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Naturally Derived Macromolecular Compounds for Biomedical, Pharmaceutical, Cosmetic, and Food Applications - in Memory of Professor Federica Chiellini

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 (15 August 2022) | Viewed by 31736

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacy, University of Pisa, 56126 Pisa, Italy
Interests: nanomedicine; drug delivery; pharmaceutics and pharmaceutical technology; polymeric biomaterials; biodegradable polymers
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry, University of Pisa, 56126 Pisa, Italy
Interests: biomaterials; tissue engineering; biodegradable polymers; polyhydroxyalkanoates; polymeric composites; additive manufacturing; electrospinning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In nature, macromolecules play different roles including support, storage, protection, transport, stimulation and communication among cells and microorganisms. The observation of nature and the awareness of scientists towards those functions have encouraged the growth of modern research and applicative fields, such as nanotechnology, tissue engineering, drug delivery and regenerative medicine. Additionally, industrial interest for macromolecules also covers cosmetics, food and nutraceutical applications. The described growth is aimed at improving our living conditions, respecting nature laws and the environment that surrounds us. This vision includes the extraction and use of natural macromolecules, as well as the biofunctionalization of semi-synthetic structures and their transformation into biocompatible and functional products.

This Special Issue aims to collect research contributions and critical reviews concerning naturally derived macromolecular compounds for biomedical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food applications. This Special Issue is dedicated to the memory of Professor Federica Chiellini, a truly admirable person, friend, and insatiable scientist. Federica died prematurely last March, 2021. Her studies have been a stimulus for many of us, marking the progress of research in polymers and macromolecules applications.

Prof. Dr. Anna Maria Piras
Dr. Dario Puppi
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • drug delivery
  • 3D printing
  • tissue engineering
  • pharmaceutical
  • nutraceutical
  • cosmetics
  • food
  • polysaccharides
  • chitosan
  • polyhydroxyalkanoates
  • green chemistry

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 7161 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Electrospun Poly(ε-caprolactone) and Poly(lactic acid) Fiber Scaffolds to Generate 3D In Vitro Models of Colorectal Adenocarcinoma: A Preliminary Study
by Claudio Ricci, Bahareh Azimi, Luca Panariello, Benedetta Antognoli, Beatrice Cecchini, Roberta Rovelli, Meruyert Rustembek, Patrizia Cinelli, Mario Milazzo, Serena Danti and Andrea Lazzeri
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(11), 9443; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24119443 - 29 May 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1389
Abstract
Three-dimensional scaffold-based culture has been increasingly gaining influence in oncology as a therapeutic strategy for tumors with a high relapse percentage. This study aims to evaluate electrospun poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(lactic acid) (PLA) scaffolds to create a 3D model of colorectal adenocarcinoma. Specifically, [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional scaffold-based culture has been increasingly gaining influence in oncology as a therapeutic strategy for tumors with a high relapse percentage. This study aims to evaluate electrospun poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and poly(lactic acid) (PLA) scaffolds to create a 3D model of colorectal adenocarcinoma. Specifically, the physico-mechanical and morphological properties of PCL and PLA electrospun fiber meshes collected at different drum velocities, i.e., 500 rpm, 1000 rpm and 2500 rpm, were assessed. Fiber size, mesh porosity, pore size distribution, water contact angle and tensile mechanical properties were investigated. Caco-2 cells were cultured on the produced PCL and PLA scaffolds for 7 days, demonstrating good cell viability and metabolic activity in all the scaffolds. A cross-analysis of the cell–scaffold interactions with morphological, mechanical and surface characterizations of the different electrospun fiber meshes was carried out, showing an opposite trend of cell metabolic activity in PLA and PCL scaffolds regardless of the fiber alignment, which increased in PLA and decreased in PCL. The best samples for Caco-2 cell culture were PCL500 (randomly oriented fibers) and PLA2500 (aligned fibers). Caco-2 cells had the highest metabolic activity in these scaffolds, with Young’s moduli in the range of 8.6–21.9 MPa. PCL500 showed Young’s modulus and strain at break close to those of the large intestine. Advancements in 3D in vitro models of colorectal adenocarcinoma could move forward the development of therapies for this cancer. Full article
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19 pages, 3347 KiB  
Article
Effect of Polydeoxyribonucleotide (PDRN) Treatment on Corneal Wound Healing in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
by Shan Lakmal Edirisinghe, Chamilani Nikapitiya, S. H. S. Dananjaya, Jungho Park, Dukgyu Kim, Dongrack Choi and Mahanama De Zoysa
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(21), 13525; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232113525 - 04 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3153
Abstract
This study aimed to develop a corneal epithelial injury model in zebrafish (Danio rerio) and investigate the effectiveness of polydeoxyribonucleotide (PDRN) treatment on in vivo corneal epithelial regeneration and wound healing. Chemical injury to zebrafish cornea was produced by placing a [...] Read more.
