Special Issue "Feature Papers"

A special issue of Journal of Functional Biomaterials (ISSN 2079-4983).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Francesco Puoci

Dipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche, Università della Calabria, Edificio Polifunzionale, Arcavacata di Rende (CS) 87036, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +39 0984 493298
Interests: molecularly imprinted polymers; functional materials for biomedical applications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This is a special issue of high quality papers in Open Access form by the editorial board members, or those invited by the editorial office and the Editor-in-Chief.

Dr. Francesco Puoci
Guest editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Functional Biomaterials is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Tubular Scaffold with Shape Recovery Effect for Cell Guide Applications
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 564-584; doi:10.3390/jfb6030564
Received: 2 March 2015 / Accepted: 2 July 2015 / Published: 10 July 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (5060 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Tubular scaffolds with aligned polylactic acid (PLA) fibres were fabricated for cell guide applications by immersing rolled PLA fibre mats into a polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) solution to bind the mats. The PVAc solution was also mixed with up to 30 wt % β-tricalcium
[...] Read more.
Tubular scaffolds with aligned polylactic acid (PLA) fibres were fabricated for cell guide applications by immersing rolled PLA fibre mats into a polyvinyl acetate (PVAc) solution to bind the mats. The PVAc solution was also mixed with up to 30 wt % β-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP) content. Cross-sectional images of the scaffold materials obtained via scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed the aligned fibre morphology along with a significant number of voids in between the bundles of fibres. The addition of β-TCP into the scaffolds played an important role in increasing the void content from 17.1% to 25.3% for the 30 wt % β-TCP loading, which was measured via micro-CT (µCT) analysis. Furthermore, µCT analyses revealed the distribution of aggregated β-TCP particles in between the various PLA fibre layers of the scaffold. The compressive modulus properties of the scaffolds increased from 66 MPa to 83 MPa and the compressive strength properties decreased from 67 MPa to 41 MPa for the 30 wt % β-TCP content scaffold. The scaffolds produced were observed to change into a soft and flexible form which demonstrated shape recovery properties after immersion in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) media at 37 °C for 24 h. The cytocompatibility studies (using MG-63 human osteosarcoma cell line) revealed preferential cell proliferation along the longitudinal direction of the fibres as compared to the control tissue culture plastic. The manufacturing process highlighted above reveals a simple process for inducing controlled cell alignment and varying porosity features within tubular scaffolds for potential tissue engineering applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Characterization of a Pre-Clinical Mini-Pig Model of Scaphoid Non-Union
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(2), 407-421; doi:10.3390/jfb6020407
Received: 25 May 2015 / Accepted: 9 June 2015 / Published: 16 June 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5372 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A fractured scaphoid is a common disabling injury that is frequently complicated by non-union. The treatment of non-union remains challenging because of the scaphoid’s small size and delicate blood supply. Large animal models are the most reliable method to evaluate the efficacy of
[...] Read more.
A fractured scaphoid is a common disabling injury that is frequently complicated by non-union. The treatment of non-union remains challenging because of the scaphoid’s small size and delicate blood supply. Large animal models are the most reliable method to evaluate the efficacy of new treatment modalities before their translation into clinical practice. The goal of this study was to model a human scaphoid fracture complicated by non-union in Yucatan mini-pigs. Imaging and perfusion studies were used to confirm that the anatomy and blood supply of the radiocarpal bone in mini-pigs were similar to the human scaphoid. A 3 mm osteotomy of the radiocarpal bone was generated and treated with immediate fixation or filled with a dense collagen gel followed by delayed fixation. Bone healing was assessed using quantitative micro computed tomography and histology. With immediate fixation, the osteotomy site was filled with new bone across its whole length resulting in complete bridging. The dense collagen gel, previously shown to impede neo-vascularization, followed by delayed fixation resulted in impaired bridging with less bone of lower quality. This model is an appropriate, easily reproducible model for the evaluation of novel approaches for the repair of human scaphoid fractures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
Open AccessArticle Biomimetic Hybrid Nanofiber Sheets Composed of RGD Peptide-Decorated PLGA as Cell-Adhesive Substrates
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(2), 367-378; doi:10.3390/jfb6020367
Received: 27 April 2015 / Revised: 21 May 2015 / Accepted: 28 May 2015 / Published: 29 May 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1399 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In biomedical applications, there is a need for tissue engineering scaffolds to promote and control cellular behaviors, including adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. In particular, the initial adhesion of cells has a great influence on those cellular behaviors. In this study, we concentrate on
[...] Read more.
