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Journal Cover Trends in Biotechnology
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   ISSN (Print) 0167-7799
   Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3089 journals]
  • Artificial Metalloenzymes on the Verge of New-to-Nature Metabolism
    • Authors: Markus Jeschek; Maximilian O. Bahls; Veronika Schneider; Philippe Marlière; Thomas R. Ward; Sven Panke
      Pages: 33 - 40
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Markus Jeschek, Sven Panke, Thomas R. Ward
      Residing at the interface of chemistry and biotechnology, artificial metalloenzymes (ArMs) offer an attractive technology to combine the versatile reaction repertoire of transition metal catalysts with the exquisite catalytic features of enzymes. While earlier efforts in this field predominantly comprised studies in well-defined test-tube environments, a trend towards exploiting ArMs in more complex environments has recently emerged. Integration of these artificial biocatalysts in enzymatic cascades and using them in whole-cell biotransformations and in vivo opens up entirely novel prospects for both preparative chemistry and synthetic biology. We highlight selected recent developments with a particular focus on challenges and opportunities in the in vivo application of ArMs.

      PubDate: 2017-10-22T13:30:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.ymben.2016.12.013
      Issue No: Vol. 40 (2017)
  • Applications of pHLIP Technology for Cancer Imaging and Therapy
    • Authors: Linden C. Wyatt; Jason S. Lewis; Oleg A. Andreev; Yana K. Reshetnyak; Donald M. Engelman
      Pages: 653 - 664
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Linden C. Wyatt, Jason S. Lewis, Oleg A. Andreev, Yana K. Reshetnyak, Donald M. Engelman

      PubDate: 2017-12-02T04:20:37Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.03.014
      Issue No: Vol. 35, No. 7 (2017)
  • Organic Nanoparticle-Based Combinatory Approaches for Gene Therapy
    • Authors: Brahma N. Singh; Prateeksha; Vijai K. Gupta; Jieyin Chen; Atanas G. Atanasov
      Pages: 1121 - 1124
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 12
      Author(s): Brahma N. Singh, Prateeksha, Vijai K. Gupta, Jieyin Chen, Atanas G. Atanasov
      Engineered organic nanoparticle (ONP)-mediated co-delivery of genes and therapeutic agents is emerging as a powerful tool in the treatment of several genetic and non-genetic disorders. The ONP-based combinatory approach provides a technological platform that delivers genes with chemo/radio/photo/immunotherapies for the prevention or treatment of disease progression.

      PubDate: 2017-11-19T01:12:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.010
  • Limitations in Clinical Translation of Nanoparticle-Based Gene Therapy
    • Authors: Joanna K.L. Wong; Rashin Mohseni; Amir Ali Hamidieh; Robert E. MacLaren; Nagy Habib; Alexander M. Seifalian
      Pages: 1124 - 1125
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 12
      Author(s): Joanna K.L. Wong, Rashin Mohseni, Amir Ali Hamidieh, Robert E. MacLaren, Nagy Habib, Alexander M. Seifalian
      Organic nanoparticle-based (ONP) gene therapy is a potential strategy to cure human cancer. However, there are still many practical barriers before the promising results from in vitro and preclinical studies can be translated to clinical success. We discuss the reasons behind the hesitant uptake by the clinic.

      PubDate: 2017-11-19T01:12:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.009
  • Microbial Identification Using Electrochemical Detection of Metabolites
    • Authors: Edgar D. Goluch
      Pages: 1125 - 1128
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 12
      Author(s): Edgar D. Goluch
      Curbing antibiotic use requires the development of simple diagnostic tests that provide caregivers with reliable, immediately actionable information to identify whether there is a need to prescribe a specific antibiotic. This Forum article highlights advances in infection screening approaches that use electrochemistry to detect molecular biomarkers for distinct pathogenic infections.

      PubDate: 2017-11-19T01:12:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.001
  • Microfluidics for Combating Antimicrobial Resistance
    • Authors: Zhengzhi Liu; Niaz Banaei; Kangning Ren
      Pages: 1129 - 1139
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 12
      Author(s): Zhengzhi Liu, Niaz Banaei, Kangning Ren
      The ever-growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) demands immediate countermeasures. With its novelty and enabling features including downscaled analysis, precisely controlled local environment, and enhanced speed, accuracy, and cost-efficiency, microfluidics has demonstrated potential in several key areas, including furthering our understanding of bacteria, developing better susceptibility testing tools, and overcoming obstacles in discovery and research of new antibiotics. While ample research results in the field of microfluidics are available, their transformation into practical application is still lagging far behind. We believe that the challenge of AMR will give microfluidics a much-needed opportunity to leap from research papers to true productivity, and gain wider acceptance as a mature technology.

