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Polymer Materials for Application in Biomedical Fields

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Macromolecules".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 9172

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Scienze della Vita, Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, Via J. H. Dunant 3, 21100 Varese, Italy
Interests: polymer chemistry; polyinsertion catalysis; ring opening polymerization; radical controlled polymerization; polymers for drug-delivery; inherently antimicrobial polymers; polyelectrolytes

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Scienze della Vita, Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, Via J. H. Dunant 3, 21100 Varese, Italy
Interests: organometallic synthesis; polyinsertion catalysis; ring opening polymerization; radical controlled polymerization; CO2 fixation reactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the past three decades, polymers have emerged as a promising class of materials, finding a plethora of applications in many fields. The rapid development of a large variety of polymer synthesis and characterization methods allows for the design of novel multifunctional materials exhibiting a wide variety of structures as well as tailored physical, chemical, surface, and biomimetic features. Such versatility opens up new research topics in the biomedical field, such as the development of antimicrobial polymers, tissue engineering, as well as understanding of the interactions between biological systems and biopolymers.

This Special Issue entitled Polymer Materials for Application in Biomedical Fields aims at presenting recent advances in both experimental and computational research on the chemical, physical, and biological aspects of the design, synthesis, characterization, and applications of biomedical polymers.

We invite submissions covering either the development of novel biomedical polymers, or new advances in the use of well-known polymer materials (both natural and synthetic) for applications in biomedical fields. Review articles describing recent trends in these fields are also welcome.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Development of antimicrobial polymers
  • Polymers for surgery applications
  • Polymers for diagnosis
  • Polymer materials for drug and gene delivery
  • Functionalization of natural occurring polymers for biomedical applications

