Browsing by Author "Zheng, Yijun"
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- ItemElastomeric Optical Waveguides by Extrusion Printing(Weinheim : Wiley, 2022) Feng, Jun; Zheng, Yijun; Jiang, Qiyang; Włodarczyk‐Biegun, Małgorzata K.; Pearson, Samuel; del Campo, AránzazuAdvances in optogenetics and the increasing use of implantable devices for therapies and health monitoring are driving demand for compliant, biocompatible optical waveguides and scalable methods for their manufacture. Molding, thermal drawing, and dip-coating are the most prevalent approaches in recent literature. Here the authors demonstrate that extrusion printing at room temperature can be used for continuous fabrication of compliant optical waveguides with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) core and crosslinked Pluronic F127-diacrylate (Pluronic-DA) cladding. The optical fibers are printed from fluid precursor inks and stabilized by physical interactions and photoinitiated crosslinking in the Pluronic-DA. The printed fibers show optical loss values of 0.13–0.34 dB cm–1 in air and tissue within the wavelength range of 405–520 nm. The fibers have a Young's Modulus (Pluronic cladding) of 150 kPa and can be stretched to more than 5 times their length. The optical loss of the fibers shows little variation with extension. This work demonstrates how printing can simplify the fabrication of compliant and stretchable devices from materials approved for clinical use. These can be of interest for optogenetic or photopharmacology applications in extensible tissues, like muscles or heart.
- ItemLight-regulated growth from dynamic swollen substrates for making rough surfaces(Berlin : Springer Nature, 2020) Xue, Lulu; Xiong, Xinhong; Krishnan, Baiju P.; Puza, Fatih; Wang, Sheng; Zheng, Yijun; Cui, JiaxiNatural organic structures form via a growth mode in which nutrients are absorbed, transported, and integrated. In contrast, synthetic architectures are constructed through fundamentally different methods, such as assembling, molding, cutting, and printing. Here, we report a photoinduced strategy for regulating the localized growth of microstructures from the surface of a swollen dynamic substrate, by coupling photolysis, photopolymerization, and transesterification together. Photolysis is used to generate dissociable ionic groups to enhance the swelling ability that drives nutrient solutions containing polymerizable components into the irradiated region, photopolymerization converts polymerizable components into polymers, and transesterification incorporates newly formed polymers into the original network structure. Such light-regulated growth is spatially controllable and dose-dependent and allows fine modulation of the size, composition, and mechanical properties of the grown structures. We also demonstrate the application of this process in the preparation of microstructures on a surface and the restoration of large-scale surface damage.
- ItemMolecular stiffness cues of an interpenetrating network hydrogel for cell adhesion(Amsterdam : Elsevier, 2022) Li, Bin; Çolak, Arzu; Blass, Johanna; Han, Mitchell; Zhang, Jingnan; Zheng, Yijun; Jiang, Qiyang; Bennewitz, Roland; del Campo, AránzazuUnderstanding cells' response to the macroscopic and nanoscale properties of biomaterials requires studies in model systems with the possibility to tailor their mechanical properties and different length scales. Here, we describe an interpenetrating network (IPN) design based on a stiff PEGDA host network interlaced within a soft 4-arm PEG-Maleimide/thiol (guest) network. We quantify the nano- and bulk mechanical behavior of the IPN and the single network hydrogels by single-molecule force spectroscopy and rheological measurements. The IPN presents different mechanical cues at the molecular scale, depending on which network is linked to the probe, but the same mechanical properties at the macroscopic length scale as the individual host network. Cells attached to the interpenetrating (guest) network of the IPN or to the single network (SN) PEGDA hydrogel modified with RGD adhesive ligands showed comparable attachment and spreading areas, but cells attached to the guest network of the IPN, with lower molecular stiffness, showed a larger number and size of focal adhesion complexes and a higher concentration of the Hippo pathway effector Yes-associated protein (YAP) than cells linked to the PEGDA single network. The observations indicate that cell adhesion to the IPN hydrogel through the network with lower molecular stiffness proceeds effectively as if a higher ligand density is offered. We claim that IPNs can be used to decipher how changes in ECM design and connectivity at the local scale affect the fate of cells cultured on biomaterials.
- ItemOptoregulated force application to cellular receptors using molecular motors(London : Nature Publishing Group, 2021) Zheng, Yijun; Han, Mitchell K.L.; Zhao, Renping; Blass, Johanna; Zhang, Jingnan; Zhou, Dennis W.; Colard-Itté, Jean-Rémy; Dattler, Damien; Çolak, Arzu; Hoth, Markus; García, Andrés J.; Qu, Bin; Bennewitz, Roland; Giuseppone, Nicolas; del Campo, AránzazuProgress in our understanding of mechanotransduction events requires noninvasive methods for the manipulation of forces at molecular scale in physiological environments. Inspired by cellular mechanisms for force application (i.e. motor proteins pulling on cytoskeletal fibers), we present a unique molecular machine that can apply forces at cell-matrix and cell-cell junctions using light as an energy source. The key actuator is a light-driven rotatory molecular motor linked to polymer chains, which is intercalated between a membrane receptor and an engineered biointerface. The light-driven actuation of the molecular motor is converted in mechanical twisting of the entangled polymer chains, which will in turn effectively “pull” on engaged cell membrane receptors (e.g., integrins, T cell receptors) within the illuminated area. Applied forces have physiologically-relevant magnitude and occur at time scales within the relevant ranges for mechanotransduction at cell-friendly exposure conditions, as demonstrated in force-dependent focal adhesion maturation and T cell activation experiments. Our results reveal the potential of nanomotors for the manipulation of living cells at the molecular scale and demonstrate a functionality which at the moment cannot be achieved by other technologies for force application.
- ItemPrinted Degradable Optical Waveguides for Guiding Light into Tissue(Weinheim : Wiley-VCH, 2020) Feng, Jun; Zheng, Yijun; Bhusari, Shardul; Villiou, Maria; Pearson, Samuel; del Campo, AránzazuOptogenetics and photonic technologies are changing the future of medicine. To implement light‐based therapies in the clinic, patient‐friendly devices that can deliver light inside the body while offering tunable properties and compatibility with soft tissues are needed. Here extrusion printing of degradable, hydrogel‐based optical waveguides with optical losses as low as 0.1 dB cm−1 at visible wavelengths is described. Core‐only and core‐cladding fibers are printed at room temperature from polyethylene glycol (PEG)‐based and PEG/Pluronic precursors, and cured by in situ photopolymerization. The obtained waveguides are flexible, with mechanical properties tunable within a tissue‐compatible range. Degradation times are also tunable by adjusting the molar mass of the diacrylate gel precursors, which are synthesized by linking PEG diacrylate (PEGDA) with varying proportions of DL‐dithiothreitol (DTT). The printed waveguides are used to activate photochemical and optogenetic processes in close‐to‐physiological environments. Light‐triggered migration of cells in a photoresponsive 3D hydrogel and drug release from an optogenetically‐engineered living material by delivering light across >5 cm of muscle tissue are demonstrated. These results quantify the in vitro performance, and reflect the potential of the printed degradable fibers for in vivo and clinical applications.