J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(3), 863-888; doi:10.3390/jfb6030863 - published 28 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(3), 849-862; doi:10.3390/jfb6030849 - published 25 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
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. 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.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(3), 833-848; doi:10.3390/jfb6030833 - published 7 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(3), 708-832; doi:10.3390/jfb6030708 - published 7 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(3), 687-707; doi:10.3390/jfb6030687 - published 6 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.
J. Funct. Biomater.2015, 6(3), 667-686; doi:10.3390/jfb6030667 - published 5 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
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 °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.