J. Funct. Biomater.2014, 5(1), 15-26; doi:10.3390/jfb5010015 - published online 11 March 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: As a prominent concern regarding implantable devices, eliminating the threat of opportunistic bacterial infection represents a significant benefit to both patient health and device function. Current treatment options focus on chemical approaches to negate bacterial adhesion, however, these methods are in some ways limited. The scope of this study was to assess the efficacy of a novel means of modulating bacterial adhesion through the application of vibrations using magnetoelastic materials. Magnetoelastic materials possess unique magnetostrictive property that can convert a magnetic field stimulus into a mechanical deformation. In vitro experiments demonstrated that vibrational loads generated by the magnetoelastic materials significantly reduced the number of adherent bacteria on samples exposed to Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus suspensions. These experiments demonstrate that vibrational loads from magnetoelastic materials can be used as a post-deployment activated means to deter bacterial adhesion and device infection.
J. Funct. Biomater.2014, 5(1), 1-14; doi:10.3390/jfb5010001 - published online 3 January 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Titanium is biocompatible and widely utilized in a variety of applications. Recently, titanium in pico-nanometer scale and soluble form (Aqua Titan) has expanded its use to applied human health and performance. The purpose of this article is to review the current evidence associated with specific physiological responses to Aqua Titan-treated materials. In vitro studies have shown that application of Aqua Titan can modify membrane potential and long-term potentiation in isolated hippocampal neurons, suggesting reduced pain memory as a possible mechanism for reported analgesia. Proximal contact with Aqua Titan-treated titanium increased gene expression, protein synthesis, cell growth and adhesion in normal cultured muscle and bone cells, suggesting application for Aqua Titan in clinical implant procedures and wound healing. Evidence for beneficial effects on neuromuscular control of muscle-tendon function and improvements in running economy in human athletes was seen when Aqua Titan-treated tape was applied to the human triceps surae following fatigue induced by prior strenuous exercise. Finally, behavioral responses and effects on the autonomic nervous system to environmental exposure suggest Aqua Titan may promote a mild relaxant, or stress-suppressive response. Together, data suggest exposure to Aqua Titan-treated materials modulates aspects of growth and function in neuronal and other musculoskeletal cells with possible benefits to musculotendinous recovery from exercise and to the systemic response to stress.
J. Funct. Biomater.2013, 4(4), 358-375; doi:10.3390/jfb4040358 - published online 9 December 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Silver-particle-incorporated polyurethane films were evaluated for antimicrobial activity towards two different bacteria: Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). Distributed silver particles sourced from silver nitrate, silver lactate and preformed silver nanoparticles were mixed with polyurethane (PU) and variously characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and contact angle measurement. Antibacterial activity against E.coli was confirmed for films loaded with 10% (w/w) AgNO3, 1% and 10% (w/w) Ag lactate and preformed Ag nanoparticles. All were active against S. aureus, but Ag nanoparticles loaded with PU had a minor effect. The apparent antibacterial performance of Ag lactate-loaded PU is better than other Ag ion-loaded films, revealed from the zone of inhibition study. The better performance of silver lactate-loaded PU was the likely result of a porous PU structure. FESEM and FTIR indicated direct interaction of silver with the PU backbone, and XRD patterns confirmed that face-centred cubic-type silver, representative of Ag metal, was present. Young’s modulus, tensile strength and the hardness of silver containing PU films were not adversely affected and possibly marginally increased with silver incorporation. Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) indicated greater thermal stability.
