Open AccessReview
Biosynthesis of Inorganic Nanoparticles: A Fresh Look at the Control of Shape, Size and Composition
Bioengineering 2017, 4(1), 14; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4010014 -
Abstract
Several methodologies have been devised for the design of nanomaterials. The “Holy Grail” for materials scientists is the cost-effective, eco-friendly synthesis of nanomaterials with controlled sizes, shapes and compositions, as these features confer to the as-produced nanocrystals unique properties making them appropriate candidates
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Several methodologies have been devised for the design of nanomaterials. The “Holy Grail” for materials scientists is the cost-effective, eco-friendly synthesis of nanomaterials with controlled sizes, shapes and compositions, as these features confer to the as-produced nanocrystals unique properties making them appropriate candidates for valuable bio-applications. The present review summarizes published data regarding the production of nanomaterials with special features via sustainable methodologies based on the utilization of natural bioresources. The richness of the latter, the diversity of the routes adopted and the tuned experimental parameters have led to the fabrication of nanomaterials belonging to different chemical families with appropriate compositions and displaying interesting sizes and shapes. It is expected that these outstanding findings will encourage researchers and attract newcomers to continue and extend the exploration of possibilities offered by nature and the design of innovative and safer methodologies towards the synthesis of unique nanomaterials, possessing desired features and exhibiting valuable properties that can be exploited in a profusion of fields. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Engineering the RNA-Nanobio Interface
Bioengineering 2017, 4(1), 13; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4010013 -
Abstract
RNA nanotechnology is attracting a great deal of attention recently. As the multiple roles that RNA plays in molecular biology and physiological regulation become clearer, there are many opportunities for engineering RNA-Nanoparticle Complexes (RNA-NPCs). The high “engineerability” of RNA-NPCs comes from the ability
[...] Read more.
RNA nanotechnology is attracting a great deal of attention recently. As the multiple roles that RNA plays in molecular biology and physiological regulation become clearer, there are many opportunities for engineering RNA-Nanoparticle Complexes (RNA-NPCs). The high “engineerability” of RNA-NPCs comes from the ability to modify the RNA and NP chemistry. For example, the NP can be derived from materials with anticancer activity and the RNA delivered by it, designed to target cell signaling pathways that contribute to the molecular basis of these diseases. Despite this rapid advancement and the availability of new quantification and characterization techniques, a key challenge is to develop a better understanding of the RNA-nanobio interface; that is, the interactions of RNA with NP (RNA-nanobio interface) and how that impacts the structure, function, delivery, and activity of the RNA. Here, we attempt to summarize the state-of-the-art in this new and exciting field, and to lay out potential directions for bioengineering research on RNA-NPCs. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Biophysical Tools to Study Cellular Mechanotransduction
Bioengineering 2017, 4(1), 12; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4010012 -
Abstract
The cell membrane is the interface that volumetrically isolates cellular components from the cell’s environment. Proteins embedded within and on the membrane have varied biological functions: reception of external biochemical signals, as membrane channels, amplification and regulation of chemical signals through secondary messenger
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The cell membrane is the interface that volumetrically isolates cellular components from the cell’s environment. Proteins embedded within and on the membrane have varied biological functions: reception of external biochemical signals, as membrane channels, amplification and regulation of chemical signals through secondary messenger molecules, controlled exocytosis, endocytosis, phagocytosis, organized recruitment and sequestration of cytosolic complex proteins, cell division processes, organization of the cytoskeleton and more. The membrane’s bioelectrical role is enabled by the physiologically controlled release and accumulation of electrochemical potential modulating molecules across the membrane through specialized ion channels (e.g., Na+, Ca2+, K+ channels). The membrane’s biomechanical functions include sensing external forces and/or the rigidity of the external environment through force transmission, specific conformational changes and/or signaling through mechanoreceptors (e.g., platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM), vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin, epithelial (E)-cadherin, integrin) embedded in the membrane. Certain mechanical stimulations through specific receptor complexes induce electrical and/or chemical impulses in cells and propagate across cells and tissues. These biomechanical sensory and biochemical responses have profound implications in normal physiology and disease. Here, we discuss the tools that facilitate the understanding of mechanosensitive adhesion receptors. This article is structured to provide a broad biochemical and mechanobiology background to introduce a freshman mechano-biologist to the field of mechanotransduction, with deeper study enabled by many of the references cited herein. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Photocurable Bioink for the Inkjet 3D Pharming of Hydrophilic Drugs
