Highlights • ZFNs, TALENs, and CRISPR/Cas-based RNA-guided DNA endonucleases are programmable site-specific nucleases. • Site-specific nucleases induce DNA DSBs that stimulate NHEJ and HDR at targeted genomic loci. • We discuss the therapeutic potential of site-specific nuclease technologies and discuss future prospects for the field.
Antibacterial agents are very important in the textile industry, water disinfection, medicine, and food packaging. Organic compounds used for disinfection have some disadvantages, including toxicity to the human body, therefore, the interest in inorganic disinfectants such as metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs) is increasing. This review focuses on the properties and applications of inorganic nanostructured materials and their surface modifications, with good antimicrobial activity. Such improved antibacterial agents locally destroy bacteria, without being toxic to the surrounding tissue. We also provide an overview of opportunities and risks of using NPs as antibacterial agents. In particular, we discuss the role of different NP materials.
Highlights • Members of the phylum Proteobacteria have a low abundance in the gut of healthy humans. • We provide an overview of correlations between a bloom of Proteobacteria and a diseased state. • We explain driving mechanisms for the uncontrolled expansion of the Proteobacteria population. • Proteobacterial load is suggested as a potential diagnostic criterion for dysbiosis and disease.
Bone disorders are of significant concern due to increase in the median age of our population. Traditionally, bone grafts have been used to restore damaged bone. Synthetic biomaterials are now being used as bone graft substitutes. These biomaterials were initially selected for structural restoration based on their biomechanical properties. Later scaffolds were engineered to be bioactive or bioresorbable to enhance tissue growth. Now scaffolds are designed to induce bone formation and vascularization. These scaffolds are often porous, made of biodegradable materials that harbor different growth factors, drugs, genes, or stem cells. In this review, we highlight recent advances in bone scaffolds and discuss aspects that still need to be improved.
Highlights • The paper reviews a recent development in soft robotics. • Soft materials in animals inspire a new wave of robotics. • Current enabling technologies in soft robotics and challenges are discussed. • Potential convergence between soft robotics and tissue engineering is introduced.
Highlights • Major advances in the development of wearable electrochemical sensors and biosensors. • Non-invasive monitoring of chemical constituents in sweat, tears, or saliva. • Monitoring of wearer's health or fitness.
Nanotechnology has become one of the most promising technologies applied in all areas of science. Metal nanoparticles produced by nanotechnology have received global attention due to their extensive applications in the biomedical and physiochemical fields. Recently, synthesizing metal nanoparticles using microorganisms and plants has been extensively studied and has been recognized as a green and efficient way for further exploiting microorganisms as convenient nanofactories. Here, we explore and detail the potential uses of various biological sources for nanoparticle synthesis and the application of those nanoparticles. Furthermore, we highlight recent milestones achieved for the biogenic synthesis of nanoparticles by controlling critical parameters, including the choice of biological source, incubation period, pH, and temperature.
Considerable advances in point-of-care testing (POCT) devices stem from innovations in cellphone (CP)-based technologies, paper-based assays (PBAs), lab-on-a-chip (LOC) platforms, novel assay formats, and strategies for long-term reagent storage. Various commercial CP platforms have emerged to provide cost-effective mobile health care and personalized medicine. Such assay formats, as well as low-cost PBAs and LOC-based assays, are paving the way to robust, automated, simplified, and cost-effective POCT. Strategies have also been devised to stabilize reagent storage and usage at ambient temperature. Nevertheless, successful commercialization and widespread implementation of such clinically viable technologies remain subject to several challenges and pending issues.
Graphene is the basic building block of 0D fullerene, 1D carbon nanotubes, and 3D graphite. Graphene has a unique planar structure, as well as novel electronic properties, which have attracted great interests from scientists. This review selectively analyzes current advances in the field of graphene bioapplications. In particular, the biofunctionalization of graphene for biological applications, fluorescence-resonance-energy-transfer-based biosensor development by using graphene or graphene-based nanomaterials, and the investigation of graphene or graphene-based nanomaterials for living cell studies are summarized in more detail. Future perspectives and possible challenges in this rapidly developing area are also discussed.
In this review we attempt to clarify the notion of what is meant by the term antibacterial surfaces and categorise the approaches that are commonly used in the design of antibacterial surfaces. Application of surface coatings and the modification of the surface chemistry of substrata are generally considered to be a chemical approach to surface modification (as are surface polymerisation, functionalisation, and derivatisation), whereas, modification of the surface architecture of a substrate can be considered a physical approach. Here, the antifouling and bactericidal effects of antibacterial surfaces are briefly discussed. Finally, several recent efforts to design a new generation of antibacterial surfaces, which are based on mimicking the surface nanotopography of natural surfaces, are considered.
Highlights ► Microalgae are a promising new source of biomass for production of food, feed, fuel, or chemicals, but the cost and energy demand of large-scale production is still too high. ► An efficient low-cost method for harvesting microalgae is essential for large-scale and low-cost production of microalgal biomass. ► In this paper, we give an overview of different approaches for achieving flocculation of microalgae, each with their advantages and disadvantages. ► Flocculation of microalgae can be achieved through chemical, biological, and physical methods and by genetic modification.
