Chi-Ju Kim, Dong Yeob Ki,  Juhee Park, Vijaya Sunkara, Tae-Hyeong Kim, YooHong Min and Yoon-Kyoung Cho*

Herein, we describe a fully automated lab-on-a-disc-based method of platelet isolation from a small volume of blood (<1 mL). This method provides higher yields (>4 folds) and purity (>99%) and lower platelet activation than the conventional method. Moreover, it was also superior in the detection of platelet-related RNAs CD41, PF4, and P2Y12 due to lower contamination with white blood cells.

 Yang-Seok Park†, Junyoung Kim†, Jung Min Oh, Seungyoung Park, Seungse Cho, Hyunhyub Ko, Yoon-Kyoung Cho*

Herein, we report on a direct-write 3D NFES technique to construct self-aligned, template-free, 3D stacked nanoarchitectures by simply adding salt to the polymer solution. Numerical simulations suggested that the electric field could be tuned to achieve self-aligned nanofibers by adjusting the conductivity of the polymer solution. We demonstrate the 3D printing of nanoskyscrapers with various designs, such as curved “nanowall arrays”, nano “jungle gyms,” and “nanobridges”. Further, we present an application of the 3D stacked nanofiber arrays by preparing transparent and flexible polydimethylsiloxane films embedded with Ag-sputtered nanowalls as 3D nanoelectrodes. The conductivity of the nanoelectrodes can be precisely tuned by adjusting the number of 3D printed layers, without sacrificing transmittance. The current NFES approach provides a simple, reliable route to build 3D stacked nanoarchitectures with high-aspect ratios for potential applications in smart materials, energy devices, and biomedical applications.

Transmitted light microscopy can readily visualize the morphology of living cells. Here, we introduce artificial-intelligence-powered transmitted light microscopy (AIM) for subcellular structure identification and labeling-free functional analysis of live cells. AIM provides accurate images of subcellular organelles; allows identification of cellular and functional characteristics (cell type, viability, and maturation stage); and facilitates live cell tracking and multimodality analysis of immune cells in their native form without labeling.

We propose an electrochemical sensor based on the enhanced electrocatalytic oxidation exhibited on a functionalized poly(tannic acid) coating to detect hydrazine. Tannic acid, a naturally abundant and low-cost polyphenol, was enzymatically polymerized with horseradish peroxidase and subsequently adsorbed on a disposable, screen-printed carbon electrode with a short incubation time (30 min). The fabrication method proved to be reproducible (4.2% relative standard deviation), with the sensors displaying high sensitivity (7 × 10-3 µA·mm-2·µM-1) and selectivity even in the presence of various common interfering agents. The low detection limit (100 nM) and robustness of the sensor demonstrated its suitability for environmental applications. It can be used to quantify hydrazine in tap and river water samples.

The possibility of functional roles played by platelets in close alliance with cancer cells has inspired the design of new biomimetic systems that exploit platelet–cancer cell interactions. Here, the role of platelets in cancer diagnostics is leveraged to design a microfluidic platform capable of detecting cancer‐derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) from ultrasmall volumes (1 µL) of human plasma samples. Further, the captured EVs are counted by direct optical coding of plasmonic nanoprobes modified with EV‐specific antibodies. Owing to the diverse function proteins associated with human platelets that can bind to the wide spectrum of cancer cell-derived extracellular vesicles, the resulting microdevice is capable for sensitive and accurate detection of cancer from ultra-small volumes of patient’s plasma samples.

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Effects of poly(ethylene glycol) on the wetting behavior and director configuration of lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals confined in cylinders

We investigate the effects of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) doping on nematic lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals (LCLCs) confined in a cylindrical cavity. We also confirm that the grafting of PEG to bare glass surfaces changes them from nemato-philic to nemato-phobic. Additionally, we observe that PEG-doped nematic SSY retains the double-twist director configuration as in the PEG-free case. However, the PEG-doped nematic SSY is accompanied by unprecedented domain-wall-like defects and heterogeneity in the director configuration. We propose multiple hypotheses on how PEG changes the director configuration, including the formation of meta-stable director configurations.


Clinical Potential of Circulating Tumor Cells in Colorectal Cancer: A Prospective Study

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood have been used as diagnostic markers in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). In this study, we evaluated a CTC detection system based on cell size to assess CTCs and their potential as early diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for CRC

The challenge lies in understanding the recruitment of immune cells to the tumor site with the contradictory outcomes: tumor reduction or progression. The movement of immature dendritic cells, which navigate and sample the environment before activating the immune response, is random by nature, and recognizing the effective chemotactic cues towards cancer among a myriad of cytokines present in the surroundings is finding a needle in a haystack. In this paper, we find imposing physical constraints in the cell migration tracks in the geometry and dimensions modulates the directional persistence of dendritic cells. A delicate balance between chemotactic cues and the physical confinements reveals subtle chemotactic differences of dendritic cells in cancer vs. normal cell surroundings even inside a complex maze.

Herein, we report a cell-membrane-modified field effect transistor (FET) as a function-based nanosensor for the detection and quantitative measurement of numerous toxins and biological samples. By coating carbon nanotube FETs with natural red blood cell membranes, the resulting biomimetic nanosensor can selectively interact with and absorb broad-spectrum hemolytic toxins regardless of their molecular structures. Toxin–biomembrane interactions alter the local charge distribution at the FET surface in an ultrasensitive and concentration-dependent manner, resulting in a detection limit down to the femtomolar (fM) range.

Vijaya Sunkara‡, Chi-Ju Kim‡, Juhee Park, Hyun-Kyung Woo, Dongyoung Kim, Hong Koo Ha, Mi-Hyun Kim, Youlim Son, Jae-Ryong Kim, Yoon-Kyoung Cho*

Lab-on-a-disc equipped with sequential nanofiltration is presented for fully automated, rapid, label-free EV enrichment with high yield and purity starting from whole blood or plasma for cancer diagnosis and monitoring.

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