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Special Issue "Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Piotr Dobrzynski
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Jan Dlugosz University in Czestochowa, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Armii Krajowej 13/15, 42-218 Czestochowa, Poland
Interests: polymeric biomaterials; biodegradable polymers; ROP; processing of bioresorbable polymers; polymeric scaffolds; biodegradable vascular stents
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Elzbieta Pamula
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow MP, Poland
Interests: biodegradable polymers; scaffolds for tissue engineering; polymeric micro- and nanoparticles as drug delivery systems; hydrogels; biocomposites; nanomedicine
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, regenerative medicine and modern surgery approaches are presumably the most promising scientific activities, giving hope for our aging society to extend life expectancy and, at the same time, to improve quality of life. A combination of emerging biomedical technologies and achievements in creating new synthetic biomaterials may support the regeneration and repair of tissue or damaged organs or even whole parts of the body. Thanks to that, the ideas of many science-fiction writers are closer to being realized. Using biocompatible and biodegradable supporting structures, i.e., scaffolds or artificial matrices in conjunction with human cells, is one of major goals in the process of creating many kinds of biological substitutes intended to restore or improve tissue functions. For this reason, scaffold design and synthesis, and the selection of advanced biomaterials with tailored properties for their planned application, as well as their modeling and processing, play a key role in tissue engineering.

This Special Issue aims to highlight studies that focus on polymeric scaffolds, especially those made of synthetic polymers. The latter, particularly intentionally designed copolymers or certain polymer combinations forming blends, are thought to assure better functionality than natural polymers. The papers published in this Issue will cover topics related to the synthesis of specially tailored polymeric materials, techniques of scaffold production, and various modifications to improve physicochemical properties as well as their biomedical performance. As a part of this Issue, we also plan to publish articles on the manufacturing and use of other polymeric biodegradable scaffolds suitable for plastic and reconstructive surgery, or as temporary prostheses supporting damaged or diseased tissues, e.g., grafts and stents for cardiovascular surgery and scaffolds supporting bone and cartilage tissue regeneration. The topic of this Special Issue is particularly addressed to professionals, industrial practitioners, medicine doctors, and researchers, working in the fields of polymer chemistry, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, reconstructive surgery, or biomaterial science.

We cordially invite you to contribute original research papers or interesting reviews to this thematic Issue.

Dr. Piotr Dobrzynski
Prof. Dr. Elzbieta Pamula
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 papers will be 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.

Keywords

  • Polymeric scaffolds in tissue engineering
  • Polymeric hydrogel matrices for cell culture
  • Polymeric vascular scaffolds
  • Polymeric scaffolds for bone and cartilage regeneration
  • Advanced polymers and composites
  • Scaffold design and manufacturing
  • Scaffolds for reconstructive surgery
  • Other

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Editorial
Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(9), 4552; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22094552 - 27 Apr 2021
Viewed by 276
Abstract
Tissue engineering is a fascinating and multidisciplinary field of science [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)

