Towards optimizing the growth of extracellular matrix to produce repair cartilage for healing articular cartilage (AC) defects in joints, scaffold-based tissue engineering approaches have recently become a focus of clinical research. Scaffold-based approaches by electrospinning aim to support the differentiation of chondrocytes by providing an ultrastructure similar to the fibrillar meshwork in native cartilage. In a first step, we demonstrate how the blending of chitosan with poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) allows concentrated chitosan solution to become electrospinnable. The chitosan-based scaffolds share the chemical structure and characteristics of glycosaminoglycans, which are important structural components of the cartilage extracellular matrix. Electrospinning produced nanofibrils of ∼100 nm thickness that are closely mimicking the size of collagen fibrils in human AC. The polymer scaffolds were stabilized in physiological conditions and their stiffness was tuned by introducing the biocompatible natural crosslinker genipin. We produced scaffolds that were crosslinked with 1.0% genipin to obtain values of stiffness that were in between the stiffness of the superficial zone human AC of 600 ± 150 kPa and deep zone AC of 1854 ± 483 kPa, whereas the stiffness of 1.5% genipin crosslinked scaffold was similar to the stiffness of deep zone AC. The scaffolds were degradable, which was indicated by changes in the fibril structure and a decrease in the scaffold stiffness after seven months. Histological and immunohistochemical analysis after three weeks of culture with human articular chondrocytes (HACs) showed a cell viability of over 90% on the scaffolds and new extracellular matrix deposited on the scaffolds.
Natural biopolymers have many attractive medical applications; however, complications due to fibrosis caused a reduction in diffusion and dispersal of nutrients and waste products. Consequently, severe immunocompatibility problems and poor mechanical and degradation properties in synthetic polymers ensue. Hence, the present study investigates a novel hydrogel material synthesized from caprolactone, ethylene glycol, ethylenediamine, polyethylene glycol, ammonium persulfate, and tetramethylethylenediamine via chemo-enzymatic route. Spectroscopic analyses indicated the formation of polyurea and polyhydroxyurethane as the primary building block of the hydrogel starting material. Biocompatibility studies showed positive observation in biosafety test using direct contact cytotoxicity assay in addition to active cellular growth on the hydrogel scaffold based on fluorescence observation. The synthesized hydrogel also exhibited (self)fluorescence properties under specific wavelength excitation. Hence, synthesized hydrogel could be a potential candidate for medical imaging as well as tissue engineering applications as a tissue expander, coating material, biosensor, and drug delivery system.
This work reports the modification of freeze/thaw poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogel using citric acid as the bioactive molecule for hydroxyapatite formation in simulated body fluid. Inclusion of 1.3 mM citric acid into the poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogel showed that the mechanical strength, crystalline phase, functional groups and swelling ability were still intact. Adding citric acid at higher concentrations (1.8 and 2.3 mM), however, resulted in physically poor hydrogels. Presence of 1.3 mM of citric acid showed the growth of porous hydroxyapatite crystals on the poly(vinyl alcohol) surface just after one day of immersion in simulated body fluid. Meanwhile, a fully covered apatite layer on the poly(vinyl alcohol) surface plus the evidence of apatite forming within the hydrogel were observed after soaking for seven days. Gel strength of the soaked poly(vinyl alcohol)/citric acid-1.3 mM hydrogel revealed that the load resistance was enhanced compared to that of the neat poly(vinyl alcohol) hydrogel. This facile method of inducing rapid growth of hydroxyapatite on the hydrogel surface as well as within the hydrogel network can be useful for guided bone regenerative materials.
The effect of electron beam radiation on ethylene-propylene diene terpolymer/polypropylene blends is studied as an attempt to develop radiation sterilizable polypropylene/ethylene-propylene diene terpolymer blends suitable for medical devices. The polypropylene/ethylene-propylene diene terpolymer blends with mixing ratios of 80/20, 50/50, 20/80 were prepared in an internal mixer at 165°C and a rotor speed of 50 rpm/min followed by compression molding. The blends and the individual components were radiated using 3.0 MeV electron beam accelerator at doses ranging from 0 to 100 kGy in air and room temperature. All the samples were tested for tensile strength, elongation at break, hardness, impact strength, and morphological properties. After exposing to 25 and 100 kGy radiation doses, 50% PP blend was selected for in vivo studies. Results revealed that radiation-induced crosslinking is dominating in EPDM dominant blends, while radiation-induced degradation is prevailing in PP dominant blends. The 20% PP blend was found to be most compatible for 20-60 kGy radiation sterilization. The retention in impact strength with enhanced tensile strength of 20% PP blend at 20-60 kGy believed to be associated with increased compatibility between PP and EPDM along with the radiation-induced crosslinking. The scanning electron micrographs of the fracture surfaces of the PP/EPDM blends showed evidences consistent with the above contentation. The in vivo studies provide an instinct that the radiated blends are safe to be used for healthcare devices.
