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J. Funct. Biomater., Volume 6, Issue 3 (September 2015) , Pages 486-985

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Open AccessReview
A Closer Look at Schlemm’s Canal Cell Physiology: Implications for Biomimetics
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 963-985; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030963 - 21 Sep 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3405
Abstract
Among ocular pathologies, glaucoma is the second leading cause of progressive vision loss, expected to affect 80 million people worldwide by 2020. A primary cause of glaucoma appears to be damage to the conventional outflow tract. Conventional outflow tissues, a composite of the [...] Read more.
Among ocular pathologies, glaucoma is the second leading cause of progressive vision loss, expected to affect 80 million people worldwide by 2020. A primary cause of glaucoma appears to be damage to the conventional outflow tract. Conventional outflow tissues, a composite of the trabecular meshwork and the Schlemm’s canal, regulate and maintain homeostatic responses to intraocular pressure. In glaucoma, filtration of aqueous humor into the Schlemm’s canal is hindered, leading to an increase in intraocular pressure and subsequent damage to the optic nerve, with progressive vision loss. The Schlemm’s canal encompasses a unique endothelium. Recent advances in culturing and manipulating Schlemm’s canal cells have elucidated several aspects of their physiology, including ultrastructure, cell-specific marker expression, and biomechanical properties. This review highlights these advances and discusses implications for engineering a 3D, biomimetic, in vitro model of the Schlemm’s canal endothelium to further advance glaucoma research, including drug testing and gene therapy screening. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Incorporation of Human Recombinant Tropoelastin into Silk Fibroin Membranes with the View to Repairing Bruch’s Membrane
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 946-962; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030946 - 16 Sep 2015
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2782
Abstract
Bombyx mori silk fibroin membranes provide a potential delivery vehicle for both cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) components into diseased or injured tissues. We have previously demonstrated the feasibility of growing retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) on fibroin membranes with the view to [...] Read more.
Bombyx mori silk fibroin membranes provide a potential delivery vehicle for both cells and extracellular matrix (ECM) components into diseased or injured tissues. We have previously demonstrated the feasibility of growing retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) on fibroin membranes with the view to repairing the retina of patients afflicted with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The goal of the present study was to investigate the feasibility of incorporating the ECM component elastin, in the form of human recombinant tropoelastin, into these same membranes. Two basic strategies were explored: (1) membranes prepared from blended solutions of fibroin and tropoelastin; and (2) layered constructs prepared from sequentially cast solutions of fibroin, tropoelastin, and fibroin. Optimal conditions for RPE attachment were achieved using a tropoelastin-fibroin blend ratio of 10 to 90 parts by weight. Retention of tropoelastin within the blend and layered constructs was confirmed by immunolabelling and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). In the layered constructs, the bulk of tropoelastin was apparently absorbed into the initially cast fibroin layer. Blend membranes displayed higher elastic modulus, percentage elongation, and tensile strength (p < 0.01) when compared to the layered constructs. RPE cell response to fibroin membranes was not affected by the presence of tropoelastin. These findings support the potential use of fibroin membranes for the co-delivery of RPE cells and tropoelastin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessReview
Substrates for Expansion of Corneal Endothelial Cells towards Bioengineering of Human Corneal Endothelium
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 917-945; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030917 - 11 Sep 2015
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4346
Abstract
Corneal endothelium is a single layer of specialized cells that lines the posterior surface of cornea and maintains corneal hydration and corneal transparency essential for vision. Currently, transplantation is the only therapeutic option for diseases affecting the corneal endothelium. Transplantation of corneal endothelium, [...] Read more.