Bioengineering 2017, 4(1), 11; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4010011 -
Abstract
Novel strategies are required to manufacture customized oral solid dosage forms for personalized medicine applications. 3D Pharming, the direct printing of pharmaceutical tablets, is an attractive strategy, since it allows for the rapid production of solid dosage forms containing custom drug dosages. This
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Novel strategies are required to manufacture customized oral solid dosage forms for personalized medicine applications. 3D Pharming, the direct printing of pharmaceutical tablets, is an attractive strategy, since it allows for the rapid production of solid dosage forms containing custom drug dosages. This study reports on the design and characterization of a biocompatible photocurable pharmaceutical polymer for inkjet 3D printing that is suitable for hydrophilic active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). Specifically, hyaluronic acid was functionalized with norbornene moieties that, in the presence of poly(ethylene) glycol dithiol, Eosin Y as a photoinitiator, and a visible light source, undergoes a rapid step-growth polymerization reaction through thiol-ene chemistry. The engineered bioink was loaded with Ropinirole HCL, dispensed through a piezoelectric nozzle onto a blank preform tablet, and polymerized. Drug release analysis of the tablet resulted in 60% release within 15 min of tablet dissolution. The study confirms the potential of inkjet printing for the rapid production of tablets through the deposition of a photocurable bioink designed for hydrophilic APIs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multivariate Curve Resolution and Carbon Balance Constraint to Unravel FTIR Spectra from Fed-Batch Fermentation Samples
Bioengineering 2017, 4(1), 9; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4010009 -
Abstract
The current work investigates the capability of a tailored multivariate curve resolution–alternating least squares (MCR-ALS) algorithm to analyse glucose, phosphate, ammonium and acetate dynamics simultaneously in an E. coli BL21 fed-batch fermentation. The high-cell-density (HCDC) process is monitored by ex situ online attenuated
[...] Read more.
The current work investigates the capability of a tailored multivariate curve resolution–alternating least squares (MCR-ALS) algorithm to analyse glucose, phosphate, ammonium and acetate dynamics simultaneously in an E. coli BL21 fed-batch fermentation. The high-cell-density (HCDC) process is monitored by ex situ online attenuated total reflection (ATR) Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and several in situ online process sensors. This approach efficiently utilises automatically generated process data to reduce the time and cost consuming reference measurement effort for multivariate calibration. To determine metabolite concentrations with accuracies between ±0.19 and ±0.96·gL−l, the presented utilisation needs primarily—besides online sensor measurements—single FTIR measurements for each of the components of interest. The ambiguities in alternating least squares solutions for concentration estimation are reduced by the insertion of analytical process knowledge primarily in the form of elementary carbon mass balances. Thus, in this way, the established idea of mass balance constraints in MCR combines with the consistency check of measured data by carbon balances, as commonly applied in bioprocess engineering. The constraints are calculated based on online process data and theoretical assumptions. This increased calculation effort is able to replace, to a large extent, the need for manually conducted quantitative chemical analysis, leads to good estimations of concentration profiles and a better process understanding. Full article
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Open AccessReview
3D Printing of Organs-On-Chips
Bioengineering 2017, 4(1), 10; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4010010 -
Abstract
Organ-on-a-chip engineering aims to create artificial living organs that mimic the complex and physiological responses of real organs, in order to test drugs by precisely manipulating the cells and their microenvironments. To achieve this, the artificial organs should to be microfabricated with an
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Organ-on-a-chip engineering aims to create artificial living organs that mimic the complex and physiological responses of real organs, in order to test drugs by precisely manipulating the cells and their microenvironments. To achieve this, the artificial organs should to be microfabricated with an extracellular matrix (ECM) and various types of cells, and should recapitulate morphogenesis, cell differentiation, and functions according to the native organ. A promising strategy is 3D printing, which precisely controls the spatial distribution and layer-by-layer assembly of cells, ECMs, and other biomaterials. Owing to this unique advantage, integration of 3D printing into organ-on-a-chip engineering can facilitate the creation of micro-organs with heterogeneity, a desired 3D cellular arrangement, tissue-specific functions, or even cyclic movement within a microfluidic device. Moreover, fully 3D-printed organs-on-chips more easily incorporate other mechanical and electrical components with the chips, and can be commercialized via automated massive production. Herein, we discuss the recent advances and the potential of 3D cell-printing technology in engineering organs-on-chips, and provides the future perspectives of this technology to establish the highly reliable and useful drug-screening platforms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Yeast Surface Display Method for Large-Scale Screen Inhibitors of Sortase A
