Calcium silicate (CaSiO3, CS) ceramics are promising bioactive materials for bone tissue engineering, particularly for bone repair. However, the low toughness of CS limits its application in load-bearing conditions. Recent findings indicating the promising biocompatibility of graphene imply that graphene can be used as an additive to improve the mechanical properties of composites. Here, we report a simple method for the synthesis of calcium silicate/reduced graphene oxide (CS/rGO) composites using a hydrothermal approach followed by hot isostatic pressing (HIP). Adding rGO to pure CS increased the hardness of the material by ∼40%, the elastic modulus by ∼52%, and the fracture toughness by ∼123%. Different toughening mechanisms were observed including crack bridging, crack branching, crack deflection, and rGO pull-out, thus increasing the resistance to crack propagation and leading to a considerable improvement in the fracture toughness of the composites. The formation of bone-like apatite on a range of CS/rGO composites with rGO weight percentages ranging from 0 to 1.5 has been investigated in simulated body fluid (SBF). The presence of a bone-like apatite layer on the composite surface after soaking in SBF was demonstrated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). The biocompatibility of the CS/rGO composites was characterized using methyl thiazole tetrazolium (MTT) assays in vitro. The cell adhesion results showed that human osteoblast cells (hFOB) can adhere to and develop on the CS/rGO composites. In addition, the proliferation rate and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity of cells on the CS/rGO composites were improved compared with the pure CS ceramics. These results suggest that calcium silicate/reduced graphene oxide composites are promising materials for biomedical applications.
Dengue virus (DENV) and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) are important arthropod-borne viruses from the Flaviviridae family. DENV is a global public health problem with significant social and economic impacts, especially in tropical and subtropical areas. JEV is a neurotropic arbovirus endemic to east and southeast Asia. There are no U.S. FDA-approved antiviral drugs available to treat or to prevent DENV and JEV infections, leaving nearly one-third of the world's population at risk for infection. Therefore, it is crucial to discover potent antiviral agents against these viruses. Nucleoside analogs, as a class, are widely used for the treatment of viral infections. In this study, we discovered nucleoside analogs that possess potent and selective anti-JEV and anti-DENV activities across all serotypes in cell-based assay systems. Both viruses were susceptible to sugar-substituted 2'-C-methyl analogs with either cytosine or 7-deaza-7-fluoro-adenine nucleobases. Mouse studies confirmed the anti-DENV activity of these nucleoside analogs. Molecular models were assembled for DENV serotype 2 (DENV-2) and JEV RNA-dependent RNA polymerase replication complexes bound to nucleotide inhibitors. These models show similarities between JEV and DENV-2, which recognize the same nucleotide inhibitors. Collectively, our findings provide promising compounds and a structural rationale for the development of direct-acting antiviral agents with dual activity against JEV and DENV infections.
Calcium silicate (CS, CaSiO3 ) is a bioactive, degradable, and biocompatible ceramic and has been considered for its potential in the field of orthopedic surgery. The objective of this study is the fabrication and characterization of the β-CS/poly(1.8-octanediol citrate) (POC) biocomposite, with the goals of controlling its weight loss and improving its biological and mechanical properties. POC is one of the most biocompatible polymers, and it is widely used in biomedical engineering applications. The degradation and bioactivity of the composites were determined by soaking the composites in phosphate-buffered saline and simulated body fluid, respectively. Human osteoblast cells were cultured on the composites to determine their cell proliferation and adhesion. The results illustrated that the flexural and compressive strengths were significantly enhanced by a modification of 40% POC. It was also concluded that the degradation bioactivity and amelioration of cell proliferation increased significantly with an increasing β-CS content.
The effect of the addition of an ionic dopant to calcium phosphates for biomedical applications requires specific research due to the essential roles played in such processes. In the present study, the mechanical and biological properties of Ni-doped hydroxyapatite (HA) and Ni-doped HA mixed with graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) were evaluated. Ni (3wt.% and 6wt.%)-doped HA was synthesized using a continuous precipitation method and calcined at 900°C for 1h. The GNP (0.5-2wt.%)-reinforced 6% Ni-doped HA (Ni6) composite was prepared using rotary ball milling for 15h. The sintering process was performed using hot isostatic pressing at processing conditions of 1150°C and 160MPa with a 1-h holding time. The results indicated that the phase compositions and structural features of the products were noticeably affected by the Ni and GNPs. The mechanical properties of Ni6 and 1.5Ni6 were increased by 55% and 75% in hardness, 59% and 163% in fracture toughness and 120% and 85% in elastic modulus compared with monolithic HA, respectively. The in-vitro biological behavior was investigated using h-FOB osteoblast cells in 1, 3 and 5days of culture. Based on the osteoblast results, the cytotoxicity of the products was indeed affected by the Ni doping. In addition, the effect of GNPs on the growth and proliferation of osteoblast cells was investigated in Ni6 composites containing different ratios of GNPs, where 1.5wt.% was the optimum value.
