Abstract: The application of freeze-dried gelatin sponges as alternative bone grafting substitutes has many advantages, including the ability to swell, high porosity, tailorable degradation, and versatility to incorporate multiple components such as growth factors and nanofillers. The purpose of this study was to mineralize (M) and further characterize 1-Ethyl-3-[3-dimethylaminopropyl]carbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) cross-linked gelatin sponges enhanced with preparations rich in growth factors, hydroxyapatite, and chitin whiskers (PHCE). Sponges were characterized for their swelling and in vitro mineralization potential, surface characteristics, protein release, mechanical properties, and MG-63 cell attachment and infiltration. All sponges swelled up to 50% of their original volume upon hydration. Scanning electron microscopy showed sparse mineral deposition for gelatin-M scaffolds while PHCE-M scaffolds exhibited more uniform mineral nucleation. Over 21 days, PHCE-M scaffolds cumulatively released significantly more (30%) of its initial protein content than all other scaffolds. PHCE-M scaffolds reported lower modulus values (1.3–1.6 MPa) when compared to gelatin control scaffolds (1.6–3.2 MPa). Increased cell attachment and infiltration was noticed on PHCE and PHCE-M scaffolds. The results of the study demonstrate the enhanced performance of PHCE and PHCE-M scaffolds to serve as bone healing scaffolds. Their potential to release incorporated factors, comparable composition/mechanical properties to tissues developed in the early stages of bone healing, and enhanced initial cellular response make them suitable for further studies evaluating more complex cellular interactions.
Abstract: Pichia pastoris is an attractive candidate platform for recombinant protein production. Dissolved oxygen is one of the most important factors in the cultivation of P. pastoris. However, the effect of oxygen on triggering productivity led to ambivalent results. In our earlier work, a two-compartment system, consisting of a single reactor coupled with a plug flow reactor (PFR), has been proposed as a tool to improve protein quantity and quality. The goal of this work was to investigate the effects of frequency (the residence time of broth in the PFR) and amplitude (the dissolved oxygen level in the reactor) of the stress on productivity, titer and physiology. A recombinant P. pastoris strain, which expressed horseradish peroxidase, was used as the model system. Thirteen experiments were performed. Multivariate data analysis was done and the results showed that the residence time did not influence titer, productivity and physiology over the range of residence time studied while dissolved oxygen influenced titer and specific productivity in a quadratic function. In other words, an intermediate level of dissolved oxygen (25%) showed the highest specific productivity and titter, irrespective of the residence time in the PFR. In turn, the variation of the residence time and dissolved oxygen did not influence growth physiology, as quantified in biomass and carbon dioxide yields.
Abstract: The current paper presents a methodology for the derivation of optimal operating strategies for turbo dynamic ventricular assist devices (tVADs). In current clinical practice, tVADs are typically operated at a constant rotational speed, resulting in a blood flow with a low pulsatility. Recent research in the field has aimed at optimizing the interaction between the tVAD and the cardiovascular system by using predefined periodic speed profiles. In the current paper, we avoid the limitation of using predefined profiles by formulating an optimal-control problem based on a mathematical model of the cardiovascular system and the tVAD. The optimal-control problem is solved numerically, leading to cycle-synchronized speed profiles, which are optimal with respect to an arbitrary objective. Here, an adjustable trade-off between the maximization of the flow through the aortic valve and the minimization of the left-ventricular stroke work is chosen. The optimal solutions perform better than constant-speed or sinusoidal-speed profiles for all cases studied. The analysis of optimized solutions provides insight into the optimized interaction between the tVAD and the cardiovascular system. The numerical approach to the optimization of this interaction represents a powerful tool with applications in research related to tVAD control. Furthermore, patient-specific, optimized VAD actuation strategies can potentially be derived from this approach.
Abstract: It is my great pleasure to welcome you to a new open access journal, Bioengineering, which represents a scope that fits squarely with the core expertise and growing ambitions and interests of bioengineers globally. Of particular interest are the transdisciplinary and translational research represented by the activities within centers and institutes where the biological sciences and engineering disciplines cohabit seamlessly for a focus on solutions to global challenges in human, veterinary and ecological health, bioenergy, bioprocess and sustainability. Bioengineering emphasizes the publication of novel and high quality peer reviewed articles via an open access platform. The scope includes:
Abstract: The to-date studies on extreme halophiles were focused on shake flask cultivations. Bioreactor technology with quantitative approaches can offer a wide variety of biotechnological applications to exploit the special biochemical features of halophiles. Enabling industrial use of Haloferax mediterranei, finding the optima of cultivation parameters is of high interest. In general, process parameter optimizations were mainly carried out with laborious and time-consuming chemostat cultures. This work offers a faster alternative for process parameter optimization by applying temperature ramps and pH shifts on a halophilic continuous bioreactor culture. Although the hydraulic equilibrium in continuous culture is not reached along the ramps, the main effects on the activity from the dynamic studies can still be concluded. The results revealed that the optimal temperature range may be limited at the lower end by the activity of the primary metabolism pathways. At the higher end, the mass transfer of oxygen between the gaseous and the liquid phase can be limiting for microbial growth. pH was also shown to be a key parameter for avoiding overflow metabolism. The obtained experimental data were evaluated by clustering with multivariate data analyses. Showing the feasibility on a halophilic example, the presented dynamic methodology offers a tool for accelerating bioprocess development.