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J. Funct. Biomater., Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2012), Pages 706-894

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Cytocompatibility and Mechanical Properties of Short Phosphate Glass Fibre Reinforced Polylactic Acid (PLA) Composites: Effect of Coupling Agent Mediated Interface
J. Funct. Biomater. 2012, 3(4), 706-725; doi:10.3390/jfb3040706
Received: 19 April 2012 / Revised: 12 July 2012 / Accepted: 27 September 2012 / Published: 16 October 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1341 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study three chemical agents Amino-propyl-triethoxy-silane (APS), sorbitol ended PLA oligomer (SPLA) and Hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) were identified to be used as coupling agents to react with the phosphate glass fibre (PGF) reinforcement and the polylactic acid (PLA) polymer matrix of the
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In this study three chemical agents Amino-propyl-triethoxy-silane (APS), sorbitol ended PLA oligomer (SPLA) and Hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) were identified to be used as coupling agents to react with the phosphate glass fibre (PGF) reinforcement and the polylactic acid (PLA) polymer matrix of the composite. Composites were prepared with short chopped strand fibres (l = 20 mm, ϕ = 20 µm) in a random arrangement within PLA matrix. Improved, initial composite flexural strength (~20 MPa) was observed for APS treated fibres, which was suggested to be due to enhanced bonding between the fibres and polymer matrix. Both APS and HDI treated fibres were suggested to be covalently linked with the PLA matrix. The hydrophobicity induced by these coupling agents (HDI, APS) helped to resist hydrolysis of the interface and thus retained their mechanical properties for an extended period of time as compared to non-treated control. Approximately 70% of initial strength and 65% of initial modulus was retained by HDI treated fibre composites in contrast to the control, where only ~50% of strength and modulus was retained after 28 days of immersion in PBS at 37 °C. All coupling agent treated and control composites demonstrated good cytocompatibility which was comparable to the tissue culture polystyrene (TCP) control, supporting the use of these materials as coupling agent’s within medical implant devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatibility of Biomaterials)
Open AccessArticle Hydration-Induced Phase Separation in Amphiphilic Polymer Matrices and its Influence on Voclosporin Release
J. Funct. Biomater. 2012, 3(4), 745-759; doi:10.3390/jfb3040745
Received: 28 August 2012 / Revised: 11 October 2012 / Accepted: 18 October 2012 / Published: 30 October 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (751 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Voclosporin is a highly potent, new cyclosporine-A derivative that is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials in the USA as a potential treatment for inflammatory diseases of the eye. Voclosporin represents a number of very sparingly soluble drugs that are difficult to administer.
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Voclosporin is a highly potent, new cyclosporine-A derivative that is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials in the USA as a potential treatment for inflammatory diseases of the eye. Voclosporin represents a number of very sparingly soluble drugs that are difficult to administer. We therefore selected it as a model drug that is dispersed within amphiphilic polymer matrices, and investigated the changing morphology of the matrices using neutron and x-ray scattering during voclosporin release and polymer resorption. The hydrophobic segments of the amphiphilic polymer chain are comprised of desaminotyrosyl-tyrosine ethyl ester (DTE) and desaminotyrosyl-tyrosine (DT), and the hydrophilic component is poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). Water uptake in these matrices resulted in the phase separation of hydrophobic and hydrophilic domains that are a few hundred Angstroms apart. These water-driven morphological changes influenced the release profile of voclosporin and facilitated a burst-free release from the polymer. No such morphological reorganization was observed in poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA), which exhibits an extended lag period, followed by a burst-like release of voclosporin when the polymer was degraded. An understanding of the effect of polymer composition on the hydration behavior is central to understanding and controlling the phase behavior and resorption characteristics of the matrix for achieving long-term controlled release of hydrophobic drugs such as voclosporin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Novel in Vitro Model for Keratoconus Disease
J. Funct. Biomater. 2012, 3(4), 760-775; doi:10.3390/jfb3040760
