J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(2), 367-378; doi:10.3390/jfb6020367 (registering DOI) - published 29 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In biomedical applications, there is a need for tissue engineering scaffolds to promote and control cellular behaviors, including adhesion, proliferation and differentiation. In particular, the initial adhesion of cells has a great influence on those cellular behaviors. In this study, we concentrate on developing cell-adhesive substrates applicable for tissue engineering scaffolds. The hybrid nanofiber sheets were prepared by electrospinning poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) and M13 phage, which was genetically modified to enhance cell adhesion thru expressing RGD peptides on their surface. The RGD peptide is a specific motif of extracellular matrix (ECM) for integrin receptors of cells. RGD peptide-decorated PLGA (RGD-PLGA) nanofiber sheets were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, immunofluorescence staining, contact angle measurement and differential scanning calorimetry. In addition, the initial adhesion and proliferation of four different types of mammalian cells were determined in order to evaluate the potential of RGD-PLGA nanofiber sheets as cell-adhesive substrates. Our results showed that the hybrid nanofiber sheets have a three-dimensional porous structure comparable to the native ECM. Furthermore, the initial adhesion and proliferation of cells were significantly enhanced on RGD-PLGA sheets. These results suggest that biomimetic RGD-PLGA nanofiber sheets can be promising cell-adhesive substrates for application as tissue engineering scaffolds.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(2), 345-366; doi:10.3390/jfb6020345 (registering DOI) - published 29 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A silk protein, fibroin, was isolated from the cocoons of the domesticated silkworm (Bombyx mori) and cast into membranes to serve as freestanding templates for tissue-engineered corneal cell constructs to be used in ocular surface reconstruction. In this study, we sought to enhance the attachment and proliferation of corneal epithelial cells by increasing the permeability of the fibroin membranes and the topographic roughness of their surface. By mixing the fibroin solution with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) of molecular weight 300 Da, membranes were produced with increased permeability and with topographic patterns generated on their surface. In order to enhance their mechanical stability, some PEG-treated membranes were also crosslinked with genipin. The resulting membranes were thoroughly characterized and compared to the non-treated membranes. The PEG-treated membranes were similar in tensile strength to the non-treated ones, but their elastic modulus was higher and elongation lower, indicating enhanced rigidity. The crosslinking with genipin did not induce a significant improvement in mechanical properties. In cultures of a human-derived corneal epithelial cell line (HCE-T), the PEG treatment of the substratum did not improve the attachment of cells and it enhanced only slightly the cell proliferation in the longer term. Likewise, primary cultures of human limbal epithelial cells grew equally well on both non-treated and PEG-treated membranes, and the stratification of cultures was consistently improved in the presence of an underlying culture of irradiated 3T3 feeder cells, irrespectively of PEG-treatment. Nevertheless, the cultures grown on the PEG-treated membranes in the presence of feeder cells did display a higher nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio suggesting a more proliferative phenotype. We concluded that while the treatment with PEG had a significant effect on some structural properties of the B. mori silk fibroin (BMSF) membranes, there were minimal gains in the performance of these materials as a substratum for corneal epithelial cell growth. The reduced mechanical stability of freestanding PEG-treated membranes makes them a less viable choice than the non-treated membranes.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(2), 328-344; doi:10.3390/jfb6020328 - published 27 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are a very promising class of metallic materials that display interesting nonlinear properties, such as pseudoelasticity (PE), shape memory effect (SME) and damping capacity, due to high mechanical hysteresis and internal friction. Our group has applied SMA in the field of neuromuscular rehabilitation, designing some new devices based on the mentioned SMA properties: in particular, a new type of orthosis for spastic limb repositioning, which allows residual voluntary movement of the impaired limb and has no predetermined final target position, but follows and supports muscular elongation in a dynamic and compliant way. Considering patients in the sub-acute phase after a neurological lesion, and possibly bedridden, the paper presents a mobiliser for the ankle joint, which is designed exploiting the SME to provide passive exercise to the paretic lower limb. Two different SMA-based applications in the field of neuroscience are then presented, a guide and a limb mobiliser specially designed to be compatible with diagnostic instrumentations that impose rigid constraints in terms of electromagnetic compatibility and noise distortion. Finally, the paper discusses possible uses of these materials in the treatment of movement disorders, such as dystonia or hyperkinesia, where their dynamic characteristics can be advantageous.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(2), 318-327; doi:10.3390/jfb6020318 - published 25 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Adverse reactions to metal-on-metal (MoM) prostheses are well known from total hip joint resurfacing arthroplasty with elevated serum chrome or cobalt, pain and pseudo tumor formation. It may, however, also be seen after total joint replacement of the trapeziometacarpal joint using MoM articulation, and we present two cases of failure of MoM prostheses due to elevated metal-serum levels in one case and pseudo tumor formation in another case. Furthermore, we suggest a diagnostic algorithm for joint pain after MoM trapeziometacarpal joint replacement based on published experiences from MoM hip prostheses and adverse reactions to metal.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(2), 299-317; doi:10.3390/jfb6020299 - published 20 May 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: NiTi (nickel-titanium) stents are nowadays commonly used for the percutaneous treatment of peripheral arterial disease. However, their effectiveness is still debated in the clinical field. In fact a peculiar cyclic biomechanical environment is created before and after stent implantation, with the risk of device fatigue failure. An accurate study of the device fatigue behavior is of primary importance to ensure a successful stenting procedure. Regulatory authorities recognize the possibility of performing computational analyses instead of experimental tests for the assessment of medical devices. However, confidence in numerical methods is only possible after verification and validation of the models used. For the case of NiTi stents, mechanical properties are strongly dependent on the device dimensions and the whole treatments undergone during manufacturing process. Hence, special attention should be paid to the accuracy of the description of the device geometry and the material properties implementation into the numerical code, as well as to the definition of the fatigue limit. In this paper, a path for setting up an effective numerical model for NiTi stent fatigue assessment is proposed and the results of its application in a specific case study are illustrated.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(2), 277-298; doi:10.3390/jfb6020277 - published 30 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Corneal diseases are the third leading cause of blindness globally. Topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroids, antibiotics and tissue transplantation are currently used to treat corneal pathological conditions. However, barrier properties of the ocular surface necessitate high concentration of the drugs applied in the eye repeatedly. This often results in poor efficacy and several side-effects. Nanoparticle-based molecular medicine seeks to overcome these limitations by enhancing the permeability and pharmacological properties of the drugs. The promise of nanomedicine approaches for treating corneal defects and restoring vision without side effects in preclinical animal studies has been demonstrated. Numerous polymeric, metallic and hybrid nanoparticles capable of transporting genes into desired corneal cells to intercept pathologic pathways and processes leading to blindness have been identified. This review provides an overview of corneal diseases, nanovector properties and their applications in drug-delivery and corneal disease management.