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Special Issue "Polymeric Materials for Medical Applications"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomaterials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Hicham Fenniri

Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nanotechnology for biomedical applications; nanoscale materials for drug delivery; cell therapeutics and regenerative medicine
Guest Editor
Assist. Prof. Dr. Sidi M. Bencherif

Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: polymer chemistry and characterization; new approaches to biomaterials design; injectable 3D polymer scaffolds; tissue engineering (e.g., liver, skin); controlled delivery of drugs/cells; biomaterial-based cancer immunotherapies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past few decades, utilization of materials has greatly impacted the advancement of modern medicine. Polymeric materials have been utilized to fulfill needs related to a variety of tissues and diseases involved in the human body. Biological, synthetic and hybrid polymers are used for multiple medical applications such as surgical sutures, implants, scaffolds in regenerative medicine, dental devices, hearing aids, biosensors, and drug delivery systems. In this Special Issue on “Polymeric Materials for Medical Applications”, the scope will be on new developments in polymeric materials with great potential for clinical translation. Recent advances in polymeric materials with desired physical, architectural, dimensional, chemical, biological, biomechanical and degradation properties to match the requirements of specific applications would be the highlight of this Issue.

Prof. Hicham Fenniri
Assist. Prof. Sidi A. Bencherif
Guest Editors

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. Materials 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 1500 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.

Keywords

  • polymers
  • biomaterials
  • bioconjugation
  • nano- and micro-materials
  • scaffolds
  • biodegradability
  • biocompatibility
  • regenerative medicine
  • tissue engineering
  • drug delivery
  • immunotherapy

