Medical Bionics - Research Publications

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    Platinum dissolution and tissue response following long-term electrical stimulation at high charge densities
    Shepherd, RK ; Carter, PM ; Dalrymple, AN ; Enke, YL ; Wise, AK ; Nguyen, T ; Firth, J ; Thompson, A ; Fallon, JB (IOP PUBLISHING LTD, 2021-04-01)
    Objective. Established guidelines for safe levels of electrical stimulation for neural prostheses are based on a limited range of the stimulus parameters used clinically. Recent studies have reported particulate platinum (Pt) associated with long-term clinical use of these devices, highlighting the need for more carefully defined safety limits. We previously reported no adverse effects of Pt corrosion products in the cochleae of guinea pigs following 4 weeks of electrical stimulation using charge densities far greater than the published safe limits for cochlear implants. The present study examines the histopathological effects of Pt within the cochlea following continuous stimulation at a charge density well above the defined safe limits for periods up to 6 months.Approach. Six cats were bilaterally implanted with Pt electrode arrays and unilaterally stimulated using charge balanced current pulses at a charge density of 267μC cm-2phase-1using a tripolar electrode configuration. Electrochemical measurements were made throughout the implant duration and evoked potentials recorded at the outset and on completion of the stimulation program. Cochleae were examined histologically for particulate Pt, tissue response, and auditory nerve survival; electrodes were examined for surface corrosion; and cochlea, brain, kidney, and liver tissue analysed for trace levels of Pt.Main results. Chronic stimulation resulted in both a significant increase in tissue response and particulate Pt within the tissue capsule surrounding the electrode array compared with implanted, unstimulated control cochleae. Importantly, there was no stimulus-induced loss of auditory neurons (ANs) or increase in evoked potential thresholds. Stimulated electrodes were significantly more corroded compared with unstimulated electrodes. Trace analysis revealed Pt in both stimulated and control cochleae although significantly greater levels were detected within stimulated cochleae. There was no evidence of Pt in brain or liver; however, trace levels of Pt were recorded in the kidneys of two animals. Finally, increased charge storage capacity and charge injection limit reflected the more extensive electrode corrosion associated with stimulated electrodes.Significance. Long-term electrical stimulation of Pt electrodes at a charge density well above existing safety limits and nearly an order of magnitude higher than levels used clinically, does not adversely affect the AN population or reduce neural function, despite a stimulus-induced tissue response and the accumulation of Pt corrosion product. The mechanism resulting in Pt within the unstimulated cochlea is unclear, while the level of Pt observed systemically following stimulation at these very high charge densities does not appear to be of clinical significance.
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    Pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of supraparticle-delivered neurotrophin 3 in the guinea pig cochlea
    Gunewardene, N ; Lam, P ; Ma, Y ; Caruso, F ; Wagstaff, S ; Richardson, RT ; Wise, AK (ELSEVIER, 2022-02-01)
    Hearing loss is the most prevalent sensory disorder affecting nearly half a billion people worldwide. Aside from devices to assist hearing, such as hearing aids and cochlear implants, a drug treatment for hearing loss has yet to be developed. The neurotrophin family of growth factors has long been established as a potential therapy, however delivery of these factors into the inner ear at therapeutic levels over a sustained period of time has remained a challenge restricting clinical translation. We previously demonstrated that direct delivery of exogenous neurotrophin-3 (NT3) in the guinea pig cochleae via a bolus injection was rapidly cleared from the inner ear, with almost complete elimination 3 days post-treatment. Here, we explored the potential of suprapaticles (SPs) for NT3 delivery to the inner ear to achieve sustained delivery over time. SPs are porous spheroid structures comprised of smaller colloidal silica nanoparticles that provide a platform for long-term controlled release of therapeutics. This study aimed to assess the pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of SP-delivered NT3. We used a radioactive tracer (iodine 125: 125I) to label the NT3 to determine the loading, retention and distribution of NT3 delivered via SPs. Gamma measurements taken from 125I NT3 loaded SPs revealed high drug loading (an average of 5.3 μg of NT3 loaded per SP weighing 50 μg) and elution capacities in vitro (67% cumulative release over one month). Whole cochlear gamma measurements from SP-implanted cochleae harvested at various time points revealed detection of 125I NT3 in the guinea pig cochlea after one month, with 3.6 and 10% of the loaded drug remaining in the intracochlear and round window-implanted cochleae respectively. Autoradiography analysis of cochlear micro-sections revealed widespread 125I NT3 distribution after intracochlear SP delivery, but more restricted distribution with the round window delivery approach. Collectively, drug delivery into the inner ear using SPs support sustained, long-term availability and release of neurotrophins in the inner ear.