      PubDate: 2017-11-19T01:12:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.008
  • Structure and Computation in Immunoreagent Design: From Diagnostics to
    • Authors: Louise Gourlay; Claudio Peri; Martino Bolognesi; Giorgio Colombo
      Pages: 1208 - 1220
      Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 12
      Author(s): Louise Gourlay, Claudio Peri, Martino Bolognesi, Giorgio Colombo
      Novel immunological tools for efficient diagnosis and treatment of emerging infections are urgently required. Advances in the diagnostic and vaccine development fields are continuously progressing, with reverse vaccinology and structural vaccinology (SV) methods for antigen identification and structure-based antigen (re)design playing increasingly relevant roles. SV, in particular, is predicted to be the front-runner in the future development of diagnostics and vaccines targeting challenging diseases such as AIDS and cancer. We review state-of-the-art methodologies for structure-based epitope identification and antigen design, with specific applicative examples. We highlight the implications of such methods for the engineering of biomolecules with improved immunological properties, potential diagnostic and/or therapeutic uses, and discuss the perspectives of structure-based rational design for the production of advanced immunoreagents.

      PubDate: 2017-11-19T01:12:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.018
  • Engaging the Senses, Understanding Publics: Research Methods, Science
           Engagement, and Synthetic Biology
    • Authors: Robert Meckin; Andrew Balmer
      Pages: 1015 - 1017
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 11
      Author(s): Robert Meckin, Andrew Balmer
      Scientists and government actors often fear a ‘public rejection’ of biotechnology, especially regarding genetic modification. Through a research project aimed at engaging people’s senses, we support an alternative way for scientists to consider non-scientists in their research.

      PubDate: 2017-10-22T13:30:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.005
  • Myths and Realities Surrounding the Mysterious Caterpillar Fungus
    • Authors: Jan Martel; Yun-Fei Ko; Jian-Ching Liau; Chien-Sheng Lee; David M. Ojcius; Hsin-Chih Lai; John D. Young
      Pages: 1017 - 1021
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 11
      Author(s): Jan Martel, Yun-Fei Ko, Jian-Ching Liau, Chien-Sheng Lee, David M. Ojcius, Hsin-Chih Lai, John D. Young
      The caterpillar fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis is a medicinal mushroom increasingly used as a dietary supplement for various health conditions, including fatigue, chronic inflammation, and male impotence. Here, we propose strategies to address the existing challenges related to the study and commercial production of this mysterious fungus.

      PubDate: 2017-10-22T13:30:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.011
  • The Business of Anti-Aging Science
    • Authors: João Pedro de Magalhães; Michael Stevens; Daniel Thornton
      Pages: 1062 - 1073
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 11
      Author(s): João Pedro de Magalhães, Michael Stevens, Daniel Thornton
      Age-related conditions are the leading causes of death and health-care costs. Reducing the rate of aging would have enormous medical and financial benefits. Myriad genes and pathways are known to regulate aging in model organisms, fostering a new crop of anti-aging companies. Approaches range from drug discovery efforts to big-data methods and direct-to-consumer (DTC) strategies. Challenges and pitfalls of commercialization include reliance on findings from short-lived model organisms, poor biological understanding of aging, and hurdles in performing clinical trials for aging. A large number of potential aging-associated interventions and targets exist, but given the long validation times only a small fraction can be explored for clinical applications. If even one company succeeds, however, the impact will be huge.

      PubDate: 2017-10-22T13:30:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.004
  • Engineered Hydrogels in Cancer Therapy and Diagnosis
    • Authors: Mohammadmajid Sepantafar; Reihan Maheronnaghsh; Hossein Mohammadi; Fatemeh Radmanesh; Mohammad Mahdi Hasani-sadrabadi; Marzieh Ebrahimi; Hossein Baharvand
      Pages: 1074 - 1087
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 11
      Author(s): Mohammadmajid Sepantafar, Reihan Maheronnaghsh, Hossein Mohammadi, Fatemeh Radmanesh, Mohammad Mahdi Hasani-sadrabadi, Marzieh Ebrahimi, Hossein Baharvand
      Over the last decade, numerous investigations have attempted to clarify the intricacies of tumor development to propose effective approaches for cancer treatment. Thanks to the unique properties of hydrogels, researchers have made significant progress in tumor model reconstruction, tumor diagnosis, and associated therapies. Notably, hydrogel-based systems can be adjusted to respond to cancer-specific hallmarks and/or external stimuli. These well-known drug reservoirs can be used as smart carriers for multiple cargos, including both naked and nanoparticle-encapsulated chemotherapeutics, genes, and radioisotopes. Recent works have attempted to specialize hydrogels for cancer research; we comprehensively review this topic for the first time, synthesizing past results and defining paths for future work.

      PubDate: 2017-10-22T13:30:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.015
  • Stem Cell Therapies for Reversing Vision Loss
    • Authors: Akon Higuchi; S. Suresh Kumar; Giovanni Benelli; Abdullah A. Alarfaj; Murugan A. Munusamy; Akihiko Umezawa; Kadarkarai Murugan
      Pages: 1102 - 1117
      Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 11
      Author(s): Akon Higuchi, S. Suresh Kumar, Giovanni Benelli, Abdullah A. Alarfaj, Murugan A. Munusamy, Akihiko Umezawa, Kadarkarai Murugan
      Current clinical trials that evaluate human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-based therapies predominantly target treating macular degeneration of the eyes because the eye is an isolated tissue that is naturally weakly immunogenic. Here, we discuss current bioengineering approaches and biomaterial usage in combination with stem cell therapy for macular degeneration disease treatment. Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) differentiated from hPSCs is typically used in most clinical trials for treating patients, whereas bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMNCs) or mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are intravitreally transplanted, undifferentiated, into patient eyes. We also discuss reported negative effects of stem cell therapy, such as patients becoming blind following transplantation of adipose-derived stem cells, which are increasingly used by ‘stem-cell clinics’.