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Osteogenic and Tenogenic Differentiation Potential of C3H10T1/2 (Mesenchymal Stem Cell Model) Cultured on PCL/PLA Electrospun Scaffolds in the Absence of Specific Differentiation Medium
Materials 2017, 10(12), 1387; doi:10.3390/ma10121387
Received: 3 November 2017 / Revised: 27 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 4 December 2017
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Abstract
The differentiation potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) has been extensively tested on electrospun scaffolds. However, this potential is often assessed with lineage-specific medium, making it difficult to interpret the real contribution of the properties of the scaffold in the cell response. In
[...] Read more.
The differentiation potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) has been extensively tested on electrospun scaffolds. However, this potential is often assessed with lineage-specific medium, making it difficult to interpret the real contribution of the properties of the scaffold in the cell response. In this study, we analyzed the ability of different polycaprolactone/polylactic acid PCL/PLA electrospun scaffolds (pure or blended compositions, random or aligned fibers, various fiber diameters) to drive MSC towards bone or tendon lineages in the absence of specific differentiation medium. C3H10T1/2 cells (a mesenchymal stem cell model) were cultured on scaffolds for 96 h without differentiation factors. We performed a cross-analysis of the cell–scaffold interactions (spreading, organization, and specific gene expression) with mechanical (elasticity), morphological (porosity, fibers diameter and orientation) and surface (wettability) characterizations of the electrospun fibers. We concluded that (1) osteogenic differentiation can be initiated on pure PCL-based electrospun scaffolds without specific culture conditions; (2) fiber alignment modified cell organization in the short term and (3) PLA added to PCL with an increased fiber diameter encouraged the stem cells towards the tendon lineage without additional tenogenic factors. In summary, the differentiation potential of stem cells on adapted electrospun fibers could be achieved in factor-free medium, making possible future applications in clinically relevant situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Medical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle In Vitro Evaluation of PCL and P(3HB) as Coating Materials for Selective Laser Melted Porous Titanium Implants
Materials 2017, 10(12), 1344; doi:10.3390/ma10121344
Received: 14 September 2017 / Revised: 1 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
PDF Full-text (12833 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Titanium is widely used as a bone implant material due to its biocompatibility and high resilience. Since its Young’s modulus differs from bone tissue, the resulting “stress shielding” could lead to scaffold loosening. However, by using a scaffold-shaped geometry, the Young’s modulus can
[...] Read more.
Titanium is widely used as a bone implant material due to its biocompatibility and high resilience. Since its Young’s modulus differs from bone tissue, the resulting “stress shielding” could lead to scaffold loosening. However, by using a scaffold-shaped geometry, the Young’s modulus can be adjusted. Also, a porous geometry enables vascularisation and bone ingrowth inside the implant itself. Additionally, growth factors can improve these effects. In order to create a deposit and release system for these factors, the titanium scaffolds could be coated with degradable polymers. Therefore, in the present study, synthetic poly-ε-caprolactone (PCL) and the biopolymer poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (P(3HB)) were tested for coating efficiency, cell adhesion, and biocompatibility to find a suitable coating material. The underlying scaffold was created from titanium by Selective Laser Melting (SLM) and coated with PCL or P(3HB) via dip coating. To test the biocompatibility, Live Cell Imaging (LCI) as well as vitality and proliferation assays were performed. In addition, cell adhesion forces were detected via Single Cell Force Spectroscopy, while the coating efficiency was observed using environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) analyses. Regarding the coating efficiency, PCL showed higher values in comparison to P(3HB). Vitality assays revealed decent vitality values for both polymers, while values for PCL were significantly lower than those for blank titanium. No significant differences could be observed between PCL and P(3HB) in proliferation and cell adhesion studies. Although LCI observations revealed decreasing values in cell number and populated area over time on both polymer-coated scaffolds, these outcomes could be explained by the possibility of coating diluent residues accumulating in the culture medium. Overall, both polymers fulfill the requirements regarding biocompatibility. Nonetheless, since only PCL coating ensured the maintenance of the porous implant structure, it is preferable to be used as a coating material for creating a deposit and release system for growth factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Medical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Fluorescent Magnetopolymersomes: A Theranostic Platform to Track Intracellular Delivery
Materials 2017, 10(11), 1303; doi:10.3390/ma10111303
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 7 November 2017 / Accepted: 10 November 2017 / Published: 13 November 2017
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Abstract
We present a potential theranostic delivery platform based on the amphiphilic diblock copolymer polybutadiene-block-poly (ethylene oxide) combining covalent fluorescent labeling and membrane incorporation of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles for multimodal imaging. A simple self-assembly and labeling approach to create the fluorescent
[...] Read more.