This study aimed to develop a corneal epithelial injury model in zebrafish (Danio rerio) and investigate the effectiveness of polydeoxyribonucleotide (PDRN) treatment on in vivo corneal epithelial regeneration and wound healing. Chemical injury to zebrafish cornea was produced by placing a small cotton swab containing 3% acetic acid solution. PDRN treatment was performed by immersing corneal-injured zebrafish in water containing PDRN (2 mg/mL) for 10 min at 0, 24, 48, and 72 h post-injury (hpi). The level of corneal healing was evaluated by fluorescein staining, histological examination, transcriptional profiling, and immunoblotting techniques. Fluorescein staining results demonstrate that PDRN treatment significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the wounded area of the zebrafish eye at 48 and 72 hpi, suggesting that PDRN may accelerate the corneal re-epithelialization. Histopathological evaluation revealed that injured corneal epithelial cells were re-organized at 72 hpi upon PDRN treatment with increased goblet cell density and size. Moreover, transcriptional analysis results demonstrate that PDRN treatment induced the mRNA expression of adora2ab (6.3-fold), pax6a (7.8-fold), pax6b (29.3-fold), klf4 (7.3-fold), and muc2.1 (5.0-fold) after the first treatment. Besides, tnf-α (2.0-fold) and heat-shock proteins (hsp70; 2.8-fold and hsp90ab1; 1.6-fold) have modulated the gene expression following the PDRN treatment. Immunoblotting results convincingly confirmed the modulation of Mmp-9, Hsp70, and Tnf-α expression levels upon PDRN treatment. Overall, our corneal injury model in zebrafish allows for understanding the morphological and molecular events of corneal epithelial healing, and ophthalmic responses for PDRN treatment following acid injury in zebrafish. Full article
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12 pages, 2978 KiB  
Article
Bio-Nanohybrid Gelatin/Quantum Dots for Cellular Imaging and Biosensing Applications
by Sangram Keshari Samal, Stefaan Soenen, Dario Puppi, Karolien De Wael, Sanghamitra Pati, Stefaan De Smedt, Kevin Braeckmans and Peter Dubruel
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(19), 11867; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms231911867 - 06 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1282
Abstract
The bio-nanohybrid gelatin protein/cadmium sulfide (Gel/CdS) quantum dots (QDs) have been designed via a facile one-pot strategy. The amino acids group of gelatin chelate Cd2+ and grow CdS QDs without any agglomeration. The 1H NMR spectra indicate that during the above [...] Read more.
The bio-nanohybrid gelatin protein/cadmium sulfide (Gel/CdS) quantum dots (QDs) have been designed via a facile one-pot strategy. The amino acids group of gelatin chelate Cd2+ and grow CdS QDs without any agglomeration. The 1H NMR spectra indicate that during the above process there are no alterations of the gelatin protein structure conformation and chemical functionalities. The prepared Gel/CdS QDs were characterized and their potential as a system for cellular imaging and the electrochemical sensor for hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) detection applications were investigated. The obtained results demonstrate that the developed Gel/CdS QDs system could offer a simple and convenient operating strategy both for the class of contrast agents for cell labeling and electrochemical sensors purposes. Full article
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16 pages, 2231 KiB  
Article
Jellyfish Polysaccharides for Wound Healing Applications
by Chiara Migone, Noemi Scacciati, Brunella Grassiri, Marinella De Leo, Alessandra Braca, Dario Puppi, Ylenia Zambito and Anna Maria Piras
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(19), 11491; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms231911491 - 29 Sep 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2338
Abstract
Jellyfishes are considered a new potential resource in food, pharmaceutical and biomedical industries. In these latter cases, they are studied as source of active principles but are also exploited to produce marine collagen. In the present work, jellyfish skin polysaccharides (JSP) with glycosaminoglycan [...] Read more.