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    Heterogeneity of Purkinje cell simple spike-complex spike interactions: zebrin- and non-zebrin-related variations
    Tang, T ; Xiao, J ; Suh, CY ; Burroughs, A ; Cerminara, NL ; Jia, L ; Marshall, SP ; Wise, AK ; Apps, R ; Sugihara, I ; Lang, EJ (WILEY, 2017-08-01)
    KEY POINTS: Cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) generate two types of action potentials, simple and complex spikes. Although they are generated by distinct mechanisms, interactions between the two spike types exist. Zebrin staining produces alternating positive and negative stripes of PCs across most of the cerebellar cortex. Thus, here we compared simple spike-complex spike interactions both within and across zebrin populations. Simple spike activity undergoes a complex modulation preceding and following a complex spike. The amplitudes of the pre- and post-complex spike modulation phases were correlated across PCs. On average, the modulation was larger for PCs in zebrin positive regions. Correlations between aspects of the complex spike waveform and simple spike activity were found, some of which varied between zebrin positive and negative PCs. The implications of the results are discussed with regard to hypotheses that complex spikes are triggered by rises in simple spike activity for either motor learning or homeostatic functions. ABSTRACT: Purkinje cells (PCs) generate two types of action potentials, called simple and complex spikes (SSs and CSs). We first investigated the CS-associated modulation of SS activity and its relationship to the zebrin status of the PC. The modulation pattern consisted of a pre-CS rise in SS activity, and then, following the CS, a pause, a rebound, and finally a late inhibition of SS activity for both zebrin positive (Z+) and negative (Z-) cells, though the amplitudes of the phases were larger in Z+ cells. Moreover, the amplitudes of the pre-CS rise with the late inhibitory phase of the modulation were correlated across PCs. In contrast, correlations between modulation phases across CSs of individual PCs were generally weak. Next, the relationship between CS spikelets and SS activity was investigated. The number of spikelets/CS correlated with the average SS firing rate only for Z+ cells. In contrast, correlations across CSs between spikelet numbers and the amplitudes of the SS modulation phases were generally weak. Division of spikelets into likely axonally propagated and non-propagated groups (based on their interspikelet interval) showed that the correlation of spikelet number with SS firing rate primarily reflected a relationship with non-propagated spikelets. In sum, the results show both zebrin-related and non-zebrin-related physiological heterogeneity in SS-CS interactions among PCs, which suggests that the cerebellar cortex is more functionally diverse than is assumed by standard theories of cerebellar function.
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    Viral-mediated transduction of auditory neurons with opsins for optical and hybrid activation
    Richardson, RT ; Thompson, AC ; Wise, AK ; Ajay, EA ; Gunewardene, N ; O'Leary, SJ ; Stoddart, PR ; Fallon, JB (NATURE RESEARCH, 2021-05-27)
    Optical stimulation is a paradigm-shifting approach to modulating neural activity that has the potential to overcome the issue of current spread that occurs with electrical stimulation by providing focused stimuli. But optical stimulation either requires high power infrared light or genetic modification of neurons to make them responsive to lower power visible light. This work examines optical activation of auditory neurons following optogenetic modification via AAV injection in two species (mouse and guinea pig). An Anc80 viral vector was used to express the channelrhodopsin variant ChR2-H134R fused to a fluorescent reporter gene under the control of the human synapsin-1 promoter. The AAV was administered directly to the cochlea (n = 33) or posterior semi-circular canal of C57BL/6 mice (n = 4) or to guinea pig cochleae (n = 6). Light (488 nm), electrical stimuli or the combination of these (hybrid stimulation) was delivered to the cochlea via a laser-coupled optical fibre and co-located platinum wire. Activation thresholds, spread of activation and stimulus interactions were obtained from multi-unit recordings from the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus of injected mice, as well as ChR2-H134R transgenic mice (n = 4). Expression of ChR2-H134R was examined by histology. In the mouse, transduction of auditory neurons by the Anc80 viral vector was most successful when injected at a neonatal age with up to 89% of neurons transduced. Auditory neuron transductions were not successful in guinea pigs. Inferior colliculus responses to optical stimuli were detected in a cochleotopic manner in all mice with ChR2-H134R expression. There was a significant correlation between lower activation thresholds in mice and higher proportions of transduced neurons. There was no difference in spread of activation between optical stimulation and electrical stimulation provided by the light/electrical delivery system used here (optical fibre with bonded 25 µm platinum/iridium wire). Hybrid stimulation, comprised of sub-threshold optical stimulation to 'prime' or raise the excitability of the neurons, lowered the threshold for electrical activation in most cases, but the impact on excitation width was more variable compared to transgenic mice. This study demonstrates the impact of opsin expression levels and expression pattern on optical and hybrid stimulation when considering optical or hybrid stimulation techniques for neuromodulation.
