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Special Issue "Biomimetic and Functional Materials"

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A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Material Sciences and Nanotechnology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Emmanuel Stratakis

Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas - Institute of Electronic Structure and Lasers, Greece
Website | E-Mail
Interests: ultrafast laser materials interaction - biomimetic biomaterials -superhydrophobicity/superhydrophilicity; organic electronics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The study and simulation of biological systems with desired properties is popularly known as biomimetics and involves the transformation of the ideas, concepts, and underlying principles developed by nature into manmade technology. The adaptation of methods and systems found in nature into synthetic constructs is desirable because nature provides a unique source of working solutions, which can serve as models of inspiration for synthetic paradigms. This Special Issue will cover some of the more significant advances in the field of biomimetic functional nanomaterials. In particular, the issue will provide a comprehensive overview of the different approaches that have been employed for the design and fabrication of state-of-the-art bio-inspired, artificial nanomaterials. These materials are smart, energy-efficient, agile, adaptable, fault-tolerant, eco-friendly, and multifunctional. The issue will include topics related to potential technological applications under development; the topics will come from fields as diverse as engineering, nanotechnology, and nanomedicine. Special focus will be given to the biomedical applications of biomimetic functional nanomaterials, which relate to cell tissue engineering, sensing, and diagnosis.

Dr. Emmanuel Stratakis
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • biomimetics
  • nanotechnology
  • bio-inspired nanomaterials
  • biomimetic functional nanomaterials
  • multifunctional nanomaterials
  • nanomedicine
  • responsive nanomaterials

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein Gene Multilayers Inhibit Osteogenic Differentiation and Promote Chondrogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(11), 20117-20133; doi:10.3390/ijms151120117
Received: 18 July 2014 / Revised: 22 September 2014 / Accepted: 27 October 2014 / Published: 5 November 2014
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Abstract
There are still many challenges to acquire the optimal integration of biomedical materials with the surrounding tissues. Gene coatings on the surface of biomaterials may offer an effective approach to solve the problem. In order to investigate the gene multilayers mediated differentiation of
[...] Read more.
There are still many challenges to acquire the optimal integration of biomedical materials with the surrounding tissues. Gene coatings on the surface of biomaterials may offer an effective approach to solve the problem. In order to investigate the gene multilayers mediated differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), gene functionalized films of hyaluronic acid (HA) and lipid-DNA complex (LDc) encoding cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) were constructed in this study via the layer-by-layer self-assembly technique. Characterizations of the HA/DNA multilayered films indicated the successful build-up process. Cells could be directly transfected by gene films and a higher expression could be obtained with the increasing bilayer number. The multilayered films were stable for a long period and DNA could be easily released in an enzymatic condition. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay presented significantly higher (p < 0.01) COMP expression of MSCs cultured with HA/COMP multilayered films. Compared with control groups, the osteogenic gene expression levels of MSCs with HA/COMP multilayered films were down-regulated while the chondrogenic gene expression levels were up-regulated. Similarly, the alkaline phosphatase (ALP) staining and Alizarin red S staining of MSCs with HA/COMP films were weakened while the alcian blue staining was enhanced. These results demonstrated that HA/COMP multilayered films could inhibit osteogenic differentiation and promote chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs, which might provide new insight for physiological ligament-bone healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic and Functional Materials)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Synthesis, Characterization and in Vitro Evaluation of New Composite Bisphosphonate Delivery Systems
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(9), 16831-16847; doi:10.3390/ijms150916831
Received: 14 June 2014 / Revised: 5 August 2014 / Accepted: 12 September 2014 / Published: 22 September 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (13277 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this study, new composite bisphosphonate delivery systems were obtained from polyurethanes (PUs) and nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite (HA). The biodegradable PUs were first synthesized from poly(ε-caprolactone) diols (PCL diols), poly(ethylene adipate) diol, 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate, 1,4-butanediol and HA. Moreover, the PCL diols were synthesized by
[...] Read more.