Dr. Lorella Izzo
Dr. Orlando Santoro
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. 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.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 2404 KiB  
Article
Chitosan/Pomegranate Seed Oil Emulgel Composition as a New Strategy for Dermal Delivery of Hydrocortisone
by Zofia Helena Bagińska, Magdalena Paczkowska-Walendowska, Anna Basa, Michał Rachalewski, Karolina Lendzion, Judyta Cielecka-Piontek and Emilia Szymańska
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(7), 3765; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25073765 - 28 Mar 2024
Viewed by 734
Abstract
Multifunctional delivery systems capable of modulating drug release and exerting adjunctive pharmacological activity have attracted particular attention. Chitosan (CS) and pomegranate seed oil (PO) appear to be attractive bioactive components framing the strategy of complex therapy and multifunctional drug carriers. This research is [...] Read more.
Multifunctional delivery systems capable of modulating drug release and exerting adjunctive pharmacological activity have attracted particular attention. Chitosan (CS) and pomegranate seed oil (PO) appear to be attractive bioactive components framing the strategy of complex therapy and multifunctional drug carriers. This research is aimed at evaluating the potential of CS in combination with PO in studies on topical emulgels containing hydrocortisone as a model anti-inflammatory agent. Its particular goal was to distinguish alterations in anti-inflammatory action followed with drug dissolution or penetrative behavior between the designed formulations that differ in CS/PO weight ratio. All formulations favored hydrocortisone release with up to a two-fold increase in the drug dissolution rate within first 5 h as compared to conventional topical preparations. The clear effect of CS/PO on the emulgel biological performance was observed, and CS was found to be prerequisite for the modulation of hydrocortisone absorption and accumulation. In turn, a greater amount of PO played the predominant role in the inhibition of hyaluronidase activity and enhanced the anti-inflammatory effect of preparation E-3. Emulgels showed a negligible reduction in mouse fibroblasts’ L929 cell viability, confirming their non-irritancy with skin cells. Overall, the designed formulation with a CS/PO ratio of 6:4 appeared to be the most promising topical carrier for the effective treatment of inflammatory skin diseases among the tested subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Materials for Application in Biomedical Fields)
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18 pages, 5501 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Nanoparticles Covalently Bound with BODIPY for Their Photodynamic Therapy Applicability
by Miryam Chiara Malacarne, Enrico Caruso, Marzia Bruna Gariboldi, Emanuela Marras, Gianluca Della Bitta, Orlando Santoro, Alan Simm, Rong Li and Calum T. J. Ferguson
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(6), 3187; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25063187 - 10 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1060
Abstract
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) relies on the combined action of a photosensitizer (PS), light at an appropriate wavelength, and oxygen, to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) that lead to cell death. However, this therapeutic modality presents some limitations, such as the poor water solubility [...] Read more.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) relies on the combined action of a photosensitizer (PS), light at an appropriate wavelength, and oxygen, to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) that lead to cell death. However, this therapeutic modality presents some limitations, such as the poor water solubility of PSs and their limited selectivity. To overcome these problems, research has exploited nanoparticles (NPs). This project aimed to synthesize a PS, belonging to the BODIPY family, covalently link it to two NPs that differ in their lipophilic character, and then evaluate their photodynamic activity on SKOV3 and MCF7 tumor cell lines. Physicochemical analyses demonstrated that both NPs are suitable for PDT, as they are resistant to photobleaching and have good singlet oxygen (1O2) production. In vitro biological analyses showed that BODIPY has greater photodynamic activity in the free form than its NP-bounded counterpart, probably due to greater cellular uptake. To evaluate the main mechanisms involved in PDT-induced cell death, flow cytometric analyses were performed and showed that free BODIPY mainly induced necrosis, while once bound to NP, it seemed to prefer apoptosis. A scratch wound healing test indicated that all compounds partially inhibited cellular migration of SKOV3 cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Materials for Application in Biomedical Fields)
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14 pages, 4195 KiB  
Article
Supercritical Impregnation of Mesoglycan and Lactoferrin on Polyurethane Electrospun Fibers for Wound Healing Applications
by Stefania Mottola, Gianluca Viscusi, Giovanna Iannone, Raffaella Belvedere, Antonello Petrella, Iolanda De Marco and Giuliana Gorrasi
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(11), 9269; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24119269 - 25 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1337
Abstract
Fibrous membranes of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) were fabricated through a uni-axial electrospinning process. Fibers were then separately charged with two pharmacological agents, mesoglycan (MSG) and lactoferrin (LF), by supercritical CO2 impregnation. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) analysis [...] Read more.
Fibrous membranes of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) were fabricated through a uni-axial electrospinning process. Fibers were then separately charged with two pharmacological agents, mesoglycan (MSG) and lactoferrin (LF), by supercritical CO2 impregnation. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) analysis proved the formation of a micrometric structure with a homogeneous distribution of mesoglycan and lactoferrin. Besides, the degree of retention is calculated in four liquid media with different pHs. At the same time, angle contact analysis proved the formation of a hydrophobic membrane loaded with MSG and a hydrophilic LF-loaded one. The impregnation kinetics demonstrated a maximum loaded amount equal to 0.18 ± 0.20% and 0.07 ± 0.05% for MSG and LT, respectively. In vitro tests were performed using a Franz diffusion cell to simulate the contact with the human skin. The release of MSG reaches a plateau after about 28 h while LF release leveled off after 15 h. The in vitro compatibility of electrospun membranes has been evaluated on HaCaT and BJ cell lines, as human keratinocytes and fibroblasts, respectively. The reported data proved the potential application of fabricated membranes for wound healing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Materials for Application in Biomedical Fields)
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Review