      PubDate: 2017-10-22T13:30:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.016
  • Can Microalgae Remove Pharmaceutical Contaminants from Water'
    • Authors: Jiu-Qiang Xiong; Mayur B. Kurade; Byong-Hun Jeon
      Pages: 486 - 493
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Jiu-Qiang Xiong, Mayur B. Kurade, Byong-Hun Jeon
      The increase in worldwide water contamination with numerous pharmaceutical contaminants (PCs) has become an emerging environmental concern due to their considerable ecotoxicities and associated health issues. Microalgae-mediated bioremediation of PCs has recently gained scientific attention, as microalgal bioremediation is a solar-power driven, ecologically comprehensive, and sustainable reclamation strategy. In this review, we comprehensively describe the current research on the possible roles and applications of microalgae for removing PCs from aqueous media. We summarize several novel approaches including constructing microbial consortia, acclimation, and cometabolism for enhanced removal of PCs by microalgae, which would improve practical feasibility of these technologies. Some novel concepts for degrading PCs using integrated processes and genetic modifications to realize algal-based bioremediation technologies are also recommended.

      PubDate: 2017-10-08T07:43:31Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2017.04.044
  • Programming Morphogenesis through Systems and Synthetic Biology
    • Authors: Jeremy J. Velazquez; Emily Su; Patrick Cahan; Mo R. Ebrahimkhani
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 December 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Jeremy J. Velazquez, Emily Su, Patrick Cahan, Mo R. Ebrahimkhani
      Mammalian tissue development is an intricate, spatiotemporal process of self-organization that emerges from gene regulatory networks of differentiating stem cells. A major goal in stem cell biology is to gain a sufficient understanding of gene regulatory networks and cell–cell interactions to enable the reliable and robust engineering of morphogenesis. Here, we review advances in synthetic biology, single cell genomics, and multiscale modeling, which, when synthesized, provide a framework to achieve the ambitious goal of programming morphogenesis in complex tissues and organoids.

      PubDate: 2017-12-11T14:58:16Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.11.003
  • Cyberbiosecurity: From Naive Trust to Risk Awareness
    • Authors: Jean Peccoud; Jenna E. Gallegos; Randall Murch; Wallace G. Buchholz; Sanjay Raman
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 December 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Jean Peccoud, Jenna E. Gallegos, Randall Murch, Wallace G. Buchholz, Sanjay Raman
      The cyber–physical nature of biotechnology raises unprecedented security concerns. Computers can be compromised by encoding malware in DNA sequences, and biological threats can be synthesized using publicly available data. Trust within the biotechnology community creates vulnerabilities at the interface between cyberspace and biology. Awareness is a prerequisite to managing these risks.

      PubDate: 2017-12-11T14:58:16Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.012
  • Bionic Manufacturing: Towards Cyborg Cells and Sentient Microbots
    • Authors: Sarvesh Kumar Srivastava; Vikramaditya G. Yadav
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 December 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Sarvesh Kumar Srivastava, Vikramaditya G. Yadav
      Bio-inspired engineering applies biological design principles towards developing engineering solutions but is not practical as a manufacturing paradigm. We advocate ‘bionic manufacturing’, a synergistic fusion of biotic and abiotic components, to transition away from bio-inspiration toward bio-augmentation to address current limitations in bio-inspired manufacturing.

      PubDate: 2017-12-11T14:58:16Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.11.002
  • Organic Electronics for Point-of-Care Metabolite Monitoring
    • Authors: Anna-Maria Pappa; Onur Parlak; Gaetan Scheiblin; Pascal Mailley; Alberto Salleo; Roisin M. Owens
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Anna-Maria Pappa, Onur Parlak, Gaetan Scheiblin, Pascal Mailley, Alberto Salleo, Roisin M. Owens
      In this review we focus on demonstrating how organic electronic materials can solve key problems in biosensing thanks to their unique material properties and implementation in innovative device configurations. We highlight specific examples where these materials solve multiple issues related to complex sensing environments, and we benchmark these examples by comparing them to state-of-the-art commercially available sensing using alternative technologies. We have categorized our examples by sample type, focusing on sensing from body fluids in vitro and on wearable sensors, which have attracted significant interest owing to their integration with everyday life activities. We finish by describing a future trend for in vivo, implantable sensors, which aims to build on current progress from sensing in biological fluids ex vivo.

      PubDate: 2017-12-02T04:20:37Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.022
  • Communicating Biotech Advances: Fiction versus Reality
    • Authors: Aleksandra Małyska; Robert Bolla; Tomasz Twardowski
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Aleksandra Małyska, Robert Bolla, Tomasz Twardowski
      Bioscience novels use selected technologies of genetic engineering and synthetic biology to create entertaining stories. These novels are usually based on scientific knowledge, but they may arouse public concerns about technology and drive public reluctance to accept innovative technologies. The scientific community must adopt more efficient communication and transparency.