Corneal endothelium is a single layer of specialized cells that lines the posterior surface of cornea and maintains corneal hydration and corneal transparency essential for vision. Currently, transplantation is the only therapeutic option for diseases affecting the corneal endothelium. Transplantation of corneal endothelium, called endothelial keratoplasty, is widely used for corneal endothelial diseases. However, corneal transplantation is limited by global donor shortage. Therefore, there is a need to overcome the deficiency of sufficient donor corneal tissue. New approaches are being explored to engineer corneal tissues such that sufficient amount of corneal endothelium becomes available to offset the present shortage of functional cornea. Although human corneal endothelial cells have limited proliferative capacity in vivo, several laboratories have been successful in in vitro expansion of human corneal endothelial cells. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of different substrates employed for in vitro cultivation of human corneal endothelial cells. Advances and emerging challenges with ex vivo cultured corneal endothelial layer for the ultimate goal of therapeutic replacement of dysfunctional corneal endothelium in humans with functional corneal endothelium are also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Consequences of Ultra-Violet Irradiation on the Mechanical Properties of Spider Silk
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 901-916; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030901 - 10 Sep 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2995
Abstract
The outstanding combination of high tensile strength and extensibility of spider silk is believed to contribute to the material’s toughness. Thus, there is great interest in engineering silk for biomedical products such as suture or implants. Additionally, over the years, many studies have [...] Read more.
The outstanding combination of high tensile strength and extensibility of spider silk is believed to contribute to the material’s toughness. Thus, there is great interest in engineering silk for biomedical products such as suture or implants. Additionally, over the years, many studies have also sought to enhance the mechanical properties of spider silk for wider applicability, e.g., by irradiating the material using ultra-violet radiation. However, the limitations surrounding the use of ultra-violet radiation for enhancing the mechanical properties of spider silk are not well-understood. Here, we have analyzed the mechanical properties of spider silk at short ultra-violet irradiation duration. Specimens of spider silk were subjected to ultra-violet irradiation (254-nm wavelength, i.e. UVC) for 10, 20, and 30 min, respectively, followed by tensile test to rupture to determine the strength (maximum stress), extensibility (rupture strain), and toughness (strain energy density to rupture). Controls, i.e., specimens that did not received UVC, were also subjected to tensile test to rupture to determine the respective mechanical properties. One-way analysis of variance reveals that these properties decrease significantly (p < 0.05) with increasing irradiation duration. Among the three mechanical parameters, the strength of the spider silk degrades most rapidly; the extensibility of the spider silk degrades the slowest. Overall, these changes correspond to the observed surface modifications as well as the bond rupture between the peptide chains of the treated silk. Altogether, this simple but comprehensive study provides some key insights into the dependence of the mechanical properties on ultra-violet irradiation duration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silk Proteins for Biomedical Applications)
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Open AccessReview
Effectiveness of Vitamin-E-Doped Polyethylene in Joint Replacement: A Literature Review
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 889-900; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030889 - 08 Sep 2015
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2838
Abstract
Since polyethylene is one of the most frequently used biomaterials, such as in bearing components in joint arthroplasty, strong efforts have been made to improve the design and material properties over the last decades. Antioxidants, such as vitamin-E, seem to be a promising [...] Read more.
Since polyethylene is one of the most frequently used biomaterials, such as in bearing components in joint arthroplasty, strong efforts have been made to improve the design and material properties over the last decades. Antioxidants, such as vitamin-E, seem to be a promising alternative to further increase durability and reduce polyethylene wear and degradation in the long-term. Nevertheless, even if several promising in vitro results are available, there is yet no clinical evidence that vitamin-E polyethylenes show these advantages in vivo. The aim of this paper was to provide a comprehensive overview on the current knowledge regarding the biological and mechanical proprieties of this biomaterial, underlying the in vitro and in vivo evidence for effectiveness of vitamin-E-doped polyethylene in joint arthroplasty. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Tribology of Artificial Hip and Knee Joints)
Open AccessReview
Pre-Clinical Cell-Based Therapy for Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 863-888; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030863 - 28 Aug 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3503
Abstract
The cornea is essential for normal vision by maintaining transparency for light transmission. Limbal stem cells, which reside in the corneal periphery, contribute to the homeostasis of the corneal epithelium. Any damage or disease affecting the function of these cells may result in [...] Read more.