In biomedical applications, there is a need for tissue engineering scaffolds to promote and control cellular behaviors, including adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. In particular, the initial adhesion of cells has a great influence on those cellular behaviors. In this study, we concentrate on developing cell-adhesive substrates applicable for tissue engineering scaffolds. The hybrid nanofiber sheets were prepared by electrospinning poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) and M13 phage, which was genetically modified to enhance cell adhesion thru expressing RGD peptides on their surface. The RGD peptide is a specific motif of extracellular matrix (ECM) for integrin receptors of cells. RGD peptide-decorated PLGA (RGD-PLGA) nanofiber sheets were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, immunofluorescence staining, contact angle measurement and differential scanning calorimetry. In addition, the initial adhesion and proliferation of four different types of mammalian cells were determined in order to evaluate the potential of RGD-PLGA nanofiber sheets as cell-adhesive substrates. Our results showed that the hybrid nanofiber sheets have a three-dimensional porous structure comparable to the native ECM. Furthermore, the initial adhesion and proliferation of cells were significantly enhanced on RGD-PLGA sheets. These results suggest that biomimetic RGD-PLGA nanofiber sheets can be promising cell-adhesive substrates for application as tissue engineering scaffolds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Using Magnetic Nanoparticles for Gene Transfer to Neural Stem Cells: Stem Cell Propagation Method Influences Outcomes
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(2), 259-276; doi:10.3390/jfb6020259
Received: 1 April 2015 / Revised: 11 April 2015 / Accepted: 16 April 2015 / Published: 24 April 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1688 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Genetically engineered neural stem cell (NSC) transplants offer a key strategy to augment neural repair by releasing therapeutic biomolecules into injury sites. Genetic modification of NSCs is heavily reliant on viral vectors but cytotoxic effects have prompted development of non-viral alternatives, such as
[...] Read more.
Genetically engineered neural stem cell (NSC) transplants offer a key strategy to augment neural repair by releasing therapeutic biomolecules into injury sites. Genetic modification of NSCs is heavily reliant on viral vectors but cytotoxic effects have prompted development of non-viral alternatives, such as magnetic nanoparticle (MNPs). NSCs are propagated in laboratories as either 3-D suspension “neurospheres” or 2-D adherent “monolayers”. MNPs deployed with oscillating magnetic fields (“magnetofection technology”) mediate effective gene transfer to neurospheres but the efficacy of this approach for monolayers is unknown. It is important to address this issue as oscillating magnetic fields dramatically enhance MNP-based transfection in transplant cells (e.g., astrocytes and oligodendrocyte precursors) propagated as monolayers. We report for the first time that oscillating magnetic fields enhanced MNP-based transfection with reporter and functional (basic fibroblast growth factor; FGF2) genes in monolayer cultures yielding high transfection versus neurospheres. Transfected NSCs showed high viability and could re-form neurospheres, which is important as neurospheres yield higher post-transplantation viability versus monolayer cells. Our results demonstrate that the combination of oscillating magnetic fields and a monolayer format yields the highest efficacy for MNP-mediated gene transfer to NSCs, offering a viable non-viral alternative for genetic modification of this important neural cell transplant population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
Open AccessArticle Carbohydrate-Derived Amphiphilic Macromolecules: A Biophysical Structural Characterization and Analysis of Binding Behaviors to Model Membranes
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(2), 171-191; doi:10.3390/jfb6020171
Received: 3 February 2015 / Revised: 28 March 2015 / Accepted: 30 March 2015 / Published: 8 April 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4464 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The design and synthesis of enhanced membrane-intercalating biomaterials for drug delivery or vascular membrane targeting is currently challenged by the lack of screening and prediction tools. The present work demonstrates the generation of a Quantitative Structural Activity Relationship model (QSAR) to make a
[...] Read more.
