J. Funct. Biomater.2014, 5(3), 197-210; doi:10.3390/jfb5030197 - published 18 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Osteoarthritis is a painful degenerative joint disease that could be better managed if tissue engineers can develop methods to create long-term engineered articular cartilage tissue substitutes. Many of the tissue engineered cartilage constructs currently available lack the chemical stimuli and cell-friendly environment that promote the matrix accumulation and cell proliferation needed for use in joint cartilage repair. The goal of this research was to test the efficacy of using a fibrin-alginate hydrogel containing hyaluronic acid (HA) and/or chondroitin sulphate (CS) supplements for chondrocyte culture. Neonatal porcine chondrocytes cultured in fibrin-alginate hydrogels retained their phenotype better than chondrocytes cultured in monolayer, as evidenced by analysis of their relative expression of type II versus type I collagen mRNA transcripts. HA or CS supplementation of the hydrogels increased matrix glycosaminoglycan (GAG) production during the first week of culture. However, the effects of these supplements on matrix accumulation were not additive and were no longer observed after two weeks of culture. Supplementation of the hydrogels with CS or a combination of both CS and HA increased the chondrocyte cell population after two weeks of culture. Statistical analysis indicated that the HA and CS treatment effects on chondrocyte numbers may be additive. This research suggests that supplementation with CS and/or HA has positive effects on cartilage matrix production and chondrocyte proliferation in three-dimensional (3D) fibrin-alginate hydrogels.
J. Funct. Biomater.2014, 5(3), 183-196; doi:10.3390/jfb5030183 - published 17 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: IPNs are unique “alloys” of cross-linked polymers in which at least one network is synthesized and/or cross-linked in the presence of the other. IPNs are also known as entanglements of polymer networks that are ideally held together only by permanent topological interactions. The objectives of this study are to evaluate novel chitosan-based functional drug delivery systems that can be successfully incorporated into “dual action bioactive tooth restorative materials”. These materials should be capable of inducing an improved wound healing prototype. The novel hydrogels will be investigated with respect to the antioxidant capacity of conventional antioxidants, such as resveratrol, b-carotene and propolis, as a designer drug delivery system, with the use of SEM imaging for the characterization of the surfaces, bio-adhesive property, antioxidant capacity, free radical defence, antioxidant, active ingredient stability and reactive features of novel materials. The additional benefit of the site-specific “functional restorative material” for use in dressings to deliver antibiotics to wound sites can provide tissue compatibility and reduced interference with wound healing. The materials were tested using an effective in vitro free radical generation model as functional additive prototypes for further development of “dual function restorative wound healing materials”. We quantified the effects of functional designer biomaterials on the dentin bond strength of a composite and evaluated the bio-adhesive capacity of the materials in the two separate “in vitro” systems. The added benefits of the chitosan/vitamin C/cyclodextrin (CD) host:guest complex-treated hydrogels involved a positive influence on the tetracycline release, increased dentin bond strength, as well as a demonstrated in vitro “built-in” free radical defence mechanism and, therefore, acting as a “proof of concept” for functional multi-dimensional restorative wound healing materials with a built-in free radical defence mechanism.Based on our results, we can conclude that the CD:chitosan-antioxidant-containing hydrogels are a suitable carrier for tetracycline to be slow-released. Within the limitations of the study design, chitosan-based hydrogels are suitable materials for functional restorative and wound healing applications in vitro. Cytotoxicity data are currently being evaluated in our laboratory.
J. Funct. Biomater.2014, 5(3), 167-182; doi:10.3390/jfb5030167 - published 16 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Short interfering RNA (siRNA) targeted against anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein proved to knockdown its expression and trigger cancer cell death. We used degradable, pH-sensitive, comb-like [P(EAA-co-BMA)-b-PNASI-g-P(HMA-co-TMAEMA)] polymer to condense anti-Bcl-2 siRNA into “smart” particles, which proved to shuttle their cargo past the endosomal membrane and into the cytoplasm of HeLa and UM-SCC-17B cancer cells. HeLa and UM-SCC-17B cancer cells were treated with anti-Bcl-2 particles followed by quantifying Bcl-2 mRNA and protein levels using qRT-PCR and western blotting, respectively. “Smart” anti-Bcl-2 particles selectively suppress Bcl-2 mRNA and protein levels in HeLa cells by 50%–60% and 79%–81%, respectively. Similarly, “smart” anti-Bcl-2 particles inhibited Bcl-2 mRNA levels by 30%, 40%, and 20% upon incubation with UM-SCC-17B cancer cells for 48, 72, and 96 h, respectively. Bcl-2 protein expression in UM-SCC-17B cancer cells was inhibited by 30% after treatment for 72 h. Results show that pH-sensitive comb-like polymer complex anti-Bcl-2 siRNA forming “smart” nanoparticles that deliver their cargo into the cytoplasm of HeLa and UM-SCC-17B cancer cells causing Bcl-2 knockdown at the mRNA and protein levels.