The cornea is essential for normal vision by maintaining transparency for light transmission. Limbal stem cells, which reside in the corneal periphery, contribute to the homeostasis of the corneal epithelium. Any damage or disease affecting the function of these cells may result in limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD). The condition may result in both severe pain and blindness. Transplantation of ex vivo cultured cells onto the cornea is most often an effective therapeutic strategy for LSCD. The use of ex vivo cultured limbal epithelial cells (LEC), oral mucosal epithelial cells, and conjunctival epithelial cells to treat LSCD has been explored in humans. The present review focuses on the current state of knowledge of the many other cell-based therapies of LSCD that have so far exclusively been explored in animal models as there is currently no consensus on the best cell type for treating LSCD. Major findings of all these studies with special emphasis on substrates for culture and transplantation are systematically presented and discussed. Among the many potential cell types that still have not been used clinically, we conclude that two easily accessible autologous sources, epidermal stem cells and hair follicle-derived stem cells, are particularly strong candidates for future clinical trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Injectable Amorphous Chitin-Agarose Composite Hydrogels for Biomedical Applications
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 849-862; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030849 - 25 Aug 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3343
Abstract
Injectable hydrogels are gaining popularity as tissue engineering constructs because of their ease of handling and minimal invasive delivery. Making hydrogels from natural polymers helps to overcome biocompatibility issues. Here, we have developed an Amorphous Chitin (ACh)-Agarose (Agr) composite hydrogel using a simpletechnique. [...] Read more.
Injectable hydrogels are gaining popularity as tissue engineering constructs because of their ease of handling and minimal invasive delivery. Making hydrogels from natural polymers helps to overcome biocompatibility issues. Here, we have developed an Amorphous Chitin (ACh)-Agarose (Agr) composite hydrogel using a simpletechnique. Rheological studies, such as viscoelastic behavior (elastic modulus, viscous modulus, yield stress, and consistency), inversion test, and injectability test, were carried out for different ACh-Agr concentrations. The composite gel, having a concentration of 1.5% ACh and 0.25% Agr, showed good elastic modulus (17.3 kPa), yield stress (3.8 kPa), no flow under gravity, injectability, and temperature stability within the physiological range. Based on these studies, the optimum concentration for injectability was found to be 1.5% ACh and 0.25% Agr. This optimized concentration was used for further studies and characterized using FT-IR and SEM. FT-IR studies confirmed the presence of ACh and Agr in the composite gel. SEM results showed that the lyophilized composite gel had good porosity and mesh like networks. The cytocompatibility of the composite gel was studied using human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). The composite gels showed good cell viability.These results indicated that this injectable composite gel can be used for biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Applications of Chitin and Chitosan)
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Open AccessReview
Grafts for Ridge Preservation
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 833-848; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030833 - 07 Aug 2015
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3367
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
Calcium Orthophosphate-Containing Biocomposites and Hybrid Biomaterials for Biomedical Applications
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 708-832; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030708 - 07 Aug 2015
Cited by 52 | Viewed by 4795
Abstract
The state-of-the-art on calcium orthophosphate (CaPO4)-containing biocomposites and hybrid biomaterials suitable for biomedical applications is presented. Since these types of biomaterials offer many significant and exciting possibilities for hard tissue regeneration, this subject belongs to a rapidly expanding area of biomedical [...] Read more.
The state-of-the-art on calcium orthophosphate (CaPO4)-containing biocomposites and hybrid biomaterials suitable for biomedical applications is presented. Since these types of biomaterials offer many significant and exciting possibilities for hard tissue regeneration, this subject belongs to a rapidly expanding area of biomedical research. Through the successful combinations of the desired properties of matrix materials with those of fillers (in such systems, CaPO4 might play either role), innovative bone graft biomaterials can be designed. Various types of CaPO4-based biocomposites and hybrid biomaterials those are either already in use or being investigated for biomedical applications are extensively discussed. Many different formulations in terms of the material constituents, fabrication technologies, structural and bioactive properties, as well as both in vitro and in vivo characteristics have been already proposed. Among the others, the nano-structurally controlled biocomposites, those containing nanodimensional compounds, biomimetically fabricated formulations with collagen, chitin and/or gelatin, as well as various functionally graded structures seem to be the most promising candidates for clinical applications. The specific advantages of using CaPO4-based biocomposites and hybrid biomaterials in the selected applications are highlighted. As the way from a laboratory to a hospital is a long one and the prospective biomedical candidates have to meet many different necessities, the critical issues and scientific challenges that require further research and development are also examined. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Peptide Amphiphiles in Corneal Tissue Engineering
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 687-707; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030687 - 06 Aug 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3152
Abstract
The increasing interest in effort towards creating alternative therapies have led to exciting breakthroughs in the attempt to bio-fabricate and engineer live tissues. This has been particularly evident in the development of new approaches applied to reconstruct corneal tissue. The need for tissue-engineered [...] Read more.