Calcium silicate (CaSiO3, CS) ceramic composites reinforced with graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) were prepared using hot isostatic pressing (HIP) at 1150°C. Quantitative microstructural analysis suggests that GNP play a role in grain size and is responsible for the improved densification. Raman spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy showed that GNP survived the harsh processing conditions of the selected HIP processing parameters. The uniform distribution of 1 wt.% GNP in the CS matrix, high densification and fine CS grain size help to improve the fracture toughness by ∼130%, hardness by ∼30% and brittleness index by ∼40% as compared to the CS matrix without GNP. The toughening mechanisms, such as crack bridging, pull-out, branching and deflection induced by GNP are observed and discussed. The GNP/CS composites exhibit good apatite-forming ability in the simulated body fluid (SBF). Our results indicate that the addition of GNP decreased pH value in SBF. Effect of addition of GNP on early adhesion and proliferation of human osteoblast cells (hFOB) was measured in vitro. The GNP/CS composites showed good biocompatibility and promoted cell viability and cell proliferation. The results indicated that the cell viability and proliferation are affected by time and concentration of GNP in the CS matrix.
Baicalin, a flavonoid derived from Scutellaria baicalensis, is the main metabolite of baicalein released following administration in different animal models and human. We previously reported the antiviral activity of baicalein against dengue virus (DENV). Here, we examined the anti-DENV properties of baicalin in vitro, and described the inhibitory potentials of baicalin at different steps of DENV-2 (NGC strain) replication. Our in vitro antiviral experiments showed that baicalin inhibited virus replication at IC50 = 13.5 ± 0.08 μg/ml with SI = 21.5 following virus internalization by Vero cells. Baicalin exhibited virucidal activity against DENV-2 extracellular particles at IC50 = 8.74 ± 0.08 μg/ml and showed anti-adsorption effect with IC50 = 18.07 ± 0.2 μg/ml. Our findings showed that baicalin as the main metabolite of baicalein exerting in vitro anti-DENV activity. Further investigations on baicalein and baicalin to deduce its antiviral therapeutic effects are warranted.
The mosquito-borne chikungunya virus (CHIKV) causes chikungunya fever, with clinical presentations such as severe back and small joint pain, and debilitating arthritis associated with crippling pains that persist for weeks and even years. Although there are several studies to evaluate the efficacy of drugs against CHIKV, the treatment for chikungunya fever is mainly symptom-based and no effective licensed vaccine or antiviral are available. Here, we investigated the antiviral activity of three types of flavonoids against CHIKV in vitro replication. Three compounds: silymarin, quercetin and kaempferol were evaluated for their in vitro antiviral activities against CHIKV using a CHIKV replicon cell line and clinical isolate of CHIKV of Central/East African genotype. A cytopathic effect inhibition assay was used to determine their activities on CHIKV viral replication and quantitative reverse transcription PCR was used to calculate virus yield. Antiviral activity of effective compound was further investigated by evaluation of CHIKV protein expression using western blotting for CHIKV nsP1, nsP3, and E2E1 proteins. Briefly, silymarin exhibited significant antiviral activity against CHIKV, reducing both CHIKV replication efficiency and down-regulating production of viral proteins involved in replication. This study may have important consequence for broaden the chance of getting the effective antiviral for CHIKV infection.
Several important human diseases worldwide are caused by tick-borne viruses. These diseases have become important public health concerns in recent years. The tick-borne viruses that cause diseases in humans mainly belong to 3 families: Bunyaviridae, Flaviviridae, and Reoviridae. In this review, we focus on therapeutic approaches for several of the more important tick-borne viruses from these 3 families. These viruses are Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHF) and the newly discovered tick-borne phleboviruses, known as thrombocytopenia syndromevirus (SFTSV), Heartland virus and Bhanja virus from the family Bunyaviridae, tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), Powassan virus (POWV), Louping-ill virus (LIV), Omsk hemorrhagic fever virus (OHFV), Kyasanur Forest disease virus (KFDV), and Alkhurma hemorrhagic fever virus (AHFV) from the Flaviviridae family. To date, there is no effective antiviral drug available against most of these tick-borne viruses. Although there is common usage of antiviral drugs such as ribavirin for CCHF treatment in some countries, there are concerns that ribavirin may not be as effective as once thought against CCHF. Herein, we discuss also the availability of vaccines for the control of these viral infections. The lack of treatment and prevention approaches for these viruses is highlighted, and we hope that this review may increase public health awareness with regard to the threat posed by this group of viruses.