In this study, new composite bisphosphonate delivery systems were obtained from polyurethanes (PUs) and nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite (HA). The biodegradable PUs were first synthesized from poly(ε-caprolactone) diols (PCL diols), poly(ethylene adipate) diol, 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate, 1,4-butanediol and HA. Moreover, the PCL diols were synthesized by the ring-opening polymerization catalysed by the lipase from Candida antarctica. Next, composite drug delivery systems for clodronate were prepared. The mechanical properties of the obtained biomaterials were determined. The cytotoxicity of the synthesized polymers was tested. The preliminary results show that the obtained composites are perspective biomaterials and they can be potentially applied in the technology of implantation drug delivery systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic and Functional Materials)
Open AccessArticle Epitaxial Relationships between Calcium Carbonate and Inorganic Substrates
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(9), 16320-16330; doi:10.3390/ijms150916320
Received: 30 June 2014 / Revised: 1 September 2014 / Accepted: 9 September 2014 / Published: 15 September 2014
PDF Full-text (6631 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The polymorph-selective crystallization of calcium carbonate has been studied in terms of epitaxial relationship between the inorganic substrates and the aragonite/calcite polymorphs with implication in bioinspired mineralization. EpiCalc software was employed to assess the previously published experimental results on two different groups of
[...] Read more.
The polymorph-selective crystallization of calcium carbonate has been studied in terms of epitaxial relationship between the inorganic substrates and the aragonite/calcite polymorphs with implication in bioinspired mineralization. EpiCalc software was employed to assess the previously published experimental results on two different groups of inorganic substrates: aragonitic carbonate crystals (SrCO3, PbCO3, and BaCO3) and a hexagonal crystal family (α-Al2O3, α-SiO2, and LiNbO3). The maximum size of the overlayer (aragonite or calcite) was calculated for each substrate based on a threshold value of the dimensionless potential to estimate the relative nucleation preference of the polymorphs of calcium carbonate. The results were in good agreement with previous experimental observations, although stereochemical effects between the overlayer and substrate should be separately considered when existed. In assessing the polymorph-selective nucleation, the current method appeared to provide a better tool than the oversimplified mismatch parameters without invoking time-consuming molecular simulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic and Functional Materials)
Open AccessArticle Dual Targeting Biomimetic Liposomes for Paclitaxel/DNA Combination Cancer Treatment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(9), 15287-15303; doi:10.3390/ijms150915287
Received: 7 May 2014 / Revised: 15 August 2014 / Accepted: 21 August 2014 / Published: 29 August 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3023 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Combinations of chemotherapeutic drugs with nucleic acid has shown great promise in cancer therapy. In the present study, paclitaxel (PTX) and DNA were co-loaded in the hyaluronic acid (HA) and folate (FA)-modified liposomes (HA/FA/PPD), to obtain the dual targeting biomimetic nanovector. The prepared
[...] Read more.
Combinations of chemotherapeutic drugs with nucleic acid has shown great promise in cancer therapy. In the present study, paclitaxel (PTX) and DNA were co-loaded in the hyaluronic acid (HA) and folate (FA)-modified liposomes (HA/FA/PPD), to obtain the dual targeting biomimetic nanovector. The prepared HA/FA/PPD exhibited nanosized structure and narrow size distributions (247.4 ± 4.2 nm) with appropriate negative charge of −25.40 ± 2.7 mV. HA/FA/PD (PTX free HA/FA/PPD) showed almost no toxicity on murine malignant melanoma cell line (B16) and human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (HepG2) (higher than 80% cell viability), demonstrating the safety of the blank nanovector. In comparison with the FA-modified PTX/DNA co-loaded liposomes (FA/PPD), HA/FA/PPD showed significant superiority in protecting the nanoparticles from aggregation in the presence of plasma and degradation by DNase I. Moreover, HA/FA/PPD could also significantly improve the transfection efficiency and cellular internalization rates on B16 cells comparing to that of FA/PPD (p < 0.05) and PPD (p < 0.01), demonstrating the great advantages of dual targeting properties. Furthermore, fluorescence microscope and flow cytometry results showed that PTX and DNA could be effectively co-delivered into the same tumor cell via HA/FA/PPD, contributing to PTX/DNA combination cancer treatment. In conclusion, the obtained HA/FA/PPD in the study could effectively target tumor cells, enhance transfection efficiency and subsequently achieve the co-delivery of PTX and DNA, displaying great potential for optimal combination therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic and Functional Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Microscopic Pillars and Tubes Fabricated by Using Fish Dentine as a Molding Template
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(9), 14909-14920; doi:10.3390/ijms150914909
Received: 29 June 2014 / Revised: 7 August 2014 / Accepted: 14 August 2014 / Published: 25 August 2014
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Abstract
Biomaterials in nature exhibit delicate structures that are greatly beyond the capability of the current manufacturing techniques. Duplicating these structures and applying them in engineering may help enhance the performance of traditional functional materials and structures. Inspired by gecko’s hierarchical micro- and nano-fibrillar
[...] Read more.
