• ISSN 1674-8301
  • CN 32-1810/R

Current Issue

Editorial Commentary
Review Article
Current cell-based biosensors have progressed substantially from mere alternatives to molecular bioreceptors into enabling tools for interfacing molecular machineries and gene circuits with microelectronics and for developing groundbreaking sensing and theragnostic platforms. The recent literature concerning whole-cell biosensors is reviewed with an emphasis on mammalian cells, and the challenges and breakthroughs brought along in biomedical analyses through novel biosensing concepts and the synthetic biology toolbox. These recent innovations allow development of cell-based biosensing platforms having tailored performances and capable to reach the levels of sensitivity, dynamic range, and stability suitable for high analytic/medical relevance. They also pave the way for the construction of flexible biosensing platforms with utility across biological research and clinical applications. The work is intended to stimulate interest in generation of cell-based biosensors and improve their acceptance and exploitation.
The ultimate goal of single-cell analyses is to obtain the biomolecular content for each cell in unicellular and multicellular organisms at different points of their life cycle under variable environmental conditions. These require an assessment of: a) the total number of cells, b) the total number of cell types, and c) the complete and quantitative single molecular detection and identification for all classes of biopolymers, and organic and inorganic compounds, in each individual cell. For proteins, glycans, lipids, and metabolites, whose sequences cannot be amplified by copying as in the case of nucleic acids, the detection limit by mass spectrometry is about 105 molecules. Therefore, proteomic, glycomic, lipidomic, and metabolomic analyses do not yet permit the assembly of the complete single-cell omes. The construction of novel nanoelectrophoretic arrays and nano in microarrays on a single 1-cm-diameter chip has shown proof of concept for a high throughput platform for parallel processing of thousands of individual cells. Combined with dynamic secondary ion mass spectrometry, with 3D scanning capability and lateral resolution of 50 nm, the sensitivity of single molecular quantification and identification for all classes of biomolecules could be reached. Further development and routine application of such technological and instrumentation solution would allow assembly of complete omes with a quantitative assessment of structural and functional cellular diversity at the molecular level.
Magnetic particle-based immunoassays are widely used in microbiology-related assays for both microbial capture, separation, analysis, and detection. Besides facilitating sample operation, the implementation of micro-to-nanometer scale magnetic beads as a solid support potentially shortens the incubation time (for magnetic immuno capture) from several hours to less than an hour. Analytical technologies based on magnetic beads offer a rapid, effective and inexpensive way to separate and concentrate the target analytes prior to detection. Magneto-immuno separation uses magnetic particles coated with specific antibodies to capture target microorganisms, bear the corresponding antigens, and subsequently separate them from the sample matrix in a magnetic field. The method has been proven effective in separating various types of pathogenic bacteria from environmental water samples and in eliminating background interferences. Magnetic particles are often used to capture target cells (pathogenic bacteria) from samples. In most commercially available assays, the actual identification and quantitation of the captured cells is then performed by classical microbiological assays. This review highlights the most sensitive analytic methods (i.e., long-range surface plasmon resonance and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy) to detect magnetically tagged bacteria in conjunction with magnetic actuation.
Mechanotransduction, a conversion of mechanical forces into biochemical signals, is essential for human development and physiology. It is observable at all levels ranging from the whole body, organs, tissues, organelles down to molecules. Dysregulation results in various diseases such as muscular dystrophies, hypertension-induced vascular and cardiac hypertrophy, altered bone repair and cell deaths. Since mechanotransduction occurs at nanoscale, nanosciences and applied nanotechnology are powerful for studying molecular mechanisms and pathways of mechanotransduction. Atomic force microscopy, magnetic and optical tweezers are commonly used for force measurement and manipulation at the single molecular level. Force is also used to control cells, topographically and mechanically by specific types of nano materials for tissue engineering. Mechanotransduction research will become increasingly important as a sub-discipline under nanomedicine. Here we review nanotechnology approaches using force measurements and manipulations at the molecular and cellular levels during mechanotransduction, which has been increasingly play important role in the advancement of nanomedicine.
This mini-review gives a brief account of the emergence of the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy in the second half of the 20th century and reports the continuous wave EPR spectroscopy studies on human and animal blood. The question posed by this review is whether the EPR spectroscopy in the form it appeared 70 years ago is still able to provide useful information about different pathological conditions in humans, particularly in the area of diagnosis.
Hybrid lipopolymer vesicles are membrane vesicles that can be self-assembled on both the micro- and nano-scale. On the nanoscale, they are potential novel smart materials for drug delivery systems that could combine the relative strengths of liposome and polymersome drug delivery systems without their respective weaknesses. However, little is known about their properties and how they could be tailored. Currently, most methods of investigation are limited to the microscale. Here we provide a brief review on hybrid vesicle systems with a specific focus on recent developments demonstrating that nanoscale hybrid vesicles have different properties from their macroscale counterparts.
Bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) is a homopolymer of β-1,4 linked glycose, which is synthesized by Acetobacter using simple culturing methods to allow inexpensive and environmentally friendly small- and large-scale production. Depending on the growth media and types of fermentation methods, ultra-pure cellulose can be obtained with different physio-chemical characteristics. Upon biosynthesis, bacterial cellulose is assembled in the medium into a nanostructured network of glucan polymers that are semitransparent, mechanically highly resistant, but soft and elastic, and with a high capacity to store water and exchange gasses. BNC, generally recognized as safe as well as one of the most biocompatible materials, has been found numerous medical applications in wound dressing, drug delivery systems, and implants of heart valves, blood vessels, tympanic membranes, bones, teeth, cartilages, cornea, and urinary tracts.
Immunosensing methods are biosensing techniques based on specific recognition of an antigen–antibody immunocomplex, which have become commonly used in safeguarding public health. Taking advantage of antibody-related biotechnological advances, the utilization of an antigen-binding fragment of a heavy-chain-only antibody termed as 'nanobody' holds significant biomedical potential. Compared with the conventional full-length antibody, a single-domain nanobody retaining cognate antigen specificity possesses remarkable physicochemical stability and structural adaptability, which enables a flexible and efficient molecular design of the immunosensing strategy. This minireview aims to summarize the recent progress in immunosensing methods using nanobody targeting tumor markers, environmental pollutants, and foodborne microbes.
Original Article
As a well-known anticancer drug, paclitaxel (PTX), a first-line chemotherapeutic agent, remains unsatisfactory for gastric cancer therapy. It is reported that triptolide (TPL) could enhance the anti-gastric cancer effect of PTX. Considering the poor solubility of both drugs, we developed a red blood cell membrane-biomimetic nanosystem, an emerging tool in drug delivery, to co-load paclitaxel and triptolide (red blood cell membrane coated PTX and TPL co-loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) [PLGA] nanoparticles, RP(P/T)). The successful preparation was confirmed in terms of particle size, morphology, and surface markers assays. This biomimetic system could prolong circulation and escape immune surveillance. And these properties were verified by stability, in vitro drug release, and cellular uptake assays. Moreover, the MTT and colony formation assays demonstrated the superior anti-proliferation effect of the RP(P/T) to free drugs. The enhanced antitumor effects of RP(P/T) on migration and invasion were also evaluated by wound-healing and transwell assays. Overall, the bionic co-delivery nanoplatform with improved efficacy in vitro is a promising therapy for gastric cancer.