Research

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Article
Polymeric Gelatin Scaffolds Affect Mesenchymal Stem Cell Differentiation and Its Diverse Applications in Tissue Engineering
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(22), 8632; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21228632 - 16 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 592
Abstract
Studies using polymeric scaffolds for various biomedical applications, such as tissue engineering, implants and medical substitutes, and drug delivery systems, have attempted to identify suitable material for tissue regeneration. This study aimed to investigate the biocompatibility and effectiveness of a gelatin scaffold seeded [...] Read more.
Studies using polymeric scaffolds for various biomedical applications, such as tissue engineering, implants and medical substitutes, and drug delivery systems, have attempted to identify suitable material for tissue regeneration. This study aimed to investigate the biocompatibility and effectiveness of a gelatin scaffold seeded with human adipose stem cells (hASCs), including physical characteristics, multilineage differentiation in vitro, and osteogenic potential, in a rat model of a calvarial bone defect and to optimize its design. This functionalized scaffold comprised gelatin-hASCs layers to improve their efficacy in various biomedical applications. The gelatin scaffold exhibited excellent biocompatibility in vitro after two weeks of implantation. Furthermore, the gelatin scaffold supported and specifically regulated the proliferation and osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation of hASCs, respectively. After 12 weeks of implantation, upon treatment with the gelatin-hASCs scaffold, the calvarial bone harboring the critical defect regenerated better and displayed greater osteogenic potential without any damage to the surrounding tissues compared to the untreated bone defect. These findings suggest that the present gelatin scaffold is a good potential carrier for stem cells in various tissue engineering applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)
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Article
Surface-Modified Poly(l-lactide-co-glycolide) Scaffolds for the Treatment of Osteochondral Critical Size Defects—In Vivo Studies on Rabbits
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(20), 7541; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21207541 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 665
Abstract
Poly(l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) porous scaffolds were modified with collagen type I (PLGA/coll) or hydroxyapatite (PLGA/HAp) and implanted in rabbits osteochondral defects to check their biocompatibility and bone tissue regeneration potential. The scaffolds were fabricated using solvent casting/particulate leaching method. Their [...] Read more.
Poly(l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) porous scaffolds were modified with collagen type I (PLGA/coll) or hydroxyapatite (PLGA/HAp) and implanted in rabbits osteochondral defects to check their biocompatibility and bone tissue regeneration potential. The scaffolds were fabricated using solvent casting/particulate leaching method. Their total porosity was 85% and the pore size was in the range of 250–320 µm. The physico-chemical properties of the scaffolds were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), sessile drop, and compression tests. Three types of the scaffolds (unmodified PLGA, PLGA/coll, and PLGA/HAp) were implanted into the defects created in New Zealand rabbit femoral trochlears; empty defect acted as control. Samples were extracted after 1, 4, 12, and 26 weeks from the implantation, evaluated using micro-computed tomography (µCT), and stained by Masson–Goldner and hematoxylin-eosin. The results showed that the proposed method is suitable for fabrication of highly porous PLGA scaffolds. Effective deposition of both coll and HAp was confirmed on all surfaces of the pores through the entire scaffold volume. In the in vivo model, PLGA and PLGA/HAp scaffolds enhanced tissue ingrowth as shown by histological and morphometric analyses. Bone formation was the highest for PLGA/HAp scaffolds as evidenced by µCT. Neo-tissue formation in the defect site was well correlated with degradation kinetics of the scaffold material. Interestingly, around PLGA/coll extensive inflammation and inhibited tissue healing were detected, presumably due to immunological response of the host towards collagen of bovine origin. To summarize, PLGA scaffolds modified with HAp are the most promising materials for bone tissue regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)
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Article
Superhydrophilic Polyurethane/Polydopamine Nanofibrous Materials Enhancing Cell Adhesion for Application in Tissue Engineering
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6798; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21186798 - 16 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1082
Abstract
The use of nanofibrous materials in the field of tissue engineering requires a fast, efficient, scalable production method and excellent wettability of the obtained materials, leading to enhanced cell adhesion. We proposed the production method of superhydrophilic nanofibrous materials in a two-step process. [...] Read more.
The use of nanofibrous materials in the field of tissue engineering requires a fast, efficient, scalable production method and excellent wettability of the obtained materials, leading to enhanced cell adhesion. We proposed the production method of superhydrophilic nanofibrous materials in a two-step process. The process is designed to increase the wettability of resulting scaffolds and to enhance the rate of fibroblast cell adhesion. Polyurethane (PU) nanofibrous material was produced in the solution blow spinning process. Then the PU fibers surface was modified by dopamine polymerization in water solution. Two variants of the modification were examined: dopamine polymerization under atmospheric oxygen (V-I) and using sodium periodate as an oxidative agent (V-II). Hydrophobic PU materials after the treatment became highly hydrophilic, regardless of the modification variant. This effect originates from polydopamine (PDA) coating properties and nanoscale surface structures. The modification improved the mechanical properties of the materials. Materials obtained in the V-II process exhibit superior properties over those from the V-I, and require shorter modification time (less than 30 min). Modifications significantly improved fibroblasts adhesion. The cells spread after 2 h on both PDA-modified PU nanofibrous materials, which was not observed for unmodified PU. Proposed technology could be beneficial in applications like scaffolds for tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)