Biomaterials in nature exhibit delicate structures that are greatly beyond the capability of the current manufacturing techniques. Duplicating these structures and applying them in engineering may help enhance the performance of traditional functional materials and structures. Inspired by gecko’s hierarchical micro- and nano-fibrillar structures for adhesion, in this work we fabricated micro-pillars and tubes by adopting the tubular dentine of black carp fish teeth as molding template. The adhesion performances of the fabricated micro-pillars and tubes were characterized and compared. It was found that the pull-off force of a single pillar was about twice of that of the tube with comparable size. Such unexpected discrepancy in adhesion was analyzed based on the contact mechanics theories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic and Functional Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Robust Non-Wetting PTFE Surfaces by Femtosecond Laser Machining
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 13681-13696; doi:10.3390/ijms150813681
Received: 18 June 2014 / Revised: 18 July 2014 / Accepted: 25 July 2014 / Published: 8 August 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Nature shows many examples of surfaces with extraordinary wettability, which can often be associated with particular air-trapping surface patterns. Here, robust non-wetting surfaces have been created by femtosecond laser ablation of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The laser-created surface structure resembles a forest of entangled fibers,
[...] Read more.
Nature shows many examples of surfaces with extraordinary wettability, which can often be associated with particular air-trapping surface patterns. Here, robust non-wetting surfaces have been created by femtosecond laser ablation of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The laser-created surface structure resembles a forest of entangled fibers, which support structural superhydrophobicity even when the surface chemistry is changed by gold coating. SEM analysis showed that the degree of entanglement of hairs and the depth of the forest pattern correlates positively with accumulated laser fluence and can thus be influenced by altering various laser process parameters. The resulting fibrous surfaces exhibit a tremendous decrease in wettability compared to smooth PTFE surfaces; droplets impacting the virgin or gold coated PTFE forest do not wet the surface but bounce off. Exploratory bioadhesion experiments showed that the surfaces are truly air-trapping and do not support cell adhesion. Therewith, the created surfaces successfully mimic biological surfaces such as insect wings with robust anti-wetting behavior and potential for antiadhesive applications. In addition, the fabrication can be carried out in one process step, and our results clearly show the insensitivity of the resulting non-wetting behavior to variations in the process parameters, both of which make it a strong candidate for industrial applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic and Functional Materials)
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Open AccessArticle Antheraea pernyi Silk Fibroin-Coated PEI/DNA Complexes for Targeted Gene Delivery in HEK 293 and HCT 116 Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(5), 7049-7063; doi:10.3390/ijms15057049
Received: 26 March 2014 / Revised: 31 March 2014 / Accepted: 8 April 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (790 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polyethylenimine (PEI) has attracted much attention as a DNA condenser, but its toxicity and non-specific targeting limit its potential. To overcome these limitations, Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin (ASF), a natural protein rich in arginyl-glycyl-aspartic acid (RGD) peptides that contains negative surface charges in
[...] Read more.
