Properties and Characterization of Hydrogels Based on Biopolymers with Biomedical Applications

A special issue of Gels (ISSN 2310-2861). This special issue belongs to the section "Gel Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 2597

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Natural and Synthetic Polymers, Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Protection of the Environment, “Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University, 700050 Iaşi, Romania
Interests: hydrogel nano/microparticles; drug delivery systems; hydrogel films based on biopolymers; cross-linked polymers; functionalization of biopolymers; modification of polysaccharides

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Guest Editor
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, “Grigore T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 16 University Str., 700115 Iasi, Romania
Interests: cutaneous drug delivery; oral modified drug delivery systems; matrix solid dosage forms, nanoparticles as drug delivery systems; cosmetics and dermatocosmetics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on “Properties and Characterization of Hydrogels Based on Biopolymers with Biomedical Applications” is dedicated to recent developments from theoretical and fundamental aspects of the synthesis, characterization, and applications of hydrogels based on biopolymers (polysaccharides, polypeptides, and nucleic acids), such as drug delivery, cell carriers and entrapment, wound management, and tissue engineering.

Hydrogels are three-dimensional polymeric networks that can absorb substantial quantities of water or biological fluids and are obtained by chemical or physical cross-linking of the polymer chains. Due to their high water content, porosity, and soft texture, they simulate natural living tissue, making them a top choice among synthetic materials. Biopolymer-based hydrogels are biodegradable and biocompatible, making them highly versatile materials and useful in various fields, particularly in biomedicine. Polysaccharide, polypeptide, and nucleic acid-based hydrogels can be synthesized with unique and distinct properties tailored for specific applications.

Various types of hydrogels are available for biomedical applications, including pH-sensitive hydrogels, thermogels, electro-sensitive hydrogels, and light-sensitive hydrogels, which could be used in the field of drug delivery or regenerative medicine. Different theories, such as the Flory–Rehner theory, rubber elasticity theory, porosity, and pore size calculation, help to predict the value of gel elasticity, porosity, and the size of the polymer network meshes.

A multidisciplinary approach is necessary to understand better the properties of these biomaterials based on hydrogels used in biomedical applications and their interactions with cells and biological tissues. This approach can cover various topics such as synthesizing biopolymer-based hydrogels, hydrogel structure, interactions of macromolecules with biological tissue, properties of biomaterials used for specific biomedical applications such as drug delivery, cell carriers and entrapment, wound management, and tissue engineering. We encourage the submission of both original articles and review articles.

Dr. Camelia Elena Iurciuc-Tincu
Prof. Dr. Lacramioara Ochiuz
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Gels is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biomaterials
  • hydrogels
  • cross-linked biopolymers
  • polysaccharides
  • polypeptide
  • proteins
  • drug delivery systems

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 4024 KiB  
Article
Fabrication and Characterisation of Hydrogels with Reversible Wrinkled Surfaces for Limbal Study and Reconstruction
by Ryan L. Dimmock, Michael Rotherham, Alicia J. El Haj and Ying Yang
Gels 2023, 9(11), 915; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9110915 - 18 Nov 2023
Viewed by 952
Abstract
In the biomedical field, there is a demand for the development of novel approaches for the investigation of optical epithelial anatomical features with biomimetic materials. These materials are not only required to replicate structures but also enable dynamic modelling for disease states such [...] Read more.
In the biomedical field, there is a demand for the development of novel approaches for the investigation of optical epithelial anatomical features with biomimetic materials. These materials are not only required to replicate structures but also enable dynamic modelling for disease states such as limbal stem cell deficiency and ageing. In the present study, the effective generation of reversible wrinkled polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrates was undertaken to mimic the undulating anatomy of the limbal epithelial stem cell niche. This undulating surface pattern was formed through a dual treatment with acid oxidation and plasma using an innovatively designed stretching frame. This system enabled the PDMS substrate to undergo deformation and relaxation, creating a reversible and tuneable wrinkle pattern with cell culture applications. The crypt-like pattern exhibited a width of 70–130 µm and a depth of 17–40 µm, resembling the topography of a limbal epithelial stem cell niche, which is characterised by an undulating anatomy. The cytocompatibility of the patterned substrate was markedly improved using a gelatin methacrylate polymer (GelMa) coating. It was also observed that these wrinkled PDMS surfaces were able to dictate cell growth patterns, showing alignment in motile cells and colony segregation in colony-forming cells when using human and porcine limbal cells, respectively. Full article
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24 pages, 3178 KiB  
Article
Ex Vivo Functional Benchmarking of Hyaluronan-Based Osteoarthritis Viscosupplement Products: Comprehensive Assessment of Rheological, Lubricative, Adhesive, and Stability Attributes
by Alexandre Porcello, Farid Hadjab, Maryam Ajouaou, Virginie Philippe, Robin Martin, Philippe Abdel-Sayed, Nathalie Hirt-Burri, Corinne Scaletta, Wassim Raffoul, Lee Ann Applegate, Eric Allémann, Olivier Jordan and Alexis Laurent
Gels 2023, 9(10), 808; https://doi.org/10.3390/gels9100808 - 09 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1341
Abstract
While many injectable viscosupplementation products are available for osteoarthritis (OA) management, multiple hydrogel functional attributes may be further optimized for efficacy enhancement. The objective of this study was to functionally benchmark four commercially available hyaluronan-based viscosupplements (Ostenil, Ostenil Plus, Synvisc, and Innoryos), focusing [...] Read more.
While many injectable viscosupplementation products are available for osteoarthritis (OA) management, multiple hydrogel functional attributes may be further optimized for efficacy enhancement. The objective of this study was to functionally benchmark four commercially available hyaluronan-based viscosupplements (Ostenil, Ostenil Plus, Synvisc, and Innoryos), focusing on critical (rheological, lubricative, adhesive, and stability) attributes. Therefore, in vitro and ex vivo quantitative characterization panels (oscillatory rheology, rotational tribology, and texture analysis with bovine cartilage) were used for hydrogel product functional benchmarking, using equine synovial fluid as a biological control. Specifically, the retained experimental methodology enabled the authors to robustly assess and discuss various functional enhancement options for hyaluronan-based hydrogels (chemical cross-linking and addition of antioxidant stabilizing agents). The results showed that the Innoryos product, a niacinamide-augmented linear hyaluronan-based hydrogel, presented the best overall functional behavior in the retained experimental settings (high adhesivity and lubricity and substantial resistance to oxidative degradation). The Ostenil product was conversely shown to present less desirable functional properties for viscosupplementation compared to the other investigated products. Generally, this study confirmed the high importance of formulation development and control methodology optimization, aiming for the enhancement of novel OA-targeting product critical functional attributes and the probability of their clinical success. Overall, this work confirmed the tangible need for a comprehensive approach to hyaluronan-based viscosupplementation product functional benchmarking (product development and product selection by orthopedists) to maximize the chances of effective clinical OA management. Full article
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