Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Want to know more about Organs-on-chips? Read our free articles!

As the meeting at the Lorentz Center entitled ‘Organs on Chips: Human Disease Models‘ draws to a close, we thought we’d remind you about the fantastic free* collection of articles we’ve put together from Lab on a Chip and Integrative Biology on the topic.

The collection can be found here, and includes papers such as:

Microengineered physiological biomimicry: Organs-on-Chips
Dongeun Huh, Yu-suke Torisawa, Geraldine A. Hamilton, Hyun Jung Kim and Donald E. Ingber
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC40089H

Organs-on-chips: breaking the in vitro impasse
Andries D. van der Meer and Albert van den Berg
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB00176D

Ensembles of engineered cardiac tissues for physiological and pharmacological study: Heart on a chip
Anna Grosberg, Patrick W. Alford, Megan L. McCain and Kevin Kit Parker
DOI: 10.1039/C1LC20557A

Hurry though, as the collection is only available with free* access till the 8th October!

*Free access is provided to recognised institutions or to individuals through an RSC Publishing Personal Account. Registration is quick and easy at http://pubs.rsc.org/en/account/register.

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Top ten most accessed articles in July 2012

This month sees the following articles in Integrative Biology that are in the top ten most accessed:

Single-cell level co-culture platform for intercellular communication
Soongweon Hong, Qiong Pan and Luke P. Lee  
Integr. Biol., 2012, 4, 374-380
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB00166G  

Biological applications of microfluidic gradient devices
Sudong Kim, Hyung Joon Kim and Noo Li Jeon 
Integr. Biol., 2010, 2, 584-603
DOI: 10.1039/C0IB00055H  

Bio-inspired materials for parsing matrix physicochemical control of cell migration: A Review 
Hyung-Do Kim and Shelly R. Peyton  
Integr. Biol., 2012, 4, 37-52
DOI: 10.1039/C1IB00069A  

Microfluidic sample preparation: cell lysis and nucleic acid purification 
Jungkyu Kim, Michael Johnson, Parker Hill and Bruce K. Gale  
Integr. Biol., 2009, 1, 574-586
DOI: 10.1039/B905844C 

Functional characterization and axonal transport of quantum dot labeled BDNF 
Wenjun Xie, Kai Zhang and Bianxiao Cui 
Integr. Biol., 2012, 4, 953-960
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB20062G  

Nanomedicine boosts neurogenesis: new strategies for brain repair 
Tiago Santos, João Maia, Fabienne Agasse, Sara Xapelli, Lino Ferreira and Liliana Bernardino  
Integr. Biol., 2012, 4, 973-981
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB20129A 

DNA assembly for synthetic biology: from parts to pathways and beyond 
Tom Ellis, Tom Adie and Geoff S. Baldwin  
Integr. Biol., 2011, 3, 109-118
DOI: 10.1039/C0IB00070A  

Control of stem cell fate and function by engineering physical microenvironments 
Kshitiz, JinSeok Park, Peter Kim, Wilda Helen, Adam J. Engler, Andre Levchenko and Deok-Ho Kim  
Integr. Biol., 2012, 4, 1008-1018
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB20080E  

Microfluidics for bacterial chemotaxis 
Tanvir Ahmed, Thomas S. Shimizu and Roman Stocker  
Integr. Biol., 2010, 2, 604-629
DOI: 10.1039/C0IB00049C  

Fluid flow stress induced contraction and re-spread of mesenchymal stem cells: a microfluidic study 
Wenfu Zheng, Yunyan Xie, Wei Zhang, Dong Wang, Wanshun Ma, Zhuo Wang and Xingyu Jiang  
Integr. Biol., 2012, 4, 1102-1111
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB20094E  

Why not take a look at the articles today and blog your thoughts and comments below.

Fancy submitting an article to Integrative Biology? Then why not submit to us today or alternatively email us your suggestions.