Bioengineering 2017, 4(1), 6; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4010006 -
Abstract
Fluorescence resonance energy transfer substrates of sortase A are too expensive to be used to roughly screen high-throughput sortase A inhibitors. This makes therapeutic strategies difficult to realize in a clinical therapeutic use. Instead, we design here an LPETG-EGFP (leucine, proline, glutamic, threonine
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Fluorescence resonance energy transfer substrates of sortase A are too expensive to be used to roughly screen high-throughput sortase A inhibitors. This makes therapeutic strategies difficult to realize in a clinical therapeutic use. Instead, we design here an LPETG-EGFP (leucine, proline, glutamic, threonine and glycine-enhanced green fluorescence) protein displayed on a yeast surface as a substrate by adaptively reducing the cost. We do this by optimizing the induction conditions of sortase A expression in Escherichia coli DE3(BL21) and catalyzing LPETG proteins, which are displayed on surface of Pichia pastoris. Different expression conditions of sortase A include: induction temperature (22 °C, 28 °C, 37 °C and 40 °C), induction time (4 h, 5 h, 6 h and 7 h) and induction concentration of isopropyl β-d-thiogalactoside IPTG (0.25 mmol/L, 0.5 mmol/L, 1 mmol/L, and 2 mmol/L). The fluorescence change of the LPETG-EGFP protein on the surface of P. pastoris over time was detected by flow cytometry and fluorescence spectrophotometry, and then the sensitivities of the two methods were compared. Using berberine chloride as an inhibitor, the activity of sortase A was investigated with the substrates of LPETG-EGFP protein, and compared to Dabcyl-QALPETGEE-Edans. A high yield of sortase A was achieved by inducing 1.0 mmol/L IPTG at 28 °C for 6 h. The intensity of green fluorescence of substrates displayed on the yeast surface was increased over time, while the stability was decreased slightly. Both fluorescence spectrophotometery and flow cytometry were fit for detection because of their high sensitivity. We utilized two different substrates of sortase A to investigate sortase A activity, which resulted in the increase of fluorescence intensity with respect to the increased time of growth. However, the method with Dabcyl-QALPETGEE-Edans as its substrate was more robust. Thus, the method described in this paper is a simple and cheap method which is very suitable for high-throughput analysis, but the conventional method is much more sensitive. The method described in this paper is expected to lead to large-scale screening of sortase A inhibitors which can be used to decrease the risk of drug resistance development. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Vasculature-On-A-Chip for In Vitro Disease Models
Bioengineering 2017, 4(1), 8; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4010008 -
Abstract
Vascularization, the formation of new blood vessels, is an essential biological process. As the vasculature is involved in various fundamental physiological phenomena and closely related to several human diseases, it is imperative that substantial research is conducted on characterizing the vasculature and its
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Vascularization, the formation of new blood vessels, is an essential biological process. As the vasculature is involved in various fundamental physiological phenomena and closely related to several human diseases, it is imperative that substantial research is conducted on characterizing the vasculature and its related diseases. A significant evolution has been made to describe the vascularization process so that in vitro recapitulation of vascularization is possible. The current microfluidic systems allow elaborative research on the effects of various cues for vascularization, and furthermore, in vitro technologies have a great potential for being applied to the vascular disease models for studying pathological events and developing drug screening platforms. Here, we review methods of fabrication for microfluidic assays and inducing factors for vascularization. We also discuss applications using engineered vasculature such as in vitro vascular disease models, vasculature in organ-on-chips and drug screening platforms. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
HHV Predicting Correlations for Torrefied Biomass Using Proximate and Ultimate Analyses
Bioengineering 2017, 4(1), 7; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4010007 -
Abstract
Many correlations are available in the literature to predict the higher heating value (HHV) of raw biomass using the proximate and ultimate analyses. Studies on biomass torrefaction are growing tremendously, which suggest that the fuel characteristics, such as HHV, proximate analysis and ultimate