The design and synthesis of enhanced membrane-intercalating biomaterials for drug delivery or vascular membrane targeting is currently challenged by the lack of screening and prediction tools. The present work demonstrates the generation of a Quantitative Structural Activity Relationship model (QSAR) to make a priori predictions. Amphiphilic macromolecules (AMs) “stealth lipids” built on aldaric and uronic acids frameworks attached to poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) polymer tails were developed to form self-assembling micelles. In the present study, a defined set of novel AM structures were investigated in terms of their binding to lipid membrane bilayers using Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation (QCM-D) experiments coupled with computational coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CG MD) and all-atom MD (AA MD) simulations. The CG MD simulations capture the insertion dynamics of the AM lipophilic backbones into the lipid bilayer with the PEGylated tail directed into bulk water. QCM-D measurements with Voigt viscoelastic model analysis enabled the quantitation of the mass gain and rate of interaction between the AM and the lipid bilayer surface. Thus, this study yielded insights about variations in the functional activity of AM materials with minute compositional or stereochemical differences based on membrane binding, which has translational potential for transplanting these materials in vivo. More broadly, it demonstrates an integrated computational-experimental approach, which can offer a promising strategy for the in silico design and screening of therapeutic candidate materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
Open AccessArticle Influence of Implant Surface Topography on Primary Stability in a Standardized Osteoporosis Rabbit Model Study
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(1), 143-152; doi:10.3390/jfb6010143
Received: 8 February 2015 / Accepted: 9 March 2015 / Published: 18 March 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1342 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Evaluating primary stability is important to predict the prognosis of dental implant treatment. Primary stability is decreased in a low bone density site such as osteoporosis. However, it is difficult to apply in small animal and the effect of the different implant surface
[...] Read more.
Evaluating primary stability is important to predict the prognosis of dental implant treatment. Primary stability is decreased in a low bone density site such as osteoporosis. However, it is difficult to apply in small animal and the effect of the different implant surface topography for the primary stability at low bone density site has not yet fully been investigated. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the influence of implant surface topography on primary stability in a standardized osteoporosis animal model. Six rabbits underwent ovariectomy and administrated glucocorticoid to induce an osteoporosis model. Sham-operations were performed in additional six rabbits. Implants with machined or oxidized-surfaces were inserted into the femur epiphyses and insertion torque (IT) and implant stability quotient (ISQ) were measured. In sham model, the IT and ISQ did not differ significantly between the both implant. However, the IT value of oxidized-surface implant was significantly higher than that of the machined implant in the osteoporosis model. Meanwhile, ISQ did not significantly differ between the machined and oxidized-surfaced implants. In conclusion, the IT of implants is higher with rough than with smooth surfaces but that there are no differences in ISQ value between different surfaces in a standardized osteoporosis bone reduced rabbit model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Grafts for Ridge Preservation
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 833-848; doi:10.3390/jfb6030833
Received: 28 May 2015 / Revised: 17 July 2015 / Accepted: 31 July 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Alveolar ridge bone resorption is a biologic phenomenon that occurs following tooth extraction and cannot be prevented. This paper reviews the vertical and horizontal ridge dimensional changes that are associated with tooth extraction. It also provides an overview of the advantages of ridge
[...] Read more.
Alveolar ridge bone resorption is a biologic phenomenon that occurs following tooth extraction and cannot be prevented. This paper reviews the vertical and horizontal ridge dimensional changes that are associated with tooth extraction. It also provides an overview of the advantages of ridge preservation as well as grafting materials. A Medline search among English language papers was performed in March 2015 using alveolar ridge preservation, ridge augmentation, and various graft types as search terms. Additional papers were considered following the preliminary review of the initial search that were relevant to alveolar ridge preservation. The literature suggests that ridge preservation methods and augmentation techniques are available to minimize and restore available bone. Numerous grafting materials, such as autografts, allografts, xenografts, and alloplasts, currently are used for ridge preservation. Other materials, such as growth factors, also can be used to enhance biologic outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
Open AccessReview Adult Stem Cell Responses to Nanostimuli
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 598-622; doi:10.3390/jfb6030598
Received: 16 March 2015 / Revised: 29 June 2015 / Accepted: 8 July 2015 / Published: 16 July 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2097 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adult or mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been found in different tissues in the body, residing in stem cell microenvironments called “stem cell niches”. They play different roles but their main activity is to maintain tissue homeostasis and repair throughout the lifetime of
[...] Read more.
