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J. Funct. Biomater., Volume 14, Issue 12 (December 2023) – 14 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The use of 3D-printed titanium (Ti) cages offers a promising solution for osteoporosis-induced fractures and spinal fusion surgery. These implants, with superior strength compared to other metals, face challenges when used independently, particularly in soft tissue interactions. To address this, a 3D-printed Ti cage was infused with gelatin and hyaluronic acid (G-H) in this study. The G-H-filled mesh structure created micro-sized pores, acting as a bridge for cell migration. The slow release enhanced biocompatibility, up-regulating bone-related gene expressions. In a rabbit femur model, the G-H-coated Ti cage demonstrated superior bone regeneration, filling large holes as a cell migration bridge and expediting bone regrowth. View this paper
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13 pages, 2156 KiB  
Article
Effect of Bioactive Glasses and Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor on Dental Pulp Cells
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(12), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14120568 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1314
Abstract
Ideal regeneration of hard tissue and dental pulp has been reported with the use of a combination of bioactive glass and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). However, no previous study has investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the processes induced by this combination in [...] Read more.
Ideal regeneration of hard tissue and dental pulp has been reported with the use of a combination of bioactive glass and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). However, no previous study has investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying the processes induced by this combination in dental pulp cells. This study aimed to examine the cellular phenotype and transcriptional changes induced by the combination of bioactive glass solution (BG) and bFGF in dental pulp cells using phase-contrast microscopy, a cell counting kit-8 assay, alkaline phosphatase staining, and RNA sequence analysis. bFGF induced elongation of the cell process and increased the number of cells. Whereas BG did not increase ALP activity, it induced extracellular matrix-related genes in the dental pulp. In addition, the combination of BG and bFGF induces gliogenesis-related genes in the nervous system. This is to say, bFGF increased the viability of dental pulp cells, bioactive glass induced odontogenesis, and a dual stimulation with bioactive glass and bFGF induced the wound healing of the nerve system in the dental pulp. Taken together, bioactive glass and bFGF may be useful for the regeneration of the dentin-pulp complex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Dental Biomaterials)
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12 pages, 8738 KiB  
Article
Fracture Resistance of a Two-Piece Zirconia Implant System after Artificial Loading and/or Hydrothermal Aging—An In Vitro Investigation
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(12), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14120567 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1035
Abstract
The purpose of the present study was to assess the fracture resistance of a two-piece alumina-toughened zirconia implant system with a carbon-reinforced PEEK abutment screw. Methods: Thirty-two implants with screw-retained zirconia abutments were divided into four groups of eight samples each. Group 0 [...] Read more.
The purpose of the present study was to assess the fracture resistance of a two-piece alumina-toughened zirconia implant system with a carbon-reinforced PEEK abutment screw. Methods: Thirty-two implants with screw-retained zirconia abutments were divided into four groups of eight samples each. Group 0 (control group) was neither loaded nor aged in a chewing simulator; group H was hydrothermally aged; group L was loaded with 98 N; and group HL was subjected to both hydrothermal aging and loading in a chewing simulator. One sample of each group was evaluated for t-m phase transformation, and the others were loaded until fracture. A one-way ANOVA was applied to evaluate differences between the groups. Results: No implant fracture occurred during the artificial chewing simulation. Furthermore, there were no statistically significant differences (p > 0.05) between the groups in terms of fracture resistance (group 0: 783 ± 43 N; group H: 742 ± 43 N; group L: 757 ± 86 N; group HL: 740 ± 43 N) and bending moment (group 0: 433 ± 26 Ncm; group H: 413 ± 23 Ncm; group L: 422 ± 49 Ncm; group HL: 408 ± 27 Ncm). Conclusions: Within the limitations of the present investigation, it can be concluded that artificial loading and hydrothermal aging do not reduce the fracture resistance of the investigated implant system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomaterials and Oral Implantology—Volume II)
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15 pages, 3657 KiB  
Article
Photochemical Modification of the Extracellular Matrix to Alter the Vascular Remodeling Process
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(12), 566; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14120566 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 993
Abstract
Therapeutic interventions for vascular diseases aim at achieving long-term patency by controlling vascular remodeling. The extracellular matrix (ECM) of the vessel wall plays a crucial role in regulating this process. This study introduces a novel photochemical treatment known as Natural Vascular Scaffolding, utilizing [...] Read more.
