Bioengineering Program

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  • Article

    Enhancing the Maturation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes with an n-Type Organic Semiconductor Coating

    (American Chemical Society (ACS), 2024-04-15) Ramirez Calderon, Gustavo; Saleh, Abdulelah; Tania, Hidalgo Castillo; Druet, Victor; Almarhoon, Bayan; Almulla, Latifah; Adamo, Antonio; Inal, Sahika; Laboratory of Stem Cells and Diseases, Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia; Organic Bioelectronics Laboratory, Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division, KAUST, Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia; Bioscience; Bioscience Program; Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering; Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division; Bioengineering; Bioengineering Program

    Human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) are a promising cell source for cardiac regenerative medicine and in vitro modeling. However, hPSC-CMs exhibit immature structural and functional properties compared with adult cardiomyocytes. Various electrical, mechanical, and biochemical cues have been applied to enhance hPSC-CM maturation but with limited success. In this work, we investigated the potential application of the semiconducting polymer poly{[N,N′-bis(2-octyldodecyl)-naphthalene-1,4,5,8-bis(dicarboximide)-2,6-diyl]-alt-5,5′-(2,2′-bithiophene)} (P(NDI2OD-T2)) as a light-sensitive material to stimulate hPSC-CMs optically. Our results indicated that P(NDI2OD-T2)-mediated photostimulation caused cell damage at irradiances applied long-term above 36 μW/mm2 and did not regulate cardiac monolayer beating (after maturation) at higher intensities applied in a transient fashion. However, we discovered that the cells grown on P(NDI2OD-T2)-coated substrates showed significantly enhanced expression of cardiomyocyte maturation markers in the absence of a light exposure stimulus. A combination of techniques, such as atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring, which we applied to investigate the interface of the cell with the n-type coating, revealed that P(NDI2OD-T2) impacted the nanostructure, adsorption, and viscoelasticity of the Matrigel coating used as a cell adhesion promoter matrix. This modified cellular microenvironment promoted the expression of cardiomyocyte maturation markers related to contraction, calcium handling, metabolism, and conduction. Overall, our findings demonstrate that conjugated polymers such as P(NDI2OD-T2) can be used as passive coatings to direct stem cell fate through interfacial engineering of cell growth substrates.

  • Preprint

    Deep learning-driven pulmonary arteries and veins segmentation reveals demography-associated pulmonary vasculature anatomy

    (arXiv, 2024-04-11) Chu, Yuetan; Luo, Gongning; Zhou, Longxi; Cao, Shaodong; Ma, Guolin; Meng, Xianglin; Zhou, Juexiao; Yang, Changchun; Xie, Dexuan; Henao, Ricardo; Xiao, Xigang; Wu, Lianming; Qiu, Zhaowen; Gao, Xin; Computer Science Program, Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia; Bioengineering; Bioengineering Program; Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering; Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division; Computer Science; Computer Science Program; Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering; Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) Division; Computational Bioscience Research Center; Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC); Department of Radiology, The Fourth Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.; Department of Radiology, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, China; Department of Critical Care Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China; Department of Computer Tomography, The First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.; Department of Radiology, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China; College of Computer and Control Engineering, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China.

    Pulmonary artery-vein segmentation is crucial for diagnosing pulmonary diseases and surgical planning, and is traditionally achieved by Computed Tomography Pulmonary Angiography (CTPA). However, concerns regarding adverse health effects from contrast agents used in CTPA have constrained its clinical utility. In contrast, identifying arteries and veins using non-contrast CT, a conventional and low-cost clinical examination routine, has long been considered impossible. Here we propose a High-abundant Pulmonary Artery-vein Segmentation (HiPaS) framework achieving accurate artery-vein segmentation on both non-contrast CT and CTPA across various spatial resolutions. HiPaS first performs spatial normalization on raw CT scans via a super-resolution module, and then iteratively achieves segmentation results at different branch levels by utilizing the low-level vessel segmentation as a prior for high-level vessel segmentation. We trained and validated HiPaS on our established multi-centric dataset comprising 1,073 CT volumes with meticulous manual annotation. Both quantitative experiments and clinical evaluation demonstrated the superior performance of HiPaS, achieving a dice score of 91.8% and a sensitivity of 98.0%. Further experiments demonstrated the non-inferiority of HiPaS segmentation on non-contrast CT compared to segmentation on CTPA. Employing HiPaS, we have conducted an anatomical study of pulmonary vasculature on 10,613 participants in China (five sites), discovering a new association between pulmonary vessel abundance and sex and age: vessel abundance is significantly higher in females than in males, and slightly decreases with age, under the controlling of lung volumes (p < 0.0001). HiPaS realizing accurate artery-vein segmentation delineates a promising avenue for clinical diagnosis and understanding pulmonary physiology in a non-invasive manner.

  • Article

    A systematic review of robotic efficacy in coral reef monitoring techniques

    (Elsevier BV, 2024-04-03) Cardenas, Jennifer A.; Samadikhoshkho, Zahra; Rehman, Ateeq Ur; Valle Pérez, Alexander Uriel; de León, Elena Herrera Ponce; Hauser, Charlotte; Feron, Eric M.; Ahmad, Rafiq; Laboratory for Nanomedicine, Division of Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia; Bioengineering; Bioengineering Program; Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering; Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division; Computational Bioscience Research Center; Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC); Electrical and Computer Engineering; Electrical and Computer Engineering Program; Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering; Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Science and Engineering (CEMSE) Division; Environmental Science and Engineering; Environmental Science and Engineering Program; Red Sea Research Center; Red Sea Research Center (RSRC); Aquaponics 4.0 Learning Factory (AllFactory), University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