Jellyfishes are considered a new potential resource in food, pharmaceutical and biomedical industries. In these latter cases, they are studied as source of active principles but are also exploited to produce marine collagen. In the present work, jellyfish skin polysaccharides (JSP) with glycosaminoglycan (GAG) features were extracted from Rhizostoma pulmo, a main blooming species of Mediterranean Sea, massively augmented by climate leaded “jellyfishication” of the sea. Two main fractions of R. pulmo JSP (RP-JSPs) were isolated and characterized, namely a neutral fraction (RP-JSP1) and a sulphate rich, negatively charged fraction (RP-JSP2). The two fractions have average molecular weights of 121 kDa and 590 kDa, respectively. Their sugar composition was evaluated through LC-MS analysis and the result confirmed the presence of typical GAG saccharides, such as glucose, galactose, glucosamine and galactosamine. Their use as promoters of wound healing was evaluated through in vitro scratch assay on murine fibroblast cell line (BALB/3T3 clone A31) and human keratinocytes (HaCaT). Both RP-JSPs demonstrated an effective confluency rate activity leading to 80% of scratch repair in two days, promoting both cell migration and proliferation. Additionally, RP-JSPs exerted a substantial protection from oxidative stress, resulting in improved viability of treated fibroblasts exposed to H2O2. The isolated GAG-like polysaccharides appear promising as functional component for biomedical skin treatments, as well as for future exploitation as pharmaceutical excipients. Full article
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25 pages, 4910 KiB  
Article
Additive Manufacturing of Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate)/Poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) Biphasic Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Regeneration
by Gianni Pecorini, Simona Braccini, Gianluca Parrini, Federica Chiellini and Dario Puppi
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(7), 3895; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23073895 - 31 Mar 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2298
Abstract
Polyhydroxyalkanoates are biopolyesters whose biocompatibility, biodegradability, environmental sustainability, processing versatility, and mechanical properties make them unique scaffolding polymer candidates for tissue engineering. The development of innovative biomaterials suitable for advanced Additive Manufacturing (AM) offers new opportunities for the fabrication of customizable tissue engineering [...] Read more.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates are biopolyesters whose biocompatibility, biodegradability, environmental sustainability, processing versatility, and mechanical properties make them unique scaffolding polymer candidates for tissue engineering. The development of innovative biomaterials suitable for advanced Additive Manufacturing (AM) offers new opportunities for the fabrication of customizable tissue engineering scaffolds. In particular, the blending of polymers represents a useful strategy to develop AM scaffolding materials tailored to bone tissue engineering. In this study, scaffolds from polymeric blends consisting of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) and poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) were fabricated employing a solution-extrusion AM technique, referred to as Computer-Aided Wet-Spinning (CAWS). The scaffold fibers were constituted by a biphasic system composed of a continuous PHBV matrix and a dispersed PLGA phase which established a microfibrillar morphology. The influence of the blend composition on the scaffold morphological, physicochemical, and biological properties was demonstrated by means of different characterization techniques. In particular, increasing the content of PLGA in the starting solution resulted in an increase in the pore size, the wettability, and the thermal stability of the scaffolds. Overall, in vitro biological experiments indicated the suitability of the scaffolds to support murine preosteoblast cell colonization and differentiation towards an osteoblastic phenotype, highlighting higher proliferation for scaffolds richer in PLGA. Full article
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17 pages, 5422 KiB  
Article
A Modular Composite Device of Poly(Ethylene Oxide)/Poly(Butylene Terephthalate) (PEOT/PBT) Nanofibers and Gelatin as a Dual Drug Delivery System for Local Therapy of Soft Tissue Tumors
by Anna Liguori, Alessandro De Vita, Giulia Rossi, Luisa Stella Dolci, Silvia Panzavolta, Chiara Gualandi, Laura Mercatali, Toni Ibrahim and Maria Letizia Focarete
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(6), 3239; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23063239 - 17 Mar 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2054
Abstract
In the clinical management of solid tumors, the possibility to successfully couple the regeneration of injured tissues with the elimination of residual tumor cells left after surgery could open doors to new therapeutic strategies. In this work, we present a composite hydrogel–electrospun nanofiber [...] Read more.