Antibacterial coatings are rapidly emerging as a primary component of the global mitigation strategy of bacterial pathogens. Thanks to recent concurrent advances in materials science and biotechnology methodologies, and a growing understanding of environmental microbiology, an extensive variety of options are now available to design surfaces with antibacterial properties. However, progress towards a more widespread use in clinical settings crucially depends on addressing the key outstanding issues. We review release-based antibacterial coatings and focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by the latest generation of these materials. In particular, we highlight recent approaches aimed at controlling the release of antibacterial agents, imparting multi-functionality, and enhancing long-term stability.
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are an integral part of the innate immune system that protect a host from invading pathogenic bacteria. To help overcome the problem of antimicrobial resistance, cationic AMPs are currently being considered as potential alternatives for antibiotics. Although extremely variable in length, amino acid composition and secondary structure, all peptides can adopt a distinct membrane-bound amphipathic conformation. Recent studies demonstrate that they achieve their antimicrobial activity by disrupting various key cellular processes. Some peptides can even use multiple mechanisms. Moreover, several intact proteins or protein fragments are now being shown to have inherent antimicrobial activity. A better understanding of the structure–activity relationships of AMPs is required to facilitate the rational design of novel antimicrobial agents.
Highlights ► Review on ‘green’ methods for synthesis of nanoparticles using natural products. ► Polyphenols in plant extracts can act as chelating/reducing and capping agents. ► One-step processes without surfactants and capping agents. ► Techniques for a given metal nanoparticle can also be applied to other metals. ► Discussion of experimental setup for biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles.
Highlights ► Spheroids improve the relevance of in vitro results. ► Spheroids serve as biological models of native tissues or engineered solutions. ► Spheroids are used as building blocks to form tissues. ► Spheroids in concert with other aggregated cell shapes allow for complex tissue architecture studies.
Nanosilver (NS), comprising silver nanoparticles, is attracting interest for a range of biomedical applications owing to its potent antibacterial activity. It has recently been demonstrated that NS has useful anti-inflammatory effects and improves wound healing, which could be exploited in developing better dressings for wounds and burns. The key to its broad-acting and potent antibacterial activity is the multifaceted mechanism by which NS acts on microbes. This is utilized in antibacterial coatings on medical devices to reduce nosocomial infection rates. Many new synthesis methods have emerged and are being evaluated for NS production for medical applications. NS toxicity is also critically discussed to reflect on potential concerns before widespread application in the medical field.
Research over the past decade on the cell–biomaterial interface has shifted to the third dimension. Besides mimicking the native extracellular environment by 3D cell culture, hydrogels offer the possibility to generate well-defined 3D biofabricated tissue analogs. In this context, gelatin-methacryloyl (gelMA) hydrogels have recently gained increased attention. This interest is sparked by the combination of the inherent bioactivity of gelatin and the physicochemical tailorability of photo-crosslinkable hydrogels. GelMA is a versatile matrix that can be used to engineer tissue analogs ranging from vasculature to cartilage and bone. Convergence of biological and biofabrication approaches is necessary to progress from merely proving cell functionality or construct shape fidelity towards regenerating tissues. GelMA has a critical pioneering role in this process and could be used to accelerate the development of clinically relevant applications.
Terahertz (THz = 1012 Hz) radiation has attracted wide attention for its unprecedented sensing ability and its noninvasive and nonionizing properties. Tremendous strides in THz instrumentation have prompted impressive breakthroughs in THz biomedical research. Here, we review the current state of THz spectroscopy and imaging in various biomedical applications ranging from biomolecules, including DNA/RNA, amino acids/peptides, proteins, and carbohydrates, to cells and tissues. We also address the potential biological effects of THz radiation during its biological applications and propose future prospects for this cutting-edge technology.
Engineered tissues need a vascular network to supply cells with nutrients and oxygen after implantation. A network that can connect to the vasculature of the patient after implantation can be included during in vitro culture. For optimal integration, this network needs to be highly organized, including venules, capillaries, and arterioles, to supply all of the cells with sufficient nutrients. Owing to the importance of vascularization for the clinical applicability of tissue engineering, many approaches have been investigated to include an organized vascular network in tissue constructs. This review will give an overview of recent efforts, and will propose future perspectives to engineer the optimal, functional vascular network.
Engineering cell metabolism for bioproduction not only consumes building blocks and energy molecules (e.g., ATP) but also triggers energetic inefficiency inside the cell. The metabolic burdens on microbial workhorses lead to undesirable physiological changes, placing hidden constraints on host productivity. We discuss cell physiological responses to metabolic burdens, as well as strategies to identify and resolve the carbon and energy burden problems, including metabolic balancing, enhancing respiration, dynamic regulatory systems, chromosomal engineering, decoupling cell growth with production phases, and co-utilization of nutrient resources. To design robust strains with high chances of success in industrial settings, novel genome-scale models (GSMs),13 C-metabolic flux analysis (MFA), and machine-learning approaches are needed for weighting, standardizing, and predicting metabolic costs.