      PubDate: 2017-12-02T04:20:37Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.018
  • Editors, Contents, Cover details
    • Abstract: Publication date: December 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 12

      PubDate: 2017-11-19T01:12:30Z
  • A Comparison of Techniques to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Genome Editing
    • Authors: Diego Germini; Tatiana Tsfasman; Vlada V. Zakharova; Nikolajs Sjakste; Marс Lipinski; Yegor Vassetzky
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Diego Germini, Tatiana Tsfasman, Vlada V. Zakharova, Nikolajs Sjakste, Marс Lipinski, Yegor Vassetzky
      Genome editing using engineered nucleases (meganucleases, zinc finger nucleases, transcription activator-like effector nucleases) has created many recent breakthroughs. Prescreening for efficiency and specificity is a critical step prior to using any newly designed genome editing tool for experimental purposes. The current standard screening methods of evaluation are based on DNA sequencing or use mismatch-sensitive endonucleases. They can be time-consuming and costly or lack reproducibility. Here, we review and critically compare standard techniques with those more recently developed in terms of reliability, time, cost, and ease of use.

      PubDate: 2017-11-19T01:12:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.008
  • CRISPR-Based Antibacterials: Transforming Bacterial Defense into Offense
    • Authors: Adrienne C. Greene
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Adrienne C. Greene
      The development of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) bacteria poses a serious worldwide health concern. CRISPR-based antibacterials are a novel and adaptable method for building an arsenal of antibacterials potentially capable of targeting any pathogenic bacteria.

      PubDate: 2017-11-19T01:12:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.021
  • Gravity, Tissue Engineering, and the Missing Link
    • Authors: Raquel Costa-Almeida; Pedro L. Granja; Manuela E. Gomes
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Raquel Costa-Almeida, Pedro L. Granja, Manuela E. Gomes
      The influence of microgravity and hypergravity on living systems has attracted significant attention, but the use of these tools in tissue engineering (TE) remains relatively unexplored. This Forum article highlights an emerging field of research to uncover new potential applications at the interface between altered gravity and TE.

      PubDate: 2017-11-19T01:12:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.017
  • Basic and Clinical Approaches for Fertility Preservation and Restoration
           in Cancer Patients
    • Authors: Jose V Medrano; María del Mar Andrés; Sofía García; Sonia Herraiz; Teresa Vilanova-Pérez; Ellen Goossens; Antonio Pellicer
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Jose V Medrano, María del Mar Andrés, Sofía García, Sonia Herraiz, Teresa Vilanova-Pérez, Ellen Goossens, Antonio Pellicer
      As gonadotoxic adverse effects of antineoplastic treatments can result in infertility, gamete cryopreservation is routinely offered to patients as the strategy to preserve their fertility. However, there are many cases where gold standards cannot be applied, as is the case for prepubertal cancer patients and others unable to produce gametes or their precursors at the moment of diagnosis. With an increasing number of cancer survivors in our society, strategies using either cryopreserved gonadal tissue or stem cells have been developed to allow cancer survivors to achieve fatherhood, and recent advances in the field have increased public interest. In this review, we discuss the latest updates in fertility preservation from a basic and a clinical point of view.

      PubDate: 2017-11-19T01:12:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.010
  • A Plea for the Renewal of the ISBR
    • Authors: Giovanni Tagliabue; Marcel Kuntz; Henry I. Miller; Klaus Ammann
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 14 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Giovanni Tagliabue, Marcel Kuntz, Henry I. Miller, Klaus Ammann
      The recent meeting of the International Society for Biosafety Research (ISBR) focused on so-called genetically modified organisms. For decades, in most regulatory frameworks, recombinant DNA-modified organisms have been the wrong focus of unbalanced agri-food regulations. The ISBR should instead adopt a scientifically defensible and truly risk-based perspective, abandoning a misleading pseudo-category.

      PubDate: 2017-11-19T01:12:30Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.019
  • Biofabrication: A Guide to Technology and Terminology
    • Authors: Lorenzo Moroni; Thomas Boland; Jason A. Burdick; Carmelo De Maria; Brian Derby; Gabor Forgacs; Jürgen Groll; Qing Li; Jos Malda; Vladimir A. Mironov; Carlos Mota; Makoto Nakamura; Wenmiao Shu; Shoji Takeuchi; Tim B.F. Woodfield; Tao Xu; James J. Yoo; Giovanni Vozzi
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Lorenzo Moroni, Thomas Boland, Jason A. Burdick, Carmelo De Maria, Brian Derby, Gabor Forgacs, Jürgen Groll, Qing Li, Jos Malda, Vladimir A. Mironov, Carlos Mota, Makoto Nakamura, Wenmiao Shu, Shoji Takeuchi, Tim B.F. Woodfield, Tao Xu, James J. Yoo, Giovanni Vozzi
      Biofabrication holds the potential to generate constructs that more closely recapitulate the complexity and heterogeneity of tissues and organs than do currently available regenerative medicine therapies. Such constructs can be applied for tissue regeneration or as in vitro 3D models. Biofabrication is maturing and growing, and scientists with different backgrounds are joining this field, underscoring the need for unity regarding the use of terminology. We therefore believe that there is a compelling need to clarify the relationship between the different concepts, technologies, and descriptions of biofabrication that are often used interchangeably or inconsistently in the current literature. Our objective is to provide a guide to the terminology for different technologies in the field which may serve as a reference for the biofabrication community.