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Mimicking heart tissue and understanding the spatial development of neurons on the cover of Issue 9

In this month’s issue we have a bumper crop of review articles on topics as varied as nanomedicine for brain repair, giant vesicles as cell models, the effects of curcumin and analogues on breast cancer and altering stem cell behaviour through engineering their microenvironments.

Integrative Biology coverWe also have several HOT articles in the issue, including the outside front cover article by Andre Levchenko and colleagues.  They have used autologous cardiosphere-derived cells and a nanopatterned hydrogel to overcome some of the difficulties associated with stem cell-based methods for heart tissue repair.  Their matrix was found to closely mimic the ECM and  ‘dramatically enhanced’ cardiomyogenesis.

Nanopatterned cardiac cell patches promote stem cell niche formation and myocardial regeneration
Deok-Ho Kim, Kshitiz, Rachel R. Smith, Pilnam Kim, Eun Hyun Ahn, Hong-Nam Kim, Eduardo Marbán, Kahp-Yang Suh and Andre Levchenko
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB20067H

Integrative Biology cover artworkThe inside front cover features work from Joshua Maurer et al who have used self-assembled monolayers to explore whether environment or predetermined factors control axonal development.  They show that a critical factor is environmental – rather than a preprogrammed molecular event – which is the length that a developing neurite is allowed to grow to.

Spatial confinement instigates environmental determination of neuronal polarity
Dawn M. Johnson,  Jad P. Abi-Mansour and Joshua A. Maurer
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB20126G

Don’t forget, our cover articles are free to access for 6 weeks – just sign in with your RSC Publishing Personal account.

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Issue 8 online now!

This month’s outside front cover features work from Jonathan Rocheleau and co-workers at the University of Toronto.

In their article, they introduce a novel method for flavoprotein autofluorescence imaging, to measure the dynamics of fatty acid oxidation linked to pancreatic islet metabolism. They were able to record real-time measurements from islets held stationary in flow using microfluidic devices.

Quantitative imaging of electron transfer flavoprotein autofluorescence reveals the dynamics of lipid partitioning in living pancreatic islets
Alan K. Lam, Pamuditha N. Silva, Svetlana M. Altamentova and Jonathan V. Rocheleau
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB20075A


Work from Konstantinos Konstantopoulos, Kathleen Stebe and colleagues from The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania, was the inspiration for the inside front cover this month.

The article focuses on receptor-mediated cell adhesion in shear flow, and uses an integrated experimental and mathematical approach to gain understanding of the process. Using a microfluidic device combined with a glass slide with P- or L-selectin immobilised onto specific sections, the critical patch length needed by HL-60 leukemic cells to start tethering under flow was investigated. The authors found that the length is prescribed by the minimum number of receptor–ligand bonds needed to start cell tethering and the tensile strength of the bonds.

Selectin-mediated adhesion in shear flow using micropatterned substrates: multiple-bond interactions govern the critical length for cell binding
ZiQiu Tong, Luthur Siu-Lun Cheung, Kathleen J. Stebe and Konstantinos Konstantopoulos
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB20036H


Lance Munn and collaborators at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School’s article features on the back cover of issue 8.

Their paper focuses on vascular anastomosis, and uses a microfluidic device to reproduce the process in vitro. Using a collagenous matrix, the vessels are able to sprout and grow together, forming perfused bridging connections. The authors feel that the device will ‘enable a new generation of studies of the mechanisms of angiogenesis and provide a novel and practical platform for drug screening’.

Anastomosis of endothelial sprouts forms new vessels in a tissue analogue of angiogenesis
Jonathan W. Song, Despina Bazou and Lance L. Munn
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB20061A

Also included in the issue is a review on the role of regucalcin in brain calcium signalling and papers focussing on a method to calculate the change of network metabolites for different time points of transcriptomic datasets and the differential effects of a soluble or immobilized VEGFR-binding peptide.

Read the rest of the issue online here.