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Many correlations are available in the literature to predict the higher heating value (HHV) of raw biomass using the proximate and ultimate analyses. Studies on biomass torrefaction are growing tremendously, which suggest that the fuel characteristics, such as HHV, proximate analysis and ultimate analysis, have changed significantly after torrefaction. Such changes may cause high estimation errors if the existing HHV correlations were to be used in predicting the HHV of torrefied biomass. No study has been carried out so far to verify this. Therefore, this study seeks answers to the question: “Can the existing correlations be used to determine the HHV of the torrefied biomass”? To answer this, the existing HHV predicting correlations were tested using torrefied biomass data points. Estimation errors were found to be significantly high for the existing HHV correlations, and thus, they are not suitable for predicting the HHV of the torrefied biomass. New correlations were then developed using data points of torrefied biomass. The ranges of reported data for HHV, volatile matter (VM), fixed carbon (FC), ash (ASH), carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) contents were 14.90 MJ/kg–33.30 MJ/kg, 13.30%–88.57%, 11.25%–82.74%, 0.08%–47.62%, 35.08%–86.28%, 0.53%–7.46% and 4.31%–44.70%, respectively. Correlations with the minimum mean absolute errors and having all components of proximate and ultimate analyses were selected for future use. The selected new correlations have a good accuracy of prediction when they are validated using another set of data (26 samples). Thus, these new and more accurate correlations can be useful in modeling different thermochemical processes, including combustion, pyrolysis and gasification processes of torrefied biomass. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fixation Release and the Bone Bandaid: A New Bone Fixation Device Paradigm
Bioengineering 2017, 4(1), 5; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4010005 -
Abstract
The current gold standard of care for mandibular segmental defeat reconstruction is the use of Ti-6Al-4V immobilization hardware and fibular double barrel graft. This method is often successful immediately at restoring mandible function, however the highly stiff fixation hardware causes stress shielding of
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The current gold standard of care for mandibular segmental defeat reconstruction is the use of Ti-6Al-4V immobilization hardware and fibular double barrel graft. This method is often successful immediately at restoring mandible function, however the highly stiff fixation hardware causes stress shielding of the grafted bone and stress concentration in the fixation device over time which can lead to fixation device failure and revision surgery. The purpose of reconstructive surgery could be to create normal stress trajectories in the mandible following engraftment. We investigate the use of a two stage mechanism which separates the immobilization/healing and regenerative phases of mandibular segmental defect treatment. The device includes the use of a very stiff, Ti-6Al-4V, releasable mechanism which assures bone healing. Therefore it could be released once the reconstructed boney tissue and any of its ligamentous attachments have completely healed. Underneath the released Ti-6Al-4V plate would be a pre-loaded nitinol (NiTi) wire-frame apparatus that facilitates the normal stress-strain trajectory through the engrafted bone after the graft is healed in place and the Ti-6Al-4V fixation device has been released. Due to the use of NiTi wires forming a netting that connects vascularized bone and possibly bone chips, bone grafts are also more likely to be incorporate rather than to resorb. We first evaluated a healthy adult mandible during normal mastication to obtain the normal stress-strain distribution. Then, we developed the finite element (FE) model of the mandibular reconstruction (in the M1-3 region) with the proposed fixation device during the healing (locked state) and post-healing (released state) periods. To recreate normal stress trajectory in the reconstructed mandible, we applied the Response Surface Methodology (RMS) to optimize the Bone Bandaid geometry (i.e., wire diameters and location). The results demonstrate that the proposed mechanism immobilizes the grafted bone in the locked state properly since the maximum resultant gap (21.54 micron) between the graft and host mandible surfaces are in the safe region (less than 300 micron). By considering the von Mises criteria for failure, FE analysis together with experimental studies (i.e., compressive and tensile testing on the inferior and superior fixation devices, respectively) confirm that the proposed fixation devices do not fail, showing safety factor of at least 10.3. Based on the Response Surface Methodology (RSM) technique, the optimal parameter values for the wires are achieved (0.65 mm and 1 mm for the superior and inferior wires, respectively) and the required level of preload on each wire are calculated (369.8 N and 229 N for the inferior and superior wires, respectively). The FE results for stress distribution on the reconstructed mandible during the released state closely match that of a healthy mandible. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Stimulates Extra-Cellular Matrix Production in Cellular Spheroids
Bioengineering 2017, 4(1), 4; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4010004 -
Abstract
Nanotechnologies have been integrated into drug delivery, and non-invasive imaging applications, into nanostructured scaffolds for the manipulation of cells. The objective of this work was to determine how the physico-chemical properties of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and their spatial distribution into cellular spheroids stimulated
