J. Funct. Biomater.2016, 7(2), 13; doi:10.3390/jfb7020013 - published 19 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Since its discovery in the years of the French Revolution, the field of keratoprostheses has evolved significantly. However, the path towards its present state has not always been an easy one. Initially discarded for its devastating complications, the introduction of new materials and the discovery of antibiotics in the last century gave new life to the field. Since then, the use of keratoprostheses for severe ocular surface disorders and corneal opacities has increased significantly, to the point that it has become a standard procedure for corneal specialists worldwide. Although the rate of complications has significantly been reduced, these can impede the long-term success, since some of them can be visually devastating. In an attempt to overcome these complications, researchers in the field have been recently working on improving the design of the currently available devices, by introducing the use of new materials that are more biocompatible with the eye. Here we present an update on the most recent research in the field.
J. Funct. Biomater.2016, 7(2), 11; doi:10.3390/jfb7020011 - published 20 April 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Blood vessel reconstruction is still an elusive goal for the development of in vitro models as well as artificial vascular grafts. In this study, we used a novel photo-curable cytocompatible polyacrylate material (PA) for freeform generation of synthetic vessels. We applied stereolithography for the fabrication of arbitrary 3D tubular structures with total dimensions in the centimeter range, 300 µm wall thickness, inner diameters of 1 to 2 mm and defined pores with a constant diameter of approximately 100 µm or 200 µm. We established a rinsing protocol to remove remaining cytotoxic substances from the photo-cured PA and applied thio-modified heparin and RGDC-peptides to functionalize the PA surface for enhanced endothelial cell adhesion. A rotating seeding procedure was introduced to ensure homogenous endothelial monolayer formation at the inner luminal tube wall. We showed that endothelial cells stayed viable and adherent and aligned along the medium flow under fluid-flow conditions comparable to native capillaries. The combined technology approach comprising of freeform additive manufacturing (AM), biomimetic design, cytocompatible materials which are applicable to AM, and biofunctionalization of AM constructs has been introduced as BioRap® technology by the authors.
J. Funct. Biomater.2016, 7(2), 10; doi:10.3390/jfb7020010 - published 18 April 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Calcium phosphate bone cements (CPCs) with antibacterial properties are demanded for clinical applications. In this study, we demonstrated the use of a relatively simple processing route based on preparation of silver-doped CPCs (CPCs-Ag) through the preparation of solid dispersed active powder phase. Real-time monitoring of structural transformations and kinetics of several CPCs-Ag formulations (Ag = 0 wt %, 0.6 wt % and 1.0 wt %) was performed by the Energy Dispersive X-ray Diffraction technique. The partial conversion of β-tricalcium phosphate (TCP) phase into the dicalcium phosphate dihydrate (DCPD) took place in all the investigated cement systems. In the pristine cement powders, Ag in its metallic form was found, whereas for CPC-Ag 0.6 wt % and CPC-Ag 1.0 wt % cements, CaAg(PO3)3 was detected and Ag (met.) was no longer present. The CPC-Ag 0 wt % cement exhibited a compressive strength of 6.5 ± 1.0 MPa, whereas for the doped cements (CPC-Ag 0.6 wt % and CPC-Ag 1.0 wt %) the reduced values of the compressive strength 4.0 ± 1.0 and 1.5 ± 1.0 MPa, respectively, were detected. Silver-ion release from CPC-Ag 0.6 wt % and CPC-Ag 1.0 wt % cements, measured by the Atomic Emission Spectroscopy, corresponds to the average values of 25 µg/L and 43 µg/L, respectively, rising a plateau after 15 days. The results of the antibacterial test proved the inhibitory effect towards pathogenic Escherichia coli for both CPC-Ag 0.6 wt % and CPC-Ag 1.0 wt % cements, better performances being observed for the cement with a higher Ag-content.
J. Funct. Biomater.2016, 7(2), 9; doi:10.3390/jfb7020009 - published 14 April 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The articulating surfaces of four different sizes of unused pyrolytic carbon proximal interphalangeal prostheses (PIP) were evaluated though measuring several topographical parameters using a white light interferometer: average roughness (Sa); root mean-square roughness (Sq); skewness (Ssk); and kurtosis (Sku). The radii of the articulating surfaces were measured using a coordinate measuring machine, and were found to be: 2.5, 3.3, 4.2 and 4.7 mm for proximal, and 4.0, 5.1, 5.6 and 6.3 mm for medial components. ANOVA was used to assess the relationship between the component radii and each roughness parameter. Sa, Sq and Ssk correlated negatively with radius (p = 0.001, 0.001, 0.023), whilst Sku correlated positively with radius (p = 0.03). Ergo, the surfaces with the largest radii possessed the better topographical characteristics: low roughness, negative skewness, high kurtosis. Conversely, the surfaces with the smallest radii had poorer topographical characteristics.
J. Funct. Biomater.2016, 7(2), 8; doi:10.3390/jfb7020008 - published 25 March 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Glass polyalkenoate cements (GPCs) have potential for skeletal cementation. Unfortunately, commercial GPCs all contain, and subsequently release, aluminum ions, which have been implicated in degenerative brain disease. The purpose of this research was to create a series of aluminum-free GPCs constructed from silicate (SiO2), calcium (CaO), zinc (ZnO) and sodium (Na2O)-containing glasses mixed with poly-acrylic acid (PAA) and to evaluate the potential of these cements for cranioplasty applications. Three glasses were formulated based on the SiO2-CaO-ZnO-Na2O parent glass (KBT01) with 0.03 mol % (KBT02) and 0.06 mol % (KBT03) germanium (GeO2) substituted for ZnO. Each glass was then mixed with 50 wt % of a patented SiO2-CaO-ZnO-strontium (SrO) glass composition and the resultant mixtures were subsequently reacted with aqueous PAA (50 wt % addition) to produce three GPCs. The incorporation of Ge in the glass phase was found to result in decreased working (142 s to 112 s) and setting (807 s to 448 s) times for the cements manufactured from them, likely due to the increase in crosslink formation between the Ge-containing glasses and the PAA. Compressive (σc) and biaxial flexural (σf) strengths of the cements were examined at 1, 7 and 30 days post mixing and were found to increase with both maturation and Ge content. The bonding strength of a titanium cylinder (Ti) attached to bone by the cements increased from 0.2 MPa, when placed, to 0.6 MPa, after 14 days maturation. The results of this research indicate that Germano-Silicate based GPCs have suitable handling and mechanical properties for cranioplasty fixation.