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Integrative Biology’s top cited papers from 2009 and 2010

To celebrate last month’s release of the 2011 Impact Factors, we are making some of our best content free to access.

The collection brings together the 20 top cited Integrative Biology papers from 2009 and 2010.

View the collection here.

All the articles are free to access for a limited time, following a simple registration for individual users.

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Lipids and Membrane Biophysics: Faraday Discussion 161

There’s still just time to submit a poster for Lipids and Membrane Biophysics: Faraday Discussion 161 – by the deadline date 13 July.

This Faraday Discussion will consider recent developments in the study of biomembrane structure, ordering and dynamics, with particular emphasis on the roles of lipids in these phenomena. Registration is quick and simple via our online booking system, so act today and benefit from early bird savings.

Why choose to come to a Faraday Discussion? They have a unique format – all papers are circulated in advance and all discussion contributions are recorded for publication in the abstract book after the event. You can also have your own poster space at the meeting, so submit yours now before the deadline of 13 July.

Come and discuss new experimental and theoretical findings and novel methodologies, as we focus on exploring the relevance of concepts from amphiphile self-assembly and soft matter physics to understanding biomembranes.

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Carbon nanotube sheets to control stem cell differentiation and in vivo thrombin detection on the cover of Issue 6

On the covers this issue we have articles from Tai Hyun Park et al and Quyen Nguyen et al.

Tai Hyun Park and colleagues have used multi-walled carbon nanotube sheets as a matrix to control the differentiation and direction of stem cell growth into neural cells.  The MWCNTs directed the growth pattern of axons, and could open up new avenues for tissue and stem cell regeneration with regenerative medicine applications.

Regulation of morphogenesis and neural differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells using carbon nanotube sheets
Jeong Ah Kim, Eui Yun Jang, Tae June Kang, Sungjun Yoon, Raquel Ovalle-Robles, Won Jong Rhee, Taewoo Kim, Ray H. Baughman, Yong Hyup Kim and Tai Hyun Park
Integr. Biol., 2012, 4, 587-594
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB20017A

Our other cover article is from Quyen Nguyen and team, which included Nobel Laureate Roger Tsein, who have developed an imaging probe which can be used in vivo to detect thrombin in plagues.  They hope that the sensitive probe could eventually be used clinically to detect and diagnose atherosclerosis non-invasively, in a similar way to tumour detection by MRI.

In vivo fluorescence imaging of atherosclerotic plaques with activatable cell-penetrating peptides targeting thrombin activity
Emilia S. Olson, Michael A. Whitney, Beth Friedman, Todd A. Aguilera, Jessica L. Crisp, Fred M. Baik, Tao Jiang, Stephen M. Baird, Sotirios Tsimikas, Roger Y. Tsien and Quyen T. Nguyen
Integr. Biol., 2012, 4, 595-605
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB00161F

Also in this issue we have HOT articles on understanding the ability of T-cells to stop at a site of infection and inducing cellular remodelling in mechanotransduction processes.

View the rest of the issue here!

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Struggling for acceptance? Top ten tips to get published

Ever wondered what makes a successful submission? A little preparation and some simple changes may make all the difference. Harp Minhas, Editor of Integrative Biology, shares his top ten tips for getting published:

1. Ensure your work has novelty and advances existing knowledge

  • This is the main criterion for publication in most journals

2. Provide a clear statement of novelty/impact

  • A lack of clarity about the relevance of your work could mean rejection

3. Provide a cover letter

  • The cover letter should include a summary of the work, a novelty statement (with possible implications or applications) and a statement of article type, e.g., review, paper, communication, etc.

4. Read and follow the Guidelines for Authors

  • Ensure your work is appropriate for the journal of your choice, sometimes the Guidelines for Authors are out of date so look at the journal content –  does it match your paper?