Therapeutic interventions for vascular diseases aim at achieving long-term patency by controlling vascular remodeling. The extracellular matrix (ECM) of the vessel wall plays a crucial role in regulating this process. This study introduces a novel photochemical treatment known as Natural Vascular Scaffolding, utilizing a 4-amino substituted 1,8-naphthimide (10-8-10 Dimer) and 450 nm light. This treatment induces structural changes in the ECM by forming covalent bonds between amino acids in ECM fibers without harming vascular cell survival, as evidenced by our results. To further investigate the mechanism of this treatment, porcine carotid artery segments were exposed to 10-8-10 Dimer and light activation. Subsequent experiments subjected these segments to enzymatic degradation through elastase or collagenase treatment and were analyzed using digital image analysis software (MIPAR) after histological processing. The results demonstrated significant preservation of collagen and elastin structures in the photochemically treated vascular wall, compared to controls. This suggests that photochemical treatment can effectively modulate vascular remodeling by enhancing the resistance of the ECM scaffold to degradation. This approach shows promise in scenarios where vascular segments experience significant hemodynamic fluctuations as it reinforces vascular wall integrity and preserves lumen patency. This can be valuable in treating veins prior to fistula creation and grafting or managing arterial aneurysm expansion. Full article
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34 pages, 48276 KiB  
Article
New Perspective for Using Antimicrobial and Cell-Penetrating Peptides to Increase Efficacy of Antineoplastic 5-FU in Cancer Cells
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(12), 565; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14120565 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1353
Abstract
This study explores the effectiveness of the antineoplastic agent 5-FU in cancer cells by leveraging the unique properties of cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) and cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs). Traditional anticancer therapies face substantial limitations, including unfavorable pharmacokinetic profiles and inadequate specificity for tumor sites. [...] Read more.
This study explores the effectiveness of the antineoplastic agent 5-FU in cancer cells by leveraging the unique properties of cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) and cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs). Traditional anticancer therapies face substantial limitations, including unfavorable pharmacokinetic profiles and inadequate specificity for tumor sites. These drawbacks often necessitate higher therapeutic agent doses, leading to severe toxicity in normal cells and adverse side effects. Peptides have emerged as promising carriers for targeted drug delivery, with their ability to selectively deliver therapeutics to cells expressing specific receptors. This enhances intracellular drug delivery, minimizes drug resistance, and reduces toxicity. In this research, we comprehensively evaluate the ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity) properties of various AMPs and CPPs to gain insights into their potential as anticancer agents. The peptide synthesis involved a solid-phase synthesis using a Liberty Microwave Peptide Synthesizer. The peptide purity was confirmed via LC-MS and HPLC methods. For the ADMET screening, computational tools were employed, assessing parameters like absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity. The cell lines A549 and UM-UC-5 were cultured and treated with 5-FU, CAMPs, and CPPs. The cell viability was measured using the MTT assay. The physicochemical properties analysis revealed favorable drug-likeness attributes. The peptides exhibited potential inhibitory activity against CYP3A4. The ADMET predictions indicated variable absorption and distribution characteristics. Furthermore, we assessed the effectiveness of these peptides alone and in combination with 5-FU, a widely used antineoplastic agent, in two distinct cancer cell lines, UM-UC-5 and A549. Our findings indicate that CAMPs can significantly reduce the cell viability in A549 cells, while CPPs exhibit promising results in UM-UC-5 cells. Understanding these multifaceted effects could open new avenues for antiviral and anticancer research. Further, experimental validation is necessary to confirm the mechanism of action of these peptides, especially in combination with 5-FU. Full article
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14 pages, 1975 KiB  
Article
Oral Galvanism Side Effects: Comparing Alloy Ions and Galvanic Current Effects on the Mucosa-like Model
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(12), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14120564 - 11 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1193
Abstract
The interaction of different dental alloys with the oral environment may cause severe side effects (e.g., burning sensation, inflammatory reactions, carcinogenesis) as a result of oral galvanism. However, the pathogenesis of side effects associated with oral galvanism is still unclear, and the effects [...] Read more.
