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Bioengineering, Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2018)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Bioengineering in 2017
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 5; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010005
Received: 10 January 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 10 January 2018
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Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Bioengineering maintains high quality standards for its published papers[...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Impact of Glycerol as Carbon Source onto Specific Sugar and Inducer Uptake Rates and Inclusion Body Productivity in E. coli BL21(DE3)
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 1; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010001
Received: 24 October 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 19 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
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Abstract
The Gram-negative bacterium E. coli is the host of choice for a multitude of used recombinant proteins. Generally, cultivation is easy, media are cheap, and a high product titer can be obtained. However, harsh induction procedures using isopropyl β-d-1 thiogalactopyranoside as
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The Gram-negative bacterium E. coli is the host of choice for a multitude of used recombinant proteins. Generally, cultivation is easy, media are cheap, and a high product titer can be obtained. However, harsh induction procedures using isopropyl β-d-1 thiogalactopyranoside as inducer are often referred to cause stress reactions, leading to a phenomenon known as “metabolic” or “product burden”. These high expressions of recombinant proteins mainly result in decreased growth rates and cell lysis at elevated induction times. Therefore, approaches tend to use “soft” or “tunable” induction with lactose and reduce the stress level of the production host. The usage of glucose as energy source in combination with lactose as induction reagent causes catabolite repression effects on lactose uptake kinetics and as a consequence reduced product titer. Glycerol—as an alternative carbon source—is already known to have positive impact on product formation when coupled with glucose and lactose in auto-induction systems, and has been referred to show no signs of repression when cultivated with lactose concomitantly. In recent research activities, the impact of different products on the lactose uptake using glucose as carbon source was highlighted, and a mechanistic model for glucose-lactose induction systems showed correlations between specific substrate uptake rate for glucose or glycerol (qs,C) and the maximum specific lactose uptake rate (qs,lac,max). In this study, we investigated the mechanistic of glycerol uptake when using the inducer lactose. We were able to show that a product-producing strain has significantly higher inducer uptake rates when being compared to a non-producer strain. Additionally, it was shown that glycerol has beneficial effects on viability of cells and on productivity of the recombinant protein compared to glucose. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Chitosan–Cellulose Multifunctional Hydrogel Beads: Design, Characterization and Evaluation of Cytocompatibility with Breast Adenocarcinoma and Osteoblast Cells
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 3; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010003
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 5 January 2018 / Accepted: 5 January 2018 / Published: 9 January 2018
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Abstract
Cytocompatible polysaccharide-based functional scaffolds are potential extracellular matrix candidates for soft and hard tissue engineering. This paper describes a facile approach to design cytocompatible, non-toxic, and multifunctional chitosan-cellulose based hydrogel beads utilising polysaccharide dissolution in sodium hydroxide-urea-water solvent system and coagulation under three
[...] Read more.
Cytocompatible polysaccharide-based functional scaffolds are potential extracellular matrix candidates for soft and hard tissue engineering. This paper describes a facile approach to design cytocompatible, non-toxic, and multifunctional chitosan-cellulose based hydrogel beads utilising polysaccharide dissolution in sodium hydroxide-urea-water solvent system and coagulation under three different acidic conditions, namely 2 M acetic acid, 2 M hydrochloric acid, and 2 M sulfuric acid. The effect of coagulating medium on the final chemical composition of the hydrogel beads is investigated by spectroscopic techniques (ATR–FTIR, Raman, NMR), and elemental analysis. The beads coagulated in 2 M acetic acid displayed an unchanged chitosan composition with free amino groups, while the beads coagulated in 2 M hydrochloric and sulfuric acid showed protonation of amino groups and ionic interaction with the counterions. The ultrastructural morphological study of lyophilized beads showed that increased chitosan content enhanced the porosity of the hydrogel beads. Furthermore, cytocompatibility evaluation of the hydrogel beads with human breast adenocarcinoma cells (soft tissue) showed that the beads coagulated in 2 M acetic acid are the most suitable for this type of cells in comparison to other coagulating systems. The acetic acid fabricated hydrogel beads also support osteoblast growth and adhesion over 192 h. Thus, in future, these hydrogel beads can be tested in the in vitro studies related to breast cancer and for bone regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biocomposite Engineering and Bio-Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Response of Fibroblasts MRC-5 to Flufenamic Acid-Grafted MCM-41 Nanoparticles
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 4; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010004
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 26 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 January 2018 / Published: 9 January 2018
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Abstract
Recently, flufenamic acid (FFA) was discovered among fenamates as a free radical scavenger and gap junction blocker; however, its effects have only been studied in cancer cells. Normal cells in the surroundings of a tumor also respond to radiation, although they are not
[...] Read more.
