J. Funct. Biomater.2013, 4(4), 329-357; doi:10.3390/jfb4040329 - published online 21 November 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This study investigates the use of gallium (Ga) based glass polyalkenoate cements (GPCs) as a possible alternative adhesive in sternal fixation, post sternotomy surgery. The glass series consists of a Control (CaO–ZnO–SiO2), and LGa-1 and LGa-2 which contain Ga at the expense of zinc (Zn) in 0.08 mol% increments. The additions of Ga resulted in increased working time (75 s to 137 s) and setting time (113 to 254 s). Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis indicated that this was a direct result of increased unreacted poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) and the reduction of crosslink formation during cement maturation. LGa samples (0.16 wt % Ga) resulted in an altered ion release profile, particularly for 30 days analysis, with maximum Ca2+, Zn2+, Si4+ and Ga3+ ions released into the distilled water. The additions of Ga resulted in increased roughness and decreased contact angles during cement maturation. The presence of Ga has a positive effect on the compressive strength of the samples with strengths increasing over 10 MPa at 7 days analysis compared to the 1 day results. The additions of Ga had relatively no effect on the flexural strength. Tensile testing of bovine sterna proved that the LGa samples (0.16 wt % Ga) are comparable to the Control samples.
J. Funct. Biomater.2013, 4(4), 312-328; doi:10.3390/jfb4040312 - published online 19 November 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Purpose: to design, assemble and test a prototype of a novel production plant, suitable for producing microparticles (MPs) by processing highly viscous feed solutions (FSs). Methods: the prototype has been built using a commercial air compressor, a piston pump, an airless spray-gun, a customized air-treatment section, a timer, a rotating base, and a filtration section. Preliminary prototype parameter setting was carried out to individuate the best performing nozzle’s dimension, the nebulization timing, and the CaCl2 concentration in the gelation fluid. In addition, prototype throughput (1 L to 5 L) and the range of practicable feed solution (FS) viscosities were assayed. A set of four batches was prepared in order to characterize the MPs, in terms of mean particle size and distribution, flow properties, swelling, encapsulation efficiency and release. Results: according to a qualitative scoring, the large nozzle was suitable to nebulize FSs at a higher alginate concentration. Conversely, the small nozzle performed better in the processing of FSs with an alginate concentration up to 2% w/v. Only at the highest degree of viscosity, corresponding to 5% w/v of alginate, the FS processing was not technically possible. Among the CaCl2 concentrations considered, 15% w/v was recognized as the most versatile. The prototype appears to be convenient and suitable to grant a high yield starting from 2 L of FS. The flow behavior of the FSs assayed can be satisfactorily described with the Carreau-Yasuda equation and the throughput begins to slightly decrease for FSs at alginate concentrations exceeding 3% w/v. MP morphology was irregular with crumpled shape. The angle of repose indicates a good flowability and the release studies showed gastro-resistance and potential prolonged release applications. Conclusions: the novel prototype of production plant is suitable to process large amounts (2 L or more) of FSs, characterized by a high viscosity, to produce MPs suitable for bioactive principle delivery.
J. Funct. Biomater.2013, 4(4), 209-311; doi:10.3390/jfb4040209 - published online 12 November 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In early 1980s, researchers discovered self-setting calcium orthophosphate cements, which are bioactive and biodegradable grafting bioceramics in the form of a powder and a liquid. After mixing, both phases form pastes, which set and harden forming either a non-stoichiometric calcium deficient hydroxyapatite or brushite. Since both of them are remarkably biocompartible, bioresorbable and osteoconductive, self-setting calcium orthophosphate formulations appear to be promising bioceramics for bone grafting. Furthermore, such formulations possess excellent molding capabilities, easy manipulation and nearly perfect adaptation to the complex shapes of bone defects, followed by gradual bioresorption and new bone formation. In addition, reinforced formulations have been introduced, which might be described as calcium orthophosphate concretes. The discovery of self-setting properties opened up a new era in the medical application of calcium orthophosphates and many commercial trademarks have been introduced as a result. Currently such formulations are widely used as synthetic bone grafts, with several advantages, such as pourability and injectability. Moreover, their low-temperature setting reactions and intrinsic porosity allow loading by drugs, biomolecules and even cells for tissue engineering purposes. In this review, an insight into the self-setting calcium orthophosphate formulations, as excellent bioceramics suitable for both dental and bone grafting applications, has been provided.
J. Funct. Biomater.2013, 4(4), 178-208; doi:10.3390/jfb4040178 - published online 22 October 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Functional impairment of the human corneal endothelium can lead to corneal blindness. In order to meet the high demand for transplants with an appropriate human corneal endothelial cell density as a prerequisite for corneal function, several tissue engineering techniques have been developed to generate transplantable endothelial cell sheets. These approaches range from the use of natural membranes, biological polymers and biosynthetic material compositions, to completely synthetic materials as matrices for corneal endothelial cell sheet generation. This review gives an overview about currently used materials for the generation of transplantable corneal endothelial cell sheets with a special focus on thermo-responsive polymer coatings.
J. Funct. Biomater.2013, 4(3), 162-177; doi:10.3390/jfb4030162 - published online 28 August 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A bi-functional epoxy-based cross-linker, 1,4-Butanediol diglycidyl ether (BDDGE), was investigated in the fabrication of collagen based corneal substitutes. Two synthetic strategies were explored in the preparation of the cross-linked collagen scaffolds. The lysine residues of Type 1 porcine collagen were directly cross-linked using l,4-Butanediol diglycidyl ether (BDDGE) under basic conditions at pH 11. Alternatively, under conventional methodology, using both BDDGE and 1-Ethyl-3-(3-dimethyl aminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDC)/N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) as cross-linkers, hydrogels were fabricated under acidic conditions. In this latter strategy, Cu(BF4)2·XH2O was used to catalyze the formation of secondary amine bonds. To date, we have demonstrated that both methods of chemical cross-linking improved the elasticity and tensile strength of the collagen implants. Differential scanning calorimetry and biocompatibility studies indicate comparable, and in some cases, enhanced properties compared to that of the EDC/NHS controls. In vitro studies showed that human corneal epithelial cells and neuronal progenitor cell lines proliferated on these hydrogels. In addition, improvement of cell proliferation on the surfaces of the materials was observed when neurite promoting laminin epitope, IKVAV, and adhesion peptide, YIGSR, were incorporated. However, the elasticity decreased with peptide incorporation and will require further optimization. Nevertheless, we have shown that epoxy cross-linkers should be further explored in the fabrication of collagen-based hydrogels, as alternatives to or in conjunction with carbodiimide cross-linkers.
J. Funct. Biomater.2013, 4(3), 114-161; doi:10.3390/jfb4030114 - published online 10 July 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The worldwide limited availability of suitable corneal donor tissue has led to the development of alternatives, including keratoprostheses (Kpros) and tissue engineered (TE) constructs. Despite advances in bioscaffold design, there is yet to be a corneal equivalent that effectively mimics both the native tissue ultrastructure and biomechanical properties. Human decellularized corneas (DCs) could offer a safe, sustainable source of corneal tissue, increasing the donor pool and potentially reducing the risk of immune rejection after corneal graft surgery. Appropriate, human-specific, decellularization techniques and high-resolution, non-destructive analysis systems are required to ensure reproducible outputs can be achieved. If robust treatment and characterization processes can be developed, DCs could offer a supplement to the donor corneal pool, alongside superior cell culture systems for pharmacology, toxicology and drug discovery studies.