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Nanotechnologies have been integrated into drug delivery, and non-invasive imaging applications, into nanostructured scaffolds for the manipulation of cells. The objective of this work was to determine how the physico-chemical properties of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and their spatial distribution into cellular spheroids stimulated cells to produce an extracellular matrix (ECM). The MNP concentration (0.03 mg/mL, 0.1 mg/mL and 0.3 mg/mL), type (magnetoferritin), shape (nanorod—85 nm × 425 nm) and incorporation method were studied to determine each of their effects on the specific stimulation of four ECM proteins (collagen I, collagen IV, elastin and fibronectin) in primary rat aortic smooth muscle cell. Results demonstrated that as MNP concentration increased there was up to a 6.32-fold increase in collagen production over no MNP samples. Semi-quantitative Immunohistochemistry (IHC) results demonstrated that MNP type had the greatest influence on elastin production with a 56.28% positive area stain compared to controls and MNP shape favored elastin stimulation with a 50.19% positive area stain. Finally, there are no adverse effects of MNPs on cellular contractile ability. This study provides insight on the stimulation of ECM production in cells and tissues, which is important because it plays a critical role in regulating cellular functions. Full article
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Open AccessReview
pH-Responsive Mesoporous Silica and Carbon Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery
Bioengineering 2017, 4(1), 3; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4010003 -
Abstract
The application of nanotechnology to medicine constitutes a major field of research nowadays. In particular, the use of mesoporous silica and carbon nanoparticles has attracted the attention of numerous researchers due to their unique properties, especially when applied to cancer treatment. Many strategies
[...] Read more.
The application of nanotechnology to medicine constitutes a major field of research nowadays. In particular, the use of mesoporous silica and carbon nanoparticles has attracted the attention of numerous researchers due to their unique properties, especially when applied to cancer treatment. Many strategies based on stimuli-responsive nanocarriers have been developed to control the drug release and avoid premature release. Here, we focus on the use of the subtle changes of pH between healthy and diseased areas along the body to trigger the release of the cargo. In this review, different approximations of pH-responsive systems are considered: those based on the use of the host-guest interactions between the nanocarriers and the drugs, those based on the hydrolysis of acid-labile bonds and those based on supramolecular structures acting as pore capping agents. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Polysaccharide Fabrication Platforms and Biocompatibility Assessment as Candidate Wound Dressing Materials
Bioengineering 2017, 4(1), 1; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4010001 -
Abstract
Wound dressings are critical for wound care because they provide a physical barrier between the injury site and outside environment, preventing further damage or infection. Wound dressings also manage and even encourage the wound healing process for proper recovery. Polysaccharide biopolymers are slowly
[...] Read more.
Wound dressings are critical for wound care because they provide a physical barrier between the injury site and outside environment, preventing further damage or infection. Wound dressings also manage and even encourage the wound healing process for proper recovery. Polysaccharide biopolymers are slowly becoming popular as modern wound dressings materials because they are naturally derived, highly abundant, inexpensive, absorbent, non-toxic and non-immunogenic. Polysaccharide biopolymers have also been processed into biomimetic platforms that offer a bioactive component in wound dressings that aid the healing process. This review primarily focuses on the fabrication and biocompatibility assessment of polysaccharide materials. Specifically, fabrication platforms such as electrospun fibers and hydrogels, their fabrication considerations and popular polysaccharides such as chitosan, alginate, and hyaluronic acid among emerging options such as arabinoxylan are discussed. A survey of biocompatibility and bioactive molecule release studies, leveraging polysaccharide’s naturally derived properties, is highlighted in the text, while challenges and future directions for wound dressing development using emerging fabrication techniques such as 3D bioprinting are outlined in the conclusion. This paper aims to encourage further investigation and open up new, disruptive avenues for polysaccharides in wound dressing material development. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Bioengineering in 2016
Bioengineering 2017, 4(1), 2; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4010002 -
Abstract The editors of Bioengineering would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016. [...]
Full article
Open AccessArticle
Finite Element Simulation and Additive Manufacturing of Stiffness-Matched NiTi Fixation Hardware for Mandibular Reconstruction Surgery
Bioengineering 2016, 3(4), 36; doi:10.3390/bioengineering3040036 -
Abstract
Process parameters and post-processing heat treatment techniques have been developed to produce both shape memory and superelastic NiTi using Additive Manufacturing. By introducing engineered porosity, the stiffness of NiTi can be tuned to the level closely matching cortical bone. Using additively manufactured porous
[...] Read more.