The interaction of different dental alloys with the oral environment may cause severe side effects (e.g., burning sensation, inflammatory reactions, carcinogenesis) as a result of oral galvanism. However, the pathogenesis of side effects associated with oral galvanism is still unclear, and the effects of direct current and alloy corrosion ions are considered potentially contributing factors. Therefore, the aim of this study was to systemically compare the damaging effects of (1) galvanism as a synergistic process (direct current + corrosion ions), (2) direct current separately, and (3) corrosion ions separately on an in vitro mucosa-like model based on a cell line of immortalized human keratinocytes (HaCaTs) to reveal the factors playing a pivotal role in dental alloys side effects. For this, we chose and compared the dental alloys with the highest risk of oral galvanism: Ti64–AgPd and NiCr–AgPd. We showed that galvanic current may be the leading damaging factor in the cytotoxic processes associated with galvanic coupling of metallic intraoral appliances in the oral cavity, especially in the short-term period (28 days). However, the contribution of corrosion ions (Ni2+) to the synergistic toxicity was also shown, and quite possibly, in the long term, it could be no less dangerous. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Dental Biomaterials (2nd Volume))
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22 pages, 6449 KiB  
Article
Model-Based Design to Enhance Neotissue Formation in Additively Manufactured Calcium-Phosphate-Based Scaffolds
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(12), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14120563 - 03 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1554
Abstract
In biomaterial-based bone tissue engineering, optimizing scaffold structure and composition remains an active field of research. Additive manufacturing has enabled the production of custom designs in a variety of materials. This study aims to improve the design of calcium-phosphate-based additively manufactured scaffolds, the [...] Read more.
In biomaterial-based bone tissue engineering, optimizing scaffold structure and composition remains an active field of research. Additive manufacturing has enabled the production of custom designs in a variety of materials. This study aims to improve the design of calcium-phosphate-based additively manufactured scaffolds, the material of choice in oral bone regeneration, by using a combination of in silico and in vitro tools. Computer models are increasingly used to assist in design optimization by providing a rational way of merging different requirements into a single design. The starting point for this study was an in-house developed in silico model describing the in vitro formation of neotissue, i.e., cells and the extracellular matrix they produced. The level set method was applied to simulate the interface between the neotissue and the void space inside the scaffold pores. In order to calibrate the model, a custom disk-shaped scaffold was produced with prismatic canals of different geometries (circle, hexagon, square, triangle) and inner diameters (0.5 mm, 0.7 mm, 1 mm, 2 mm). The disks were produced with three biomaterials (hydroxyapatite, tricalcium phosphate, and a blend of both). After seeding with skeletal progenitor cells and a cell culture for up to 21 days, the extent of neotissue growth in the disks’ canals was analyzed using fluorescence microscopy. The results clearly demonstrated that in the presence of calcium-phosphate-based materials, the curvature-based growth principle was maintained. Bayesian optimization was used to determine the model parameters for the different biomaterials used. Subsequently, the calibrated model was used to predict neotissue growth in a 3D gyroid structure. The predicted results were in line with the experimentally obtained ones, demonstrating the potential of the calibrated model to be used as a tool in the design and optimization of 3D-printed calcium-phosphate-based biomaterials for bone regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Synthesis of Biomaterials via Advanced Technologies)
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13 pages, 5020 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Gelatin/Hyaluronic Acid-Generated Bridging in a 3D-Printed Titanium Cage for Bone Regeneration
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(12), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14120562 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1294
Abstract
3D-printed titanium (Ti) cages present an attractive alternative for addressing issues related to osteoporosis-induced fractures, accidental fractures, and spinal fusion surgery due to disc herniation. These Ti-based bone implants possess superior strength compared to other metals, allowing for versatile applications in orthopedic scenarios. [...] Read more.