Adult or mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been found in different tissues in the body, residing in stem cell microenvironments called “stem cell niches”. They play different roles but their main activity is to maintain tissue homeostasis and repair throughout the lifetime of an organism. Their ability to differentiate into different cell types makes them an ideal tool to study tissue development and to use them in cell-based therapies. This differentiation process is subject to both internal and external forces at the nanoscale level and this response of stem cells to nanostimuli is the focus of this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
Open AccessReview Advances in Skin Substitutes—Potential of Tissue Engineered Skin for Facilitating Anti-Fibrotic Healing
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 547-563; doi:10.3390/jfb6030547
Received: 8 May 2015 / Revised: 30 June 2015 / Accepted: 30 June 2015 / Published: 9 July 2015
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (612 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Skin protects the body from exogenous substances and functions as a barrier to fluid loss and trauma. The skin comprises of epidermal, dermal and hypodermal layers, which mainly contain keratinocytes, fibroblasts and adipocytes, respectively, typically embedded on extracellular matrix made up of glycosaminoglycans
[...] Read more.
Skin protects the body from exogenous substances and functions as a barrier to fluid loss and trauma. The skin comprises of epidermal, dermal and hypodermal layers, which mainly contain keratinocytes, fibroblasts and adipocytes, respectively, typically embedded on extracellular matrix made up of glycosaminoglycans and fibrous proteins. When the integrity of skin is compromised due to injury as in burns the coverage of skin has to be restored to facilitate repair and regeneration. Skin substitutes are preferred for wound coverage when the loss of skin is extensive especially in the case of second or third degree burns. Different kinds of skin substitutes with different features are commercially available; they can be classified into acellular skin substitutes, those with cultured epidermal cells and no dermal components, those with only dermal components, and tissue engineered substitutes that contain both epidermal and dermal components. Typically, adult wounds heal by fibrosis. Most organs are affected by fibrosis, with chronic fibrotic diseases estimated to be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. In the skin, fibroproliferative disorders such as hypertrophic scars and keloid formation cause cosmetic and functional problems. Dermal fibroblasts are understood to be heterogeneous; this may have implications on post-burn wound healing since studies have shown that superficial and deep dermal fibroblasts are anti-fibrotic and pro-fibrotic, respectively. Selective use of superficial dermal fibroblasts rather than the conventional heterogeneous dermal fibroblasts may prove beneficial for post-burn wound healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
Open AccessReview Magnetically Targeted Stem Cell Delivery for Regenerative Medicine
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 526-546; doi:10.3390/jfb6030526
Received: 23 April 2015 / Revised: 11 June 2015 / Accepted: 23 June 2015 / Published: 30 June 2015
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (742 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Stem cells play a special role in the body as agents of self-renewal and auto-reparation for tissues and organs. Stem cell therapies represent a promising alternative strategy to regenerate damaged tissue when natural repairing and conventional pharmacological intervention fail to do so. A
[...] Read more.
Stem cells play a special role in the body as agents of self-renewal and auto-reparation for tissues and organs. Stem cell therapies represent a promising alternative strategy to regenerate damaged tissue when natural repairing and conventional pharmacological intervention fail to do so. A fundamental impediment for the evolution of stem cell therapies has been the difficulty of effectively targeting administered stem cells to the disease foci. Biocompatible magnetically responsive nanoparticles are being utilized for the targeted delivery of stem cells in order to enhance their retention in the desired treatment site. This noninvasive treatment-localization strategy has shown promising results and has the potential to mitigate the problem of poor long-term stem cell engraftment in a number of organ systems post-delivery. In addition, these same nanoparticles can be used to track and monitor the cells in vivo, using magnetic resonance imaging. In the present review we underline the principles of magnetic targeting for stem cell delivery, with a look at the logic behind magnetic nanoparticle systems, their manufacturing and design variants, and their applications in various pathological models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
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