probe the role of bioelectrics in the dynamic control of complex anatomy...
June 21, 2017: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering
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