Bachelor of Science, Soongsil University Seoul (2011)
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Missouri Kansas City (2016)
Paul George, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Exogenous human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) are promising stroke therapeutics, but optimal delivery conditions and exact recovery mechanisms remain elusive. To further elucidate repair processes and improve stroke outcomes, we developed an electrically conductive, polymer scaffold for hNPC delivery. Electrical stimulation of hNPCs alters their transcriptome including changes to the VEGF-A pathway and genes involved in cell survival, inflammatory response, and synaptic remodeling. In our experiments, exogenous hNPCs were electrically stimulated (electrically preconditioned) via the scaffold 1 day prior to implantation. After in vitro stimulation, hNPCs on the scaffold are transplanted intracranially in a distal middle cerebral artery occlusion rat model. Electrically preconditioned hNPCs improved functional outcomes compared to unstimulated hNPCs or hNPCs where VEGF-A was blocked during in vitro electrical preconditioning. The ability to manipulate hNPCs via a conductive scaffold creates a new approach to optimize stem cell-based therapy and determine which factors (such as VEGF-A) are essential for stroke recovery.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2017.07.020
View details for PubMedID 28719819
Thiolated-graphene quantum dots (SH-GQDs) were developed and assessed for an efficient preventive means against atherosclerosis and potential toxicity through computational image analysis and animal model studies.Zebrafish (wild-type, wt) were used for evaluation of toxicity through the assessment of embryonic mortality, malformation and ROS generation. The amounts of SH-GQDs uptaken by mouse macrophage cells (Raw264.7) were analyzed using a flow cytometer. For the time-dependent cellular uptake study, Raw264.7 cells were treated with SH-GQDs (200 μg/ml) at specific time intervals (0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10 and 24 h). The efficacy of SH-GQDs on DiO-oxLDL efflux by Raw264.7 cells was evaluated (DiO, 3,3'-dioctadecyl-oxacarbocyanine) based on the percentage of positive cells containing DiO-oxLDL. TEER of human primary umbilical vein endothelial cells (hUVECs) were examined to assess the barrier function of the cell layers upon being treated with oxLDL.SH-GQDs significantly enhanced the efflux of oxLDL and down-regulated macrophage scavenger receptor (MSR) in Raw264.7. The ROS levels stimulated by oxidative stress were alleviated by SH-GQDs. oxLDL (10 μg/ml) significantly impaired the barrier function (TEER) of adherence junctions, which was recovered by SH-GQDs (10 μg/ml) (oxLDL: 67.2 ± 2.2 Ω-cm(2) for 24 h; SH-GQDs: 114.6 ± 8.5 Ω-cm(2) for 24 h). The mortality rate (46% for 1 mg/ml) of the zebra fish increased, as the concentrations and exposure duration of SH-GQDs increased. SH-GQDs exerted negligible side effects.SH-GQDs have target specificity to macrophage scavenger receptor (MSR) and efficiently recovered the ROS levels and TEER. SH-GQDs did not induce endothelial cell layer disruption nor affected zebrafish larvae survival.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11095-017-2211-6
View details for PubMedID 28653157
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11095-016-2000-7
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11051-016-3449-3
This study was aimed to develop a hydrogel-nanofiber as an advanced carrier for adipose derived human mesenchymal stem cells (AD-MSCs) and evaluate its potential for immunomodulatory therapies applicable to surface coating of drug eluting stent (DES) against coronary artery diseases (CAD).A mixture of dispersing-nanofibers (dNFs) and poly (ethylene glycol)-diacrylate (PEGDA) were blended with sodium alginate to achieve robust mechanical strength. The effects of stem cell niche on cell viability and proliferation rates were evaluated using LDH assay and alamar blue assay, respectively. The amount of Nile-red microparticles (NR-MPs) remained in the hydrogel scaffolds was examined as an index for the physical strength of hydrogels. To evaluate the immunomodulatory activity of AD-MSCs as well as their influence by ROS, the level of L-Kynurenine was determined as tryptophan replacement compounds in parallel with IDO secreted from AD-MSCs using a colorimetric assay of L-amino acid.Both SA-cys-PEG and SA-cys-dNF-PEG upon being coated on stents using electrophoretic deposition technique displayed superior mechanical properties against the perfused flow. d-NFs had a significant impact on the stability of SA-cys-dNF-PEG, as evidenced by the substantial amount of NR-MPs remained in them. An enhanced subcellular level of ROS by spheroidal cluster yielded the high concentrations of L-Kynurenine (1.67 ± 0.6 μM without H2O2, 5.2 ± 1.14 μM with 50 μM of H2O2 and 8.8 ± 0.51 μM with 100 μM of H2O2), supporting the IDO-mediated tryptophan replacement process.The "mud-and-straw" hydrogels are robust in mechanical property and can serve as an ideal niche for AD-MSCs with immunomodulatory effects.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11095-015-1698-y