In the clinical management of solid tumors, the possibility to successfully couple the regeneration of injured tissues with the elimination of residual tumor cells left after surgery could open doors to new therapeutic strategies. In this work, we present a composite hydrogel–electrospun nanofiber scaffold, showing a modular architecture for the delivery of two pharmaceutics with distinct release profiles, that is potentially suitable for local therapy and post-surgical treatment of solid soft tumors. The composite was obtained by coupling gelatin hydrogels to poly(ethylene oxide)/poly(butylene terephthalate) block copolymer nanofibers. Results of the scaffolds’ characterization, together with the analysis of gelatin and drug release kinetics, displayed the possibility to modulate the device architecture to control the release kinetics of the drugs, also providing evidence of their activity. In vitro analyses were also performed using a human epithelioid sarcoma cell line. Furthermore, publicly available expression datasets were interrogated. Confocal imaging showcased the nontoxicity of these devices in vitro. ELISA assays confirmed a modulation of IL-10 inflammation-related cytokine supporting the role of this device in tissue repair. In silico analysis confirmed the role of IL-10 in solid tumors including 262 patients affected by sarcoma as a negative prognostic marker for overall survival. In conclusion, the developed modular composite device may provide a key-enabling technology for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma. Full article
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14 pages, 2727 KiB  
Article
Thiolated Hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin: A Potential Multifunctional Excipient for Ocular Drug Delivery
by Brunella Grassiri, Patrick Knoll, Angela Fabiano, Anna Maria Piras, Ylenia Zambito and Andreas Bernkop-Schnürch
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(5), 2612; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23052612 - 26 Feb 2022
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3731
Abstract
The goal of this study was the design and evaluation of a thiolated cyclodextrin providing high drug solubilizing and mucoadhesive properties for ocular drug delivery. Hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) was thiolated via a microwave-assisted method, resulting in a degree of thiolation of 33%. Mucoadhesive properties [...] Read more.
The goal of this study was the design and evaluation of a thiolated cyclodextrin providing high drug solubilizing and mucoadhesive properties for ocular drug delivery. Hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) was thiolated via a microwave-assisted method, resulting in a degree of thiolation of 33%. Mucoadhesive properties of thiolated HP-β-CD (HP-β-CD-SH) were determined via rheological measurements and ex vivo studies on isolated porcine cornea. Due to thiolation of HP-β-CD, a 2-fold increase of mucus viscosity and a 1.4-fold increase in residence time on isolated corneal tissue were achieved. After instillation, the mean precorneal residence time and AUC of dexamethasone (DMS) eye drops were 4-fold and 11.7-fold enhanced by HP-β-CD-SH, respectively. Furthermore, in the presence of HP-β-CD-SH, a constant high level of DMS in aqueous humour between 30 and 150 min after administration was observed. These results suggest that HP-β-CD-SH is an excellent excipient for ocular formulations of poorly soluble drugs in order to prolong their ocular residence time and bioavailability. Full article
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18 pages, 7849 KiB  
Communication
An Efficient Aequorea victoria Green Fluorescent Protein for Stimulated Emission Depletion Super-Resolution Microscopy
by Barbara Storti, Benedetta Carlotti, Grazia Chiellini, Martina Ruglioni, Tiziano Salvadori, Marco Scotto, Fausto Elisei, Alberto Diaspro, Paolo Bianchini and Ranieri Bizzarri
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(5), 2482; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23052482 - 24 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2225
Abstract
In spite of their value as genetically encodable reporters for imaging in living systems, fluorescent proteins have been used sporadically for stimulated emission depletion (STED) super-resolution imaging, owing to their moderate photophysical resistance, which does not enable reaching resolutions as high as for [...] Read more.