3D-printed titanium (Ti) cages present an attractive alternative for addressing issues related to osteoporosis-induced fractures, accidental fractures, and spinal fusion surgery due to disc herniation. These Ti-based bone implants possess superior strength compared to other metals, allowing for versatile applications in orthopedic scenarios. However, when used as standalone solutions, certain considerations may arise, such as interaction with soft tissues. Therefore, to overcome these issues, the combination with hydrogel has been considered. In this study, to impart Ti with regenerative abilities a 3D-printed Ti cage was loaded with gelatin and hyaluronic acid (G-H) to improve the cell attachment ability of the Ti-based bone implants. The void spaces within the mesh structure of the 3D Ti cage were filled with G-H, creating a network of micro-sized pores. The filled G-H acted as the bridge for the cells to migrate toward the large inner pores of the 3D Ti cage. Due to the microporous surface and slow release of gelatin and hyaluronic acid, the biocompatibility of the coated Ti cage was increased with an elevation in osteoconduction as depicted by the up-regulation of bone-related gene expressions. The in vivo implantation in the rabbit femur model showed enhanced bone regeneration due to the coated G-H on the Ti cage compared to the pristine hollow Ti cage. The G-H filled the large holes of the 3D Ti cage that acted as a bridge for the cells to travel inside the implant and aided in the fast regeneration of bone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bone Biomaterials)
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11 pages, 6270 KiB  
Article
Titanium Biohybrid Middle Ear Prostheses: A Preliminary In Vitro Study
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(12), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14120561 - 29 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1131
Abstract
Ossiculoplasty is a surgical operation performed to restore auditory transmission through the reconstruction of the ossicular chain using prosthetics. Tissue bioengineering has assumed a pivotal role in implementing alternatives to conventional ossicular middle ear replacement prostheses, to overcome extrusion while preserving acoustic properties. [...] Read more.
Ossiculoplasty is a surgical operation performed to restore auditory transmission through the reconstruction of the ossicular chain using prosthetics. Tissue bioengineering has assumed a pivotal role in implementing alternatives to conventional ossicular middle ear replacement prostheses, to overcome extrusion while preserving acoustic properties. This in vitro study aims to explore, for the first time in current literature, the feasibility of a biohybrid middle ear prosthesis, composed of titanium surrounded by a bone extracellular matrix as bio-coating. We have hereby studied the adhesion and proliferation of human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hASC) on titanium scaffolds in vitro. Moreover, we identified the osteogenic differentiation of hASC using an immunofluorescence assay to analyze osteoblasts’ gene expression profiles (Alp, Runx2, Col1a1, Osx, and Bglap), and we counted the presence of collagen as a marker of hASC’s ability to secrete an extracellular matrix. We utilized scanning electron microscopy to evaluate the presence of an extracellular matrix on the scaffolds. Our preliminary data demonstrated the titanium’s ability to support human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell colonization, proliferation, and osteoblastic differentiation, in order to obtain a biohybrid device. Our experience seems encouraging; thus, we advocate for further in vivo research to corroborate our results regarding bone transplantation. Full article
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20 pages, 16289 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Silver and Samarium on the Properties of Bioglass Coatings Produced by Pulsed Laser Deposition and Spin Coating
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(12), 560; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14120560 - 28 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1387
Abstract
The current study reports the use of silver (Ag) and samarium (Sm) as dopants to improve the properties of standard bioglass in terms of biological performance. This experiment considers thin films of doped bioglass obtained by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) and spin coating [...] Read more.
The current study reports the use of silver (Ag) and samarium (Sm) as dopants to improve the properties of standard bioglass in terms of biological performance. This experiment considers thin films of doped bioglass obtained by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) and spin coating (SC). For both methods, some parameters were gradually varied, as the main objective was to produce a bioglass that could be used in biomedical fields. In order to study the morphology, the phase composition and other properties, the samples obtained were subjected to multiple analyses, such as thermal analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR), Raman spectroscopy, and x-ray diffraction (XRD). Furthermore, the in vitro bioactivity of the samples, as assessed through simulated body fluid (SBF) immersion, as well as immunocytochemistry and evaluation of actin filaments, assessed through fluorescence microscopy, are reported. The results confirmed the formation of the designed vitreous target employed as the source of material in the PLD experiments only at sintering temperatures below 800 °C; this vitreous nature was preserved in the grown film as well. The presence of Ag and Ce dopants in the parent glassy matrix was validated for all stages, from powder, to target, to PLD/SC-derived coatings. Additionally, it was demonstrated that the surface topography of the layers can be adjusted by using substrates with different roughness or by modulating the processing parameters, such as substrate temperature and working pressure in PLD, rotation speed, and number of layers in SC. The developed material was found to be highly bioactive after 28 days of immersion in SBF, but it was also found to be a potential candidate for inhibiting the growth of Gram-negative bacteria and a suitable support for cell growth and proliferation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Synthesis of Biomaterials via Advanced Technologies)
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17 pages, 4219 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Tissue Equivalence in 7Li Heavy Ion Therapy with MC Algorithm Optimized Polymer-Based Bioinks
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(12), 559; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14120559 - 25 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1228
Abstract
The unique physical properties of heavy ion beams, particularly their distinctive depth–dose distribution and sharp lateral dose reduction profiles, have led to their widespread adoption in tumor therapy worldwide. However, the physical properties of heavy ion beams must be investigated to deliver a [...] Read more.