View details for Web of Science ID 000361720700008
View details for PubMedID 25911596
This study was aimed to develop and evaluate a smart nanosystem that targeted photothermal ablation of inflammatory macrophages in atherosclerotic plaque. Mannosylated-reduced graphene oxide (Man-rGO) was synthesized using three step procedures: (1) preparation of ox-GOs, (2) microwave-assisted synthesis of PEI-rGOs, and (3) mannosylation of PEI-rGO using reductive amination reaction (Man-rGOs). The ζ-potential of Man-rGO that signifies electrophoretic mobility of the charged surface was examined using Zetasizer Nano ZS. The effects of Man-rGO on the cell viability was evaluated using LDH assay and AlamarBlue assay. The targeting efficacy of Man-rGO was assessed using the cellular uptake rate by M2-polarized (i.e., which is induced by IL-4) macrophage. The effects of NOMela loaded in Man-rGO on the enhancement of phagocytosis were evaluated by examining the phagocytic clearance rate of zymosan-FITC particles. The microwave-assisted reduction of GOs was adapted for a facile synthesis of polyethylenimine-reduced GO (PEI-rGO). The mannose functionalization (Man-rGO) of PEI-rGO produced a greater number of amide linkages formed by reductive amination reaction between PEI-rGO and mannose. The ζ-potential of PEI-rGO was +30.6 ± 3.3 mV, whereas that of Man-rGO was down to +13.1 ± 3.8 mV upon interaction with mannose mainly due to the conjugation of mannose on the PEI-rGO surface. Near-infrared (NIR) irradiation increased the temperature of Man-rGO solution to around 45 °C, suggesting that Man-rGO is more potent than ox-GO or rGO in photothermal ablation activity triggered by NIR laser irradiation (808 nm). All testing formulations at the concentrations up to 10 μg/mL exerted less than 10% of membrane disintegration. For AlamarBlue study, more than 90% of cell viability were maintained at the concentrations (up to 10 μg/mL) of all tested formulations. The fluorescent microscopy images of cells after 1 h incubation demonstrated that Man-rGO were mainly accumulated at the subcellular level where the mannose receptors were overexpressed. The cell viability of macrophages significantly decreased upon exposure to Man-rGO irradiated with NIR, but no changes were observed from that of mast cells (for mast cells, 98.3 ± 0.3%; for macrophages, 67.8 ± 1.3%, p < 0.01), indicating that Man-rGO achieved enhanced targetability toward mannose receptor mediated cellular uptake. N-Nitrosomelatonin (NOMela) loaded in macrophage exerted enhanced phagocytic activity. It was concluded that the enhanced photothermal ablation activity of Man-rGO triggered by NIR laser irradiation was mediated through their targetability toward overexpressed mannose receptor, a marker of M2-phenotype of macrophage. The results of this study supported that Man-rGO can serve as an efficient platform for the targeted therapy against atherosclerosis.
View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.5b00181
View details for Web of Science ID 000361086800013
View details for PubMedID 26161461
The nanofiber-hydrogel blend containing nitric oxide (NO) donors and reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavengers (Edaravone: EDV) was explored as an advanced strategy for stabilization of Mast cells (MCs) to achieve efficient immune-suppressive effects.Three types of nanofiber hydrogel composites (Bare-Nanofibers (BNF), Nanofiber-Hydrogels (NF-Gel) and Cross-linked Nanofiber-Hydrogels (NF-Gel-X)), were evaluated. The degranulation rates of MCs were determined by measurement of the extracellular levels of hydrogen peroxide and the released amounts of β-hexosaminidase from the activated-MCs (a-MCs). In addition, the effects of EDV on the selective scavenging of the oxygen radicals and prevention of peroxynitrite formation were evaluated. The roles of a-MCs in re-endothelialization and viability of coronary artery endothelial cells (hPCAECs) were defined using alamar blue and LDH assay, respectively.Each polymer matrix has unique morphological characteristics. The effects of EDV (~1.0 mM) on the production of NO were greatly influenced by the presence of superoxide or hydroxyl radicals. NF-G-X containing a mixture of EDV and S-Nitroglutathione (GSNO) produced the highest level of NO under the oxidative stress conditions. GSNO alone or a mixture of GSNO and EDV significantly lowered the degranulation rate of a-MCs (GSNO only: 55.8 ± 5.4%; GSNO with EDV: 50.6 ± 0.6%), indicating that NO plays an integral role in degranulation of a-MCs. There were no significant biochemical evidences of cytotoxic effects of GSNO and EDV on the hPCAECs.Nanofibers containing a mixture of nitric oxide donors and ROS scavengers could be used as a promising strategy to stabilize MCs from the ROS-mediated immune responses.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11095-014-1341-3
View details for Web of Science ID 000343133900020