J. Funct. Biomater.2013, 4(4), 329-357; doi:10.3390/jfb4040329 - published online 21 November 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This study investigates the use of gallium (Ga) based glass polyalkenoate cements (GPCs) as a possible alternative adhesive in sternal fixation, post sternotomy surgery. The glass series consists of a Control (CaO–ZnO–SiO2), and LGa-1 and LGa-2 which contain Ga at the expense of zinc (Zn) in 0.08 mol% increments. The additions of Ga resulted in increased working time (75 s to 137 s) and setting time (113 to 254 s). Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis indicated that this was a direct result of increased unreacted poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) and the reduction of crosslink formation during cement maturation. LGa samples (0.16 wt % Ga) resulted in an altered ion release profile, particularly for 30 days analysis, with maximum Ca2+, Zn2+, Si4+ and Ga3+ ions released into the distilled water. The additions of Ga resulted in increased roughness and decreased contact angles during cement maturation. The presence of Ga has a positive effect on the compressive strength of the samples with strengths increasing over 10 MPa at 7 days analysis compared to the 1 day results. The additions of Ga had relatively no effect on the flexural strength. Tensile testing of bovine sterna proved that the LGa samples (0.16 wt % Ga) are comparable to the Control samples.
J. Funct. Biomater.2013, 4(4), 312-328; doi:10.3390/jfb4040312 - published online 19 November 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Purpose: to design, assemble and test a prototype of a novel production plant, suitable for producing microparticles (MPs) by processing highly viscous feed solutions (FSs). Methods: the prototype has been built using a commercial air compressor, a piston pump, an airless spray-gun, a customized air-treatment section, a timer, a rotating base, and a filtration section. Preliminary prototype parameter setting was carried out to individuate the best performing nozzle’s dimension, the nebulization timing, and the CaCl2 concentration in the gelation fluid. In addition, prototype throughput (1 L to 5 L) and the range of practicable feed solution (FS) viscosities were assayed. A set of four batches was prepared in order to characterize the MPs, in terms of mean particle size and distribution, flow properties, swelling, encapsulation efficiency and release. Results: according to a qualitative scoring, the large nozzle was suitable to nebulize FSs at a higher alginate concentration. Conversely, the small nozzle performed better in the processing of FSs with an alginate concentration up to 2% w/v. Only at the highest degree of viscosity, corresponding to 5% w/v of alginate, the FS processing was not technically possible. Among the CaCl2 concentrations considered, 15% w/v was recognized as the most versatile. The prototype appears to be convenient and suitable to grant a high yield starting from 2 L of FS. The flow behavior of the FSs assayed can be satisfactorily described with the Carreau-Yasuda equation and the throughput begins to slightly decrease for FSs at alginate concentrations exceeding 3% w/v. MP morphology was irregular with crumpled shape. The angle of repose indicates a good flowability and the release studies showed gastro-resistance and potential prolonged release applications. Conclusions: the novel prototype of production plant is suitable to process large amounts (2 L or more) of FSs, characterized by a high viscosity, to produce MPs suitable for bioactive principle delivery.
J. Funct. Biomater.2013, 4(4), 209-311; doi:10.3390/jfb4040209 - published online 12 November 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In early 1980s, researchers discovered self-setting calcium orthophosphate cements, which are bioactive and biodegradable grafting bioceramics in the form of a powder and a liquid. After mixing, both phases form pastes, which set and harden forming either a non-stoichiometric calcium deficient hydroxyapatite or brushite. Since both of them are remarkably biocompartible, bioresorbable and osteoconductive, self-setting calcium orthophosphate formulations appear to be promising bioceramics for bone grafting. Furthermore, such formulations possess excellent molding capabilities, easy manipulation and nearly perfect adaptation to the complex shapes of bone defects, followed by gradual bioresorption and new bone formation. In addition, reinforced formulations have been introduced, which might be described as calcium orthophosphate concretes. The discovery of self-setting properties opened up a new era in the medical application of calcium orthophosphates and many commercial trademarks have been introduced as a result. Currently such formulations are widely used as synthetic bone grafts, with several advantages, such as pourability and injectability. Moreover, their low-temperature setting reactions and intrinsic porosity allow loading by drugs, biomolecules and even cells for tissue engineering purposes. In this review, an insight into the self-setting calcium orthophosphate formulations, as excellent bioceramics suitable for both dental and bone grafting applications, has been provided.