      PubDate: 2017-11-12T02:27:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.015
  • The Engineering Potential of Rhodosporidium toruloides as a Workhorse for
           Biotechnological Applications
    • Authors: Young-Kyoung Park; Jean-Marc Nicaud; Rodrigo Ledesma-Amaro
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Young-Kyoung Park, Jean-Marc Nicaud, Rodrigo Ledesma-Amaro
      Moving our society towards a bioeconomy requires efficient and sustainable microbial production of chemicals and fuels. Rhodotorula (Rhodosporidium) toruloides is a yeast that naturally synthesizes substantial amounts of specialty chemicals and has been recently engineered to (i) enhance its natural production of lipids and carotenoids, and (ii) produce novel industrially relevant compounds. The use of R. toruloides by companies and research groups has exponentially increased in recent years as a result of recent improvements in genetic engineering techniques and the availability of multiomics information on its genome and metabolism. This review focuses on recent engineering approaches in R. toruloides for bioproduction and explores its potential as a biotechnological chassis.

      PubDate: 2017-11-12T02:27:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.013
  • Multi-Product Microalgae Biorefineries: From Concept Towards Reality
    • Authors: G.P. 't Lam; M.H. Vermuë; M.H.M. Eppink; R.H. Wijffels; C. van den Berg
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): G.P. 't Lam, M.H. Vermuë, M.H.M. Eppink, R.H. Wijffels, C. van den Berg
      Although microalgae are a promising biobased feedstock, industrial scale production is still far off. To enhance the economic viability of large-scale microalgae processes, all biomass components need to be valorized, requiring a multi-product biorefinery. However, this concept is still too expensive. Typically, downstream processing of industrial biotechnological bulk products accounts for 20–40% of the total production costs, while for a microalgae multi-product biorefinery the costs are substantially higher (50–60%). These costs are high due to the lack of appropriate and mild technologies to access the different product fractions such as proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. To reduce the costs, simplified processes need to be developed for the main unit operations including harvesting, cell disruption, extraction, and possibly fractionation.

      PubDate: 2017-11-12T02:27:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.011
  • Functionally-Relevant Morphological Profiling: A Tool to Assess Cellular
    • Authors: Ross A. Marklein; Johnny Lam; Murat Guvendiren; Kyung E. Sung; Steven R. Bauer
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Ross A. Marklein, Johnny Lam, Murat Guvendiren, Kyung E. Sung, Steven R. Bauer
      Heterogeneity in cell function has presented a significant hurdle to the successful clinical translation of many cellular therapies. Current techniques for assessing cell quality and the effects of microenvironmental cues and manufacturing processes on cell behavior often inadequately address heterogeneity due to issues such as population versus single-cell measurements and the therapeutic relevance and throughput/robustness of the assay. Due to the well-established relationship between morphology and cellular function, morphological profiling has become increasingly utilized to better understand functional heterogeneity and its impact on therapeutic development. In this review, we introduce an emerging field we term functionally-relevant morphological profiling with great potential to improve our understanding of cellular heterogeneity through discovering novel quality attributes, optimizing manufacturing, and screening drugs/biomaterials.

      PubDate: 2017-11-12T02:27:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.007
  • Genomics-Driven Natural Product Discovery in Actinomycetes
    • Authors: Guoqing Niu
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Guoqing Niu
      The prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens has highlighted the urgent need for new drugs. Actinomycetes have been the most prominent sources of natural products for drug discovery and development. Advances in genomics have inspired several emerging strategies to reinvigorate the field of natural product discovery, especially in actinomycete-derived natural products.

      PubDate: 2017-11-12T02:27:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.009
  • Potential Applications of the Escherichia coli Heat Shock Response in
           Synthetic Biology
    • Authors: Joana L. Rodrigues; Lígia R. Rodrigues
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Joana L. Rodrigues, Lígia R. Rodrigues
      The Escherichia coli heat shock response (HSR) is a complex mechanism triggered by heat shock and by a variety of other growth-impairing stresses. We explore here the potential use of the E. coli HSR mechanism in synthetic biology approaches. Several components of the regulatory mechanism (such as heat shock promoters, proteins, and RNA thermosensors) can be extremely valuable in the creation of a toolbox of well-characterized biological parts to construct biosensors or microbial cell factories with applications in the environment, industry, or healthcare. In the future, these systems can be used for instance to detect a pollutant in water, to regulate and optimize the production of a compound with industrial relevance, or to administer a therapeutic agent in vivo.

      PubDate: 2017-11-12T02:27:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.014
  • Bioprocessing Strategies for Pluripotent Stem Cells Based on
           Waddington’s Epigenetic Landscape
    • Authors: Mee-Hae Kim; Masahiro Kino-oka
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Mee-Hae Kim, Masahiro Kino-oka
      As increasing numbers of cell-based therapies advance through clinical trials towards approval for use in humans, the need for robust and well-characterized cell culturing strategies is becoming increasingly apparent. We discuss here novel stem cell bioprocessing strategies based on the concept of using Waddington’s epigenetic landscape to represent the process of cellular decision-making during development. Specifically, we focus on the manner in which cell behavior triggers cell signaling pathways related to the initial cell fate decision. We also consider how various biochemical engineering strategies can be used to develop these bioprocesses to further enhance their utility in research and therapy.