Recently, flufenamic acid (FFA) was discovered among fenamates as a free radical scavenger and gap junction blocker; however, its effects have only been studied in cancer cells. Normal cells in the surroundings of a tumor also respond to radiation, although they are not hit by it directly. This phenomenon is known as the bystander effect, where response molecules pass from tumor cells to normal ones, through communication channels called gap junctions. The use of the enhanced permeability and retention effect, through which drug-loaded nanoparticles smaller than 200 nm may accumulate around a tumor, can prevent the local side effect upon controlled release of the drug. The present work, aimed at functionalizing MCM-41 (Mobil Composition of Matter No. 41) silica nanoparticles with FFA and determining its biocompatibility with human fibroblasts MRC-5 (Medical Research Council cell strain 5). MCM-41, was synthesized and characterized structurally and chemically, with multiple techniques. The biocompatibility assay was performed by Live/Dead technique, with calcein and propidium–iodide. MRC-5 cells were treated with FFA-grafted MCM-41 for 48 h, and 98% of cells remained viable, without signs of necrosis or morphological changes. The results show the feasibility of MCM-41 functionalization with FFA, and its potential protection of normal cells, in comparison to the role of FFA in cancerous ones. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Development of Self-Assembled Nanoribbon Bound Peptide-Polyaniline Composite Scaffolds and Their Interactions with Neural Cortical Cells
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 6; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010006
Received: 4 November 2017 / Revised: 6 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 13 January 2018
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Abstract
Degenerative neurological disorders and traumatic brain injuries cause significant damage to quality of life and often impact survival. As a result, novel treatments are necessary that can allow for the regeneration of neural tissue. In this work, a new biomimetic scaffold was designed
[...] Read more.
Degenerative neurological disorders and traumatic brain injuries cause significant damage to quality of life and often impact survival. As a result, novel treatments are necessary that can allow for the regeneration of neural tissue. In this work, a new biomimetic scaffold was designed with potential for applications in neural tissue regeneration. To develop the scaffold, we first prepared a new bolaamphiphile that was capable of undergoing self-assembly into nanoribbons at pH 7. Those nanoribbons were then utilized as templates for conjugation with specific proteins known to play a critical role in neural tissue growth. The template (Ile-TMG-Ile) was prepared by conjugating tetramethyleneglutaric acid with isoleucine and the ability of the bolaamphiphile to self-assemble was probed at a pH range of 4 through 9. The nanoribbons formed under neutral conditions were then functionalized step-wise with the basement membrane protein laminin, the neurotropic factor artemin and Type IV collagen. The conductive polymer polyaniline (PANI) was then incorporated through electrostatic and π–π stacking interactions to the scaffold to impart electrical properties. Distinct morphology changes were observed upon conjugation with each layer, which was also accompanied by an increase in Young’s Modulus as well as surface roughness. The Young’s Modulus of the dried PANI-bound biocomposite scaffolds was found to be 5.5 GPa, indicating the mechanical strength of the scaffold. Thermal phase changes studied indicated broad endothermic peaks upon incorporation of the proteins which were diminished upon binding with PANI. The scaffolds also exhibited in vitro biodegradable behavior over a period of three weeks. Furthermore, we observed cell proliferation and short neurite outgrowths in the presence of rat neural cortical cells, confirming that the scaffolds may be applicable in neural tissue regeneration. The electrochemical properties of the scaffolds were also studied by generating I-V curves by conducting cyclic voltammetry. Thus, we have developed a new biomimetic composite scaffold that may have potential applications in neural tissue regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biocomposite Engineering and Bio-Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Bioengineering of rFVIIa Biopharmaceutical and Structure Characterization for Biosimilarity Assessment
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 7; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010007
Received: 29 November 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2018 / Accepted: 12 January 2018 / Published: 19 January 2018