Received: 29 August 2012 / Revised: 9 October 2012 / Accepted: 24 October 2012 / Published: 13 November 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (6495 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Keratoconus is a disease where the cornea becomes cone-like due to structural thinning and ultimately leads to compromised corneal integrity and loss of vision. Currently, the therapeutic options are corrective lenses for early stages and surgery for advanced cases with no in vitro
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Keratoconus is a disease where the cornea becomes cone-like due to structural thinning and ultimately leads to compromised corneal integrity and loss of vision. Currently, the therapeutic options are corrective lenses for early stages and surgery for advanced cases with no in vitro model available. In this study, we used human corneal fibroblasts (HCFs) and compared them to human Keratoconus fibroblasts (HKCs) cultured in a 3-dimensional (3D) model, in order to compare the expression and secretion of specific extracellular matrix (ECM) components. For four weeks, the cells were stimulated with a stable Vitamin C (VitC) derivative ± TGF-β1 or TGF-β3 (T1 and T3, respectively). After four weeks, HKCs stimulated with T1 and T3 were significantly thicker compared with Control (VitC only); however, HCF constructs were significantly thicker than HKCs under all conditions. Both cell types secreted copious amounts of type I and V collagens in their assembled, aligned collagen fibrils, which increased in the degree of alignment upon T3 stimulation. In contrast, only HKCs expressed high levels of corneal scarring markers, such as type III collagen, which was dramatically reduced with T3. HKCs expressed α-smooth muscle actin (SMA) under all conditions in contrast to HCFs, where T3 minimized SMA expression. Fast Fourier transform (FFT) data indicated that HKCs were more aligned when compared to HCFs, independent of treatments; however, HKC’s ECM showed the least degree of rotation. HKCs also secreted the most aligned type I collagen under T3 treatment, when compared to any condition and cell type. Overall, our model for Keratoconus disease studies is the first 3D in vitro tissue engineered model that can mimic the Keratoconus disease in vivo and may be a breakthrough in efforts to understand the progression of this disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corneal Scarring: Wound Healing and Biomaterials)
Open AccessArticle Mineralization Content Alters Osteogenic Responses of Bone Marrow Stromal Cells on Hydroxyapatite/Polycaprolactone Composite Nanofiber Scaffolds
J. Funct. Biomater. 2012, 3(4), 776-798; doi:10.3390/jfb3040776
Received: 20 June 2012 / Revised: 25 September 2012 / Accepted: 24 October 2012 / Published: 14 November 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (11348 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Synthetic tissue scaffolds have a high potential impact for patients experiencing osteogenesis imperfecta. Using electrospinning, tissue scaffolds composed of hydroxyapatite/polycaprolactone (HAp/PCL) composite nanofibers were fabricated with two different HAp concentrations—1% and 10% of the solid scaffold weight. After physico-chemical scaffold characterization, rat
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Synthetic tissue scaffolds have a high potential impact for patients experiencing osteogenesis imperfecta. Using electrospinning, tissue scaffolds composed of hydroxyapatite/polycaprolactone (HAp/PCL) composite nanofibers were fabricated with two different HAp concentrations—1% and 10% of the solid scaffold weight. After physico-chemical scaffold characterization, rat bone marrow stromal cells were cultured on the composite scaffolds in maintenance medium and then in osteogenic medium. Quantitative PCR, colorimetric assays, immunofluorescent labeling, and electron microscopy measured osteogenic cell responses to the HAp/PCL scaffolds. In maintenance conditions, both Hap/PCL scaffolds and control scaffolds supported cell colonization through seven days with minor differences. In osteogenic conditions, the 10% HAp scaffolds exhibited significantly increased ALP assay levels at week 3, consistent with previous reports. However, qPCR analysis demonstrated an overall decrease in bone matrix-associated genes on Hap/PCL scaffolds. Osteopontin and osteocalcin immunofluorescent microscopy revealed a trend that both mineralized scaffolds had greater amounts of both proteins, though qPCR results indicated the opposite trend for osteopontin. Additionally, type I collagen expression decreased on HAp scaffolds. These results indicate that cells are sensitive to minor changes in mineral content within nanofibers, even at just 1% w/w, and elucidating the sensing mechanism may lead to optimized osteogenic scaffold designs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatibility of Biomaterials)

Review