      PubDate: 2017-11-12T02:27:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.006
  • Thermodynamic Activity-Based Progress Curve Analysis in Enzyme Kinetics
    • Authors: Pleiss
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Jürgen Pleiss
      Macrokinetic Michaelis–Menten models based on thermodynamic activity provide insights into enzyme kinetics because they separate substrate–enzyme from substrate–solvent interactions. Kinetic parameters are estimated from experimental progress curves of enzyme-catalyzed reactions. Three pitfalls are discussed: deviations between thermodynamic and concentration-based models, product effects on the substrate activity coefficient, and product inhibition.

      PubDate: 2017-11-12T02:27:04Z
  • From Genetic Stock to Genome Editing: Gene Exploitation in Wheat
    • Authors: Meng Wang; Shubin Wang; Zhen Liang; Weiming Shi; Caixia Gao; Guangmin Xia
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Meng Wang, Shubin Wang, Zhen Liang, Weiming Shi, Caixia Gao, Guangmin Xia
      Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) ranks as one of our most important staple crops. However, its hexaploid nature has complicated our understanding of the genetic bases underlying many of its traits. Historically, functional genetic studies in wheat have focused on identifying natural variations and have contributed to assembling and enriching its genetic stock. Recently, mold-breaking advances in whole genome sequencing, exome-capture based mutant libraries, and genome editing have revolutionized strategies for genetic research in wheat. We review new trends in wheat functional genetic studies along with germplasm conservation and innovation, including the relevance of genetic stocks, and the application of sequencing-based mutagenesis and genome editing. We also highlight the potential of multiplex genome editing toolkits in addressing species-specific challenges in wheat.

      PubDate: 2017-11-12T02:27:04Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.002
  • Emerging Biomedical Applications of Enzyme-Like Catalytic Nanomaterials
    • Authors: David P. Cormode; Lizeng Gao; Hyun Koo
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 26 October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): David P. Cormode, Lizeng Gao, Hyun Koo
      Nanomaterials have been developed for many biomedical applications, including medical imaging, drug delivery, and antimicrobial coatings. Intriguingly, nanoparticles can display ‘enzyme-like’ activity and have been explored as alternatives to natural enzymes in several industrial and energy-related applications. Recently, these catalytic nanomaterials with enzyme-mimetic properties have found new biomedical applications, from biofilm disruption to protection against neurodegeneration and tumor prevention. In this review we focus on recent in vivo studies demonstrating potential therapeutic uses of catalytic nanomaterials. We also provide insights about the relationships between catalytic activity, therapeutic efficacy, and biocompatibility that are critical for clinical translatability. Finally, we discuss current challenges and future directions for the use of these nanomaterials as novel platforms for the development of sustainable, affordable, and safe therapeutics.

      PubDate: 2017-10-29T13:50:05Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.09.006
  • Fully Artificial Exosomes: Towards New Theranostic Biomaterials
    • Authors: Pablo García-Manrique; Gemma Gutiérrez; Maria Carmen Blanco-López
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 23 October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Pablo García-Manrique, Gemma Gutiérrez, Maria Carmen Blanco-López
      Bionanotechnology routes have been recently developed to produce fully artificial exosomes: biomimetic particles designed to overcome certain limitations in extracellular vesicle (EV) biology and applications. These particles could soon become true therapeutic biomaterials. Here, we outline their current preparation techniques, their explored and future possibilities, and their present limits.

      PubDate: 2017-10-29T13:50:05Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.10.005
  • Editors, Contents, Cover details
    • Abstract: Publication date: November 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 11

      PubDate: 2017-10-22T13:30:33Z
  • Imaging Biomaterial–Tissue Interactions
    • Authors: Yu Shrike Zhang; Junjie Yao
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Yu Shrike Zhang, Junjie Yao
      Modern biomedical imaging has revolutionized life science by providing anatomical, functional, and molecular information of biological species with high spatial resolution, deep penetration, enhanced temporal responsiveness, and improved chemical specificity. In recent years, these imaging techniques have been increasingly tailored for characterizing biomaterials and probing their interactions with biological tissues. This in turn has spurred substantial advances in engineering material properties to accommodate different imaging modalities that was previously unattainable. Here, we review advances in engineering both imaging modalities and material properties with improved contrast, providing a timely practical guide to better assess biomaterial–tissue interactions both in vitro and in vivo.

      PubDate: 2017-10-22T13:30:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.09.004
  • Flow Bioreactors as Complementary Tools for Biocatalytic Process
    • Authors: Lucia Tamborini; Pedro Fernandes; Francesca Paradisi; Francesco Molinari
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Lucia Tamborini, Pedro Fernandes, Francesca Paradisi, Francesco Molinari
      Biocatalysis has widened its scope and relevance since new molecular tools, including improved expression systems for proteins, protein and metabolic engineering, and rational techniques for immobilization, have become available. However, applications are still sometimes hampered by low productivity and difficulties in scaling up. A practical and reasonable step to improve the performances of biocatalysts (including both enzymes and whole-cell systems) is to use them in flow reactors. This review describes the state of the art on the design and use of biocatalysis in flow reactors. The encouraging successes of this enabling technology are critically discussed, highlighting new opportunities, problems to be solved and technological advances.

