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Archive - Sep 14, 2015

Utilizing the Technical Advantages of Hollow-Fiber Bioreactor Technology for the Continuous Production of Exosomes (by William Whitford, John W. Ludlow, Ph.D., and John J.S. Cadwell)

[BQ Editor’s Note: This article is reproduced here in its entirety with the express permission of the original publisher Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN). The GEN publication date was September 15, 2015. A Figure and two tables have been removed and readers should refer to the original GEN article to review the details of these graphic elements, The GEN artricle can be found at the following link:] Interest in exosomes has grown of late, particularly because these sub-cellular vesicles have been seen to take part in functional interactions with antigen-presenting cells, and in the modulation of the immune response in vivo. For example, tumor exosomes are thought to participate in metastasis of tumor cells, seeding tumor-draining lymph nodes prior to tumor cell migration, and increasing their motility. These nanovesicles have already proven themselves as having such therapeutic potential as the repair of cardiac tissue after heart attack, which had been axiomatically unheard prevoiously in the annals of cardiology. Clinical trials for many indications, such as using dendritic cell-derived exosomes to facilitate immune response to cancers, are now underway. As their content is a fingerprint of the type and status of the cell generating them, the prognostic potential of exosomes as biomarkers, including biomarkers that could be used to predict cell therapy outcome, is being explored. Current work on exosome manufacturing involves their regulatory-compliant generation in an appropriate cell line and separation from such process-related contaminants as other extracellular vesicles.

BioQuick Publisher Discusses Clinical Adoption of LC-MS/MS at JASIS 2015 Analytical Instrument Conference in Japan, Largest Such Meeting in Asia and Perhaps in World; Record 25,000 Attend This Year’s Three-Day Meeting Just Outside Tokyo

BioQuick Editor & Publisher Michael D. O’Neill had the distinct honor of being asked to give a presentation at this year’s Japan Analytical Scientific Instruments Show (JASIS 2015), held September 2 though September 4, in Chiba, Japan, a city located just outside Tokyo. Unbeknownst to many, this annual analytical instruments show is by far the largest held in Asia, and it is perhaps now the largest held in the world, as Pittcon, a U.S.-based conference that once held that status has had somewhat diminished attendance in recent years. Estimates of this year’s JASIS attendace were on the order of 25,000, the largest ever. There were an estimated 500 exhibitors and approximately 1,500 booths. The many exhibitors included Shimadzu, ThermoFisher Scientific, Agilent Technologies, Bruker, Perkin-Elmer Japan, Hitachi High-Tech Science Corporation, JEOL Ltd., Sciex, and Merck, among many others. Some 360 topics in New Technology were presented by exhibitors and approximately 50 conferences were conducted by academic and research organizations. The conference was jointly organized by the Japan Analytical Instruments Manufacturers’ Association and the Japan Scientific Instruments Association. Leaders of these two organizations are Gon-emon Kurihara, President, Japan Analytical Instruments Manufacturers’ Association, President and Representative Director, JEOL, Ltd.; and Hideto Yazawa, Chairman, Japan Scientific Instruments Association, Chairman, Dalton Co., Ltd. As an eye-witness to this incredibly well-organized event, I can only say “hats off” to these leaders who really made the incredible happen. Interestingly, to this first-time visitor to Japan, almost all the conference presentations were delivered in Japanese, with just a few, like mine, delivered in English and simultaneously translated into Japanese over headsets.

Rutgers Scientists Combine Several Capabilities for First Time in Device Called “ELISA-on-a-Chip;” Predicted to Slice Cost of Lab Tests for Wide Range of Disorders, Including HIV, Lyme Disease, and Syphilis; Requires 90% Less Fluid Than Current Tests

