Fibers2015, 3(3), 338-347; doi:10.3390/fib3030338 - published 27 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Surface-initiated graft atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) of methyl methacrylate (MMA) from self-assembled chitin nanofibers (CNFs) was performed under dispersion conditions. Self-assembled CNFs were initially prepared by regeneration from a chitin ion gel with 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide using methanol; the product was then converted into the chitin nanofiber macroinitiator by reaction with α-bromoisobutyryl bromide in a dispersion containing N,N-dimethylformamide. Surface-initiated graft ATRP of MMA from the initiating sites on the CNFs was subsequently carried out under dispersion conditions, followed by filtration to obtain the CNF-graft-polyMMA film. Analysis of the product confirmed the occurrence of the graft ATRP on the surface of the CNFs.
Fibers2015, 3(3), 323-337; doi:10.3390/fib3030323 - published 5 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This article describes aspects within an experimental program aimed at improving the structural performance of cracked solid fir-wood beams repaired with Basalt Fiber Reinforced Polymer (BFRP) spikes. Fir wood is characterized by its low density, low compression strength, and high level of defects, and it is likely to distort when dried and tends to fail under tension due to the presence of cracks, knots, or grain deviation. The proposed repair technique consists of the insertion of BFRP spikes into timber beams to restore the continuity of cracked sections. The experimental efforts deal with the evaluation of the bending strength and deformation properties of 24 timber beams. An artificially simulated cracking was produced by cutting the wood beams in half or notching. The obtained results for the repaired beams were compared with those of solid undamaged and damaged beams, and increases of beam capacity, bending strength and of modulus of elasticity, and analysis of failure modes was discussed. For notched beams, the application of the BFRP spikes was able to restore the original bending capacity of undamaged beams, while only a small part of the original capacity was recovered for beams that were cut in half.
Fibers2015, 3(3), 309-322; doi:10.3390/fib3030309 - published 4 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this work, a supercritical carbon dioxide assembly was successfully constructed for dyeing Nylon6 fabric. Primary experiments were carried out to confirm the possibility of bringing the dyeing up to factory scale. A series of disperse azo dyes with potential antibacterial activity were applied to dye the fabric under our study in supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2). The factors affecting the dyeing conditions (i.e., dye concentration, time, temperature and pressure) and functional properties were discussed and compared with those in aqueous dyeing. The comparison revealed that elimination of auxiliary chemicals such as salt, carrier or dispersing agent has no diverse effect on dyeing. The color strength of the dyed fabric evaluated by using K/S measurements increased by increasing dye concentration from 2% to 6% owf. (on weight of fabric). The nylon6 fabrics dyed in supercritical carbon dioxide have good fastness properties, and especially light fastness compared with conventional exhaustion dyeing. Antibacterial activity of the dyed samples under supercritical conditions was evaluated and the results showed excellent antibacterial efficiency.
Fibers2015, 3(3), 296-308; doi:10.3390/fib3030296 - published 17 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Controlled release drug delivery systems enable the sustained release of bioactive molecules, and increase bioavailability over an extended length of time. Biocompatible and biodegradable materials such as polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofibers and alginate hydrogel play a significant role in designing controlled release systems. Prolonged release of bioactive molecules is observed when these polymer materials are used as matrices independently. However, there has not been a report in the literature that shows how different molecules are released at various rates over time. The goal of this study is to demonstrate a novel drug delivery system that has a property of releasing designated drugs at various rates over a defined length of time. We fabricated multilayer nanofiber-hydrogel meshes using electrospun PCL nanofiber and alginate hydrogel, and evaluated their controlled release properties. The multilayer meshes are composed of sandwiched layers of alternating PCL nanofibers and alginate hydrogel. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), encapsulated in the designated hydrogel layers, is used as a mock drug for the release study. The exposed top layer of the meshes demonstrates a dramatically higher burst release and shorter release time compared to the deeper layers. Such properties of the different layers within the meshes can be employed to achieve the release of multiple drugs at different rates over a specified length of time.
Fibers2015, 3(3), 265-295; doi:10.3390/fib3030265 - published 17 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Advances in tissue engineering have enabled the ability to design and fabricate biomaterials at the nanoscale that can actively mimic the natural cellular environment of host tissue. Of all tissues, cartilage remains difficult to regenerate due to its avascular nature. Herein we have developed two new hybrid polypeptide-glycosaminoglycan microfibrous scaffold constructs and compared their abilities to stimulate cell adhesion, proliferation, sulfated proteoglycan synthesis and soluble collagen synthesis when seeded with chondrocytes. Both constructs were designed utilizing self-assembled Fmoc-protected valyl cetylamide nanofibrous templates. The peptide components of the constructs were varied. For Construct I a short segment of dentin sialophosphoprotein followed by Type I collagen were attached to the templates using the layer-by-layer approach. For Construct II, a short peptide segment derived from the integrin subunit of Type II collagen binding protein expressed by chondrocytes was attached to the templates followed by Type II collagen. To both constructs, we then attached the natural polymer N-acetyl glucosamine, chitosan. Subsequently, the glycosaminoglycan chondroitin sulfate was then attached as the final layer. The scaffolds were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. In vitro culture studies were carried out in the presence of chondrocyte cells for both scaffolds and growth morphology was determined through optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy taken at different magnifications at various days of culture. Cell proliferation studies indicated that while both constructs were biocompatible and supported the growth and adhesion of chondrocytes, Construct II stimulated cell adhesion at higher rates and resulted in the formation of three dimensional cell-scaffold matrices within 24 h. Proteoglycan synthesis, a hallmark of chondrocyte cell differentiation, was also higher for Construct II compared to Construct I. Soluble collagen synthesis was also found to be higher for Construct II. The results of the above studies suggest that scaffolds designed from Construct II be superior for potential applications in cartilage tissue regeneration. The peptide components of the constructs play an important role not only in the mechanical properties in developing the scaffolds but also control cell adhesion, collagen synthesis and proteoglycan synthesis capabilities.
Fibers2015, 3(3), 253-264; doi:10.3390/fib3030253 - published 16 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The composition of the extracellular matrix (ECM) of skeletal muscle fibers is a unique environment that supports the regenerative capacity of satellite cells; the resident stem cell population. The impact of environment has great bearing on key properties permitting satellite cells to carry out tissue repair. In this study, we have investigated the influence of the ECM and glycolytic metabolism on satellite cell emergence and migration—two early processes required for muscle repair. Our results show that both influence the rate at which satellite cells emerge from the sub-basal lamina position and their rate of migration. These studies highlight the necessity of performing analysis of satellite behavior on their native substrate and will inform on the production of artificial scaffolds intended for medical uses.