The increasing interest in effort towards creating alternative therapies have led to exciting breakthroughs in the attempt to bio-fabricate and engineer live tissues. This has been particularly evident in the development of new approaches applied to reconstruct corneal tissue. The need for tissue-engineered corneas is largely a response to the shortage of donor tissue and the lack of suitable alternative biological scaffolds preventing the treatment of millions of blind people worldwide. This review is focused on recent developments in corneal tissue engineering, specifically on the use of self-assembling peptide amphiphiles for this purpose. Recently, peptide amphiphiles have generated great interest as therapeutic molecules, both in vitro and in vivo. Here we introduce this rapidly developing field, and examine innovative applications of peptide amphiphiles to create natural bio-prosthetic corneal tissue in vitro. The advantages of peptide amphiphiles over other biomaterials, namely their wide range of functions and applications, versatility, and transferability are also discussed to better understand how these fascinating molecules can help solve current challenges in corneal regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
Compositional and in Vitro Evaluation of Nonwoven Type I Collagen/Poly-dl-lactic Acid Scaffolds for Bone Regeneration
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 667-686; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030667 - 05 Aug 2015
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3479
Abstract
Poly-dl-lactic acid (PDLLA) was blended with type I collagen to attempt to overcome the instantaneous gelation of electrospun collagen scaffolds in biological environments. Scaffolds based on blends of type I collagen and PDLLA were investigated for material stability in cell culture conditions (37 [...] Read more.
Poly-dl-lactic acid (PDLLA) was blended with type I collagen to attempt to overcome the instantaneous gelation of electrospun collagen scaffolds in biological environments. Scaffolds based on blends of type I collagen and PDLLA were investigated for material stability in cell culture conditions (37 °C; 5% CO2) in which post-electrospinning glutaraldehyde crosslinking was also applied. The resulting wet-stable webs were cultured with bone marrow stromal cells (HBMSC) for five weeks. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy (FTIR) and biochemical assays were used to characterise the scaffolds and the consequent cell-scaffold constructs. To investigate any electrospinning-induced denaturation of collagen, identical PDLLA/collagen and PDLLA/gelatine blends were electrospun and their potential to promote osteogenic differentiation investigated. PDLLA/collagen blends with w/w ratios of 40/60, 60/40 and 80/20 resulted in satisfactory wet stabilities in a humid environment, although chemical crosslinking was essential to ensure long term material cell culture. Scaffolds of PDLLA/collagen at a 60:40 weight ratio provided the greatest stability over a five-week culture period. The PDLLA/collagen scaffolds promoted greater cell proliferation and osteogenic differentiation compared to HMBSCs seeded on the corresponding PDLLA/gelatine scaffolds, suggesting that any electrospinning-induced collagen denaturation did not affect material biofunctionality within 5 weeks in vitro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Textiles)
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Open AccessReview
Intraocular Implants for the Treatment of Autoimmune Uveitis
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 650-666; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030650 - 31 Jul 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3000
Abstract
Uveitis is the third leading cause of blindness in developed countries. Currently, the most widely used treatment of non-infectious uveitis is corticosteroids. Posterior uveitis and macular edema can be treated with intraocular injection of corticosteroids, however, this is problematic in chronic cases because [...] Read more.
