J. Funct. Biomater.2016, 7(1), 1; doi:10.3390/jfb7010001 - published 7 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The present work addresses the question of to what extent a geometrical support acts as a physiological determining template in the setup of artificial cardiac tissue. Surface patterns with alternating concave to convex transitions of cell size dimensions were used to organize and orientate human-induced pluripotent stem cell (hIPSC)-derived cardiac myocytes and mouse neonatal cardiac myocytes. The shape of the cells, as well as the organization of the contractile apparatus recapitulates the anisotropic line pattern geometry being derived from tissue geometry motives. The intracellular organization of the contractile apparatus and the cell coupling via gap junctions of cell assemblies growing in a random or organized pattern were examined. Cell spatial and temporal coordinated excitation and contraction has been compared on plain and patterned substrates. While the α-actinin cytoskeletal organization is comparable to terminally-developed native ventricular tissue, connexin-43 expression does not recapitulate gap junction distribution of heart muscle tissue. However, coordinated contractions could be observed. The results of tissue-like cell ensemble organization open new insights into geometry-dependent cell organization, the cultivation of artificial heart tissue from stem cells and the anisotropy-dependent activity of therapeutic compounds.
J. Funct. Biomater.2016, 7(1), 2; doi:10.3390/jfb7010002 - published 7 January 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The purpose was to investigate whether a new biphasic and injectable ceramic bone substitute Cerament™ that rapidly remodels to bone, may contribute to the retention of titanium implant screws during the healing period, and to analyze the pattern of bone formation around titanium implants.Titanium screws were implanted in rat tibiae and embedded with or without Cerament™ on the cortical surface. Torsional resistance was measured after 1 day, and after 6 and 12 weeks. Implant areas without bone substitute were analyzed histologically for comparison. The torsional resistance increased over time as the screws were osseointegrated. There was no difference in resistance between screws embedded in the bone substitute and control screws. The bone apposition was more pronounced on the proximal side of the screw than on the distal side. Cerament™ is capable of conducting bone growth from a cortical bone surface. The newly formed bone in this application does not significantly add to the osseointegrative strength of the implant screw, as measured by torque resistance, during the first 12 weeks.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(4), 1099-1140; doi:10.3390/jfb6041099 - published 21 December 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In the last five decades, there have been vast advances in the field of biomaterials, including ceramics, glasses, glass-ceramics and metal alloys. Dense and porous ceramics have been widely used for various biomedical applications. Current applications of bioceramics include bone grafts, spinal fusion, bone repairs, bone fillers, maxillofacial reconstruction, etc. Amongst the various calcium phosphate compositions, hydroxyapatite, which has a composition similar to human bone, has attracted wide interest. Much emphasis is given to tissue engineering, both in porous and dense ceramic forms. The current review focusses on the various applications of dense hydroxyapatite and other dense biomaterials on the aspects of transparency and the mechanical and electrical behavior. Prospective future applications, established along the aforesaid applications of hydroxyapatite, appear to be promising regarding bone bonding, advanced medical treatment methods, improvement of the mechanical strength of artificial bone grafts and better in vitro/in vivo methodologies to afford more particular outcomes.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(4), 1085-1098; doi:10.3390/jfb6041085 - published 21 December 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The aim of this study was the development of a process for filling the pores of a β-tricalcium phosphate ceramic with interconnected porosity with an alginate hydrogel. For filling of the ceramics, solutions of alginate hydrogel precursors with suitable viscosity were chosen as determined by rheometry. For loading of the porous ceramics with the gel the samples were placed at the flow chamber and sealed with silicone seals. By using a vacuum induced directional flow, the samples were loaded with alginate solutions. The loading success was controlled by ESEM and fluorescence imaging using a fluorescent dye (FITC) for staining of the gel. After loading of the pores, the alginate is transformed into a hydrogel through crosslinking with CaCl2 solution. The biocompatibility of the obtained composite material was tested with a live dead cell staining by using MG-63 Cells. The loading procedure via vacuum assisted directional flow allowed complete filling of the pores of the ceramics within a few minutes (10 ± 3 min) while loading through simple immersion into the polymer solution or through a conventional vacuum method only gave incomplete filling.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(4), 1064-1084; doi:10.3390/jfb6041064 - published 11 December 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The conjunctival epithelium plays an important role in ensuring the optical clarity of the cornea by providing lubrication to maintain a smooth, refractive surface, by producing mucins critical for tear film stability and by protecting against mechanical stress and infectious agents. A large number of disorders can lead to scarring of the conjunctiva through chronic conjunctival inflammation. For controlling complications of conjunctival scarring, surgery can be considered. Surgical treatment of symblepharon includes removal of the scar tissue to reestablish the deep fornix. The surgical defect is then covered by the application of a tissue substitute. One obvious limiting factor when using autografts is the size of the defect to be covered, as the amount of healthy conjunctiva is scarce. These limitations have led scientists to develop tissue engineered conjunctival equivalents. A tissue engineered conjunctival epithelial equivalent needs to be easily manipulated surgically, not cause an inflammatory reaction and be biocompatible. This review summarizes the various substrates and membranes that have been used to culture conjunctival epithelial cells during the last three decades. Future avenues for developing tissue engineered conjunctiva are discussed.