MMB Lab selects their top cancer-related articles

Don’t miss these Integrative Biology research articles

Microtechnology, Medicine and Biology Lab

The Microtechnology, Medicine and Biology Lab (MMB Lab, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA) is interested in applying the lab’s technologies to cancer.

Led by David J. Beebe, Editorial Board member for Integrative Biology, the team works across disciplines and disease boundaries to create solutions that can be translated into widespread use.

The lab has selected their top cancer-related articles published recently in Integrative Biology. Please see below what they say about each article – all free to access for the next 4 weeks!*


1) Human breast cancer invasion and aggression correlates with ECM stiffening and immune cell infiltration
I. Acerbi, L. Cassereau, I. Dean, Q. Shi, A. Au, C. Park, Y. Y. Chen, J. Liphardt, E. S. Hwang and V. M. Weaver

Mary Regier- This paper supports other articles pointing out the importance of microenvironmental factors including cell-cell interactions, cell-matrix interactions, and matrix mechanics and architecture and their intratumoral heterogeneity in breast cancer behavior and patient prognosis. Our selection highlights the variety of microenvironmental factors that influence cancer progression and spread.


2) Marker-free detection of progenitor cell differentiation by analysis of Brownian motion in micro-wells
F. Sekhavati, M. Endele, S. Rappl, A.-K. Marel, T. Schroeder and J. O. Rädler

Patrick Ingram- In this paper, the authors present a marker-free, high throughput, and single cell compatible method to monitor granulocyte-macrophage progenitor differentiation via the changes in Brownian motion as the cells differentiate into adherent macrophages. Though not investigated directly, these same methods can be further applied to monitor molecular binding events in living cells, allowing the high throughput study of membranes and surface receptors in heterogeneous cancer cell populations. Sekhavati et al. provide a compelling proof-of-concept that uses ubiquitous and accessible physics to readout underlying biological processes.


3) A cell-ECM screening method to predict breast cancer metastasis
L. E. Barnery, E. C. Dandley, L. E. Jansen, N. G. Reich, A. M. Mercurio and S. R. Peyton

José A. Jiménez-Torres- In this paper, the authors presented an in vitro biomaterial system to investigate the role of cancer-cell integrin binding to different ECM matrices inspired by in vivo secondary tissue targets of breast cancer metastasis. Their experiments highlight the heterogeneity of breast cancer and how this is an obstacle in the clinical success of integrin-targeted therapeutics.


4) Quantitative multivariate analysis of dynamic multicellular morphogenic trajectories
D. E. White, J. B. Sylvester, T. J. Levario, H. Lu, J. T. Streelman, T. C. McDevitt and M. L. Kemp

Brian Johnson- An interesting paper tackling a challenge problem; White et al. explore multi-cellular interactions in morphological development using a network analysis approach that enables the quantitative comparison of experimental data to computational modelling simulations. While the technique was applied to characterize emergent spatial phenotypic patterns found in developing tissues, these same principles could be used to tease apart and model the extensive spatial heterogeneity found in the tumour microenvironment of patient derived samples.



We hope you enjoy reading these articles as much as we did.

Integrative Biology publishes novel insights into biological questions, which have been achieved through the use of new technologies, techniques and methods. If your research scope fits that of the articles above, we would be very interested to hear more.

Please email us today, read more about our scope, or submit your article via our online submission portal.


*Access is free until 20/03/2016 through a registered RSC account
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Regulating with RNA in Bacteria and Archaea Conference

Conference sponsored by Integrative Biology

Many congratulations to Bridget Watson, Maya Shamir and Adrien Chauvier on their poster prize success at the Regulating with RNA in Bacteria and Archaea Conference, which took place from 5th-8th December 2015 in Cancun, Mexico.

This conference was the fourth in a series of extremely successful meetings exploring the latest findings regarding this important class of regulators.

The event was a premier forum for the presentation of cutting-edge advances and the latest perspectives in the areas of discovery, mechanism, structure and evolution of bacterial riboregulators. Sessions covered prominent and emerging roles of small RNAs in regulatory networks as well as their diverse mechanisms of action.

Integrative Biology was the proud sponsor of the poster prizes at this conference. The recipients received a books voucher and a Royal Society of Chemistry certificate.