    Coral reefs are home to a variety of species, and their preservation is a popular study area; however, monitoring them is a significant challenge, for which the use of robots offers a promising answer. The purpose of this study is to analyze the current techniques and tools employed in coral reef monitoring, with a focus on the role of robotics and its potential in transforming this sector. Using a systematic review methodology examining peer-reviewed literature across engineering and earth sciences from the Scopus database focusing on “robotics” and “coral reef” keywords, the article is divided into three sections: coral reef monitoring, robots in coral reef monitoring, and case studies. The initial findings indicated a variety of monitoring strategies, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Case studies have also highlighted the global application of robotics in monitoring, emphasizing the challenges and opportunities unique to each context. Robotic interventions driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning have led to a new era in coral reef monitoring. Such developments not only improve monitoring but also support the conservation and restoration of these vulnerable ecosystems. Further research is required, particularly on robotic systems for monitoring coral nurseries and maximizing coral health in both indoor and open-sea settings.

  • Article

    N-Type polymeric mixed conductors for all-in-one aqueous electrolyte gated photoelectrochemical transistors

    (Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2024) Almulla, Latifah; Druet, Victor; E. Petoukhoff, Christopher; Shan, Wentao; Alshehri, Nisreen; Griggs, Sophie; Wang, Yazhou; Alsufyani, Maryam; Yue, Wan; McCulloch, Iain; Laquai, Frédéric; Inal, Sahika; King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division, Organic Bioelectronics Laboratory, Thuwal 23955-6900 Saudi Arabia; Bioengineering; Bioengineering Program; Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering; Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division; Material Science and Engineering; Material Science and Engineering Program; Applied Physics; Physical Sciences and Engineering; Physical Science and Engineering (PSE) Division; Bioscience; Bioscience Program; Chemistry; Chemical Science Program; KAUST Solar Center; KAUST Solar Center (KSC); Physics and Astronomy Department, College of Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh 12372 Saudi Arabia; Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3TA UK; Guangzhou Key Laboratory of Flexible Electronic Materials and Wearable Devices, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275 People's Republic of China

    An organic photoelectrochemical transistor (OPECT) is an organic electrochemical transistor (OECT) that utilizes light to toggle between ON and OFF states. The current response to light and voltage fluxes in aqueous media renders the OPECT ideal for the development of next-generation bioelectronic devices, including light-assisted biosensors, light-controlled logic gates, and artificial photoreceptors. However, existing OPECT architectures are complex, often requiring photoactive nanostructures prepared through labor-intensive synthetic methods, and despite this complexity, their performance remains limited. In this study, we develop aqueous electrolyte-compatible optoelectronic transistors using a single n-type semiconducting polymer. The n-type film performs multiple tasks: (1) gating the channel, (2) generating a photovoltage in response to light, and (3) coupling and transporting cations and electrons in the channel. We systematically investigate the photoelectrochemical properties of a range of n-type polymeric mixed conductors to understand the material requirements for maximizing phototransistor performance. Our findings contribute to the identification of crucial material and device properties necessary for constructing high-performance OPECTs with simplified design features and a direct interface with biological systems.

  • Article

    Revealing the effect of cobalt content and ligand exchange in the bimetallic Ni–Co MOF for stable supercapacitors with high energy density

    (Elsevier BV, 2024-04-03) Raissa,; Wulan Septiani, Ni Luh; Wustoni, Shofarul; Failamani, Fainan; Wehbe, Nimer; Eguchi, Miharu; Nara, Hiroki; Inal, Sahika; Suendo, Veinardi; Yuliarto, Brian; Imaging and Characterization Core Labs, KAUST, Thuwal, 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia; Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering; Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering (BESE) Division; Surface Science; Bioengineering; Bioengineering Program; Imaging & Characterization Core Lab; Imaging and Characterization Core Lab; Doctoral Program of Engineering Physics, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Bandung, 40132, Indonesia; Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Computer, Universitas Pertamina, Jakarta, 12200, Indonesia; Research Center for Advanced Materials, National Research and Innovation (BRIN), Komplek Puspiptek, South Tangerang, 15314, Indonesia; Advanced Functional Materials Research Group, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), Bandung, 40132, Indonesia; Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science, ITB, Bandung, 40132, Indonesia; Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Shinjuku, Tokyo, 169-8555, Japan; International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), 1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-0044, Japan; Research Organization for Nano & Life Innovation, Waseda University, 513 Wasedatsurumakicho, Shinjuku, Tokyo, 162-0041, Japan; Research Center for Nanosciences and Nanotechnology (RCNN), ITB, Bandung, 40132, Indonesia

    Metal-organic frameworks (MOF) exhibit considerable potential as electrode materials for supercapacitors. Nevertheless, the electrochemical performance of the MOF is impeded by its low electrical conductivity and chemical stability. In this study, we investigate the impact of cobalt composition and ligand exchange on the performance of bimetallic NiCo-MOF to unlock its optimal performance. Our results reveal that integrating cobalt affects the abundance of Ni3+ and Co2+, which serve as electrochemical active species. Additionally, ligand exchange with a phosphate group leads to further modifications in both abundance and surface area. The result indicates that a Ni/Co ratio of 10:1 in NiCo-MOF exhibits superior performance (437 C g−1 at 0.5 A g−1), surpassing the performance of other ratios. Furthermore, the process of ligand exchange in NiCo-MOF with a Ni/Co ratio of 10:1 yields an even higher capacity of 522 C g−1 at 0.5 A g−1, with an energy density of 22 Wh kg−1 at 363 W kg−1 when assembled in an asymmetric supercapacitor cell. The supercapacitor cell demonstrates a remarkable capacity retention of 99 % at 5 A g−1 over 5000 cycles. This study provides insight into the pivotal role of cobalt composition and ligand exchange in improving the electrochemical performance of NiCo-MOF.