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Open AccessReview Tissue Engineering of Corneal Endothelium
J. Funct. Biomater. 2012, 3(4), 726-744; doi:10.3390/jfb3040726
Received: 27 July 2012 / Revised: 12 September 2012 / Accepted: 17 September 2012 / Published: 17 October 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (648 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human corneal endothelial cells (HCECs) do not replicate after wounding. Therefore, corneal endothelial deficiency can result in irreversible corneal edema. Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) allows selective replacement of the diseased corneal endothelium. However, DSAEK requires a donor cornea and the worldwide
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Human corneal endothelial cells (HCECs) do not replicate after wounding. Therefore, corneal endothelial deficiency can result in irreversible corneal edema. Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) allows selective replacement of the diseased corneal endothelium. However, DSAEK requires a donor cornea and the worldwide shortage of corneas limits its application. This review presents current knowledge on the tissue engineering of corneal endothelium using cultured HCECs. We also provide our recent work on tissue engineering for DSAEK grafts using cultured HCECs. We reconstructed DSAEK grafts by seeding cultured DiI-labelled HCECs on collagen sheets. Then HCEC sheets were transplanted onto the posterior stroma after descemetorhexis in the DSAEK group. Severe stromal edema was detected in the control group, but not in the DSAEK group throughout the observation period. Fluorescein microscopy one month after surgery showed numerous DiI-labelled cells on the posterior corneal surface in the DSAEK group. Frozen sections showed a monolayer of DiI-labelled cells on Descemet’s membrane. These findings indicate that cultured adult HCECs, transplanted with DSAEK surgery, maintain corneal transparency after transplantation and suggest the feasibility of performing DSAEK with HCECs to treat endothelial dysfunction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corneal Scarring: Wound Healing and Biomaterials)
Open AccessReview Strategic Design and Fabrication of Engineered Scaffolds for Articular Cartilage Repair
J. Funct. Biomater. 2012, 3(4), 799-838; doi:10.3390/jfb3040799
Received: 4 July 2012 / Revised: 13 September 2012 / Accepted: 17 October 2012 / Published: 14 November 2012
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (2276 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Damage to articular cartilage can eventually lead to osteoarthritis (OA), a debilitating, degenerative joint disease that affects millions of people around the world. The limited natural healing ability of cartilage and the limitations of currently available therapies make treatment of cartilage defects a
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Damage to articular cartilage can eventually lead to osteoarthritis (OA), a debilitating, degenerative joint disease that affects millions of people around the world. The limited natural healing ability of cartilage and the limitations of currently available therapies make treatment of cartilage defects a challenging clinical issue. Hopes have been raised for the repair of articular cartilage with the help of supportive structures, called scaffolds, created through tissue engineering (TE). Over the past two decades, different designs and fabrication techniques have been investigated for developing TE scaffolds suitable for the construction of transplantable artificial cartilage tissue substitutes. Advances in fabrication technologies now enable the strategic design of scaffolds with complex, biomimetic structures and properties. In particular, scaffolds with hybrid and/or biomimetic zonal designs have recently been developed for cartilage tissue engineering applications. This paper reviews critical aspects of the design of engineered scaffolds for articular cartilage repair as well as the available advanced fabrication techniques. In addition, recent studies on the design of hybrid and zonal scaffolds for use in cartilage tissue repair are highlighted. Full article
Open AccessReview Building Biocompatible Hydrogels for Tissue Engineering of the Brain and Spinal Cord
J. Funct. Biomater. 2012, 3(4), 839-863; doi:10.3390/jfb3040839
Received: 27 June 2012 / Accepted: 24 October 2012 / Published: 15 November 2012
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (300 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tissue engineering strategies employing biomaterials have made great progress in the last few decades. However, the tissues of the brain and spinal cord pose unique challenges due to a separate immune system and their nature as soft tissue. Because of this, neural tissue