The winner and runners-up were:

Winner: Bridget Watson (University of Otago, New Zealand)
Runners-up: Maya Shamir (Weizmann Institute, Isreal) & Adrien Chauvier (Université de Sherbrooke, Canada)

The picture shows Professor Gerhart Wagner (Uppsala University) handing the certificates and vouchers to the winners

The judges of the prizes thought the quality of the presentations and posters were really high and, from the Integrative Biology team, we would like to thank everyone that attended or presented at the meeting.

For more details on this event, please visit the conference website.

Many congratulations on this achievement from the Integrative Biology team

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A sound idea for treating lung disease

A Chemistry World article by Liisa Niitsoo

Scientists in Australia have made a portable device that gently vibrates stem cells with sound waves to turn them into an aerosol. The system could be an effective route for treating various pulmonary diseases.

Chan's device gently nebulises stem cells so they retain their viability after aerosolisation

Experts in microfluidics for bio-applications have praised the innovative idea. Ciprian Iliescu, at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore, describes this as a ‘breakthrough’ and ‘out of the box’ work. ‘Unlike a traditional aerosoliser which needs a nozzle, the design of the device is great as it is nozzle free, avoiding any blockage and contamination problems that are commonly encountered by a traditional aerosoliser,’ he adds. Praveen Vemula at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Bangalore, India, agrees that SAW nebulisation of cells ‘is a significant advance in inhaled cell delivery and generalisation of this platform technology to a wide range of cell types might lead to innovative ways to treat pulmonary diseases in the future’.

Read the full article in Chemistry World!

Read the original research paper in Integrative Biology for free*:

Assessment of the potential of a high frequency acoustomicrofluidic nebulisation platform for inhaled stem cell therapy
Layla Alhasan, Aisha Qi, Amgad R. Rezk, Leslie Y. Yeo and Peggy P. Y. Chan
Integr. Biol., 2016, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5IB00206K

*Access is free until 19/01/2016 through a registered RSC account

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Top 10 most accessed Integrative Biology articles in June 2015

In June 2015, our most downloaded Integrative Biology articles were:

Alexis J. Carulli, Linda C. Samuelson and Santiago Schnell
DOI: 10.1039/C3IB40163D

Miguel Coelho, Nicola Maghelli and Iva M. Tolic-Nørrelykke
DOI: 10.1039/C3IB40018B

Sudong Kim, Hyung Joon Kim and Noo Li Jeon
DOI: 10.1039/C0IB00055H

Chorom Pak, Natalie S. Callander, Edmond W. K. Young, Benjamin Titz, KyungMann Kim, Sandeep Saha, Kenny Chng, Fotis Asimakopoulos, David J. Beebe and Shigeki Miyamoto
DOI: 10.1039/C5IB00071H

Jennifer J. Linderman, Nicholas A. Cilfone, Elsje Pienaar, Chang Gong and Denise E. Kirschner
DOI: 10.1039/C4IB00295D

Etheresia Pretorius and Douglas B. Kell
DOI: 10.1039/C4IB00025K

Kyung-Jin Jang, Ali Poyan Mehr, Geraldine A. Hamilton, Lori A. McPartlin, Seyoon Chung, Kahp-Yang Suh and Donald E. Ingber
DOI: 10.1039/C3IB40049B

Elod Méhes and Tamás Vicsek
DOI: 10.1039/C4IB00115J

T. A. Banks, P. S. B. Luckman, J. E. Frith and J. J. Cooper-White
DOI: 10.1039/C4IB00297K

J. Bagnall, C. Boddington, J. Boyd, R. Brignall, W. Rowe, N. A. Jones, L. Schmidt, D. G. Spiller, M. R. H. White and P. Paszek
DOI: 10.1039/C5IB00067J

Interesting read? Let us know your thoughts below.

And remember, you can submit directly to Integrative Biology!

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It’s getting tense: researchers find new evidence about the nature of cell spreading

an article by Rebecca Muir (@rebeccalydiam), Research Assistant at Oxford University

Graphical abstract

Cell spreading increases with increasing tension tolerance

What are the mechanisms behind cell spreading? Chowdhury et al. decided to apply a multidisciplinary approach to this biophysical mystery.