In spite of their value as genetically encodable reporters for imaging in living systems, fluorescent proteins have been used sporadically for stimulated emission depletion (STED) super-resolution imaging, owing to their moderate photophysical resistance, which does not enable reaching resolutions as high as for synthetic dyes. By a rational approach combining steady-state and ultrafast spectroscopy with gated STED imaging in living and fixed cells, we here demonstrate that F99S/M153T/V163A GFP (c3GFP) represents an efficient genetic reporter for STED, on account of no excited state absorption at depletion wavelengths <600 nm and a long emission lifetime. This makes c3GFP a valuable alternative to more common, but less photostable, EGFP and YFP/Citrine mutants for STED imaging studies targeting the green-yellow region of the optical spectrum. Full article
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17 pages, 7647 KiB  
Article
Development and Characterization of Highly Stable Silver NanoParticles as Novel Potential Antimicrobial Agents for Wound Healing Hydrogels
by Alessio Massironi, Albina Ribeiro Franco, Pedro Sousa Babo, Dario Puppi, Federica Chiellini, Rui L. Reis and Manuela Estima Gomes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(4), 2161; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23042161 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2889
Abstract
Recurrent microbial infections are a major cause of surgical failure and morbidity. Wound healing strategies based on hydrogels have been proposed to provide at once a barrier against pathogen microbial colonization, as well as a favorable environment for tissue repair. Nevertheless, most biocompatible [...] Read more.
Recurrent microbial infections are a major cause of surgical failure and morbidity. Wound healing strategies based on hydrogels have been proposed to provide at once a barrier against pathogen microbial colonization, as well as a favorable environment for tissue repair. Nevertheless, most biocompatible hydrogel materials are more bacteriostatic than antimicrobial materials, and lack specific action against pathogens. Silver-loaded polymeric nanocomposites have efficient and selective activity against pathogenic organisms exploitable for wound healing. However, the loading of metallic nanostructures into hydrogels represents a major challenge due to the low stability of metal colloids in aqueous environments. In this context, the aim of the present study was the development of highly stable silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) as novel potential antimicrobial agents for hyaluronic acids hydrogels. Two candidate stabilizing agents obtained from natural and renewable sources, namely cellulose nanocrystals and ulvan polysaccharide, were exploited to ensure high stability of the silver colloid. Both stabilizing agents possess inherent bioactivity and biocompatibility, as well as the ability to stabilize metal nanostructures thanks to their supramolecular structures. Silver nitrate reduction through sodium borohydride in presence of the selected stabilizing agents was adopted as a model strategy to achieve AgNPs with narrow size distribution. Optimized AgNPs stabilized with the two investigated polysaccharides demonstrated high stability in phosphate buffer saline solution and strong antimicrobial activity. Loading of the developed AgNPs into photocrosslinked methacrylated hyaluronic acid hydrogels was also investigated for the first time as an effective strategy to develop novel antimicrobial wound dressing materials. Full article
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14 pages, 2766 KiB  
Article
Amphiphilic Pentablock Copolymers Prepared from Pluronic and ε-Caprolactone by Enzymatic Ring Opening Polymerization
by Ahmed Abd El-Fattah, Elizabeth Grillo Fernandes, Federica Chiellini and Emo Chiellini
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(3), 1390; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23031390 - 26 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1847
Abstract
Amphiphilic copolymers are appealing materials because of their interesting architecture and tunable properties. In view of their application in the biomedical field, the preparation of these materials should avoid the use of toxic compounds as catalysts. Therefore, enzymatic catalysis is a suitable alternative [...] Read more.
Amphiphilic copolymers are appealing materials because of their interesting architecture and tunable properties. In view of their application in the biomedical field, the preparation of these materials should avoid the use of toxic compounds as catalysts. Therefore, enzymatic catalysis is a suitable alternative to common synthetic routes. Pentablock copolymers (CUC) were synthesized with high yields by ring-opening polymerization of ε-caprolactone (ε-CL) initiated by Pluronic (EPE) and catalyzed by Candida antarctica lipase B enzyme. The variables to study the structure–property relationship were EPEs’ molecular weight and molar ratios between ε-CL monomer and EPE macro-initiator (M/In). The obtained copolymers were chemically characterized, the molecular weight determined, and morphologies evaluated. The results suggest an interaction between the reaction time and M/In variables. There was a correlation between the differential scanning calorimetry data with those of X-ray diffraction (WAXD). The length of the central block of CUC copolymers may have an important role in the crystal formation. WAXD analyses indicated that a micro-phase separation takes place in all the prepared copolymers. Preliminary cytotoxicity experiments on the extracts of the polymer confirmed that these materials are nontoxic. Full article
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16 pages, 29362 KiB  
Article
Natural Compound Resveratrol Attenuates TNF-Alpha-Induced Vascular Dysfunction in Mice and Human Endothelial Cells: The Involvement of the NF-κB Signaling Pathway
by Palanisamy Nallasamy, Zi Yae Kang, Xiaolun Sun, Pon Velayutham Anandh Babu, Dongmin Liu and Zhenquan Jia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(22), 12486; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms222212486 - 19 Nov 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2230
Abstract
Resveratrol, a natural compound in grapes and red wine, has drawn attention due to potential cardiovascular-related health benefits. However, its effect on vascular inflammation at physiologically achievable concentrations is largely unknown. In this study, resveratrol in concentrations as low as 1 μm suppressed [...] Read more.