Process parameters and post-processing heat treatment techniques have been developed to produce both shape memory and superelastic NiTi using Additive Manufacturing. By introducing engineered porosity, the stiffness of NiTi can be tuned to the level closely matching cortical bone. Using additively manufactured porous superelastic NiTi, we have proposed the use of patient-specific, stiffness-matched fixation hardware, for mandible skeletal reconstructive surgery. Currently, Ti-6Al-4V is the most commonly used material for skeletal fixation devices. Although this material offers more than sufficient strength for immobilization during the bone healing process, the high stiffness of Ti-6Al-4V implants can cause stress shielding. In this paper, we present a study of mandibular reconstruction that uses a dry cadaver mandible to validate our geometric and biomechanical design and fabrication (i.e., 3D printing) of NiTi skeletal fixation hardware. Based on the reference-dried mandible, we have developed a Finite Element model to evaluate the performance of the proposed fixation. Our results show a closer-to-normal stress distribution and an enhanced contact pressure at the bone graft interface than would be in the case with Ti-6Al-4V off-the-shelf fixation hardware. The porous fixation plates used in this study were fabricated by selective laser melting. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Biosilica from Living Diatoms: Investigations on Biocompatibility of Bare and Chemically Modified Thalassiosira weissflogii Silica Shells
Bioengineering 2016, 3(4), 35; doi:10.3390/bioengineering3040035 -
Abstract
In the past decade, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) with a large surface area and pore volume have attracted considerable attention for their application in drug delivery and biomedicine. Here we propose biosilica from diatoms as an alternative source of mesoporous materials in the
[...] Read more.
In the past decade, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) with a large surface area and pore volume have attracted considerable attention for their application in drug delivery and biomedicine. Here we propose biosilica from diatoms as an alternative source of mesoporous materials in the field of multifunctional supports for cell growth: the biosilica surfaces were chemically modified by traditional silanization methods resulting in diatom silica microparticles functionalized with 3-mercaptopropyl-trimethoxysilane (MPTMS) and 3-aminopropyl-triethoxysilane (APTES). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses revealed that the –SH or –NH2 were successfully grafted onto the biosilica surface. The relationship among the type of functional groups and the cell viability was established as well as the interaction of the cells with the nanoporosity of frustules. These results show that diatom microparticles are promising natural biomaterials suitable for cell growth, and that the surfaces, owing to the mercapto groups, exhibit good biocompatibility. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biodegradable Polymeric Substances Produced by a Marine Bacterium from a Surplus Stream of the Biodiesel Industry
Bioengineering 2016, 3(4), 34; doi:10.3390/bioengineering3040034 -
Abstract
Crude glycerol is generated as a by-product during transesterification process and during hydrolysis of fat in the soap-manufacturing process, and poses a problem for waste management. In the present approach, an efficient process was designed for simultaneous production of 0.2 g/L extracellular ε-polylysine
[...] Read more.
Crude glycerol is generated as a by-product during transesterification process and during hydrolysis of fat in the soap-manufacturing process, and poses a problem for waste management. In the present approach, an efficient process was designed for simultaneous production of 0.2 g/L extracellular ε-polylysine and 64.6% (w/w) intracellular polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) in the same fermentation broth (1 L shake flask) utilizing Jatropha biodiesel waste residues as carbon rich source by marine bacterial strain (Bacillus licheniformis PL26), isolated from west coast of India. The synthesized ε-polylysine and polyhydroxyalkanoate PHA by Bacillus licheniformis PL26 was characterized by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning colorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and 1H Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). The PHA produced by Bacillus licheniformis was found to be poly-3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate (P3HB-co-3HV). The developed process needs to be statistically optimized further for gaining still better yield of both the products in an efficient manner. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Investigation into Spent Coffee Waste as a Renewable Source of Bioactive Compounds and Industrially Important Sugars
Bioengineering 2016, 3(4), 33; doi:10.3390/bioengineering3040033 -
Abstract
Conventional coffee brewing techniques generate vast quantities of spent espresso grounds (SEGs) rich in lignocellulose and valuable bioactives. These bioactive compounds can be exploited as a nutraceutical or used in a range of food products, while breakdown of lignocellulose generates metabolizable sugars that
[...] Read more.
