• A Cost-Effective Transparency-Based Digital Imaging for Efficient and Accurate Wound Area Measurement

      Li, Pei-Nan; Li, Hong; Wu, Mo-Li; Wang, Shou-Yu; Kong, Qing-You; Zhang, Zhen; Sun, Yuan; Liu, Jia; Lv, De-Cheng; McNeil, Paul L.; et al. (2012-05-30)
      Wound measurement is an objective and direct way to trace the course of wound healing and to evaluate therapeutic efficacy. Nevertheless, the accuracy and efficiency of the current measurement methods need to be improved. Taking the advantages of reliability of transparency tracing and the accuracy of computer-aided digital imaging, a transparency-based digital imaging approach is established, by which data from 340 wound tracing were collected from 6 experimental groups (8 rats/group) at 8 experimental time points (Day 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14 and 16) and orderly archived onto a transparency model sheet. This sheet was scanned and its image was saved in JPG form. Since a set of standard area units from 1 mm2 to 1 cm2 was integrated into the sheet, the tracing areas in JPG image were measured directly, using the â Magnetic lasso toolâ in Adobe Photoshop program. The pixel values/PVs of individual outlined regions were obtained and recorded in an average speed of 27 second/region. All PV data were saved in an excel form and their corresponding areas were calculated simultaneously by the formula of Y (PV of the outlined region)/X (PV of standard area unit) Ã Z (area of standard unit). It took a researcher less than 3 hours to finish area calculation of 340 regions. In contrast, over 3 hours were expended by three skillful researchers to accomplish the above work with traditional transparency-based method. Moreover, unlike the results obtained traditionally, little variation was found among the data calculated by different persons and the standard area units in different sizes and shapes. Given its accurate, reproductive and efficient properties, this transparency-based digital imaging approach would be of significant values in basic wound healing research and clinical practice.
    • The Effects of Mechanical Stress on the Growth, Differentiation, and Paracrine Factor Production of Cardiac Stem Cells

      Kurazumi, Hiroshi; Kubo, Masayuki; Ohshima, Mako; Yamamoto, Yumi; Takemoto, Yoshihiro; Suzuki, Ryo; Ikenaga, Shigeru; Mikamo, Akihito; Udo, Koichi; Hamano, Kimikazu; et al. (2011-12-28)
      Stem cell therapies have been clinically employed to repair the injured heart, and cardiac stem cells are thought to be one of the most potent stem cell candidates. The beating heart is characterized by dynamic mechanical stresses, which may have a significant impact on stem cell therapy. The purpose of this study is to investigate how mechanical stress affects the growth and differentiation of cardiac stem cells and their release of paracrine factors. In this study, human cardiac stem cells were seeded in a silicon chamber and mechanical stress was then induced by cyclic stretch stimulation (60 cycles/min with 120% elongation). Cells grown in non-stretched silicon chambers were used as controls. Our result revealed that mechanical stretching significantly reduced the total number of surviving cells, decreased Ki-67-positive cells, and increased TUNEL-positive cells in the stretched group 24 hrs after stretching, as compared to the control group. Interestingly, mechanical stretching significantly increased the release of the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-1β as well as the angiogenic growth factors VEGF and bFGF from the cells in 12 hrs. Furthermore, mechanical stretching significantly reduced the percentage of c-kit-positive stem cells, but increased the expressions of cardiac troponin-I and smooth muscle actin in cells 3 days after stretching. Using a traditional stretching model, we demonstrated that mechanical stress suppressed the growth and proliferation of cardiac stem cells, enhanced their release of inflammatory cytokines and angiogenic factors, and improved their myogenic differentiation. The development of this in vitro approach may help elucidate the complex mechanisms of stem cell therapy for heart failure.