Polyethylenimine (PEI) has attracted much attention as a DNA condenser, but its toxicity and non-specific targeting limit its potential. To overcome these limitations, Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin (ASF), a natural protein rich in arginyl-glycyl-aspartic acid (RGD) peptides that contains negative surface charges in a neutral aqueous solution, was used to coat PEI/DNA complexes to form ASF/PEI/DNA ternary complexes. Coating these complexes with ASF caused fewer surface charges and greater size compared with the PEI/DNA complexes alone. In vitro transfection studies revealed that incorporation of ASF led to greater transfection efficiencies in both HEK (human embryonic kidney) 293 and HCT (human colorectal carcinoma) 116 cells, albeit with less electrostatic binding affinity for the cells. Moreover, the transfection efficiency in the HCT 116 cells was higher than that in the HEK 293 cells under the same conditions, which may be due to the target bonding affinity of the RGD peptides in ASF for integrins on the HCT 116 cell surface. This result indicated that the RGD binding affinity in ASF for integrins can enhance the specific targeting affinity to compensate for the reduction in electrostatic binding between ASF-coated PEI carriers and cells. Cell viability measurements showed higher cell viability after transfection of ASF/PEI/DNA ternary complexes than after transfection of PEI/DNA binary complexes alone. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release studies further confirmed the improvement in the targeting effect of ASF/PEI/DNA ternary complexes to cells. These results suggest that ASF-coated PEI is a preferred transfection reagent and useful for improving both the transfection efficiency and cell viability of PEI-based nonviral vectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic and Functional Materials)
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Open AccessArticle The Hydraulic Mechanism of the Unfolding of Hind Wings in Dorcus titanus platymelus (Order: Coleoptera)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(4), 6009-6018; doi:10.3390/ijms15046009
Received: 25 February 2014 / Revised: 21 March 2014 / Accepted: 31 March 2014 / Published: 9 April 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1087 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In most beetles, the hind wings are thin and fragile; when at rest, they are held over the back of the beetle. When the hind wing unfolds, it provides the necessary aerodynamic forces for flight. In this paper, we investigate the hydraulic mechanism
[...] Read more.
In most beetles, the hind wings are thin and fragile; when at rest, they are held over the back of the beetle. When the hind wing unfolds, it provides the necessary aerodynamic forces for flight. In this paper, we investigate the hydraulic mechanism of the unfolding process of the hind wings in Dorcus titanus platymelus (Oder: Coleoptera). The wing unfolding process of Dorcus titanus platymelus was examined using high speed camera sequences (400 frames/s), and the hydraulic pressure in the veins was measured with a biological pressure sensor and dynamic signal acquisition and analysis (DSA) during the expansion process. We found that the total time for the release of hydraulic pressure during wing folding is longer than the time required for unfolding. The pressure is proportional to the length of the wings and the body mass of the beetle. A retinal camera was used to investigate the fluid direction. We found that the peak pressures correspond to two main cross-folding joint expansions in the hind wing. These observations strongly suggest that blood pressure facilitates the extension of hind wings during unfolding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic and Functional Materials)
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Review

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Open AccessReview An Overview of Poly(lactic-co-glycolic) Acid (PLGA)-Based Biomaterials for Bone Tissue Engineering
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(3), 3640-3659; doi:10.3390/ijms15033640
Received: 7 February 2014 / Revised: 14 February 2014 / Accepted: 20 February 2014 / Published: 28 February 2014
Cited by 83 | PDF Full-text (609 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) has attracted considerable interest as a base material for biomedical applications due to its: (i) biocompatibility; (ii) tailored biodegradation rate (depending on the molecular weight and copolymer ratio); (iii) approval for clinical use in humans by the U.S.
[...] Read more.
Poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) has attracted considerable interest as a base material for biomedical applications due to its: (i) biocompatibility; (ii) tailored biodegradation rate (depending on the molecular weight and copolymer ratio); (iii) approval for clinical use in humans by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); (iv) potential to modify surface properties to provide better interaction with biological materials; and (v) suitability for export to countries and cultures where implantation of animal-derived products is unpopular. This paper critically reviews the scientific challenge of manufacturing PLGA-based materials with suitable properties and shapes for specific biomedical applications, with special emphasis on bone tissue engineering. The analysis of the state of the art in the field reveals the presence of current innovative techniques for scaffolds and material manufacturing that are currently opening the way to prepare biomimetic PLGA substrates able to modulate cell interaction for improved substitution, restoration, or enhancement of bone tissue function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic and Functional Materials)

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