Given their highly porous nature and excellent water retention, hydrogel-based biomaterials can mimic critical properties of the native cellular environment. However, their potential to emulate the electromechanical milieu of native tissues or conform well with the curved topology of human organs needs to be further explored to address a broad range of physiological demands of the body. In this regard, the incorporation of nanomaterials within hydrogels has shown great promise, as a simple one-step approach, to generate multifunctional scaffolds with previously unattainable biological, mechanical, and electrical properties. Here, recent advances in the fabrication and application of nanocomposite hydrogels in tissue engineering applications are described, with specific attention toward skeletal and electroactive tissues, such as cardiac, nerve, bone, cartilage, and skeletal muscle. Additionally, some potential uses of nanoreinforced hydrogels within the emerging disciplines of cyborganics, bionics, and soft biorobotics are highlighted.
Device applications of shape memory polymers demand diverse shape changing geometries, which are currently limited to non-omnidirectional movement. This restriction originates from traditional thermomechanical programming methods such as uniaxial, biaxial stretching, bending, or compression. A solvent-modulated programming method is reported to achieve an omnidirectional shape memory behavior. The method utilizes freeze drying of hydrogels of polyethylene glycol networks with a melting transition temperature around 50 °C in their dry state. Such a process creates temporarily fixed macroporosity, which collapses upon heating, leading to significant omnidirectional shrinkage. These shrunken materials can swell in water to form hydrogels again and the omnidirectional programming and recovery can be repeated. The fixity ratio (R f ) and recovery ratio (R r ) can be maintained at 90% and 98% respectively upon shape memory multicycling. The maximum linear recoverable strain, as limited by the maximum swelling, is ≈90%. Amongst various application potentials, one can envision the fabrication of multiphase composites by taking advantages of the omnidirectional shrinkage from a porous polymer to a denser structure.
This paper focuses on the micro- and nano-topological organization of a hydrogel, constituted by a mixture of bacterial cellulose and acrylic acid, and intended for biomedical applications. The presence of acrylic acid promotes the formation of two interpenetrated continuous phases: the primary "pores phase" (PP) containing only water and the secondary "polymeric network phase" (PNP) constituted by the polymeric network swollen by the water. Low field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (LF NMR), rheology, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and release tests were used to determine the characteristics of the two phases. In particular, we found that this system is a strong hydrogel constituted by 81% (v/v) of PP phase the remaining part being occupied by the PNP phase. Pores diameters span in the range 10-100 μm, the majority of them (85%) falling in the range 30-90 μm. The high PP phase tortuosity indicates that big pores are not directly connected to each other, but their connection is realized by a series of interconnected small pores that rend the drug path tortuous. The PNP is characterized by a polymer volume fraction around 0.73 while mesh size is around 3 nm. The theoretical interpretation of the experimental data coming from the techniques panel adopted, yielded to the micro- and nano-organization of our hydrogel.
This article aims to review the literature concerning the choice of selectivity for hydrogels based on classification, application and processing. Super porous hydrogels (SPHs) and superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) represent an innovative category of recent generation highlighted as an ideal mould system for the study of solution-dependent phenomena. Hydrogels, also termed as smart and/or hungry networks, are currently subject of considerable scientific research due to their potential in hi-tech applications in the biomedical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, bioseparation, biosensor, agriculture, oil recovery and cosmetics fields. Smart hydrogels display a significant physiochemical change in response to small changes in the surroundings. However, such changes are reversible; therefore, the hydrogels are capable of returning to its initial state after a reaction as soon as the trigger is removed.
Nanocellulose reinforced chitosan hydrogel was synthesized using chemical crosslinking method for the delivery of curcumin which is a poorly water-soluble drug. Curcumin extracted from the dried rhizomes of Curcuma longa was incorporated to the hydrogel via in situ loading method. A nonionic surfactant (Tween 20) was incorporated into the hydrogel to improve the solubility of curcumin. After the gas foaming process, hydrogel showed large interconnected pore structures. The release studies in gastric medium showed that the cumulative release of curcumin increased from 0.21% ± 0.02% to 54.85% ± 0.77% with the increasing of Tween 20 concentration from 0% to 30% (w/v) after 7.5 h. However, the entrapment efficiency percentage decreased with the addition of Tween 20. The gas foamed hydrogel showed higher initial burst release within the first 120 min compared to hydrogel formed at atmospheric condition. The solubility of curcumin would increase to 3.014 ± 0.041 mg/mL when the Tween 20 concentration increased to 3.2% (w/v) in simulated gastric medium. UV-visible spectra revealed that the drug retained its chemical activity after in vitro release. From these findings, it is believed that the nonionic surfactant incorporated chitosan/nanocellulose hydrogel can provide a platform to overcome current problems associated with curcumin delivery.