Conventional coffee brewing techniques generate vast quantities of spent espresso grounds (SEGs) rich in lignocellulose and valuable bioactives. These bioactive compounds can be exploited as a nutraceutical or used in a range of food products, while breakdown of lignocellulose generates metabolizable sugars that can be used for the production of various high-value products such as biofuels, amino acids and enzymes. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to optimize the enzymatic saccharification of lignocellulose in SEGs following a hydrothermal pretreatment. A maximum reducing sugar yield was obtained at the following optimized hydrolysis conditions: 4.97 g of pretreated SEGs, 120 h reaction time, and 1246 and 250 µL of cellulase and hemicellulase, respectively. Industrially important sugars (glucose, galactose and mannose) were identified as the principal hydrolysis products under the studied conditions. Total flavonoids (p = 0.0002), total polyphenols (p = 0.03) and DPPH free-radical scavenging activity (p = 0.004) increased significantly after processing. A 14-fold increase in caffeine levels was also observed. This study provides insight into SEGs as a promising source of industrially important sugars and polyphenols. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fluorometric In Situ Monitoring of an Escherichia coli Cell Factory with Cytosolic Expression of Human Glycosyltransferase GalNAcT2: Prospects and Limitations
Bioengineering 2016, 3(4), 32; doi:10.3390/bioengineering3040032 -
Abstract
The glycosyltransferase HisDapGalNAcT2 is the key protein of the Escherichia coli (E. coli) SHuffle® T7 cell factory which was genetically engineered to allow glycosylation of a protein substrate in vivo. The specific activity of the glycosyltransferase requires time-intensive analytics, but
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The glycosyltransferase HisDapGalNAcT2 is the key protein of the Escherichia coli (E. coli) SHuffle® T7 cell factory which was genetically engineered to allow glycosylation of a protein substrate in vivo. The specific activity of the glycosyltransferase requires time-intensive analytics, but is a critical process parameter. Therefore, it has to be monitored closely. This study evaluates fluorometric in situ monitoring as option to access this critical process parameter during complex E. coli fermentations. Partial least square regression (PLS) models were built based on the fluorometric data recorded during the EnPresso® B fermentations. Capable models for the prediction of glucose and acetate concentrations were built for these fermentations with rout mean squared errors for prediction (RMSEP) of 0.19 g·L−1 and 0.08 g·L−1, as well as for the prediction of the optical density (RMSEP 0.24). In situ monitoring of soluble enzyme to cell dry weight ratios (RMSEP 5.5 × 10−4 µg w/w) and specific activity of the glycosyltransferase (RMSEP 33.5 pmol·min−1·µg−1) proved to be challenging, since HisDapGalNAcT2 had to be extracted from the cells and purified. However, fluorescence spectroscopy, in combination with PLS modeling, proved to be feasible for in situ monitoring of complex expression systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Focused Screening of ECM-Selective Adhesion Peptides on Cellulose-Bound Peptide Microarrays
Bioengineering 2016, 3(4), 31; doi:10.3390/bioengineering3040031 -
Abstract
The coating of surfaces with bio-functional proteins is a promising strategy for the creation of highly biocompatible medical implants. Bio-functional proteins from the extracellular matrix (ECM) provide effective surface functions for controlling cellular behavior. We have previously screened bio-functional tripeptides for feasibility of
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The coating of surfaces with bio-functional proteins is a promising strategy for the creation of highly biocompatible medical implants. Bio-functional proteins from the extracellular matrix (ECM) provide effective surface functions for controlling cellular behavior. We have previously screened bio-functional tripeptides for feasibility of mass production with the aim of identifying those that are medically useful, such as cell-selective peptides. In this work, we focused on the screening of tripeptides that selectively accumulate collagen type IV (Col IV), an ECM protein that accelerates the re-endothelialization of medical implants. A SPOT peptide microarray was selected for screening owing to its unique cellulose membrane platform, which can mimic fibrous scaffolds used in regenerative medicine. However, since the library size on the SPOT microarray was limited, physicochemical clustering was used to provide broader variation than that of random peptide selection. Using the custom focused microarray of 500 selected peptides, we assayed the relative binding rates of tripeptides to Col IV, collagen type I (Col I), and albumin. We discovered a cluster of Col IV-selective adhesion peptides that exhibit bio-safety with endothelial cells. The results from this study can be used to improve the screening of regeneration-enhancing peptides. Full article
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