We present a potential theranostic delivery platform based on the amphiphilic diblock copolymer polybutadiene-block-poly (ethylene oxide) combining covalent fluorescent labeling and membrane incorporation of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles for multimodal imaging. A simple self-assembly and labeling approach to create the fluorescent and magnetic vesicles is described. Cell uptake of the densely PEGylated polymer vesicles could be altered by surface modifications that vary surface charge and accessibility of the membrane active species. Cell uptake and cytotoxicity were evaluated by confocal microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, iron content and metabolic assays, utilizing multimodal tracking of membrane fluorophores and nanoparticles. Cationic functionalization of vesicles promoted endocytotic uptake. In particular, incorporation of cationic lipids in the polymersome membrane yielded tremendously increased uptake of polymersomes and magnetopolymersomes without increase in cytotoxicity. Ultrastructure investigations showed that cationic magnetopolymersomes disintegrated upon hydrolysis, including the dissolution of incorporated iron oxide nanoparticles. The presented platform could find future use in theranostic multimodal imaging in vivo and magnetically triggered delivery by incorporation of thermorepsonsive amphiphiles that can break the membrane integrity upon magnetic heating via the embedded superparamagnetic nanoparticles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Medical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Development of Useful Biomaterial for Bone Tissue Engineering by Incorporating Nano-Copper-Zinc Alloy (nCuZn) in Chitosan/Gelatin/Nano-Hydroxyapatite (Ch/G/nHAp) Scaffold
Materials 2017, 10(10), 1177; doi:10.3390/ma10101177
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 10 October 2017 / Published: 17 October 2017
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Abstract
Ceramic and metallic nanoparticles can improve the mechanical and biological properties of polymeric scaffolds for bone tissue engineering (BTE). In this work, nanohydroxyapatite (nHAp) and nano-copper-zinc alloy (nCuZn) were added to a chitosan/gelatin (Ch/G) scaffold in order to investigate the effects on morphological,
[...] Read more.
Ceramic and metallic nanoparticles can improve the mechanical and biological properties of polymeric scaffolds for bone tissue engineering (BTE). In this work, nanohydroxyapatite (nHAp) and nano-copper-zinc alloy (nCuZn) were added to a chitosan/gelatin (Ch/G) scaffold in order to investigate the effects on morphological, physical, and biocompatibility properties. Scaffolds were fabricated by a freeze-drying technique using different pre-freezing temperatures. Microstructure and morphology were studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), glass transition (Tg) was studied using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), cell growth was estimated by MTT assay, and biocompatibility was examined in vitro and in vivo by histochemistry analyses. Scaffolds and nanocomposite scaffolds presented interconnected pores, high porosity, and pore size appropriate for BTE. Tg of Ch/G scaffolds was diminished by nanoparticle inclusion. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) cells loaded in the Ch/G/nHAp/nCuZn nanocomposite scaffold showed suitable behavior, based on cell adhesion, cell growth, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity as a marker of osteogenic differentiation, and histological in vitro cross sections. In vivo subcutaneous implant showed granulation tissue formation and new tissue infiltration into the scaffold. The favorable microstructure, coupled with the ability to integrate nanoparticles into the scaffold by freeze-drying technique and the biocompatibility, indicates the potential of this new material for applications in BTE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Medical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Biological Evaluation of Flexible Polyurethane/Poly l-Lactic Acid Composite Scaffold as a Potential Filler for Bone Regeneration
Materials 2017, 10(9), 1042; doi:10.3390/ma10091042
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
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Abstract
Degradable bone graft substitute for large-volume bone defects is a continuously developing field in orthopedics. With the advance in biomaterial in past decades, a wide range of new materials has been investigated for their potential in this application. When compared to common biopolymers
[...] Read more.
Degradable bone graft substitute for large-volume bone defects is a continuously developing field in orthopedics. With the advance in biomaterial in past decades, a wide range of new materials has been investigated for their potential in this application. When compared to common biopolymers within the field such as PLA or PCL, elastomers such as polyurethane offer some unique advantages in terms of flexibility. In cases of bone defect treatments, a flexible soft filler can help to establish an intimate contact with surrounding bones to provide a stable bone-material interface for cell proliferation and ingrowth of tissue. In this study, a porous filler based on segmented polyurethane incorporated with poly l-lactic acid was synthesized by a phase inverse salt leaching method. The filler was put through in vitro and in vivo tests to evaluate its potential in acting as a bone graft substitute for critical-sized bone defects. In vitro results indicated there was a major improvement in biological response, including cell attachment, proliferation and alkaline phosphatase expression for osteoblast-like cells when seeded on the composite material compared to unmodified polyurethane. In vivo evaluation on a critical-sized defect model of New Zealand White (NZW) rabbit indicated there was bone ingrowth along the defect area with the introduction of the new filler. A tight interface formed between bone and filler, with osteogenic cells proliferating on the surface. The result suggested polyurethane/poly l-lactic acid composite is a material with the potential to act as a bone graft substitute for orthopedics application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Medical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle A Graphene-Based Flexible Pressure Sensor with Applications to Plantar Pressure Measurement and Gait Analysis
Materials 2017, 10(9), 1068; doi:10.3390/ma10091068
Received: 30 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
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Abstract