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Abstract
Eptacog alfa (NovoSeven®) is a vitamin K-dependent recombinant Factor VIIa produced by genetic engineering from baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells as a single peptide chain of 406 residues. After activation, it consists of a light chain (LC) of 152 amino and
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Eptacog alfa (NovoSeven®) is a vitamin K-dependent recombinant Factor VIIa produced by genetic engineering from baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells as a single peptide chain of 406 residues. After activation, it consists of a light chain (LC) of 152 amino and a heavy chain (HC) of 254 amino acids. Recombinant FVIIa undergoes many post-translational modifications (PTMs). The first ten glutamic acids of the N-terminal moiety are γ-carboxylated, Asn145 and Asn322 are N-glycosylated, and Ser52 and Ser60 are O-glycosylated. A head-to-head biosimilarity study was conducted for the originator and the first biosimilar AryoSeven™ to evaluate comparable bioengineering. Physicochemical properties were analyzed based on mass spectrometry, including intact mass, PTMs and higher-order structure. Both biotherapeutics exhibit a batch-to-batch variability in their N-glycan profiles. N-Glycopeptide analysis with UHPLC-QTOF-MSE confirmed N-glycosylation sites as well as two different O-glycopeptide sites. Ser60 was found to be O-fucosylated and Ser52 had O-glucose or O-glucose-(xylose)1,2 motifs as glycan variants. Ion mobility spectrometry (TWIMS) and NMR spectroscopy data affirm close similarity of the higher-order structure of both biologicals. Potency of the biodrugs was analyzed by a coagulation assay demonstrating comparable bioactivity. Consequently, careful process optimization led to a stable production process of the biopharmaceuticals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived from Healthy and Diseased Human Gingiva Support Osteogenesis on Electrospun Polycaprolactone Scaffolds
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 8; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010008
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract
Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting almost half of the adult US population. Gingiva is an integral part of the periodontium and has recently been identified as a source of adult gingiva-derived mesenchymal stem cells (GMSCs). Given the prevalence of periodontitis, the
[...] Read more.
Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting almost half of the adult US population. Gingiva is an integral part of the periodontium and has recently been identified as a source of adult gingiva-derived mesenchymal stem cells (GMSCs). Given the prevalence of periodontitis, the purpose of this study is to evaluate differences between GMSCs derived from healthy and diseased gingival tissues and explore their potential in bone engineering. Primary clonal cell lines were established from harvested healthy and diseased gingival and characterized for expression of known stem-cell markers and multi-lineage differentiation potential. Finally, they were cultured on electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds and evaluated for attachment, proliferation, and differentiation. Flow cytometry demonstrated cells isolated from healthy and diseased gingiva met the criteria defining mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). However, GMSCs from diseased tissue showed decreased colony-forming unit efficiency, decreased alkaline phosphatase activity, weaker osteoblast mineralization, and greater propensity to differentiate into adipocytes than their healthy counterparts. When cultured on electrospun PCL scaffolds, GMSCs from both sources showed robust attachment and proliferation over a 7-day period; they exhibited high mineralization as well as strong expression of alkaline phosphatase. Our results show preservation of ‘stemness’ and osteogenic potential of GMSC even in the presence of disease, opening up the possibility of using routinely discarded, diseased gingival tissue as an alternate source of adult MSCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Tissue Engineering Scaffolds)
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Open AccessArticle Disilicate Dental Ceramic Surface Preparation by 1070 nm Fiber Laser: Thermal and Ultrastructural Analysis
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 10; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010010
Received: 4 November 2017 / Revised: 28 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
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Abstract