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    Percutaneous intrarenal transplantation of differentiated induced pluripotent stem cells into newborn mice.
    Lau, RWK ; Al-Rubaie, A ; Saini, S ; Wise, AF ; Ricardo, SD (Wiley, 2020-10)
    The in vivo engraftment of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived podocytes following allogeneic transplantation into host kidneys remains a challenge. Here we investigate the survival and engraftment of human dermal fibroblasts-derived differentiated iPSCs using a newborn mouse model, which represents a receptive immunoprivileged host environment. iPSCs were generated from skin biopsies of patients using Sendai virus reprogramming. Differentiation of nephrin (NPHS1)-green fluorescent protein (GFP) iPSCs into kidney podocytes (iPSC-PODs) was performed by the addition of Activin A, bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP7), and retinoic acid over 10 days of culture. To assess the in vivo incorporation of cells, undifferentiated iPSCs or day 10 iPSC-PODs, were labeled with either carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE) or Qdot nanocrystals (Q705). Thereafter, 1 × 105 differentiated iPSC-PODs were injected directly into the kidneys of mouse pups at postnatal day one (P1). Using co-expression analysis of glomerular and podocyte-specific markers, Day 10 differentiated iPSC-PODs that were positive for podocin, were detected following direct kidney injection into newborn mice up to 1 week after transplantation. Undifferentiated iPSC-PODs were not detected at the same timepoint. The transplanted cells were viable and located in the outer nephrogenic zone where they were found to colocalize with, or sit adjacent to, cells positive for glomerular-specific markers including podocin, synaptopodin, and Wilms' tumor 1 (WT1). This study provides proof-of-principle that transplanted iPSC-POD can survive in recipient newborn mouse kidneys due to the immature and immunoprivileged nature of the developing postnatal kidneys.
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    The Association of HMGB1 Gene with the Prognosis of HCC
    Xiao, J ; Ding, Y ; Huang, J ; Li, Q ; Liu, Y ; Ni, W ; Zhang, Y ; Zhu, Y ; Chen, L ; Chen, B ; Hoshida, Y (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2014-02-19)
    High-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) is an evolutionarily ancient and critical regulator of cell death and survival. HMGB1 is a chromatin-associated nuclear protein molecule that triggers extracellular damage. The expression of HMGB1 has been reported in many types of cancers, but the role of HMGB1 in hepato cellular carcinoma (HCC) is unknown.The aim of this study was to analyze the roles of HMGB1 in HCC progression using HCC clinical samples. We also investigated the clinical outcomes of HCC samples with a special focus on HMBG1 expression. In an immunohistochemical study conducted on 208 cases of HCC, HMGB1 had high expression in 134 cases(64.4%).The HMGB1 expression level did not correlate with any clinicopathological parameters, except alpha fetoprotein (AFP) (p = 0.041) and CLIP stage (p = 0.007). However, survival analysis showed that the group with HMBG1 overexpression had a significantly shorter overall survival time than the group with a down-regulated expression of HMBG1 (HR = 0.568, CI (0.398, 0.811), p = 0.002). Multivariate analysis showed that HMGB1 expression was a significant and independent prognostic parameter (HR = 0.562, CI (0.388, 0.815), p = 0.002) for HCC patients. The ability of proliferation, migration and invasion of HCC cells was suppressed with the disruption of endogenous HMGB1 using small interfering RNAs. On the other hand, the ability of proliferation, migration and invasion of HCC cells was strengthened when the expression endogenous HMGB1 was enhanced using HMGB1 DNA. HMGB1 expression may be a novel and independent predictor for the prognosis of HCC patients. The overexpression of HMGB1 in HCC could be a novel, effective, and supplementary biomarker for HCC, since it plays a vital role in the progression of HCC.
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    Integrated multi-omics framework of the plant response to jasmonic acid
    Zander, M ; Lewsey, MG ; Clark, NM ; Yin, L ; Bartlett, A ; Guzman, JPS ; Hann, E ; Langford, AE ; Jow, B ; Wise, A ; Nery, JR ; Chen, H ; Bar-Joseph, Z ; Walley, JW ; Solano, R ; Ecker, JR (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2020-03-01)
    Understanding the systems-level actions of transcriptional responses to hormones provides insight into how the genome is reprogrammed in response to environmental stimuli. Here, we investigated the signalling pathway of the hormone jasmonic acid (JA), which controls a plethora of critically important processes in plants and is orchestrated by the transcription factor MYC2 and its closest relatives in Arabidopsis thaliana. We generated an integrated framework of the response to JA, which spans from the activity of master and secondary regulatory transcription factors, through gene expression outputs and alternative splicing, to protein abundance changes, protein phosphorylation and chromatin remodelling. We integrated time-series transcriptome analysis with (phospho)proteomic data to reconstruct gene regulatory network models. These enabled us to predict previously unknown points of crosstalk of JA to other signalling pathways and to identify new components of the JA regulatory mechanism, which we validated through targeted mutant analysis. These results provide a comprehensive understanding of how a plant hormone remodels cellular functions and plant behaviour, the general principles of which provide a framework for analyses of cross-regulation between other hormone and stress signalling pathways.