      PubDate: 2017-10-22T13:30:33Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.09.005
  • The Impact of Systems Biology on Bioprocessing
    • Authors: Kate Campbell; Jianye Xia; Jens Nielsen
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Kate Campbell, Jianye Xia, Jens Nielsen
      Bioprocessing offers a sustainable and green approach to the production of chemicals. However, a bottleneck in introducing bioprocesses is cell factory development, which is costly and time-consuming. A systems biology approach can expedite cell factory design by using genome-wide analyses alongside mathematical modeling to characterize and predict cellular physiology. This approach can drive cycles of design, build, test, and learn implemented by metabolic engineers to optimize the cell factory performance. Streamlining of the design phase requires a clearer understanding of metabolism and its regulation, which can be achieved using quantitative and integrated omic characterization, alongside more advanced analytical methods. We discuss here the current impact of systems biology and challenges of closing the gap between bioprocessing and more traditional methods of chemical production.

      PubDate: 2017-10-08T07:43:31Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.011
  • Challenges of the Nano–Bio Interface in Lateral Flow and Dipstick
    • Authors: Helena de Puig; Irene Bosch; Lee Gehrke; Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 28 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Helena de Puig, Irene Bosch, Lee Gehrke, Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli
      Lateral flow assays (LFAs) are highly attractive for point-of-care (POC) diagnostics for infectious disease, food safety, and many other medical uses. The unique optical, electronic, and chemical properties that arise from the nanostructured and material characteristics of nanoparticles provide an opportunity to increase LFA sensitivity and impart novel capabilities. However, interfacing to nanomaterials in complex biological environments is challenging and can result in undesirable side effects such as non-specific adsorption, protein denaturation, and steric hindrance. These issues are even more acute in LFAs where there are many different types of inorganic–biological interfaces, often of a complex nature. Therefore, the unique properties of nanomaterials for LFAs must be exploited in a way that addresses these interface challenges.

      PubDate: 2017-09-30T12:41:12Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.09.001
  • Editors, Contents, Cover details
    • Abstract: Publication date: October 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 35, Issue 10

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
  • Nanoenvironmental Effects Dramatically Influence the Sensitivity of
    • Authors: B. Mattiasson; K. Teeparuksapun; L. Lebogang; M. Hedström
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): B. Mattiasson, K. Teeparuksapun, L. Lebogang, M. Hedström
      It is possible to improve the sensitivity of immunoassays by several orders of magnitude by exploiting nanoenvironmental effects. This approach can detect trace amounts of compounds and will better illuminate the presence of signal substances in biological systems. Here we describe a method for ultrasensitive immunoassays using ‘normal’ antibodies (Abs).

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.06.001
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics and Additive Manufacturing to Diagnose and
           Treat Cardiovascular Disease
    • Authors: Amanda Randles; David H. Frakes; Jane A. Leopold
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Amanda Randles, David H. Frakes, Jane A. Leopold
      Noninvasive engineering models are now being used for diagnosing and planning the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Techniques in computational modeling and additive manufacturing have matured concurrently, and results from simulations can inform and enable the design and optimization of therapeutic devices and treatment strategies. The emerging synergy between large-scale simulations and 3D printing is having a two-fold benefit: first, 3D printing can be used to validate the complex simulations, and second, the flow models can be used to improve treatment planning for cardiovascular disease. In this review, we summarize and discuss recent methods and findings for leveraging advances in both additive manufacturing and patient-specific computational modeling, with an emphasis on new directions in these fields and remaining open questions.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.008
  • Improving Biopharmaceutical Safety through Verification-Based Quality
    • Authors: Yihua Bruce Yu; Marc B. Taraban; Weizhen Wang; Katharine T. Briggs
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Yihua Bruce Yu, Marc B. Taraban, Weizhen Wang, Katharine T. Briggs
      Biopharmaceuticals and small-molecule drugs have different approval pathways but the same quality control (QC) paradigm, where the quality of released but untested units is inferred from that of tested but destroyed units. This inference-based QC will likely miss rare prerelease defects, and defects emerging after product release. The likelihood for such defects is heightened for biopharmaceuticals due to their complexity, which makes manufacturing errors more likely, and fragility, which makes postrelease damage more likely. To improve biopharmaceutical safety, we suggest transitioning their QC from inference- to verification-based practice by developing inspection technologies that can nondestructively verify the quality of every vial from the point of release to the point of care. One candidate, water proton NMR (wNMR), is briefly discussed.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.010
  • Deciphering Cell Intrinsic Properties: A Key Issue for Robust Organoid
    • Authors: Nathalie Picollet-D’hahan; Monika E. Dolega; Delphine Freida; Donald K. Martin; Xavier Gidrol
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Nathalie Picollet-D’hahan, Monika E. Dolega, Delphine Freida, Donald K. Martin, Xavier Gidrol
      We highlight the disposition of various cell types to self-organize into complex organ-like structures without necessarily the support of any stromal cells, provided they are placed into permissive 3D culture conditions. The goal of generating organoids reproducibly and efficiently has been hampered by poor understanding of the exact nature of the intrinsic cell properties at the origin of organoid generation, and of the signaling pathways governing their differentiation. Using microtechnologies like microfluidics to engineer organoids would create opportunities for single-cell genomics and high-throughput functional genomics to exhaustively characterize cell intrinsic properties. A more complete understanding of the development of organoids would enhance their relevance as models to study organ morphology, function, and disease and would open new avenues in drug development and regenerative medicine.

