Abstract: Biofunctional block copolymers are becoming increasingly attractive materials as active components in biosensors and other nanoscale electronic devices. We have described two different classes of block copolymers with biofuctional properties. Biofunctionality for block copolymers is achieved through functionalization with appropriate biospecific ligands. We have synthesized block copolymers of electroactive poly(3-decylthiophene) and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate by atom transfer radical polymerization. The block copolymers were functionalized with the dinitrophenyl (DNP) groups, which are capable of binding to Immunoglobulin E (IgE) on cell surfaces. The block copolymers were shown to be redox active. Additionally, the triblock copolymer of α, ω-bi-biotin (poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly (styrene)-b-poly(ethylene oxide)) was also synthesized to study their capacity to bind fluorescently tagged avidin. The surface-active property of the poly(ethylene oxide) block improved the availability of the biotin functional groups on the polymer surfaces. Fluorescence microscopy observations confirm the specific binding of biotin with avidin.
Abstract: A hybrid cell sheet engineering approach was developed using ultra-thin nanofiber arrays to host the formation of composite nanofiber/cell sheets. It was found that confluent aligned cell sheets could grow on uniaxially-aligned and crisscrossed nanofiber arrays with extremely low fiber densities. The porosity of the nanofiber sheets was sufficient to allow aligned linear myotube formation from differentiated myoblasts on both sides of the nanofiber sheets, in spite of single-side cell seeding. The nanofiber content of the composite cell sheets is minimized to reduce the hindrance to cell migration, cell-cell contacts, mass transport, as well as the foreign body response or inflammatory response associated with the biomaterial. Even at extremely low densities, the nanofiber component significantly enhanced the stability and mechanical properties of the composite cell sheets. In addition, the aligned nanofiber arrays imparted excellent handling properties to the composite cell sheets, which allowed easy processing into more complex, thick 3D structures of higher hierarchy. Aligned nanofiber array-based composite cell sheet engineering combines several advantages of material-free cell sheet engineering and polymer scaffold-based cell sheet engineering; and it represents a new direction in aligned cell sheet engineering for a multitude of tissue engineering applications.
Abstract: Over the past decade, tissue engineering in the field of medicine has proven to provide alternative therapies for tissue or organ implants, especially providing a functional implantation and avoiding immune rejection of tissues and organs. [...]
Abstract: Anaerobic digestion (AD) is an efficient and sustainable way of using organic carbon from residual biomass and organic waste for the production of renewable energy, while simultaneously recycling nutrients and cleaning up waste streams. The process relies on complex microbial communities comprised of diverse functional guilds; these communities have manifold metabolic pathways and interactions. In contrast to the conventional view of an anaerobic digester as a black box, advanced microbiological methods have paved the way for understanding and even controlling complex microbial networks. Nowadays, microbial resource management is crucial for technological progress in AD, and offers new perspectives concerning sustainable waste management, renewable energy production, resource efficiency, and advanced bio-refineries; these perspectives lead to novel applications of AD processes that go beyond biogas as the main product. [...]
Abstract: The dual responsive Electrochemical Cell-on-a-Chip Microdisc Electrode Array (ECC MDEA 5037) is a recently developed electrochemical transducer for use in a wireless, implantable biosensor system for the continuous measurement of interstitial glucose and lactate. Fabrication of the biorecognition membrane via pyrrole electropolymerization and both in vitro and in vivo characterization of the resulting biotransducer is described. The influence of EDC-NHS covalent conjugation of glucose oxidase with 4-(3-pyrrolyl) butyric acid (monomerization) and with 4-sulfobenzoic acid (sulfonization) on biosensor performance was examined. As the extent of enzyme conjugation was increased sensitivity decreased for monomerized enzymes but increased for sulfonized enzymes. Implanted biotransducers were examined in a Sprague-Dawley rat hemorrhage model. Resection after 4 h and subsequent in vitro re-characterization showed a decreased sensitivity from 0.68 (±0.40) to 0.22 (±0.17) µA·cm−2·mM−1, an increase in the limit of detection from 0.05 (±0.03) to 0.27 (±0.27) mM and a six-fold increase in the response time from 41 (±18) to 244 (±193) s. This evidence reconfirms the importance of biofouling at the bio-abio interface and the need for mitigation strategies to address the foreign body response.
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.