The unique physical properties of heavy ion beams, particularly their distinctive depth–dose distribution and sharp lateral dose reduction profiles, have led to their widespread adoption in tumor therapy worldwide. However, the physical properties of heavy ion beams must be investigated to deliver a sufficient dose to tumors without damaging organs at risk. These studies should be performed on phantoms made of biomaterials that closely mimic human tissue. Polymers can serve as soft tissue substitutes and are suitable materials for building radiological phantoms due to their physical, mechanical, biological, and chemical properties. Extensive research, development, and applications of polymeric biomaterials have been encouraged due to these properties. In this study, we investigated the ionization, recoils, phonon release, collision events, and lateral straggle properties of polymeric biomaterials that closely resemble soft tissue using lithium-ion beams and Monte Carlo Transport of Ions in Matter simulation. The results indicated that the Bragg peak position closest to soft tissue was achieved with a 7.3% difference in polymethylmethacrylate, with an average recoils value of 10.5%. Additionally, average values of 33% were observed in collision events and 22.6% in lateral straggle. A significant contribution of this study to the existing literature lies in the exploration of secondary interactions alongside the assessment of linear energy transfer induced by the 7Li beam used for treatment. Furthermore, we analyzed the tissue-equivalent properties of polymer biomaterials using heavy ion beams, taking into account phonon release resulting from ionization, recoils, lateral straggle, and all other interactions. This approach allows for the evaluation of the most suitable polymeric biomaterials for heavy ion therapy while considering the full range of interactions involved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials for Cancer Therapies)
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20 pages, 12301 KiB  
Article
Enhanced Stability of Dopamine Delivery via Hydrogel with Integrated Graphene
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(12), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14120558 - 23 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1311
Abstract
The synthesis of graphene-based materials for drug delivery represents an area of active research, and the use of graphene in drug delivery systems is promising due to its unique properties. Thus, in the present work, we discuss the potential of few-layer graphene in [...] Read more.
The synthesis of graphene-based materials for drug delivery represents an area of active research, and the use of graphene in drug delivery systems is promising due to its unique properties. Thus, in the present work, we discuss the potential of few-layer graphene in a hydrogel system for dopamine release. The hydrogels are frequently used for these systems for their special physico-chemical properties, which can ensure that the drug is effectively released in time. However, the release from such structures is mostly determined by diffusion alone, and to overcome this restriction, the hydrogel can be “improved” with nanoscale fillers like graphene. The release kinetics of the composite obtained were analyzed to better understand how the use of graphene, instead of the more common graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO), affects the characteristics of the system. Thus, the systems developed in this study consist of three main components: biopolymer, graphene, and dopamine. The hydrogels with graphene were prepared by combining two different solutions, one with polyacrylic acid and agarose and one with graphene prepared by the exfoliation method with microwave irradiation. The drug delivery systems were developed by adding dopamine to the obtained hydrogels. After 24 h of release, the presence of dopamine was observed, demonstrating that the system developed can slow down the drug’s degradation because of the interactions with the graphene nanoplates and the polymer matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomaterials for Drug Delivery)
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20 pages, 8320 KiB  
Article
Biomechanical Analysis of Axial Gradient Porous Dental Implants: A Finite Element Analysis
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(12), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14120557 - 23 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1265
Abstract
The porous structure can reduce the elastic modulus of a dental implant and better approximate the elastic characteristics of the material to the alveolar bone. Therefore, it has the potential to alleviate bone stress shielding around the implant. However, natural bone is heterogeneous, [...] Read more.