Described in the last blog post on breast cancer mechanics, it’s clear that the extracellular matrix (ECM) is a dynamic and supportive microenvironment for cell. Cell specialisation includes flattening onto the ECM, and this is an important morphological step in determining the future of the cell’s proliferation and differentiation. If the process malfunctions, this could be the difference between life and death for the cell. The sensing mechanism behind the cell spreading and the importance of molecular tethering in the process, however, is not so clear. The researchers hypothesised that molecular tension drives cell spreading rather than molecular stiffness, a claim that has been difficult to validate because of the difficulty in decoupling these two phenomena.

Two of the researchers developed a method for defining the single molecular forces between the cell and the ECM, called the tension gauge tether. A tether such as DNA is attached to a ligand, which will join to a receptor within the cell membrane. If tension is too high, the tether will snap. This allowed the researchers to design TGTs with different tension tolerances and measure the consequential amount of cell spreading. Integrins are receptors that join the ECM outside a cell to the cytoskeleton inside the cell, and so were good candidates for measuring tension.

It was found that cell area increases in line with higher tension tolerances, and a similar amount of cell spreading was found across multiple different molecular stiffness surfaces.  This finding suggests that molecular stiffness has little influence over cell spreading, while molecular tension is key.


You can read the full paper for free* using the link below:

Single molecular force across single integrins dictates cell spreading
F. Chowdhury, I.T.S. Li, B.J. L. Doğanay, R. Singh, X. Wang, J. Seong, S. Lee, S. Park, N. Wang, T. Ha
Integr. Biol., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5IB00080G, Paper

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About the webwriter

Rebecca Muir is a research assistant in the Medical Sciences Division of Oxford University. Her research interests include cell biology, gender studies, philosophy of science, and mitochondrial disease. Rebecca was shortlisted for the Chemistry World’s Science Communication Competition 2015. She tweets at @rebeccalydiam and her personal website can be found on rebeccamuir.co.uk.

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*Access is free until 17/09/2015 through a registered RSC account.

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Global Engage to host 3 exciting Congresses in October 2015

Global Engage are pleased to announce a set of 3 co-located events,  attracting over 400 attendees and more than 50 poster presentations in 2014.


October 20 – 21 2015, London UK

Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow
140 Bath Road
Hayes
UB3 5AW
United Kingdom


Microfluidic Congress

Attracting experts working in microfluidic development and application, including point-of-care diagnostics, single cell analysis, lab-on-a-chip applications, droplet microfluidics and next generation microfluidics, the conference will examine the latest developments in the technologies and techniques being used for progressing medical research in areas such as disease monitoring, diagnostics, organ-on-a-chip and synthetic biology. The challenges and possibilities of microfluidics will also be examined.

Confirmed Speakers

Agenda

More information


Synthetic Biology Congress

Designed for experts working in genome engineering, technological developments, protein design, cell building, bio-manufacturing and gene editing, the Synthetic Biology Congress will examine the latest developments in these fields in both the healthcare and plant biology sectors. New to the conference will be the addition of a third stream, focusing on Investment, Start-Ups, Strategy and Bioethics, for those looking for investment opportunities and seeking to further exploit their research.

Confirmed Speakers

Agenda

More information


qPCR & Digital PCR Congress

Bringing together over 300 industry & academic experts working in areas such as molecular biology/diagnostics, gene expression, genomics, biomarkers, pathogen detection, GMO, mRNA, NGS, bioinformatics and data management, the congress will examine the latest developments, opportunities and applications of both dPCR and qPCR through case studies across diverse areas such as oncology, virology, infectious diseases, vaccines, prenatal diagnosis, clinical applications, microbiology, food microbiology, plant/ecology genomics and other novel applications.

Confirmed Speakers

Agenda

More information

We look forward to seeing you in London!

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The dynamics of breast cancer mechanics

an article by Rebecca Muir (@rebeccalydiam), Research Assistant at Oxford University

According to Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer in the third commonest type of cancer diagnosed and accounts for 15% of all female cancer deaths. A clear understanding of the biology behind this malignancy is urgently needed. With that in mind, researchers at the University of California San Francisco have unravelled the specific invasive properties of breast cancer tumours.

Acerbi et al. investigated the link between breast cancer tissue and the stiffness of the tissue scaffold, the extracellular matrix (ECM). In non-cancerous tissues, the ECM is integral for the maintenance of tissue structure and is a regulator of the dynamic communication between cells. Characteristically, the ECM is collagen-rich yet can take many forms depending on the need of the tissue because of its responsive nature. This active role of the ECM unfortunately presents the opportunity for deleterious remodelling. The researchers found that hallmarks of the tumour transformation include deposition of excessive collagen, elevated mechanosignalling and an association with a stiffened ECM at the invasive front of the tumour.