Dissolved oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) cellulose in NaOH/urea solvent was mixed with sodium carboxymethylcellulose (NaCMC) to form a green regenerated superabsorbent hydrogel. The effect of concentration of epichlorohydrin (ECH) as the crosslinker on the formation, physical, and chemical properties of hydrogel was studied. Rapid formation and higher gel content of hydrogel were observed at 10% concentration of ECH. The superabsorbent hydrogel was successfully fabricated in this study with the swelling ability >100,000%. Hydrogel with higher concentration of ECH showed opposite trend by having higher superabsorbent property than that of lower concentration. The covalent bond of COC was observed with Attenuated total reflectance fourier transform infrared (ATR-FT-IR) spectroscopy to confirm the occurrence of crosslinking. The physical and chemical properties of hydrogel were affected by swelling phenomenon. Hydrogel with higher degree of swelling exhibited lower moisture retention and higher transparency. Moreover, the weight of the superabsorbent hydrogel increased with the decrement of pH value of external media (distilled water). This study provided substantial information on the effect of different percentage of ECH as crosslinker on hydrogel basic properties. Furthermore, this study affords correlation of many essential driving forces that affected hydrogel superabsorbent property.
Here, a stable derivative of cellulose, called cellulose carbamate (CC), was produced from Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) core pulp (KCP) and urea with the aid of a hydrothermal method. Further investigation was carried out for the amount of nitrogen yielded in CC as different urea concentrations were applied to react with cellulose. The effect of nitrogen concentration of CC on its solubility in a urea-alkaline system was also studied. Regenerated cellulose products (hydrogels and aerogels) were fabricated through the rapid dissolution of CC in a urea-alkaline system. The morphology of the regenerated cellulose products was viewed under Field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM). The transformation of allomorphs in regenerated cellulose products was examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD). The transparency of regenerated cellulose products was determined by Ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) spectrophotometer. The degree of swelling (DS) of regenerated cellulose products was also evaluated. This investigation provides a simple and efficient procedure of CC determination which is useful in producing regenerated CC products.
Over the last decade, numerous investigations have attempted to clarify the intricacies of tumor development to propose effective approaches for cancer treatment. Thanks to the unique properties of hydrogels, researchers have made significant progress in tumor model reconstruction, tumor diagnosis, and associated therapies. Notably, hydrogel-based systems can be adjusted to respond to cancer-specific hallmarks and/or external stimuli. These well-known drug reservoirs can be used as smart carriers for multiple cargos, including both naked and nanoparticle-encapsulated chemotherapeutics, genes, and radioisotopes. Recent works have attempted to specialize hydrogels for cancer research; we comprehensively review this topic for the first time, synthesizing past results and defining paths for future work.
Tissue engineering focuses on developing biological substitutes to restore, maintain or improve tissue functions. The three main components of its application are scaffold, cell and growthstimulating signals. Scaffolds composed of biomaterials mainly function as the structural support for ex vivo cells to attach and proliferate. They also provide physical, mechanical and biochemical cues for the differentiation of cells before transferring to the in vivo site. Collagen has been long used in various clinical applications, including drug delivery. The wide usage of collagen in the clinical field can be attributed to its abundance in nature, biocompatibility, low antigenicity and biodegradability. In addition, the high tensile strength and fibril-forming ability of collagen enable its fabrication into various forms, such as sheet/membrane, sponge, hydrogel, beads, nanofibre and nanoparticle, and as a coating material. The wide option of fabrication technology together with the excellent biological and physicochemical characteristics of collagen has stimulated the use of collagen scaffolds in various tissue engineering applications. This review describes the fabrication methods used to produce various forms of scaffolds used in tissue engineering applications.
Chemically crosslinked hydrogel magnetorheological (MR) plastomer (MRP) embedded with carbonyl iron particles (CIPs) exhibits excellent magnetic performance (MR effect) in the presence of external stimuli especially magnetic field. However, oxidation and desiccation in hydrogel MRP due to a large amount of water content as a dispersing phase would limit its usage for long-term applications, especially in industrial engineering. In this study, different solvents such as dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) are also used to prepare polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) hydrogel MRP. Thus, to understand the dynamic viscoelastic properties of hydrogel MRP, three different samples with different solvents: water, DMSO, and their binary mixtures (DMSO/water) were prepared and systematically carried out using the oscillatory shear. The outcomes demonstrate that the PVA hydrogel MRP prepared from precursor gel with water shows the highest MR effect of 15,544% among the PVA hydrogel MRPs. However, the samples exhibit less stability and tend to oxidise after a month. Meanwhile, the samples with binary mixtures (DMSO/water) show an acceptable MR effect of 11,024% with good stability and no CIPs oxidation. Otherwise, the sample with DMSO has the lowest MR effect of 7049% and less stable compared to the binary solvent samples. This confirms that the utilisation of DMSO as a new solvent affects the rheological properties and stability of the samples.