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Tissue engineering strategies employing biomaterials have made great progress in the last few decades. However, the tissues of the brain and spinal cord pose unique challenges due to a separate immune system and their nature as soft tissue. Because of this, neural tissue engineering for the brain and spinal cord may require re-establishing biocompatibility and functionality of biomaterials that have previously been successful for tissue engineering in the body. The goal of this review is to briefly describe the distinctive properties of the central nervous system, specifically the neuroimmune response, and to describe the factors which contribute to building polymer hydrogels compatible with this tissue. These factors include polymer chemistry, polymerization and degradation, and the physical and mechanical properties of the hydrogel. By understanding the necessities in making hydrogels biocompatible with tissue of the brain and spinal cord, tissue engineers can then functionalize these materials for repairing and replacing tissue in the central nervous system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatibility of Biomaterials)
Open AccessReview Biocompatibility of Bacterial Cellulose Based Biomaterials
J. Funct. Biomater. 2012, 3(4), 864-878; doi:10.3390/jfb3040864
Received: 26 July 2012 / Revised: 12 October 2012 / Accepted: 22 October 2012 / Published: 5 December 2012
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (690 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Some bacteria can synthesize cellulose when they are cultivated under adequate conditions. These bacteria produce a mat of cellulose on the top of the culture medium, which is formed by a three-dimensional coherent network of pure cellulose nanofibers. Bacterial cellulose (BC) has been
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Some bacteria can synthesize cellulose when they are cultivated under adequate conditions. These bacteria produce a mat of cellulose on the top of the culture medium, which is formed by a three-dimensional coherent network of pure cellulose nanofibers. Bacterial cellulose (BC) has been widely used in different fields, such as the paper industry, electronics and tissue engineering due to its remarkable mechanical properties, conformability and porosity. Nanocomposites based on BC have received much attention, because of the possibility of combining the good properties of BC with other materials for specific applications. BC nanocomposites can be processed either in a static or an agitated medium. The fabrication of BC nanocomposites in static media can be carried out while keeping the original mat structure obtained after the synthesis to form the final nanocomposite or by altering the culture media with other components. The present article reviews the issue of biocompatibility of BC and BC nanocomposites. Biomedical aspects, such as surface modification for improving cell adhesion, in vitro and in vivo studies are given along with details concerning the physics of network formation and the changes that occur in the cellulose networks due to the presence of a second phase. The relevance of biocompatibility studies for the development of BC-based materials in bone, skin and cardiovascular tissue engineering is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocompatibility of Biomaterials)
Open AccessReview Extracellular Matrix is an Important Component of Limbal Stem Cell Niche
J. Funct. Biomater. 2012, 3(4), 879-894; doi:10.3390/jfb3040879
Received: 7 September 2012 / Revised: 4 December 2012 / Accepted: 5 December 2012 / Published: 10 December 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (241 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Extracellular matrix plays an important role in stem cell niche which maintains the undifferentiated stem cell phenotype. Human corneal epithelial stem cells are presumed to reside mainly at the limbal basal epithelium. Efforts have been made to characterize different components of the extracellular
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Extracellular matrix plays an important role in stem cell niche which maintains the undifferentiated stem cell phenotype. Human corneal epithelial stem cells are presumed to reside mainly at the limbal basal epithelium. Efforts have been made to characterize different components of the extracellular matrix that are preferentially expressed at the limbus. Mounting evidence from experimental data suggest that these components are part of the stem cell niche and play a role in the homeostasis of limbal stem cells. The extracellular matrix provides a mechanical and structural support as well as regulates cellular functions such as adhesion, migration, proliferation, self-renewal and differentiation. Optimization of the extracellular matrix components might be able to recreate an ex vivo stem cell niche to expand limbal stem cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Corneal Scarring: Wound Healing and Biomaterials)

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