In the present study, we propose and develop a flexible pressure sensor based on the piezoresistive effect of multilayer graphene films on polyester textile. The pressure response results from the deformation of graphene conductive network structure and the changes in resistance. Here, we
[...] Read more.
In the present study, we propose and develop a flexible pressure sensor based on the piezoresistive effect of multilayer graphene films on polyester textile. The pressure response results from the deformation of graphene conductive network structure and the changes in resistance. Here, we show that the graphene pressure sensor can achieve a sensitivity value of 0.012 kPa 1 , the measurement range can be as high as 800 kPa, and the response time can reach to 50 ms. Subsequently, a stable in-shoe wireless plantar pressure measurement system is developed and dynamic pressure distribution is acquired in real-time. Overall, the graphene textile pressure sensor has the advantage of wide dynamic range, flexibility and comfort, which provides the high possibility for footwear evaluation, clinical gait analysis and pathological foot diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Medical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication and Characterization of Magnesium Ferrite-Based PCL/Aloe Vera Nanofibers
Materials 2017, 10(8), 937; doi:10.3390/ma10080937
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 1 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 11 August 2017
PDF Full-text (4269 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Composite nanofibers of biopolymers and inorganic materials have been widely explored as tissue engineering scaffolds because of their superior structural, mechanical and biological properties. In this study, magnesium ferrite (Mg-ferrite) based composite nanofibers were synthesized using an electrospinning technique. Mg-ferrite nanoparticles were first
[...] Read more.
Composite nanofibers of biopolymers and inorganic materials have been widely explored as tissue engineering scaffolds because of their superior structural, mechanical and biological properties. In this study, magnesium ferrite (Mg-ferrite) based composite nanofibers were synthesized using an electrospinning technique. Mg-ferrite nanoparticles were first synthesized using the reverse micelle method, and then blended in a mixture of polycaprolactone (PCL), a synthetic polymer, and Aloe vera, a natural polymer, to create magnetic nanofibers by electrospinning. The morphology, structural and magnetic properties, and cellular compatibility of the magnetic nanofibers were analyzed. Mg-ferrite/PCL/Aloe vera nanofibers showed good uniformity in fiber morphology, retained their structural integrity, and displayed magnetic strength. Experimental results, using cell viability assay and scanning electron microscopy imaging showed that magnetic nanofibers supported 3T3 cell viability. We believe that the new composite nanofibrous membranes developed in this study have the ability to mimic the physical structure and function of tissue extracellular matrix, as well as provide the magnetic and soluble metal ion attributes in the scaffolds with enhanced cell attachment, and thus improve tissue regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Medical Applications)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Surface Modification of Polymer Substrates for Biomedical Applications
Materials 2017, 10(10), 1115; doi:10.3390/ma10101115
Received: 10 August 2017 / Revised: 15 September 2017 / Accepted: 18 September 2017 / Published: 21 September 2017
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Abstract
While polymers are widely utilized materials in the biomedical industry, they are rarely used in an unmodified state. Some kind of a surface treatment is often necessary to achieve properties suitable for specific applications. There are multiple methods of surface treatment, each with
[...] Read more.
While polymers are widely utilized materials in the biomedical industry, they are rarely used in an unmodified state. Some kind of a surface treatment is often necessary to achieve properties suitable for specific applications. There are multiple methods of surface treatment, each with their own pros and cons, such as plasma and laser treatment, UV lamp modification, etching, grafting, metallization, ion sputtering and others. An appropriate treatment can change the physico-chemical properties of the surface of a polymer in a way that makes it attractive for a variety of biological compounds, or, on the contrary, makes the polymer exhibit antibacterial or cytotoxic properties, thus making the polymer usable in a variety of biomedical applications. This review examines four popular methods of polymer surface modification: laser treatment, ion implantation, plasma treatment and nanoparticle grafting. Surface treatment-induced changes of the physico-chemical properties, morphology, chemical composition and biocompatibility of a variety of polymer substrates are studied. Relevant biological methods are used to determine the influence of various surface treatments and grafting processes on the biocompatibility of the new surfaces—mammalian cell adhesion and proliferation is studied as well as other potential applications of the surface-treated polymer substrates in the biomedical industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Medical Applications)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Degradation and biocompatibility of PEA fibrils in the vitreous of normal and VEGF-treated rabbits
Author(s): Martina Kropp
Affiliation(s): Hopitaux universitaires de Geneve, Department of Ophthalmology, Geneve, Switzerland

Type of Paper: Review
Title: Biomaterials in tendon/muscle tissue engineering: current trends and challenges
Author: Cécile Legallais
Affiliation: Universite de Technologie de Compiegne, Laboratoire BioMécanique et BioIngénierie (BMBI), Compiegne, France

Type of Paper: Article
Title: The osteogenic and tenogenic differentiation potential of stem cells cultured on PCL/PLA electrospun scaffolds in the absence of specific differentiation medium
Author: Cécile Legallais
Affiliation: Sorbonne universités, Université de technologie de Compiègne, CNRS, UMR 7338 Biomécanique - Bioingénierie, Compiègne, France

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