Lithium disilicate dental ceramic bonding, realized by using different resins, is strictly dependent on micro-mechanical retention and chemical adhesion. The aim of this in vitro study was to investigate the capability of a 1070 nm fiber laser for their surface treatment. Samples were
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Lithium disilicate dental ceramic bonding, realized by using different resins, is strictly dependent on micro-mechanical retention and chemical adhesion. The aim of this in vitro study was to investigate the capability of a 1070 nm fiber laser for their surface treatment. Samples were irradiated by a pulsed fiber laser at 1070 nm with different parameters (peak power of 5, 7.5 and 10 kW, repetition rate (RR) 20 kHz, speed of 10 and 50 mm/s, and total energy density from 1.3 to 27 kW/cm2) and the thermal elevation during the experiment was recorded by a fiber Bragg grating (FBG) temperature sensor. Subsequently, the surface modifications were analyzed by optical microscope, scanning electron microscope (SEM), and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). With a peak power of 5 kW, RR of 20 kHz, and speed of 50 mm/s, the microscopic observation of the irradiated surface showed increased roughness with small areas of melting and carbonization. EDS analysis revealed that, with these parameters, there are no evident differences between laser-processed samples and controls. Thermal elevation during laser irradiation ranged between 5 °C and 9 °C. A 1070 nm fiber laser can be considered as a good device to increase the adhesion of lithium disilicate ceramics when optimum parameters are considered. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Heterologous tRNA Modifications on the Production of Proteins Containing Noncanonical Amino Acids
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 11; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010011
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 31 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 2 February 2018
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Abstract
Synthesis of proteins with noncanonical amino acids (ncAAs) enables the creation of protein-based biomaterials with diverse new chemical properties that may be attractive for material science. Current methods for large-scale production of ncAA-containing proteins, frequently carried out in Escherichia coli, involve the
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Synthesis of proteins with noncanonical amino acids (ncAAs) enables the creation of protein-based biomaterials with diverse new chemical properties that may be attractive for material science. Current methods for large-scale production of ncAA-containing proteins, frequently carried out in Escherichia coli, involve the use of orthogonal aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (o-aaRSs) and tRNAs (o-tRNAs). Although o-tRNAs are designed to be orthogonal to endogenous aaRSs, their orthogonality to the components of the E. coli metabolism remains largely unexplored. We systematically investigated how the E. coli tRNA modification machinery affects the efficiency and orthogonality of o-tRNASep used for production of proteins with the ncAA O-phosphoserine (Sep). The incorporation of Sep into a green fluorescent protein (GFP) in 42 E. coli strains carrying deletions of single tRNA modification genes identified several genes that affect the o-tRNA activity. Deletion of cysteine desulfurase (iscS) increased the yield of Sep-containing GFP more than eightfold, while overexpression of dimethylallyltransferase MiaA and pseudouridine synthase TruB improved the specificity of Sep incorporation. These results highlight the importance of tRNA modifications for the biosynthesis of proteins containing ncAAs, and provide a novel framework for optimization of o-tRNAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biocomposite Engineering and Bio-Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Delivery of Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Gelatin–Alginate Hydrogels to Stomach Lumen for Treatment of Gastroparesis
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 12; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010012
Received: 4 January 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 4 February 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018
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Abstract
Gastroparesis (GP) is associated with depletion of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) and enteric neurons, which leads to pyloric dysfunction followed by severe nausea, vomiting and delayed gastric emptying. Regenerating these fundamental structures with mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy would be helpful to
[...] Read more.