      PubDate: 2017-09-23T12:19:57Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.003
  • Optical Imaging Paves the Way for Autophagy Research
    • Authors: Yimin Wang; Yu Li; Fujing Wei; Yixiang Duan
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 12 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Yimin Wang, Yu Li, Fujing Wei, Yixiang Duan
      Autophagy is a degradation process in eukaryotic cells that recycles cellular components for nutrition supply under environmental stress and plays a double-edged role in development of major human diseases. Noninvasive optical imaging enables us to clearly visualize various classes of structures involved in autophagy at macroscopic and microscopic dynamic levels. In this review, we discuss important trends of emerging optical imaging technologies used to explore autophagy and provide insights into the mechanistic investigation and structural study of autophagy in mammalian cells. Some exciting new prospects and future research directions regarding optical imaging techniques in this field are also highlighted.

      PubDate: 2017-09-17T14:47:24Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.006
  • 3D Quantitative Chemical Imaging of Tissues by Spectromics
    • Authors: Cyril Petibois
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Cyril Petibois
      Mid-infrared (IR), Raman, and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy methods, as well as mass spectrometry (MS), can be used for 3D chemical imaging. These techniques offer an invaluable opportunity to access chemical features of biological samples in a nonsupervised way. The global chemical information they provide enables the exploitation of a large array of chemical species or parameters, so-called ‘spectromics’. Extracting chemical data from spectra is critical for the high-quality chemical analysis of biosamples. Furthermore, these are the only currently available techniques that can quantitatively analyze tissue content (e.g., molecular concentrations) and substructures (e.g., cells or blood vessels). The development of chemical-derived biological metadata appears to be a new way to exploit spectral information with machine learning algorithms.

      PubDate: 2017-09-11T13:45:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.002
  • Unlocking Marine Biotechnology in the Developing World
    • Authors: Cristiane C. Thompson; Ricardo H. Kruger; Fabiano L. Thompson
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 September 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Cristiane C. Thompson, Ricardo H. Kruger, Fabiano L. Thompson
      Fulfilling the promise of marine biotechnology as a source for environmental and biomedical applications remains challenging. New technologies will be necessary to harness marine biodiversity, and collaboration across government, academic, and private sectors will be crucial to create mechanisms of technology transfer and promote the development of new marine biotechnology companies.

      PubDate: 2017-09-11T13:45:26Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.08.005
  • Flashing LEDs for Microalgal Production
    • Authors: Peter S.C. Schulze; Rui Guerra; Hugo Pereira; Lisa M. Schüler; João C.S. Varela
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 30 August 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Peter S.C. Schulze, Rui Guerra, Hugo Pereira, Lisa M. Schüler, João C.S. Varela
      Flashing lights are next-generation tools to mitigate light attenuation and increase the photosynthetic efficiency of microalgal cultivation systems illuminated by light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Optimal flashing light conditions depend on the reaction kinetics and properties of the linear electron transfer chain, energy dissipation, and storage mechanisms of a phototroph. In particular, extremely short and intense light flashes potentially mitigate light attenuation in photobioreactors without impairing photosynthesis. Intelligently controlling flashing light units and selecting electronic components can maximize light emission and energy efficiency. We discuss the biological, physical, and technical properties of flashing lights for algal production. We combine recent findings about photosynthetic pathways, self-shading in photobioreactors, and developments in solid-state technology towards the biotechnological application of LEDs to microalgal production.

      PubDate: 2017-08-31T08:53:45Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.011
  • Bioprinting and Cellular Therapies for Type 1 Diabetes
    • Authors: Dino J. Ravnic; Ashley N. Leberfinger; Ibrahim T. Ozbolat
      Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 August 2017
      Source:Trends in Biotechnology
      Author(s): Dino J. Ravnic, Ashley N. Leberfinger, Ibrahim T. Ozbolat
      Type 1 diabetes mellitus is a chronic autoimmune disease that results from the destruction of beta (β) cells in the pancreatic islets, leading to loss of insulin production and resultant hyperglycemia. Recent developments in stem cell biology have generated much excitement for β-cell replacement strategies; β cells are one of many cell types in the complex islet environment and pancreas. In this Opinion, we discuss recent successful attempts to generate β cells and how this can be coupled with bioprinting technologies in order to fabricate pancreas tissues, which holds great potential for type 1 diabetes. Possibilities of integrating vascularization and encapsulation in bioprinted tissues are expounded, and future prospects, such as pancreas-on-a-chip, are also presented.

      PubDate: 2017-08-08T13:59:43Z
      DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.07.006
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