Compared to normal breast tissue, the collagen was progressively assembled into thicker fibres and linearised, causing stiffening of the ECM. Macrophages sent by the immune system release soluble factors that assist with the remodelling. The researchers correlated the influx of immune cells with the increase in SMAD signalling, a cascade which changes the gene expression of the tissue and is likely to be part of the molecular pathway behind the extra collagen production.

The core tissue of the tumour was less stiff than the invasive edge

The researchers identified that tumours caused by different breast cancer-associated mutations can have diverse ECM compositions, and even different regions of the same tumour can be biochemically distinct. This has important implications for the testing and imaging of breast cancer tumours and provides convincing evidence that the ECM is more complex in cancer pathology than previously thought.


You can read the full paper for free* using the link below:
Human breast cancer invasion and aggression correlates with ECM stiffening and immune cell infiltration
I. Acerbi, L. Cassereau, I. Dean, Q. Shi, A. Au, C. Park, Y. Y. Chen, J. Liphardt, E. S. Hwang and V. M. Weaver
Integr. Biol., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5IB00040H, Paper

—————-

About the webwriter

Rebecca Muir is a research assistant in the Medical Sciences Division of Oxford University. Her research interests include cell biology, gender studies, philosophy of science, and mitochondrial disease. Rebecca was shortlisted for the Chemistry World’s Science Communication Competition 2015. She tweets at @rebeccalydiam and her personal website can be found on rebeccamuir.co.uk.

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*Access is free until 16/08/2015  through a registered RSC account.

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Poster prize winner at BIO UT 2015

held on 27th June 2015

The 15th University of Tokyo Life Science Network Symposium BIO UT 2015 was held at the University of Tokyo, Japan, on June 27th, 2015. The symposium covered all aspects of life science from biotechnology, bioengineering, cell biology to bioinformatics, developmental biology and environmental biology.

Our journal Integrative Biology awarded a poster prize in BIO UT 2015, which included a certificate and a fantastic £50 RSC Book Voucher.

We are pleased to announced that the winner is:

Daniela Serien, University of Tokyo, Japan for her poster entitled

3D Proteinaceous Microstructures by Direct Laser Writing

from the left, Hiromitsu Urakami (RSC Japan), Daniela Serien (Integrative Biology poster prize winner), and Madoka Takai (University of Tokyo, Committee Chair)

Congratulations to Daniela!

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Poster prize winners at ISMM 2015

The ISMM (International Symposium on Microchemistry and Microsystems) is a series of symposia that started in Kanazawa, Japan in 2009. The 7th  ISMM was held at Kyoto University at Katsura, Japan during 8-10 June, 2015. The symposium mainly focused on separation science, microfluidic technologies, nano-bio devices, biomedicine, microsensors and micro-nano engineering.

Two poster prizes were awarded by Integrative Biology and Lab on a Chip in ISMM2015. The prizes included a certificate and £50 RSC Book Voucher.

We are pleased to announce that the winners are:

Sayuri Arai, Nayoga University, Japan (Integrative Biology prize)

Wojciech P. Bula, Tokyo University, Japan (Lab on a Chip prize)

Prof. Hideaki Hisamoto (very left), Wojciech P. Bula (third from left) and Sayuri Arai (very right) at ISMM 2015

The title of Sayuri Arai’s poster was ‘A single cell culture system for Cyanobacteria using magnetic force based cell patterning’ and Wojciech’s poster was entitled ‘Low-cost modular microfluidic platform based on 3D printing technology’. The prizes were awarded by  Prof. Hideaki Hisamoto of Osaka Prefecture University.

Congratulations to Sayuri and Wojciech!

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May’s HOT Article

Article of the month for May, recommended by our referees, is free* to access for a limited time only!


Human breast cancer invasion and aggression correlates with ECM stiffening and immune cell infiltration

I. Acerbi, L. Cassereau, I. Dean, Q. Shi, A. Au, C. Park, Y. Y. Chen, J. Liphardt, E. S. Hwang and V. M. Weaver
Integr. Biol., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5IB00040H

This article was part of our Mechanobiology themed collection!

*Access is free until 24.07.2015 through a publishing personal account. It’s quick, easy and free to register!

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