J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(1), 81-103; doi:10.3390/jfb6010081 - published 17 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Tumors are complex tissues that consist of stromal cells, such as fibroblasts, immune cells and mesenchymal stem cells, as well as non-cellular components, in addition to neoplastic cells. Increasingly, there is evidence to suggest that these non-neoplastic cell components support cancer initiation, progression and metastasis and that their ablation or reprogramming can inhibit tumor growth. Our understanding of the activities of different parts of the tumor stroma in advancing cancer has been improved by the use of scaffold and matrix-based 3D systems originally developed for regenerative medicine. Additionally, drug delivery systems made from synthetic and natural biomaterials deliver drugs to kill stromal cells or reprogram the microenvironment for tumor inhibition. In this article, we review the impact of 3D tumor models in increasing our understanding of tumorigenesis. We also discuss how different drug delivery systems aid in the reprogramming of tumor stroma for cancer treatment.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(1), 77-80; doi:10.3390/jfb6010077 - published 17 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Tissue engineering (TE) is a concept that was first emerged in the early 1990s to provide solutions to severe injured tissues and/or organs . The dream was to be able to restore and replace the damaged tissue with an engineered version which would ultimately help overcome problems such as donor shortages, graft rejections, and inflammatory responses following transplantation. While an incredible amount of progress has been made, suggesting that TE concept is viable, we are still not able to overcome major obstacles. In TE, there are two main strategies that researchers have adopted: (1) cell-based, where cells are been manipulated to create their own environment before transplanted to the host, and (2) scaffold-based, where an extracellular matrix is created to mimic in vivo structures. TE approaches for ocular tissues are available and have indeed come a long way, over the last decades; however more clinically relevant ocular tissue substitutes are needed. Figure 1 highlights the importance of TE in ocular applications and indicates the avenues available based on each tissue.[...]
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(1), 66-76; doi:10.3390/jfb6010066 - published 16 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Nickel-titanium (NiTi) instruments are commonly used for shaping the root canal system in endodontic practice.They are more flexible and have better cutting efficiency than conventional stainless steel files. The superelasticity of NiTi rotary files allows the clinicians to produce the desirable tapered root canal form with a reduced tendency to canal transportation and instrument fracture. HyFlex CM instruments are new NiTi rotary instruments with shape memory produced by an innovative methodology (patent pending) that uses a complex heating and cooling treatment that controls the material’s memory. The aim of the present study was to compare the cleaning efficacy of two conventional (Mtwo, Revo-S) Ni-Ti rotary instruments with HyFlex CM. 30 single-rooted freshly extracted teeth were divided into three groups. Root canals were shaped with three NiTi instruments (Mtwo, Revo-S and HyFlex CM) using 5.25% NaOCl and 17% EDTA solutions. Specimens were fractured longitudinally and prepared for SEM analysis at standard magnification of 1000×. The presence/absence of debris smear layer and the presence/absence of smear layer at coronal, middle, and apical third of each canal were evaluated using a 5-step scale for scores. Numeric data were analyzed using Kruskall-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U statistical tests and significance was predetermined at P < 0.05. This study revealed significant differences among the various groups. Despite some minor differences, all instruments removed smear layer and debris produced during instrumentation. HyFlex CM seem to be not so effective in promoting cleanliness of root canal walls and in removing smear layer from dentine if compared to Mtwo and Revo-S.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(1), 50-65; doi:10.3390/jfb6010050 - published 22 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Corneal blindness affects over 10 million people worldwide and current treatment strategies often involve replacement of the defective layer with healthy tissue. Due to a worldwide donor cornea shortage and the absence of suitable biological scaffolds, recent research has focused on the development of tissue engineering techniques to create alternative therapies. This review will detail how we have refined the simple engineering technique of plastic compression of collagen to a process we now call Real Architecture for 3D Tissues (RAFT). The RAFT production process has been standardised, and steps have been taken to consider Good Manufacturing Practice compliance. The evolution of this process has allowed us to create biomimetic epithelial and endothelial tissue equivalents suitable for transplantation and ideal for studying cell-cell interactions in vitro.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(1), 33-49; doi:10.3390/jfb6010033 - published 14 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Previous reports indicate that N-acetyl-d-glucosamine oligomers (chitin oligosaccharide; NACOS) and d-glucosamine oligomers (chitosan oligosaccharide; COS) have various biological activities, especially against cancer and inflammation. In this review, we have summarized the findings of previous investigations that have focused on anticancer or anti-inflammatory properties of NACOS and COS. Moreover, we have introduced recent evaluation of NACOS and COS as functional foods against cancer and inflammatory disease.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(1), 16-32; doi:10.3390/jfb6010016 - published 13 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: It has been demonstrated that three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models represent fundamental tools for the comprehension of cellular phenomena both for normal and cancerous tissues. Indeed, the microenvironment affects the cellular behavior as well as the response to drugs. In this study, we performed a morphological analysis on a hepatocarcinoma cell line, HepG2, grown for 24 days inside a bioartificial hydrogel composed of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and gelatin (G) to model a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in 3D. Morphological features of PVA/G hydrogels were investigated, resulting to mimic the trabecular structure of liver parenchyma. A histologic analysis comparing the 3D models with HepG2 cell monolayers and tumor specimens was performed. In the 3D setting, HepG2 cells were viable and formed large cellular aggregates showing different morphotypes with zonal distribution. Furthermore, β-actin and α5β1 integrin revealed a morphotype-related expression; in particular, the frontline cells were characterized by a strong immunopositivity on a side border of their membrane, thus suggesting the formation of lamellipodia-like structures apt for migration. Based on these results, we propose PVA/G hydrogels as valuable substrates to develop a long term 3D HCC model that can be used to investigate important aspects of tumor biology related to migration phenomena.