J. Funct. Biomater.2014, 5(3), 158-166; doi:10.3390/jfb5030158 - published 11 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The effect of implanting MgO paste into the bone marrow of rat tibia, was studied by light microscopy, time of flight-secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), and environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM), and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis. After three weeks of implantation, the thickness of compact bone increased by 25% compared to sham-operated controls, while no effect was seen on the trabecular bone. In order to further elucidate the mechanism of the Mg-induced increase in bone mass, EDX and ToF-SIMS analysis of the bone samples was made at two weeks. At this time-point, no detectable difference in the thickness of the compact bone in Mg-treated and non-treated animals was observed. The Mg-content of the bone marrow and bone tissue of the Mg-exposed animals did not differ from that of sham-operated controls, implying that there are no traces of the implanted MgO when the mass of compact bone increases, between two and three weeks after surgery. The ratio of Mg/Ca content was higher in the bone of Mg-treated animals, indicating an altered structure of the bone mineral, which was confirmed by the ToF-SIMS analysis, showing increased levels of MgCO3, phosphate ions and CaF in the bone of MgO-exposed animals. Possible cellular activities behind the effect of MgO on compact bone thickness are discussed.
J. Funct. Biomater.2014, 5(3), 135-157; doi:10.3390/jfb5030135 - published 11 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The aim of the present study was to evaluate a new multi-phosphonate surface treatment (SurfLink®) in an unloaded sheep model. Treated implants were compared to control implants in terms of bone to implant contact (BIC), bone formation, and biomechanical stability. The study used two types of implants (rough or machined surface finish) each with either the multi-phosphonate Wet or Dry treatment or no treatment (control) for a total of six groups. Animals were sacrificed after 2, 8, and 52 weeks. No adverse events were observed at any time point. At two weeks, removal torque showed significantly higher values for the multi-phosphonate treated rough surface (+32% and +29%, Dry and Wet, respectively) compared to rough control. At 52 weeks, a significantly higher removal torque was observed for the multi-phosphonate treated machined surfaces (+37% and 23%, Dry and Wet, respectively). The multi-phosphonate treated groups showed a positive tendency for higher BIC with time and increased new-old bone ratio at eight weeks. SEM images revealed greater amounts of organic materials on the multi-phosphonate treated compared to control implants, with the bone fracture (from the torque test) appearing within the bone rather than at the bone to implant interface as it occurred for control implants.
J. Funct. Biomater.2014, 5(3), 111-134; doi:10.3390/jfb5030111 - published 11 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Keratoconus (KC) is a bilateral, asymmetric, corneal disorder that is characterized by progressive thinning, steepening, and potential scarring. The prevalence of KC is stated to be 1 in 2000 persons worldwide; however, numbers vary depending on size of the study and regions. KC appears more often in South Asian, Eastern Mediterranean, and North African populations. The cause remains unknown, although a variety of factors have been considered. Genetics, cellular, and mechanical changes have all been reported; however, most of these studies have proven inconclusive. Clearly, the major problem here, like with any other ocular disease, is quality of life and the threat of vision loss. While most KC cases progress until the third or fourth decade, it varies between individuals. Patients may experience periods of several months with significant changes followed by months or years of no change, followed by another period of rapid changes. Despite the major advancements, it is still uncertain how to treat KC at early stages and prevent vision impairment. There are currently limited tissue engineering techniques and/or “smart” biomaterials that can help arrest the progression of KC. This review will focus on current treatments and how biomaterials may hold promise for the future.