Gastroparesis (GP) is associated with depletion of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs) and enteric neurons, which leads to pyloric dysfunction followed by severe nausea, vomiting and delayed gastric emptying. Regenerating these fundamental structures with mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy would be helpful to restore gastric function in GP. MSCs have been successfully used in animal models of other gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, including colitis. However, no study has been performed with these cells on GP animals. In this study, we explored whether mouse MSCs can be delivered from a hydrogel scaffold to the luminal surfaces of mice stomach explants. Mouse MSCs were seeded atop alginate–gelatin, coated with poly-l-lysine. These cell–gel constructs were placed atop stomach explants facing the luminal side. MSCs grew uniformly all across the gel surface within 48 h. When placed atop the lumen of the stomach, MSCs migrated from the gels to the tissues, as confirmed by positive staining with vimentin and N-cadherin. Thus, the feasibility of transplanting a cell–gel construct to deliver stem cells in the stomach wall was successfully shown in a mice stomach explant model, thereby making a significant advance towards envisioning the transplantation of an entire tissue-engineered ‘gastric patch’ or ‘microgels’ with cells and growth factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioengineering Nano and Micro-Gels for Biomedical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Statistical Modelling of Temperature and Moisture Uptake of Biochars Exposed to Selected Relative Humidity of Air
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 13; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010013
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 8 February 2018 / Accepted: 8 February 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
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Abstract
New experimental techniques, as well as modern variants on known methods, have recently been employed to investigate the fundamental reactions underlying the oxidation of biochar. The purpose of this paper was to experimentally and statistically study how the relative humidity of air, mass,
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New experimental techniques, as well as modern variants on known methods, have recently been employed to investigate the fundamental reactions underlying the oxidation of biochar. The purpose of this paper was to experimentally and statistically study how the relative humidity of air, mass, and particle size of four biochars influenced the adsorption of water and the increase in temperature. A random factorial design was employed using the intuitive statistical software Xlstat. A simple linear regression model and an analysis of variance with a pairwise comparison were performed. The experimental study was carried out on the wood of Quercus pubescens, Cyclobalanopsis glauca, Trigonostemon huangmosun, and Bambusa vulgaris, and involved five relative humidity conditions (22, 43, 75, 84, and 90%), two mass samples (0.1 and 1 g), and two particle sizes (powder and piece). Two response variables including water adsorption and temperature increase were analyzed and discussed. The temperature did not increase linearly with the adsorption of water. Temperature was modeled by nine explanatory variables, while water adsorption was modeled by eight. Five variables, including factors and their interactions, were found to be common to the two models. Sample mass and relative humidity influenced the two qualitative variables, while particle size and biochar type only influenced the temperature. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication Decoration of Cotton Fibers with a Water-Stable Metal–Organic Framework (UiO-66) for the Decomposition and Enhanced Adsorption of Micropollutants in Water
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 14; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010014
Received: 15 October 2017 / Revised: 14 January 2018 / Accepted: 14 January 2018 / Published: 12 February 2018
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Abstract
We report on the successful functionalization of cotton fabrics with a water-stable metal–organic framework (MOF), UiO-66, under mild solvothermal conditions (80 °C) and its ability to adsorb and degrade water micropollutants. The functionalized cotton samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron
[...] Read more.
We report on the successful functionalization of cotton fabrics with a water-stable metal–organic framework (MOF), UiO-66, under mild solvothermal conditions (80 °C) and its ability to adsorb and degrade water micropollutants. The functionalized cotton samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). UiO-66 crystals grew in a uniform and conformal manner over the surface of the cotton fibers. The cotton fabrics functionalized with UiO-66 frameworks exhibited an enhanced uptake capacity for methylchlorophenoxypropionic acid (MCPP), a commonly used herbicide. The functionalized fabrics also showed photocatalytic activity, demonstrated by the degradation of acetaminophen, a common pharmaceutical compound, under simulated sunlight irradiation. These results indicate that UiO-66 can be supported on textile substrates for filtration and photocatalytic purposes and that these substrates can find applications in wastewater decontamination and micropollutant degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biocomposite Engineering and Bio-Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Theoretical Insight into the Biodegradation of Solitary Oil Microdroplets Moving through a Water Column
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 15; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010015
Received: 6 January 2018 / Revised: 5 February 2018 / Accepted: 9 February 2018 / Published: 12 February 2018
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Abstract
In the aftermath of oil spills in the sea, clouds of droplets drift into the seawater column and are carried away by sea currents. The fate of the drifting droplets is determined by natural attenuation processes, mainly dissolution into the seawater and biodegradation