Rutgers engineers have developed a breakthrough device that can significantly reduce the cost of sophisticated lab tests for medical disorders and diseases, such as HIV, Lyme disease, and syphilis. The new device uses miniaturized channels and valves to replace "benchtop" assays - tests that require large samples of blood or other fluids and expensive chemicals that lab technicians manually mix in trays of tubes or plastic plates with cup-like depressions. "The main advantage is cost - these assays are done in labs and clinics everywhere," said Dr. Mehdi Ghodbane, who earned his doctorate in biomedical engineering at Rutgers and now works in biopharmaceutical research and development at GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Ghodbane and six Rutgers researchers first published their results online on June 23, 2015 in the Royal Society of Chemistry's journal, Lab on a Chip. The article is titled “Development and Validation of a Microfluidic Immunoassay Capable of Multiplexing Parallel Samples in Miicroliter Volumes.” The lab-on-chip device, which employs microfluidics technology, along with making tests more affordable for patients and researchers, opens doors for new research because of its capability to perform complex analyses using 90 percent less sample fluid than needed in conventional tests. "A great deal of research has been hindered because in many cases one is not able to extract enough fluid," Ghodbane said. The Rutgers breakthrough also requires one-tenth of the chemicals used in a conventional multiplex immunoassay, which can cost as much as $1500. Additionally, the device automates much of the skilled labor involved in performing tests. "The results are as sensitive and accurate as the standard benchtop assay," said Dr.

Hitachi Announces System for Exosome Collection Leading to mRNA Purification

On Septemeber 1, 2015, Hitachi Chemical Diagnostics, Inc. announced the availability of the ExoComplete™ 96-Well Plate Kit and ExoComplete™ Tube Kit, an integrated, fast, and easy system for exosome collection to mRNA purification. Both products are intended for research use only of molecular biology applications and are neither intended for the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of a disease, nor has either been validated for such use either alone or in combination with other products. The ExoComplete™ system isolates exosomal mRNA from biological samples such as plasma in a 96-well filter plate format(1), or large-volume samples such as urine in a single collection tube format(2). Exosomes and microvesicles (EMVs) in body fluids are captured with Hitachi Chemical's Exosome Isolation Plate or Exosome Collection Tube with a proprietary filter material. The highly porous material allows fast filtration of biological samples without clogging, and reproducible isolation of EMVs without the use of conventional ultracentrifugation. After lysing the captured EMVs, mRNA can be isolated through hybridization with single-strand oligo (dT) immobilized in the wells of the 96-well mRNA Capture Plate. A wide variety of downstream applications become available following isolation of mRNA, including mRNA quantification, single and double-stranded cDNA synthesis, RT-PCR, real time quantitative RT-PCR (qPCR), and next-generation RNA sequencing. Hitachi Chemical Diagnostics, Inc., a division of Hitachi Chemical Company America, Ltd., Cupertino, California is headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley in Mountain View, California, and is a global leader of multiplex in vitro allergy diagnostics. The company works with industry leaders, laboratories, and distributors in more than 40 countries.

Pecking Order in Monk Parakeets Appears to be Determined by Cognitive Reasoning After Watching Bouts Between Other Monk Parakeets

A study of aggression in monk parakeets suggests that where they stand in the pecking order is a function of the bird's carefully calibrated perceptions of the rank of their fellow-feathered friends. Newly formed groups of monk parakeets do not show evidence that they perceive rank, yet an awareness of it emerges quickly, after about a week of interactions, which is when individuals direct aggression more frequently against those nearby in rank rather than with lower-ranked birds. But how do the birds infer rank - their own and the rank of those in the rest of the flock - and then act upon it? "Parakeets appear to be able to connect the dots in their groups, remembering chains of aggression, so if A fights B, then watches how B fights C and how C fights D and how D fights E, then A will use this knowledge to adjust how it interacts with E based on all of the fights in between," said the study's lead author Dr. Elizabeth Hobson, a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis in the USA. The study published on September 10, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS Computational Biology sheds new light on how socially complex animal societies evolve and how dominance hierarchies are established. The article is titled “Social Feedback and the Emergence of Rank in Animal Society."A socially and cognitively complex species, monk parakeets inhabit a social structure organized by dominance hierarchies, such that each animal is ranked as dominant over animals below it and submissive to those above it in the hierarchy. Aggressive encounters usually drive rankings, and a higher rank, of course, often means better foraging opportunities and greater chances of reproductive success.