View details for PubMedID 24664448
Nanofiber was explored as a stent surface coating substance for the treatment of coronary artery diseases (CAD). Nanofibers loaded with nanoparticles containing β-estradiol were developed and exploited to prevent stent-induced restenosis through regulation of the reactive oxygen species (ROS). Eudragit S-100 (ES), a versatile polymer, was used as a nanoparticle (NP) base, and the mixtures of hexafluoro-2-propanol (HFIP), PLGA and PLA at varying ratios were used as a nanofiber base. β-Estradiol was used as a primary compound to alleviate the ROS activity at the subcellular level. Nile-Red was used as a visual marker. Stent was coated with nanofibers produced by electrospinning technique comprising the two-step process. Eudragit nanoparticles (ES-NP) as well as 4 modified types of NP-W (ES-NP were dispersed in H2O, which was mixed with HFIP (1:1 (v/v) and then subsequently added with 15% PLGA), NP-HW (ES-NP were dispersed in H2O, which was mixed with HFIP (1:1 (v/v)) already containing 15% PLGA), NP-CHA (ES-NP with a chitosan layer were added in H2O, which was mixed with HFIP (1:1 (v/v)) containing 15% PLGA), and NP-CHB (ES-NP with a chitosan layer were added in H2O, which was mixed with HFIP (1:1 (v/v)) containing the mixture of PLGA and PLA at a ratio of 4:1) were developed, and their properties, such as the loading capacity of β-estradiol, the release profiles of β-estradiol, cell cytotoxicity and antioxidant responses to ROS, were characterized and compared. Among composite nanofibers loaded with nanoparticles, NP-CHB had the maximal yield and drug-loading amount of 66.5 ± 3.7% and 147.9 ± 10.1 μg, respectively. The nanofibers of NP-CHB coated on metallic mandrel offered the most sustained release profile of β-estradiol. In the confocal microscopy study, NP-W exhibited a low fluorescent intensity of Nile-Red as compared with NP-HW, indicating that the stability of nanoparticles decreased, as the percentage volume of the organic solvent increased. Nanofibers incorporated with β-estradiol yielded a high endothelial proliferation rate, which was about 3-fold greater than the control (without β-estradiol). The cells treated with the enhanced level of H2O2 (>1 mM: as ROS source) were mostly nonviable (81.1 ± 12.4%, p < 0.01), indicating that ROS induce cell apoptosis and trigger the rupture of atheroma thin layer in a concentration dependent manner. Nanofibers containing β-estradiol (0.5 mM) lowered cellular cytotoxicity from 25.2 ± 4.9% to 8.1 ± 1.4% in the presence of 600 μM H2O2, and from 86.8 ± 8.4% to 59.4 ± 8.7% in the presence of 1.0 mM H2O2, suggesting that β-estradiol efficiently protected hPCECs from ROS induced cytotoxicity. The level of NO production in hPCECs in the presence of β-estradiol after 6 days of incubation was much greater than that of the control without β-estradiol. In summary, nanofibers loaded with nanoparticles containing β-estradiol could be used as a suitable platform for the surface coating of a cardiovascular stent, achieving enhanced endothelialization at the implanted sites of blood vessels.
View details for DOI 10.1021/mp400231p
View details for Web of Science ID 000327831500004
View details for PubMedID 24050259
Organ/tissue replacement therapy is inherently difficult for application in the tissue engineering field due to immune rejection that limits the long-term efficacy of implanted devices. As the application of tissue engineering in the biomedical field has steadily expanded, stem cells have emerged as a viable option to promote the immune acceptance of implantable devices and to expedite alleviation of the pathological conditions. With various novel scaffolds being introduced, nanofibers which have a three-dimensional architecture can be considered as an efficient carrier for stem cells.This article reviews the novel tissue engineering processes involved with nanofiber and stem cells. Topics such as the fabrication of nanofiber via electrospinning techniques, the interaction between nanofiber scaffold and specific cell and advanced techniques to enhance the stability of stem cells are delineated in detail. In addition, cardiovascular applications of nanofiber scaffolds loaded with stem cells are examined from a clinical perspective.Electrospun nanofibers have been intensively explored as a tool for the architecture control of cardiovascular tissue engineering due to their tunable physicochemical properties. The modification of nanofiber with biological cues, which provide rapid differentiation of stem cells into a specific lineage and protect stem cells under the harsh conditions (i.e., hypoxia), will significantly enhance therapeutic efficacies of transplanted cells. A combination of nanofiber carriers and stem cell therapy for tissue regeneration seems to pose enormous potential for the treatment of cardiac diseases including atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction.
View details for DOI 10.1517/17425247.2013.830608
View details for Web of Science ID 000326042900008
View details for PubMedID 24066881