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In the aftermath of oil spills in the sea, clouds of droplets drift into the seawater column and are carried away by sea currents. The fate of the drifting droplets is determined by natural attenuation processes, mainly dissolution into the seawater and biodegradation by oil-degrading microbial communities. Specifically, microbes have developed three fundamental strategies for accessing and assimilating oily substrates. Depending on their affinity for the oily phase and ability to proliferate in multicellular structures, microbes might either attach to the oil surface and directly uptake compounds from the oily phase, or grow suspended in the aqueous phase consuming solubilized oil, or form three-dimensional biofilms over the oil–water interface. In this work, a compound particle model that accounts for all three microbial strategies is developed for the biodegradation of solitary oil microdroplets moving through a water column. Under a set of educated hypotheses, the hydrodynamics and solute transport problems are amenable to analytical solutions and a closed-form correlation is established for the overall dissolution rate as a function of the Thiele modulus, the Biot number and other key parameters. Moreover, two coupled ordinary differential equations are formulated for the evolution of the particle size and used to investigate the impact of the dissolution and biodegradation processes on the droplet shrinking rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Catalytic Biofilms)
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Open AccessArticle Fenofibrate Nanocrystals Embedded in Oral Strip-Films for Bioavailability Enhancement
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 16; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010016
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 4 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract
The aim of the present study was to make a fenofibrate (FNB) nanocrystal (NC) by wet media milling, characterizations and formulates into oral strip-films (OSFs). Mechanical properties, redispersion study, and solid-state characterizations results suggested that reduction of drug crystal size at nanoscale and
[...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to make a fenofibrate (FNB) nanocrystal (NC) by wet media milling, characterizations and formulates into oral strip-films (OSFs). Mechanical properties, redispersion study, and solid-state characterizations results suggested that reduction of drug crystal size at nanoscale and incorporation into OSFs does not affect the solid-state properties of the drug. In vitro dissolution kinetics showed enhanced dissolution rate was easily manipulated by changing the thickness of the OSF. In situ UV-imaging was used to monitor drug dissolution qualitatively and quantitatively in real time. Results confirm that the intrinsic dissolution rates and surface drug concentration measured with this device were in agreement with the USP-IV dissolution profiles. In vivo pharmacokinetics in rabbits showed a significant difference in the pharmacokinetics parameter (1.4 fold increase bioavailability) of FNB NC-loaded OSFs as compared to the marketed formulation “Tricor” and as-received (pristine) drug. This approach of drug nanocrystallization and incorporation into OSFs may have significant applications in cost-effective tools for bioavailability enhancement of FNB. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Pyruvate Decarboxylase Knockout on Product Distribution Using Pichia pastoris (Komagataella phaffii) Engineered for Lactic Acid Production
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 17; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010017
Received: 2 January 2018 / Revised: 11 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 16 February 2018
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Abstract
Lactic acid is the monomer unit of the bioplastic poly-lactic acid (PLA). One candidate organism for lactic acid production is Pichia pastoris, a yeast widely used for heterologous protein production. Nevertheless, this yeast has a poor fermentative capability that can be modulated
[...] Read more.
Lactic acid is the monomer unit of the bioplastic poly-lactic acid (PLA). One candidate organism for lactic acid production is Pichia pastoris, a yeast widely used for heterologous protein production. Nevertheless, this yeast has a poor fermentative capability that can be modulated by controlling oxygen levels. In a previous study, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity was introduced into P. pastoris, enabling this yeast to produce lactic acid. The present study aimed to increase the flow of pyruvate towards the production of lactic acid in P. pastoris. To this end, a strain designated GLp was constructed by inserting the bovine lactic acid dehydrogenase gene (LDHb) concomitantly with the interruption of the gene encoding pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC). Aerobic fermentation, followed by micro-aerophilic culture two-phase fermentations, showed that the GLp strain achieved a lactic acid yield of 0.65 g/g. The distribution of fermentation products demonstrated that the acetate titer was reduced by 20% in the GLp strain with a concomitant increase in arabitol production: arabitol increased from 0.025 g/g to 0.174 g/g when compared to the GS115 strain. Taken together, the results show a significant potential for P. pastoris in producing lactic acid. Moreover, for the first time, physiological data regarding co-product formation have indicated the redox balance limitations of this yeast. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Sterilization Cycles on PEEK for Medical Device Application
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 18; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010018
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 14 February 2018 / Published: 21 February 2018
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Abstract
The effects of the sterilization process have been studied on medical grade thermoplastic polyetheretherketone (PEEK). For a reusable medical device, material reliability is an important parameter to decide its lifetime, as it will be subjected to the continuous steam sterilization process. A spring
[...] Read more.