5. Perform a thorough literature search

  • References can tell Editors & Reviewers a lot about your knowledge of the field, make sure you have included all the relevant references to previously published works

6. Keep the language simple; short sentences

  • No matter what your native language is, short simple sentences help to maintain clarity and simplicity in explanation

7. Proof read before submission

  • Many small and minor errors are frustrating for reviewers as they read and assess your work, get a friend or colleague to read before submission

8. Write a clear, logical and concise story

  • The relevant sections of the paper should follow in a clear and logical manner, stick to the facts and do not over-claim the novelty/advances

9. On revision, address all the reviewer comments

  • Make sure you address ALL the reviewer comments, both in your responses and within the revised manuscript. It is OK to disagree with reviewers as long as you justify and explain why in your responses

10. If rejected, learn from the experience

  • Try to learn from negative publishing experiences, and try to improve for your next submission accordingly

The above list is not intended to give you all the information you will require to write papers, but may help set you upon the right path and could be helpful as a check list when preparing your work for submission to a journal. Many other factors are also important, for example, reading the Ethical Guidelines is essential if you are presenting experiments that involve animals; as is the declaration of in-press papers, if these are not declared up front, they will inevitably lead to delays in the publication of your work.

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Organs-in-chips and the role of metabolism in heat stress responses on the cover of Issue 5

Organs-on-chipsThe articles featured on the cover of this month’s issue are from Andries D. van der Meer and Albert van den Berg and Jenny Gu et al.

Andries D. van der Meer and Albert van den Berg have reviewed the current progress in realistic in vitro tissue models: organs-on-chips.  The review covers recent developments and looks to the future at how organs-on-chips can make an impact on biological research.

Organs-on-chips: breaking the in vitro impasse
Andries D. van der Meer and Albert van den Berg
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB00176D

On a completely different subject, Jenny Gu and colleagues have looked at the mechanism of metabolism response to chronic heat stress in seagrass.  Their study suggests that adaptive mechanisms are involved through metabolic pathways to dampen the impacts of heat stress.

Identifying core features of adaptive metabolic mechanisms for chronic heat stress attenuation contributing to systems robustness
Jenny Gu, Katrin Weber, Elisabeth Klemp, Gidon Winters, Susanne U. Franssen, Isabell Wienpahl, Ann-Kathrin Huylmans, Karsten Zecher, Thorsten B. H. Reusch, Erich Bornberg-Bauer and Andreas P. M. Weber
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB00109H

Also in this issue are several hot articles on laser ablation for studying the mechanical properties of cytoskeletons, modelling of in vitro cell-free translation and the antioxidant benefits of red wine.

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In vivo fluorescence imaging of atherosclerotic plaques

Quyen Nguyen and colleagues at the University of California have developed a probe that can be used to study thrombin activity in coagulation and atherosclerosis.

The probe was used in vivo to image atherosclerotic plaques in living mice. The fluorescent probe is based on an activatable cell penetrating peptide (ACPP) that incorporates a peptide sequence from the proteinase activated receptor 1. The probe is preferentially cleaved by thrombin (cleavage can be blocked using thrombin inhibitors), and this fluorescent cleavage product builds up at the site of atherosclerotic lesions. The fluorescence intensity varies depending on the severity of the plaque and the histologic grade of the aorta.

The probe was also used with human atheroma specimens ex vivo, and the retention of the fluorescent cleavage product was 63% higher than that found when using a control ACPP.

The team hope that probes like this could eventually be used to deliver MRI contrast agents to atherosclerotic plaques to enable non-invasive detection of conditions by magnetic resonance imaging.

In vivo fluorescence imaging of atherosclerotic plaques with activatable cell-penetrating peptides targeting thrombin activity
Emilia S. Olson, Michael A. Whitney, Beth Friedman, Todd A. Aguilera, Jessica L. Crisp, Fred M. Baik, Tao Jiang, Stephen M. Baird, Sotirios Tsimikas, Roger Y. Tsien and Quyen T. Nguyen
DOI: 10.1039/C2IB00161F

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