The porous structure can reduce the elastic modulus of a dental implant and better approximate the elastic characteristics of the material to the alveolar bone. Therefore, it has the potential to alleviate bone stress shielding around the implant. However, natural bone is heterogeneous, and, thus, introducing a porous structure may produce pathological bone stress. Herein, we designed a porous implant with axial gradient variation in porosity to alleviate stress shielding in the cancellous bone while controlling the peak stress value in the cortical bone margin region. The biomechanical distribution characteristics of axial gradient porous implants were studied using a finite element method. The analysis showed that a porous implant with an axial gradient variation in porosity ranging from 55% to 75% was the best structure. Under vertical and oblique loads, the proportion of the area with a stress value within the optimal stress interval at the bone–implant interface (BII) was 40.34% and 34.57%, respectively, which was 99% and 65% higher compared with that of the non-porous implant in the control group. Moreover, the maximum equivalent stress value in the implant with this pore parameter was 64.4 MPa, which was less than 1/7 of its theoretical yield strength. Axial gradient porous implants meet the strength requirements for bone implant applications. They can alleviate stress shielding in cancellous bone without increasing the stress concentration in the cortical bone margin, thereby optimizing the stress distribution pattern at the BII. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metals and Alloys for Biomedical Application)
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20 pages, 6935 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Chitosan/Alginate/Graphene Oxide Nanocomposites on Proliferation of Mouse Spermatogonial Stem Cells
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(12), 556; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14120556 - 22 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1471
Abstract
Male survivors of childhood cancer have been known to be afflicted with azoospermia. To combat this, the isolation and purification of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) are crucial. Implementing scaffolds that emulate the extracellular matrix environment is vital for promoting the regeneration and proliferation [...] Read more.
Male survivors of childhood cancer have been known to be afflicted with azoospermia. To combat this, the isolation and purification of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) are crucial. Implementing scaffolds that emulate the extracellular matrix environment is vital for promoting the regeneration and proliferation of SSCs. This research aimed to evaluate the efficiency of nanocomposite scaffolds based on alginate, chitosan, and graphene oxide (GO) in facilitating SSCs proliferation. To analyze the cytotoxicity of the scaffolds, an MTT assay was conducted at 1, 3, and 7 days, and the sample containing 30 µg/mL of GO (ALGCS/GO30) exhibited the most favorable results, indicating its optimal performance. The identity of the cells was confirmed using flow cytometry with C-Kit and GFRα1 markers. The scaffolds were subjected to various analyses to characterize their properties. FTIR was employed to assess the chemical structure, XRD to examine crystallinity, and SEM to visualize the morphology of the scaffolds. To evaluate the proliferation of SSCs, qRT-PCR was used. The study’s results demonstrated that the ALGCS/GO30 nanocomposite scaffold exhibited biocompatibility and facilitated the attachment and proliferation of SSCs. Notably, the scaffold displayed a significant increase in proliferation markers compared to the control group, indicating its ability to support SSC growth. The expression level of the PLZF protein was assessed using the Immunocytochemistry method. The observations confirmed the qRT-PCR results, which indicated that the nanocomposite scaffolds had higher levels of PLZF protein expression than scaffolds without GO. The biocompatible ALGCS/GO30 is a promising alternative for promoting SSC proliferation in in vitro applications. Full article
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13 pages, 3031 KiB  
Article
A Synergic Strategy: Adipose-Derived Stem Cell Spheroids Seeded on 3D-Printed PLA/CHA Scaffolds Implanted in a Bone Critical-Size Defect Model
J. Funct. Biomater. 2023, 14(12), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb14120555 - 21 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1268
Abstract
Bone critical-size defects and non-union fractures have no intrinsic capacity for self-healing. In this context, the emergence of bone engineering has allowed the development of functional alternatives. The aim of this study was to evaluate the capacity of ASC spheroids in bone regeneration [...] Read more.
Bone critical-size defects and non-union fractures have no intrinsic capacity for self-healing. In this context, the emergence of bone engineering has allowed the development of functional alternatives. The aim of this study was to evaluate the capacity of ASC spheroids in bone regeneration using a synergic strategy with 3D-printed scaffolds made from poly (lactic acid) (PLA) and nanostructured hydroxyapatite doped with carbonate ions (CHA) in a rat model of cranial critical-size defect. In summary, a set of results suggests that ASC spheroidal constructs promoted bone regeneration. In vitro results showed that ASC spheroids were able to spread and interact with the 3D-printed scaffold, synthesizing crucial growth factors and cytokines for bone regeneration, such as VEGF. Histological results after 3 and 6 months of implantation showed the formation of new bone tissue in the PLA/CHA scaffolds that were seeded with ASC spheroids. In conclusion, the presence of ASC spheroids in the PLA/CHA 3D-printed scaffolds seems to successfully promote bone formation, which can be crucial for a significant clinical improvement in critical bone defect regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Bone Biomaterials)
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