The effects of the sterilization process have been studied on medical grade thermoplastic polyetheretherketone (PEEK). For a reusable medical device, material reliability is an important parameter to decide its lifetime, as it will be subjected to the continuous steam sterilization process. A spring nature, clip component was selected out of a newly designed medical device (patented) to perform this reliability study. This clip component was sterilized for a predetermined number of cycles (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 20…100) at 121 °C for 30 min. A significant decrease of ~20% in the compression force of the spring was observed after 30 cycles, and a ~6% decrease in the lateral dimension of the clip was observed after 50 cycles. No further significant change in the compression force or dimension was observed for the subsequent sterilization cycles. Vickers hardness and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) techniques were used to characterize the effects of sterilization. DSC results exhibited no significant change in the degree of cure and melting behavior of PEEK before and after the sterilization. Hardness measurement exhibited an increase of ~49% in hardness after just 20 cycles. When an unsterilized sample was heated for repetitive cycles without the presence of moisture (121 °C, 10 and 20 cycles), only ~7% of the maximum change in hardness was observed. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Recent Advances in 3D Printing of Aliphatic Polyesters
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 2; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010002
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 24 December 2017
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Abstract
3D printing represents a valuable alternative to traditional processing methods, clearly demonstrated by the promising results obtained in the manufacture of various products, such as scaffolds for regenerative medicine, artificial tissues and organs, electronics, components for the automotive industry, art objects and so
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3D printing represents a valuable alternative to traditional processing methods, clearly demonstrated by the promising results obtained in the manufacture of various products, such as scaffolds for regenerative medicine, artificial tissues and organs, electronics, components for the automotive industry, art objects and so on. This revolutionary technique showed unique capabilities for fabricating complex structures, with precisely controlled physical characteristics, facile tunable mechanical properties, biological functionality and easily customizable architecture. In this paper, we provide an overview of the main 3D-printing technologies currently employed in the case of poly (lactic acid) (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), two of the most important classes of thermoplastic aliphatic polyesters. Moreover, a short presentation of the main 3D-printing methods is briefly discussed. Both PLA and PHA, in the form of filaments or powder, proved to be suitable for the fabrication of artificial tissue or scaffolds for bone regeneration. The processability of PLA and PHB blends and composites fabricated through different 3D-printing techniques, their final characteristics and targeted applications in bioengineering are thoroughly reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biocomposite Engineering and Bio-Applications)
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Open AccessReview Electrospun Fibers as a Dressing Material for Drug and Biological Agent Delivery in Wound Healing Applications
Bioengineering 2018, 5(1), 9; doi:10.3390/bioengineering5010009
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 17 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 27 January 2018
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Abstract
Wound healing is a complex tissue regeneration process that promotes the growth of new tissue to provide the body with the necessary barrier from the outside environment. In the class of non-healing wounds, diabetic wounds, and ulcers, dressing materials that are available clinically
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Wound healing is a complex tissue regeneration process that promotes the growth of new tissue to provide the body with the necessary barrier from the outside environment. In the class of non-healing wounds, diabetic wounds, and ulcers, dressing materials that are available clinically (e.g., gels and creams) have demonstrated only a slow improvement with current available technologies. Among all available current technologies, electrospun fibers exhibit several characteristics that may provide novel replacement dressing materials for the above-mentioned wounds. Therefore, in this review, we focus on recent achievements in electrospun drug-eluting fibers for wound healing applications. In particular, we review drug release, including small molecule drugs, proteins and peptides, and gene vectors from electrospun fibers with respect to wound healing. Furthermore, we provide an overview on multifunctional dressing materials based on electrospun fibers, including those that are capable of achieving wound debridement and wound healing simultaneously as well as multi-drugs loading/types suitable for various stages of the healing process. Our review provides important and sufficient information to inform the field in development of fiber-based dressing materials for clinical treatment of non-healing wounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Wound Healing Systems)
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