Uveitis is the third leading cause of blindness in developed countries. Currently, the most widely used treatment of non-infectious uveitis is corticosteroids. Posterior uveitis and macular edema can be treated with intraocular injection of corticosteroids, however, this is problematic in chronic cases because of the need for repeat injections. Another option is systemic immunosuppressive therapies that have their own undesirable side effects. These systemic therapies result in a widespread suppression of the entire immune system, leaving the patient susceptible to infection. Therefore, an effective localized treatment option is preferred. With the recent advances in bioengineering, biodegradable polymers that allow for a slow sustained-release of a medication. These advances have culminated in drug delivery implants that are food and drug administration (FDA) approved for the treatment of non-infectious uveitis. In this review, we discuss the types of ocular implants available and some of the polymers used, implants used for the treatment of non-infectious uveitis, and bioengineered alternatives that are on the horizon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
Open AccessReview
Bioengineered Lacrimal Gland Organ Regeneration in Vivo
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 634-649; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030634 - 30 Jul 2015
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3654
Abstract
The lacrimal gland plays an important role in maintaining a homeostatic environment for healthy ocular surfaces via tear secretion. Dry eye disease, which is caused by lacrimal gland dysfunction, is one of the most prevalent eye disorders and causes ocular discomfort, significant visual [...] Read more.
The lacrimal gland plays an important role in maintaining a homeostatic environment for healthy ocular surfaces via tear secretion. Dry eye disease, which is caused by lacrimal gland dysfunction, is one of the most prevalent eye disorders and causes ocular discomfort, significant visual disturbances, and a reduced quality of life. Current therapies for dry eye disease, including artificial tear eye drops, are transient and palliative. The lacrimal gland, which consists of acini, ducts, and myoepithelial cells, develops from its organ germ via reciprocal epithelial-mesenchymal interactions during embryogenesis. Lacrimal tissue stem cells have been identified for use in regenerative therapeutic approaches aimed at restoring lacrimal gland functions. Fully functional organ replacement, such as for tooth and hair follicles, has also been developed via a novel three-dimensional stem cell manipulation, designated the Organ Germ Method, as a next-generation regenerative medicine. Recently, we successfully developed fully functional bioengineered lacrimal gland replacements after transplanting a bioengineered organ germ using this method. This study represented a significant advance in potential lacrimal gland organ replacement as a novel regenerative therapy for dry eye disease. In this review, we will summarize recent progress in lacrimal regeneration research and the development of bioengineered lacrimal gland organ replacement therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocular Tissue Engineering) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Superstructures Connected to Implants with Different Surface Properties on the Surrounding Bone
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 623-633; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030623 - 24 Jul 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2819
Abstract
The objective of this study was to investigate how the connection of superstructures to implants with different surface properties affects the surrounding bone. The right and left mandibular premolars and molars of 5 dogs were extracted. After 12 weeks, a machined implant was [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to investigate how the connection of superstructures to implants with different surface properties affects the surrounding bone. The right and left mandibular premolars and molars of 5 dogs were extracted. After 12 weeks, a machined implant was placed mesially and an anodized implant was placed distally on one side of the edentulous jaw, with the positions reversed on the opposite side. Twelve weeks after implantation, splinted superstructures were set to the implants. At 24 weeks after implantation, the implant stability quotient (ISQ) was measured, radiographs were obtained. Removal torque values were measured and histologic observation was performed. The ISQ values at 24 weeks after implantation were not significantly different between the groups. The removal torque values were significantly different between the distal anodized and distal machined implants (p < 0.05). From 12 to 24 weeks, marginal bone losses were not significantly different between the groups. Fluorescent observation of tissue samples revealed bone-remodeling activity around all of the implants. The results of this study suggest that when implants with different surface properties are connected, machined implants at the most distal sites might be a potential risk factor for implant-bone binding. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Adult Stem Cell Responses to Nanostimuli
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 598-622; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030598 - 16 Jul 2015
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3573
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)
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Open AccessArticle
An Efficient Finite Element Framework to Assess Flexibility Performances of SMA Self-Expandable Carotid Artery Stents
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 585-597; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030585 - 14 Jul 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2760
Abstract
Computer-based simulations are nowadays widely exploited for the prediction of the mechanical behavior of different biomedical devices. In this aspect, structural finite element analyses (FEA) are currently the preferred computational tool to evaluate the stent response under bending. This work aims at developing [...] Read more.