Resveratrol, a natural compound in grapes and red wine, has drawn attention due to potential cardiovascular-related health benefits. However, its effect on vascular inflammation at physiologically achievable concentrations is largely unknown. In this study, resveratrol in concentrations as low as 1 μm suppressed TNF-α-induced monocyte adhesion to human EA.hy926 endothelial cells (ECs), a key event in the initiation and development of atherosclerosis. Low concentrations of resveratrol (0.25–2 μm) also significantly attenuated TNF-α-stimulated mRNA expressions of MCP-1/CCL2 and ICAM-1, which are vital mediators of EC-monocyte adhesion molecules and cytokines for cardiovascular plaque formation. Additionally, resveratrol diminished TNF-α-induced IκB-α degradation and subsequent nuclear translocation of NF-κB p65 in ECs. In the animal study, resveratrol supplementation in diet significantly diminished TNF-α-induced increases in circulating levels of adhesion molecules and cytokines, monocyte adhesion to mouse aortic ECs, F4/80-positive macrophages and VCAM-1 expression in mice aortas and restored the disruption in aortic elastin fiber caused by TNF-α treatment. The animal study also confirmed that resveratrol blocks the activation of NF-κB In Vivo. In conclusion, resveratrol at physiologically achievable concentrations displayed protective effects against TNF-α-induced vascular endothelial inflammation in vitro and In Vivo. The ability of resveratrol in reducing inflammation may be associated with its role as a down-regulator of the NF-κB pathway. Full article
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19 pages, 2807 KiB  
Article
One-Pot Process: Microwave-Assisted Keratin Extraction and Direct Electrospinning to Obtain Keratin-Based Bioplastic
by Elena Pulidori, Simone Micalizzi, Emilia Bramanti, Luca Bernazzani, Celia Duce, Carmelo De Maria, Francesca Montemurro, Chiara Pelosi, Aurora De Acutis, Giovanni Vozzi and Maria Rosaria Tinè
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(17), 9597; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22179597 - 04 Sep 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4101
Abstract
Poultry feathers are among the most abundant and polluting keratin-rich waste biomasses. In this work, we developed a one-pot microwave-assisted process for eco-friendly keratin extraction from poultry feathers followed by a direct electrospinning (ES) of the raw extract, without further purification, to obtain [...] Read more.
Poultry feathers are among the most abundant and polluting keratin-rich waste biomasses. In this work, we developed a one-pot microwave-assisted process for eco-friendly keratin extraction from poultry feathers followed by a direct electrospinning (ES) of the raw extract, without further purification, to obtain keratin-based bioplastics. This microwave-assisted keratin extraction (MAE) was conducted in acetic acid 70% v/v. The effects of extraction time, solvent/feathers ratio, and heating mode (MAE vs. conventional heating) on the extraction yield were investigated. The highest keratin yield (26 ± 1% w/w with respect to initial feathers) was obtained after 5 h of MAE. Waste-derived keratin were blended with gelatin to fabricate keratin-based biodegradable and biocompatible bioplastics via ES, using 3-(Glycidyloxypropyl)trimethoxysilane (GPTMS) as a cross-linking agent. A full characterization of their thermal, mechanical, and barrier properties was performed by differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, uniaxial tensile tests, and water permeability measurements. Their morphology and protein structure were investigated using scanning electron microscopy and attenuated total reflection-infrared spectroscopy. All these characterizations highlighted that the properties of the keratin-based bioplastics can be modulated by changing keratin and GPTMS concentrations. These bioplastics could be applied in areas such as bio-packaging and filtration/purification membranes. Full article
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