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AUTHOR Liu, Xue and Michael, Samuel and Bharti, Kapil and Ferrer, Marc and Song, Min Jae
Title A biofabricated vascularized skin model of atopic dermatitis for preclinical studies [Abstract]
Year 2020
Journal/Proceedings Biofabrication
Three-dimensional (3D) biofabrication techniques enable the production of multicellular tissue models as assay platforms for drug screening. The increased cellular and physiological complexity in these 3D tissue models should recapitulate the relevant biological environment found in the body. Here we describe the use of 3D bioprinting techniques to fabricate skin equivalent tissues of varying physiological complexity, including human epidermis, non-vascularized and vascularized full-thickness skin tissue equivalents, in a multi-well platform to enable drug screening. Human keratinocytes, fibroblasts, and pericytes, and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived endothelial cells were used in the biofabrication process to produce the varying complexity. The skin equivalents exhibit the correct structural markers of dermis and epidermis stratification, with physiological functions of the skin barrier. The robustness, versatility and reproducibility of the biofabrication techniques are further highlighted by the generation of atopic dermatitis (AD)-disease like tissues. These AD models demonstrate several clinical hallmarks of the disease, including: (i) spongiosis and hyperplasia; (ii) early and terminal expression of differentiation proteins; and (iii) increases in levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. We show the pre-clinical relevance of the biofabricated AD tissue models to correct disease phenotype by testing the effects of dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid, and three Janus Kinase inhibitors from clinical trials for AD. This study demonstrates the development of a versatile and reproducible bioprinting approach to create human skin equivalents with a range of cellular complexity for disease modelling. In addition, we establish several assay readouts that are quantifiable, robust, AD relevant, and can be scaled up for compound screening. The results show that the cellular complexity of the tissues develops a more physiologically relevant AD disease model. Thus, the skin models in this study offer an in vitro approach for the rapid understanding of pathological mechanisms, and testing for efficacy of action and toxic effects of drugs.
AUTHOR Dorjsuren, Dorjbal and Eastman, Richard T. and Song, Min Jae and Yasgar, Adam and Chen, Yuchi and Bharti, Kapil and Zakharov, Alexey V. and Jadhav, Ajit and Ferrer, Marc and Shi, Pei-Yong and Simeonov, Anton
Title A platform of assays for the discovery of anti-Zika small-molecules with activity in a 3D-bioprinted outer-blood-retina model [Abstract]
Year 2022
Journal/Proceedings PLOS ONE
The global health emergency posed by the outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV), an arthropod-borne flavivirus causing severe neonatal neurological conditions, has subsided, but there continues to be transmission of ZIKV in endemic regions. As such, there is still a medical need for discovering and developing therapeutical interventions against ZIKV. To identify small-molecule compounds that inhibit ZIKV disease and transmission, we screened multiple small-molecule collections, mostly derived from natural products, for their ability to inhibit wild-type ZIKV. As a primary high-throughput screen, we used a viral cytopathic effect (CPE) inhibition assay conducted in Vero cells that was optimized and miniaturized to a 1536-well format. Suitably active compounds identified from the primary screen were tested in a panel of orthogonal assays using recombinant Zika viruses, including a ZIKV Renilla luciferase reporter assay and a ZIKV mCherry reporter system. Compounds that were active in the wild-type ZIKV inhibition and ZIKV reporter assays were further evaluated for their inhibitory effects against other flaviviruses. Lastly, we demonstrated that wild-type ZIKV is able to infect a 3D-bioprinted outer-blood-retina barrier tissue model and disrupt its barrier function, as measured by electrical resistance. One of the identified compounds (3-Acetyl-13-deoxyphomenone, NCGC00380955) was able to prevent the pathological effects of the viral infection on this clinically relevant ZIKV infection model.