The utilisation of hydroxyapatite and collagen as bioactive coating materials could enhance cells attachment, proliferation and osseointegration. However, most methods to form crystal hydroxyapatite coating do not allow the incorporation of polymer/organic compound due to production phase of high sintering temperature. In this study, a polydopamine film was used as an intermediate layer to immobilise hydroxyapatite-collagen without the introduction of high sintering temperature. The surface roughness, coating adhesion, bioactivity and osteoblast attachment on the hydroxyapatite-collagen coating were assessed as these properties remains unknown on the polydopamine grafted film. The coating was developed by grafting stainless steel 316L disks with a polydopamine film. Collagen type I fibres were then immobilised on the grafted film, followed by the biomineralisation of hydroxyapatite. The surface roughness and coating adhesion analyses were later performed by using AFM instrument. An Alamar Blue assay was used to determine the cytotoxicity of the coating, while an alkaline phosphatase activity test was conducted to evaluate the osteogenic differentiation of human fetal osteoblasts on the coating. Finally, the morphology of cells attachment on the coating was visualised under FESEM. The highest RMS roughness and coating adhesion were observed on the hydroxyapatite-collagen coating (hydroxyapatite-coll-dopa). The hydroxyapatite-coll-dopa coating was non-toxic to the osteoblast cells with greater cells proliferation, greater level of alkaline phosphate production and more cells attachment. These results indicate that the immobilisation of hydroxyapatite and collagen using an intermediate polydopamine is identical to enhance coating adhesion, osteoblast cells attachment, proliferation and differentiation, and thus could be implemented as a coating material on orthopaedic and dental implants.
Calcium phosphates (CaP) of different porosities have been widely and successfully used as scaffolds with osteoblast cells for bone tissue regeneration. However, the effects of scaffold porosities on cell viability and differentiation of human dental pulp cells for dentin tissue regeneration are not well known. In this study, biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) scaffolds of 20/80 hydroxyapatite to beta tricalcium phosphate ratio with a mean pore size of 300 μm were prepared into BCP1, BCP2, BCP3, and BCP4 of 25%, 50%, 65%, and 75% of total porosities, respectively. The extracts of these scaffolds were assessed with regard to cell viability, proliferation, and differentiation of human dental pulp cells. The high alkalinity, and more calcium and phosphate ions release that were exhibited by BCP3 and BCP4 decreased the viability and proliferation of human dental pulp cells as compared to BCP1 and BCP2. BCP2 significantly increased both cell viability and cell proliferation. However, the cells cultured with BCP3 extract revealed high alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and high expression of odontoblast related genes, collagen type I alpha 1, dentin matrix protein-1, and dentin sialophosphoprotein as compared to that cultured with BCP1, BCP2, and BCP4 extracts. The results highlight the effect of different scaffold porosities on the cell microenvironment and demonstrate that BCP3 scaffold of 65% porosity can support human dental pulp cells differentiation for dentin tissue regeneration.
Graphene is another allotrope of carbon with two-dimensional monolayer honeycomb. Owing to its special characteristics including electrical, physical and optical properties, graphene is known as a more suitable candidate compared to other materials to be used in the sensor application. It is possible, moreover, to use biosensor by using electrolyte-gated field effect transistor based on graphene (GFET) to identify the alterations in charged lipid membrane properties. The current article aims to show how thickness and charges of a membrane electric can result in a monolayer graphene-based GFET while the emphasis is on the conductance variation. It is proposed that the thickness and electric charge of the lipid bilayer (LLP and QLP) are functions of carrier density, and to find the equation relating these suitable control parameters are introduced. Artificial neural network algorithm as well as support vector regression has also been incorporated to obtain other models for conductance characteristic. The results comparison between analytical models, artificial neural network and support vector regression with the experimental data extracted from previous work show an acceptable agreement.
Hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2) is widely investigated as an implantable material for hard tissue restoration due to its osteoconductive properties. However, hydroxyapatite in bulk form is limited as its mechanical properties are insufficient for load-bearing orthopedic applications. Attempts have been made to improve the mechanical properties of hydroxyapatite, by incorporating ceramic fillers, but the resultant composite materials require high sintering temperatures to facilitate densification, leading to the decomposition of hydroxyapatite into tricalcium phosphate, tetra-calcium phosphate and CaO phases. One method of improving the properties of hydroxyapatite is to incorporate bioactive glass particles as a second phase. These typically have lower softening points which could possibly facilitate sintering at lower temperatures. In this work, a bioactive glass (SiO2-CaO-ZnO-Na2O-TiO2) is incorporated (10, 20 and 30 wt%) into hydroxyapatite as a reinforcing phase. X-ray diffraction confirmed that no additional phases (other than hydroxyapatite) were formed at a sintering temperature of 560 ℃ with up to 30 wt% glass addition. The addition of the glass phase increased the % crystallinity and the relative density of the composites. The biaxial flexural strength increased to 36 MPa with glass addition, and there was no significant change in hardness as a function of maturation. The pH of the incubation media increased to pH 10 or 11 through glass addition, and ion release profiles determined that Si, Na and P were released from the composites. Calcium phosphate precipitation was encouraged in simulated body fluid with the incorporation of the bioactive glass phase, and cell culture testing in MC-3T3 osteoblasts determined that the composite materials did not significantly reduce cell viability.
The aim of this research is to develop biocompatible nanofibrous mats using hydroxyethyl cellulose with improved cellular adhesion profiles and stability and use these fibrous mats as potential scaffold for skin tissue engineering. Glutaraldehyde was used to treat the scaffolds water insoluble as well as improve their biostability for possible use in biomedical applications. Electrospinning of hydroxyethyl cellulose (5 wt%) with poly(vinyl alcohol) (15 wt%) incorporated with and without collagen was blended at (1:1:1) and (1:1) ratios, respectively, and was evaluated for optimal criteria as tissue engineering scaffolds. The nanofibrous mats were crosslinked and characterized by scanning electron microscope, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and thermogravimetric analysis. Scanning electron microscope images showed that the mean diameters of blend nanofibers were gradually increased after chemically crosslinking with glutaraldehyde. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy was carried out to understand chemical interactions in the presence of aldehyde groups. Thermal characterization results showed that the stability of hydroxyethyl cellulose/poly(vinyl alcohol) and hydroxyethyl cellulose/poly(vinyl alcohol)/collagen nanofibers was increased with glutaraldehyde treatment. Studies on cell-scaffolds interaction were carried out by culturing human fibroblast (hFOB) cells on the nanofibers by assessing the growth, proliferation, and morphologies of cells. The scanning electron microscope results show that better cell proliferation and attachment appeared on hydroxyethyl cellulose/poly(vinyl alcohol)/collagen substrates after 7 days of culturing, thus, promoting the potential of electrospun scaffolds as a promising candidate for tissue engineering applications.
Microporous, poly (ɛ-caprolactone) (PCL) matrices loaded with the antibacterial, metronidazole were produced by rapidly cooling suspensions of drug powder in PCL solutions in acetone. Drug incorporation in the matrices increased from 2.0% to 10.6% w/w on raising the drug loading of the PCL solution from 5% to 20% w/w measured with respect to the PCL content. Drug loading efficiencies of 40-53% were obtained. Rapid 'burst release' of 35-55% of the metronidazole content was recorded over 24 h when matrices were immersed in simulated vaginal fluid (SVF), due to the presence of large amounts of drug on matrix surface as revealed by Raman microscopy. Gradual release of around 80% of the drug content occurred over the following 12 days. Metronidazole released from PCL matrices in SVF retained antimicrobial activity against Gardnerella vaginalis in vitro at levels up to 97% compared to the free drug. Basic modelling predicted that the concentrations of metronidazole released into vaginal fluid in vivo from a PCL matrix in the form of an intravaginal ring would exceed the minimum inhibitory concentration of metronidazole against G. vaginalis. These findings recommend further investigation of PCL matrices as intravaginal devices for controlled delivery of metronidazole in the treatment and prevention of bacterial vaginosis.
A novel decellularization method using sonication treatment is described. Sonication treatment is the combination of physical and chemical agents. These methods will disrupt cell membrane and release cell contents to external environments. The cell removal was facilitated by subsequent rinsing of sodium dodecyl sulfate detergents. Sonication treatment is used in the preparation of complete decellularized bioscaffolds. The aim of this study is to confirm the usefulness of sonication treatment for preparation of biological scaffolds. In this study, samples of aortic tissues are decellularized by sonication treatment at frequency of 170 kHz in 0.1% and 2% sodium dodecyl sulfate detergents for 10-h treatment time. The relation between decellularization and sonication parameters such as dissolved oxygen concentration, conductivity, and pH is investigated. Histological analysis and biomechanical testing is performed to evaluate cell removal efficiency as well as changes in biomechanical properties. Minimal inflammation response elicit by bioscaffolds is confirmed by xenogeneic implantation and immunohistochemistry. Sonication treatment is able to produce complete decellularized tissue suggesting that these treatments could be applied widely as one of the decellularization method.
Iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) can be used in targeted drug delivery systems for localized cancer treatment. MNPs coated with biocompatible polymers are useful for delivering anticancer drugs. Iron oxide MNPs were synthesized via co-precipitation method then coated with either chitosan (CS) or polyethylene glycol (PEG) to form CS-MNPs and PEG-MNPs, respectively. Arginine (Arg) was loaded onto both coated nanoparticles to form Arg-CS-MNP and Arg-PEG-MNP nanocomposites. The X-ray diffraction results for the MNPs and the Arg-CS-MNP and Arg-PEG-MNPs nanocomposites indicated that the iron oxide contained pure magnetite. The amount of CS and PEG bound to the MNPs were estimated via thermogravimetric analysis and confirmed via Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy analysis. Arg loading was estimated using UV-vis measurements, which yielded values of 5.5% and 11% for the Arg-CS-MNP and Arg-PEG-MNP nanocomposites, respectively. The release profile of Arg from the nanocomposites followed a pseudo-second-order kinetic model. The cytotoxic effects of the MNPs, Arg-CS-MNPs, and Arg-PEG-MNPs were evaluated in human cervical carcinoma cells (HeLa), mouse embryonic fibroblast cells (3T3) and breast adenocarcinoma cells (MCF-7). The results indicate that the MNPs, Arg-CS-MNPs, and Arg-PEG-MNPs do not exhibit cytotoxicity toward 3T3 and HeLa cells. However, treatment of the MCF-7 cells with the Arg-CS-MNP and Arg-PEG-MNP nanocomposites reduced the cancer cell viability with IC50 values of 48.6 and 42.6 µg/mL, respectively, whereas the MNPs and free Arg did not affect the viability of the MCF-7 cells.
Sternotomy and sternal closure occur prior to and post cardiac surgery, respectively. Although post-operative complications associated with poor sternal fixation can result in morbidity, mortality, and considerable resource utilization, sternotomy is preferred over other methods such as lateral thoracotomy. Rigid sternal fixation is associated with stability and reduced incidence of post-operative complications. This is a comprehensive review of the literature evaluating in vivo, in vitro, and clinical responses to applying commercial and experimental surgical tools for sternal fixation after median sternotomy. Wiring, interlocking, plate-screw, and cementation techniques have been examined for closure, but none have experienced widespread adoption. Although all techniques have their advantages, serious post-operative complications were associated with the use of wiring and/or plating techniques in high-risk patients. A fraction of studies have analyzed the use of sternal interlocking systems and only a single study analyzed the effect of using kryptonite cement with wires. Plating and interlocking techniques are superior to wiring in terms of stability and reduced rate of post-operative complications; however, further clinical studies and long-term follow-up are required. The ideal sternal closure should ensure stability, reduced rate of post-operative complications, and a short hospitalization period, alongside cost-effectiveness.
This review summarises the major developments of macroporous bioceramics used mainly for repairing bone defects. Porous bioceramics have been receiving attention ever since their larger surface area was reported to be beneficial for the formation of more rigid bonds with host tissues. The study of porous bioceramics is important to overcome the less favourable bonds formed between dense bioceramics and host tissues, especially in healing bone defects. Macroporous bioceramics, which have been studied extensively, include hydroxyapatite, tricalcium phosphate, alumina, and zirconia. The pore size and interconnections both have significant effects on the growth rate of bone tissues. The optimum pore size of hydroxyapatite scaffolds for bone growth was found to be 300 µm. The existence of interconnections between pores is critical during the initial stage of tissue ingrowth on porous hydroxyapatite scaffolds. Furthermore, pore formation on β-tricalcium phosphate scaffolds also allowed the impregnation of growth factors and cells to improve bone tissues growth significantly. The formation of vascularised tissues was observed on macroporous alumina but did not take place in the case of dense alumina due to its bioinert nature. A macroporous alumina coating on scaffolds was able to improve the overall mechanical properties, and it enabled the impregnation of bioactive materials that could increase the bone growth rate. Despite the bioinertness of zirconia, porous zirconia was useful in designing scaffolds with superior mechanical properties after being coated with bioactive materials. The pores in zirconia were believed to improve the bone growth on the coated system. In summary, although the formation of pores in bioceramics may adversely affect mechanical properties, the advantages provided by the pores are crucial in repairing bone defects.