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20 pages, 2668 KiB  
Review
Antimicrobial Polymer Surfaces Containing Quaternary Ammonium Centers (QACs): Synthesis and Mechanism of Action
by Orlando Santoro and Lorella Izzo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2024, 25(14), 7587; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms25147587 - 10 Jul 2024
Viewed by 447
Abstract
Synthetic polymer surfaces provide an excellent opportunity for developing materials with inherent antimicrobial and/or biocidal activity, therefore representing an answer to the increasing demand for antimicrobial active medical devices. So far, biologists and material scientists have identified a few features of bacterial cells [...] Read more.
Synthetic polymer surfaces provide an excellent opportunity for developing materials with inherent antimicrobial and/or biocidal activity, therefore representing an answer to the increasing demand for antimicrobial active medical devices. So far, biologists and material scientists have identified a few features of bacterial cells that can be strategically exploited to make polymers inherently antimicrobial. One of these is represented by the introduction of cationic charges that act by killing or deactivating bacteria by interaction with the negatively charged parts of their cell envelope (lipopolysaccharides, peptidoglycan, and membrane lipids). Among the possible cationic functionalities, the antimicrobial activity of polymers with quaternary ammonium centers (QACs) has been widely used for both soluble macromolecules and non-soluble materials. Unfortunately, most information is still unknown on the biological mechanism of action of QACs, a fundamental requirement for designing polymers with higher antimicrobial efficiency and possibly very low toxicity. This mini-review focuses on surfaces based on synthetic polymers with inherently antimicrobial activity due to QACs. It will discuss their synthesis, their antimicrobial activity, and studies carried out so far on their mechanism of action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Materials for Application in Biomedical Fields)
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23 pages, 1291 KiB  
Review
Novel Material Optimization Strategies for Developing Upgraded Abdominal Meshes
by Alfred Najm, Adelina-Gabriela Niculescu, Marius Rădulescu, Bogdan Severus Gaspar, Alexandru Mihai Grumezescu and Mircea Beuran
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(18), 14298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241814298 - 19 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1216
Abstract
Over 20 million hernias are operated on globally per year, with most interventions requiring mesh reinforcement. A wide range of such medical devices are currently available on the market, most fabricated from synthetic polymers. Yet, searching for an ideal mesh is an ongoing [...] Read more.
Over 20 million hernias are operated on globally per year, with most interventions requiring mesh reinforcement. A wide range of such medical devices are currently available on the market, most fabricated from synthetic polymers. Yet, searching for an ideal mesh is an ongoing process, with continuous efforts directed toward developing upgraded implants by modifying existing products or creating innovative systems from scratch. In this regard, this review presents the most frequently employed polymers for mesh fabrication, outlining the market available products and their relevant characteristics, further focusing on the state-of-the-art mesh approaches. Specifically, we mainly discuss recent studies concerning coating application, nanomaterials addition, stem cell seeding, and 3D printing of custom mesh designs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Materials for Application in Biomedical Fields)
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32 pages, 478 KiB  
Review
Biodegradable Polymer-Based Drug-Delivery Systems for Ocular Diseases
by Ta-Hsin Tsung, Yu-Chien Tsai, Hsin-Pei Lee, Yi-Hao Chen and Da-Wen Lu
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(16), 12976; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241612976 - 19 Aug 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3448
Abstract
Ocular drug delivery is a challenging field due to the unique anatomical and physiological barriers of the eye. Biodegradable polymers have emerged as promising tools for efficient and controlled drug delivery in ocular diseases. This review provides an overview of biodegradable polymer-based drug-delivery [...] Read more.
Ocular drug delivery is a challenging field due to the unique anatomical and physiological barriers of the eye. Biodegradable polymers have emerged as promising tools for efficient and controlled drug delivery in ocular diseases. This review provides an overview of biodegradable polymer-based drug-delivery systems for ocular diseases with emphasis on the potential for biodegradable polymers to overcome the limitations of conventional methods, allowing for sustained drug release, improved bioavailability, and targeted therapy. Natural and synthetic polymers are both discussed, highlighting their biodegradability and biocompatibility. Various formulation strategies, such as nanoparticles, hydrogels, and microemulsions, among others, are investigated, detailing preparation methods, drug encapsulation, and clinical applications. The focus is on anterior and posterior segment drug delivery, covering glaucoma, corneal disorders, ocular inflammation, retinal diseases, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. Safety considerations, such as biocompatibility evaluations, in vivo toxicity studies, and clinical safety, are addressed. Future perspectives encompass advancements, regulatory considerations, and clinical translation challenges. In conclusion, biodegradable polymers offer potential for efficient and targeted ocular drug delivery, improving therapeutic outcomes while reducing side effects. Further research is needed to optimize formulation strategies and address regulatory requirements for successful clinical implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Materials for Application in Biomedical Fields)
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