Computer-based simulations are nowadays widely exploited for the prediction of the mechanical behavior of different biomedical devices. In this aspect, structural finite element analyses (FEA) are currently the preferred computational tool to evaluate the stent response under bending. This work aims at developing a computational framework based on linear and higher order FEA to evaluate the flexibility of self-expandable carotid artery stents. In particular, numerical simulations involving large deformations and inelastic shape memory alloy constitutive modeling are performed, and the results suggest that the employment of higher order FEA allows accurately representing the computational domain and getting a better approximation of the solution with a widely-reduced number of degrees of freedom with respect to linear FEA. Moreover, when buckling phenomena occur, higher order FEA presents a superior capability of reproducing the nonlinear local effects related to buckling phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Applications of Shape Memory Alloys)
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Open AccessArticle
Tubular Scaffold with Shape Recovery Effect for Cell Guide Applications
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 564-584; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030564 - 10 Jul 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3240
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)
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Open AccessReview
Advances in Skin Substitutes—Potential of Tissue Engineered Skin for Facilitating Anti-Fibrotic Healing
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 547-563; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030547 - 09 Jul 2015
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 4406
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)
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Open AccessReview
Magnetically Targeted Stem Cell Delivery for Regenerative Medicine
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 526-546; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030526 - 30 Jun 2015
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3470
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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Open AccessReview
Medical Textiles as Vascular Implants and Their Success to Mimic Natural Arteries
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 500-525; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030500 - 30 Jun 2015
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 4102
Abstract
Vascular implants belong to a specialised class of medical textiles. The basic purpose of a vascular implant (graft and stent) is to act as an artificial conduit or substitute for a diseased artery. However, the long-term healing function depends on its ability to [...] Read more.
Vascular implants belong to a specialised class of medical textiles. The basic purpose of a vascular implant (graft and stent) is to act as an artificial conduit or substitute for a diseased artery. However, the long-term healing function depends on its ability to mimic the mechanical and biological behaviour of the artery. This requires a thorough understanding of the structure and function of an artery, which can then be translated into a synthetic structure based on the capabilities of the manufacturing method utilised. Common textile manufacturing techniques, such as weaving, knitting, braiding, and electrospinning, are frequently used to design vascular implants for research and commercial purposes for the past decades. However, the ability to match attributes of a vascular substitute to those of a native artery still remains a challenge. The synthetic implants have been found to cause disturbance in biological, biomechanical, and hemodynamic parameters at the implant site, which has been widely attributed to their structural design. In this work, we reviewed the design aspect of textile vascular implants and compared them to the structure of a natural artery as a basis for assessing the level of success as an implant. The outcome of this work is expected to encourage future design strategies for developing improved long lasting vascular implants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medical Textiles)
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Open AccessReview
Metal-on-Metal Hip Arthroplasty: A Review of Adverse Reactions and Patient Management
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(3), 486-499; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfb6030486 - 26 Jun 2015
Cited by 47 | Viewed by 3597
Abstract
Recent alarming joint registry data highlighting increased revision rates has prompted further research into the area of metal-on-metal hip replacements and resurfacings. This review article examines the latest literature on the topic of adverse reactions to metal debris and summarises the most up-to-date [...] Read more.
Recent alarming joint registry data highlighting increased revision rates has prompted further research into the area of metal-on-metal hip replacements and resurfacings. This review article examines the latest literature on the topic of adverse reactions to metal debris and summarises the most up-to-date guidelines on patient management. Adverse reactions to metal debris can cause significant damage to soft tissue and bone if not diagnosed early. Furthermore, not every patient with an adverse reaction to metal debris will be symptomatic. As such, clinicians must remain vigilant when assessing and investigating these patients in order to detect failing implants and initiate appropriate management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in the Tribology of Artificial Hip and Knee Joints)
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