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    Neurotrophin Gene Therapy for Sustained Neural Preservation after Deafness
    Atkinson, PJ ; Wise, AK ; Flynn, BO ; Nayagam, BA ; Hume, CR ; O'Leary, SJ ; Shepherd, RK ; Richardson, RT ; Kirchmair, R (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-12-17)
    The cochlear implant provides auditory cues to profoundly deaf patients by electrically stimulating the residual spiral ganglion neurons. These neurons, however, undergo progressive degeneration after hearing loss, marked initially by peripheral fibre retraction and ultimately culminating in cell death. This research aims to use gene therapy techniques to both hold and reverse this degeneration by providing a sustained and localised source of neurotrophins to the deafened cochlea. Adenoviral vectors containing green fluorescent protein, with or without neurotrophin-3 and brain derived neurotrophic factor, were injected into the lower basal turn of scala media of guinea pigs ototoxically deafened one week prior to intervention. This single injection resulted in localised and sustained gene expression, principally in the supporting cells within the organ of Corti. Guinea pigs treated with adenoviral neurotrophin-gene therapy had greater neuronal survival compared to contralateral non-treated cochleae when examined at 7 and 11 weeks post injection. Moreover; there was evidence of directed peripheral fibre regrowth towards cells expressing neurotrophin genes after both treatment periods. These data suggest that neurotrophin-gene therapy can provide sustained protection of spiral ganglion neurons and peripheral fibres after hearing loss.
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    Enhanced Auditory Neuron Survival Following Cell-Based BDNF Treatment in the Deaf Guinea Pig
    Pettingill, LN ; Wise, AK ; Geaney, MS ; Shepherd, RK ; Coleman, M (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2011-04-15)
    Exogenous neurotrophin delivery to the deaf cochlea can prevent deafness-induced auditory neuron degeneration, however, we have previously reported that these survival effects are rapidly lost if the treatment stops. In addition, there are concerns that current experimental techniques are not safe enough to be used clinically. Therefore, for such treatments to be clinically transferable, methods of neurotrophin treatment that are safe, biocompatible and can support long-term auditory neuron survival are necessary. Cell transplantation and gene transfer, combined with encapsulation technologies, have the potential to address these issues. This study investigated the survival-promoting effects of encapsulated BDNF over-expressing Schwann cells on auditory neurons in the deaf guinea pig. In comparison to control (empty) capsules, there was significantly greater auditory neuron survival following the cell-based BDNF treatment. Concurrent use of a cochlear implant is expected to result in even greater auditory neuron survival, and provide a clinically relevant method to support auditory neuron survival that may lead to improved speech perception and language outcomes for cochlear implant patients.
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    Hair Cell Regeneration after ATOH1 Gene Therapy in the Cochlea of Profoundly Deaf Adult Guinea Pigs
    Atkinson, PJ ; Wise, AK ; Flynn, BO ; Nayagam, BA ; Richardson, RT ; Riley, B (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2014-07-18)
    The degeneration of hair cells in the mammalian cochlea results in permanent sensorineural hearing loss. This study aimed to promote the regeneration of sensory hair cells in the mature cochlea and their reconnection with auditory neurons through the introduction of ATOH1, a transcription factor known to be necessary for hair cell development, and the introduction of neurotrophic factors. Adenoviral vectors containing ATOH1 alone, or with neurotrophin-3 and brain derived neurotrophic factor were injected into the lower basal scala media of guinea pig cochleae four days post ototoxic deafening. Guinea pigs treated with ATOH1 gene therapy, alone, had a significantly greater number of cells expressing hair cell markers compared to the contralateral non-treated cochlea when examined 3 weeks post-treatment. This increase, however, did not result in a commensurate improvement in hearing thresholds, nor was there an increase in synaptic ribbons, as measured by CtBP2 puncta after ATOH1 treatment alone, or when combined with neurotrophins. However, hair cell formation and synaptogenesis after co-treatment with ATOH1 and neurotrophic factors remain inconclusive as viral transduction was reduced due to the halving of viral titres when the samples were combined. Collectively, these data suggest that, whilst ATOH1 alone can drive non-sensory cells towards an immature sensory hair cell phenotype in the mature cochlea, this does not result in functional improvements after aminoglycoside-induced deafness.