This work is aimed to develop a biocompatible, bactericidal and mechanically stable biomaterial to overcome the challenges associated with calcium phosphate bioceramics. The influence of chemical composition on synthesis temperature, bioactivity, antibacterial activity and mechanical stability of least explored calcium silicate bioceramics was studied. The current study also investigates the biomedical applications of rankinite (Ca3Si2O7) for the first time. Sol-gel combustion method was employed for their preparation using citric acid as a fuel. Differential thermal analysis indicated that the crystallization of larnite and rankinite occurred at 795 °C and 1000 °C respectively. The transformation of secondary phases into the desired product was confirmed by XRD and FT-IR. TEM micrographs showed the particle size of larnite in the range of 100-200 nm. The surface of the samples was entirely covered by the dominant apatite phase within one week of immersion. Moreover, the compressive strength of larnite and rankinite was found to be 143 MPa and 233 MPa even after 28 days of soaking in SBF. Both samples prevented the growth of clinical pathogens at a concentration of 2 mg/mL. Larnite and rankinite supported the adhesion, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs. The variation in chemical composition was found to influence the properties of larnite and rankinite. The results observed in this work signify that these materials not only exhibit faster biomineralization ability, excellent cytocompatibility but also enhanced mechanical stability and antibacterial properties.
Bioactive silicates have gained popularity as bone graft substitutes in recent years due to their exceptional ability to bind to host tissues. The current study investigates the effect of changing the metal ion-to-fuel ratio on the properties and biological activity of monticellite prepared via the sol-gel connived combustion technique. Single-phasic monticellite was obtained at 900 °C, without any secondary-phase contaminants for the fuel-lean, stoichiometric, and fuel-rich conditions. SEM and TEM micrographs revealed the porous, spongy morphology of the materials. Because of the reduced crystallite size and higher surface area, the biomineralization of monticellite prepared under fuel-lean conditions resulted in more apatite deposition than those of the other two samples. The results show that the material has a good compressive strength comparable to natural bone, while its brittleness is equivalent to the lower moduli of bone. In terms of antibacterial and antifungal activities, the monticellite bioceramics outperformed the clinical pathogens. It can be used for bone tissue engineering and other biological applications due to its excellent anti-inflammatory and hemolysis inhibitory properties.
The development of biological methods over the past decade has stimulated great interest in the possibility to regenerate human tissues. Advances in stem cell research, gene therapy, and tissue engineering have accelerated the technology in tissue and organ regeneration. However, despite significant progress in this area, there are still several technical issues that must be addressed, especially in the clinical use of gene therapy. The aims of gene therapy include utilising cells to produce a suitable protein, silencing over-producing proteins, and genetically modifying and repairing cell functions that may affect disease conditions. While most current gene therapy clinical trials are based on cell- and viral-mediated approaches, non-viral gene transfection agents are emerging as potentially safe and effective in the treatment of a wide variety of genetic and acquired diseases. Gene therapy based on viral vectors may induce pathogenicity and immunogenicity. Therefore, significant efforts are being invested in non-viral vectors to enhance their efficiency to a level comparable to the viral vector. Non-viral technologies consist of plasmid-based expression systems containing a gene encoding, a therapeutic protein, and synthetic gene delivery systems. One possible approach to enhance non-viral vector ability or to be an alternative to viral vectors would be to use tissue engineering technology for regenerative medicine therapy. This review provides a critical view of gene therapy with a major focus on the development of regenerative medicine technologies to control the in vivo location and function of administered genes.
The failure of colorectal cancer treatments is partly due to overexpression of CXCR4 by tumor cells, which plays a critical role in cell metastasis. Moreover, serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels are frequently elevated in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. A polysaccharide, dextran, was chosen as the vector of siRNA. Spermine was conjugated to oxidized dextran by reductive amination process to obtain cationized dextran, so-called dextran-spermine, in order to prepare CXCR4-siRNAs/dextran-spermine nanoparticles. The fabricated nanoparticles were used in order to investigate whether downregulation of CXCR4 expression could affect serum ALP in mouse models of colorectal cancer.
Liver metastasis is the main cause of mortality related to colorectal cancer. CXCR4 is necessary for the outgrowth of colon cancer micrometastases. In oncology, it has been demonstrated that several human tumors release lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) into the circulation. CXCR4 gene expression and serum LDH levels are often increased in patients with colorectal cancer. Despite technological advances in cancer therapy, five-year overall survival is still around 50%. Therefore, better treatment needs to be developed. RNA interference (RNAi) is a modern and powerful tool for inhibition of gene expression. However, the rate-limiting step in this technology is effective delivery of RNAi agents. We have investigated a novel strategy of CXCR4 siRNA therapy and its effect on serum LDH levels in a BALB/C mouse model of colorectal cancer metastasis to the liver. Hepatic metastasis was established by injecting a CT26.WT mouse colon carcinoma cell line via the tail vein. Our results demonstrated that CXCR4 siRNA/ dextran-spermine nanoparticles achieved high silencing efficiency with low toxicity. Favorable localization of the nanoparticles was confirmed with CXCR4 gene expression in the liver, that was correlated with serum LDH levels. More research will be needed to determine the effect of CXCR4 silencing on serum LDH levels, which may be a useful marker for predicting liver metastasis in colorectal cancer.
A novel cationic polymer, dextran-spermine (D-SPM), has been found to mediate gene expression in a wide variety of cell lines and in vivo through systemic delivery. Here, we extended the observations by determining the optimal conditions for gene expression of D-SPM/plasmid DNA (D-SPM/pDNA) in cell lines and in the lungs of BALB/c mice via instillation delivery. In vitro studies showed that D-SPM could partially protect pDNA from degradation by nuclease and exhibited optimal gene transfer efficiency at D-SPM to pDNA weight-mixing ratio of 12. In the lungs of mice, the levels of gene expression generated by D-SPM/pDNA are highly dependent on the weight-mixing ratio of D-SPM to pDNA, amount of pDNA in the complex, and the assay time postdelivery. Readministration of the complex at day 1 following the first dosing showed no significant effect on the retention and duration of gene expression. The study also showed that there was a clear trend of increasing size of the complexes as the amount of pDNA was increased, where the sizes of the D-SPM/pDNA complexes were within the nanometer range.