A new approach to design multifunctional chitosan based nanohydrogel with enhanced glucose sensitivity, stability, drug loading and release profile are reported. Two approaches were followed for functionalization of chitosan based nanohydrogel with 3-APBA via EDC and 3-APTES. The effective functionalization, structure and morphology of Chitosan based IPN respectively were confirmed by FTIR, SEM and AFM. At physiological conditions, the glucose-induced volume phase transition and release profile of the model drug Alizarin Red with 1,2-diol structure (comparative to insulin as a drug as well as a dye for bio separation) were studied at various glucose concentrations, pH and ionic strengths. The results suggested a new concept for diabetes treatment and diols sensitivity in view of their potential hi-tech applications in self-regulated on-off response to the treatment (drug delivery and bio separation concurrently).
The gastroretentive dosage form of famotidine was modified using tamarind seed powders to prolong the gastric retention time. Tamarind seeds were used in two different forms having different swelling and gelling properties: with husk (TSP) or without husk (TKP). TKP (TKP1 to TKP 6) and TSP (TSP1 to TSP 6) series were prepared using tamarind powder:xanthan in the ratios of 5:0, 4:1, 3:2, 2:3, 1:4, 0:5, respectively. The matrix tablets were prepared by the wet granulation method and evaluated for pharmacopoeial requirements. TKP2 was the optimum formulation as it had a short floating lag time (FLT<30 s) and more than 98.5% drug release in 12 h. The dissolution data were fitted to popular mathematical models to assess the mechanism of drug release, and the optimum formulation showed a predominant first order release and diffusion mechanism. It was concluded that the TKP2 prepared using tamarind kernel powder:xanthan (4:1) was the optimum formulation with shortest floating lag time and more than 90% release in the determined period of time.
Natural biopolymers have attracted considerable interest for the development of delivery systems for protein drugs owing to their biocompatibility, non-toxicity, renewability and mild processing conditions. This paper offers an overview of the current status and future perspectives of particle designs using biopolymers for the stabilization and controlled-delivery of a model protein drug--insulin. We first describe the design criteria for polymeric encapsulation and subsequently classify the basic principles of particle fabrication as well as the existing particle designs for oral insulin encapsulation. The performances of these existing particle designs in terms of insulin stability and in vitro release behavior in acidic and alkaline media, as well as their in vivo performance are compared and reviewed. This review forms the basis for future works on the optimization of particle design and material formulation for the development of an improved oral delivery system for protein drugs.
In this article, silver and magnetite nanofillers were synthesized in modified κ-carrageenan hydrogels using the in situ method. The effect of metallic nanoparticles in gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) release of a model drug (methylene blue) has been investigated. The effect of nanoparticles loading and genipin cross-linking on GIT release of nanocomposite is also studied to finally provide the most suitable drug carrier system. In vitro release studies revealed that using metallic nanocomposites hydrogels in GIT studies can improve the drug release in intestine and minimize it in the stomach. It was found that cross-linking and nanofiller loading can significantly improve the targeted release. Therefore, applying metallic nanoparticles seems to be a promising strategy to develop GIT controlled drug delivery.
A poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) hydrogel composite scaffold containing N,O-carboxymethylated chitosan (NOCC) was tested to assess its potential as a scaffold for cartilage tissue engineering in a weight-bearing environment. The mechanical properties under unconfined compression for different hydration periods were investigated. The effect of supplementing PVA with NOCC (20wt.% PVA:5vol.% NOCC) produced a porosity of 43.3% and this was compared against a non-porous PVA hydrogel (20g PVA: 100ml of water, control). Under non-hydrated conditions, the porous PVA-NOCC hydrogel behaved in a similar way to the control non-porous PVA hydrogel, with similar non-linear stress-strain response under unconfined compression (0-30% strain). After 7days' hydration, the porous hydrogel demonstrated a reduced stiffness (0.002kPa, at 25% strain), resulting in a more linear stiffness relationship over a range of 0-30% strain. Poisson's ratio for the hydrated non-porous and porous hydrogels ranged between 0.73 and 1.18, and 0.76 and 1.33, respectively, suggesting a greater fluid flow when loaded. The stress relaxation function for the porous hydrogel was affected by the hydration period (from 0 to 600s); however the percentage stress relaxation regained by about 95%, after 1200s for all hydration periods assessed. No significant differences were found between the different hydration periods between the porous hydrogels and control. The calculated aggregate modulus, H(A), for the porous hydrogel reduced drastically from 10.99kPa in its non-hydrated state to about 0.001kPa after 7days' hydration, with the calculated shear modulus reducing from 30.92 to 0.14kPa, respectively. The porous PVA-NOCC hydrogel conformed to a biphasic, viscoelastic model, which has the desired properties required for any scaffold in cartilage tissue engineering.
Silver (Ag) coated bioactive glass particles (Ag-BG) were formulated and compared to uncoated controls (BG) in relation to glass characterization, solubility and microbiology. X-ray diffraction (XRD) confirmed a crystalline AgNP surface coating while ion release studies determined low Ag release (<2 mg/L). Cell culture studies presented increased cell viability (127 and 102%) with lower liquid extract (50 and 100 ml/ml) concentrations. Antibacterial testing of Ag-BG in E. coli, S. epidermidis and S. aureus significantly reduced bacterial cell viability by 60-90%. Composites of Ag-BG/CMC-Dex Hydrogels were formulated and characterized. Agar diffusion testing was conducted where Ag-BG/hydrogel composites produced the largest inhibition zones of 7 mm (E. coli), 5 mm (S. aureus) and 4 mm (S. epidermidis).
Recently noted that the methylene blue cause severe central nervous system toxicity. It is essential to optimize the methylene blue from aqueous environment. In this study, a comparison of an optimization of methylene blue was investigated by using modified Ca(2+) and Zn(2+) bio-polymer hydrogel beads. A batch mode study was conducted using various parameters like time, dye concentration, bio-polymer dose, pH and process temperature. The isotherms, kinetics, diffusion and thermodynamic studies were performed for feasibility of the optimization process. Freundlich and Langmuir isotherm equations were used for the prediction of isotherm parameters and correlated with dimensionless separation factor (RL). Pseudo-first order and pseudo-second order Lagegren's kinetic equations were used for the correlation of kinetic parameters. Intraparticle diffusion model was employed for diffusion of the optimization process. The Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) shows different absorbent peaks of Ca(2+) and Zn(2+) beads and the morphology of the bio-polymer material analyzed with Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). The TG & DTA studies show that good thermal stability with less humidity without production of any non-degraded products.
The osteoprotegerin (OPG) system plays a critical role in bone remodelling by regulating osteoclast formation and activity. The study aimed to determine the physicochemical properties and biocompatibility of a newly formulated OPG-chitosan gel. The OPG-chitosan gel was formulated using human OPG protein and water-soluble chitosan. The physicochemical properties were determined using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Gel morphology was determined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and then it was subjected to a protein release assay and biodegradability test. An in vitro cytotoxicity test on normal human periodontal ligament (NHPL) fibroblasts and normal human (NH) osteoblasts was carried out using the AlamarBlue assay. In vivo evaluation in a rabbit model involved creating critical-sized defects in calvarial bone, filling with the OPG-chitosan gel and sacrificing at 12 weeks. In vitro results demonstrated that the 25 kDa OPG-chitosan gel had the highest rate of protein release and achieved 90% degradation in 28 days. At 12 weeks, the defects filled with 25 kDa OPG-chitosan gel showed significant (p
Establishing cultures of human embryonic (ES) and induced pluripotent (iPS) stem cells in xeno-free conditions is essential for producing clinical-grade cells. Development of cell culture biomaterials for human ES and iPS cells is critical for this purpose. We designed several structures of oligopeptide-grafted poly (vinyl alcohol-co-itaconic acid) hydrogels with optimal elasticity, and prepared them in formations of single chain, single chain with joint segment, dual chain with joint segment, and branched-type chain. Oligopeptide sequences were selected from integrin- and glycosaminoglycan-binding domains of the extracellular matrix. The hydrogels grafted with vitronectin-derived oligopeptides having a joint segment or a dual chain, which has a storage modulus of 25 kPa, supported the long-term culture of human ES and iPS cells for over 10 passages. The dual chain and/or joint segment with cell adhesion molecules on the hydrogels facilitated the proliferation and pluripotency of human ES and iPS cells.
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.