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Article
Influence of Hydroxyapatite Surface Functionalization on Thermal and Biological Properties of Poly(l-Lactide)- and Poly(l-Lactide-co-Glycolide)-Based Composites
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6711; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21186711 - 13 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 901
Abstract
Novel biocomposites of poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) and poly(l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLLGA) with 10 wt.% of surface-modified hydroxyapatite particles, designed for applications in bone tissue engineering, are presented in this paper. The surface of hydroxyapatite (HAP) was modified with polyethylene glycol by using l-lysine [...] Read more.
Novel biocomposites of poly(L-lactide) (PLLA) and poly(l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLLGA) with 10 wt.% of surface-modified hydroxyapatite particles, designed for applications in bone tissue engineering, are presented in this paper. The surface of hydroxyapatite (HAP) was modified with polyethylene glycol by using l-lysine as a linker molecule. The modification strategy fulfilled two important goals: improvement of the adhesion between the HAP surface and PLLA and PLLGA matrices, and enhancement of the osteological bioactivity of the composites. The surface modifications of HAP were confirmed by attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), TGA, and elemental composition analysis. The influence of hydroxyapatite surface functionalization on the thermal and in vitro biological properties of PLLA- and PLLGA-based composites was investigated. Due to HAP modification with polyethylene glycol, the glass transition temperature of PLLA was reduced by about 24.5 °C, and melt and cold crystallization abilities were significantly improved. These achievements were scored based on respective shifting of onset of melt and cold crystallization temperatures and 1.6 times higher melt crystallization enthalpy compared with neat PLLA. The results showed that the surface-modified HAP particles were multifunctional and can act as nucleating agents, plasticizers, and bioactive moieties. Moreover, due to the presented surface modification of HAP, the crystallinity degree of PLLA and PLLGA and the polymorphic form of PLLA, the most important factors affecting mechanical properties and degradation behaviors, can be controlled. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)
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Article
Collagen/Chitosan Functionalization of Complex 3D Structures Fabricated by Laser Direct Writing via Two-Photon Polymerization for Enhanced Osteogenesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6426; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176426 - 03 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 679
Abstract
The fabrication of 3D microstructures is under continuous development for engineering bone substitutes. Collagen/chitosan (Col/CT) blends emerge as biomaterials that meet the mechanical and biological requirements associated with bone tissue. In this work, we optimize the osteogenic effect of 3D microstructures by their [...] Read more.
The fabrication of 3D microstructures is under continuous development for engineering bone substitutes. Collagen/chitosan (Col/CT) blends emerge as biomaterials that meet the mechanical and biological requirements associated with bone tissue. In this work, we optimize the osteogenic effect of 3D microstructures by their functionalization with Col/CT blends with different blending ratios. The structures were fabricated by laser direct writing via two-photons polymerization of IP-L780 photopolymer. They comprised of hexagonal and ellipsoidal units 80 µm in length, 40 µm in width and 14 µm height, separated by 20 µm pillars. Structures’ functionalization was achieved via dip coating in Col/CT blends with specific blending ratios. The osteogenic role of Col/CT functionalization of the 3D structures was confirmed by biological assays concerning the expression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and osteocalcin secretion as osteogenic markers and Alizarin Red (AR) as dye for mineral deposits in osteoblast-like cells seeded on the structures. The structures having ellipsoidal units showed the best results, but the trends were similar for both ellipsoidal and hexagonal units. The strongest osteogenic effect was obtained for Col/CT blending ratio of 20/80, as demonstrated by the highest ALP activity, osteocalcin secretion and AR staining intensity in the seeded cells compared to all the other samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)
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Article
Biological Evaluation of Polyvinyl Alcohol Hydrogels Enriched by Hyaluronic Acid and Hydroxyapatite
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(16), 5719; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21165719 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 531
Abstract
This study aimed to develop polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) -based scaffold enriched with hyaluronic acid (HA) and hydroxyapatite (HAp) using physical crosslinking by freezing–thawing method. We accomplished biological evaluation of scaffolds, swelling degree, bioactivity assessment, and hemolytic test. The results showed that all types [...] Read more.
This study aimed to develop polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) -based scaffold enriched with hyaluronic acid (HA) and hydroxyapatite (HAp) using physical crosslinking by freezing–thawing method. We accomplished biological evaluation of scaffolds, swelling degree, bioactivity assessment, and hemolytic test. The results showed that all types of scaffolds should be safe for use in the human body. The culturing of human osteoblast-like cells MG-63 and their proliferation showed better adhesion of cells due to the presence of HA and confirmed better proliferation depending on the amount of HAp. This paper gives the optimal composition of the scaffold and the optimal amount of the particular components of the scaffold. Based on our results we concluded that the best PVA/HA/HAp combination is in the ratio 3:1:2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)
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Article
Benefits of Polydopamine as Particle/Matrix Interface in Polylactide/PD-BaSO4 Scaffolds
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5480; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155480 - 31 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 842
Abstract
This work reports the versatility of polydopamine (PD) when applied as a particle coating in a composite of polylactide (PLA). Polydopamine was observed to increase the particle–matrix interface strength and facilitate the adsorption of drugs to the material surface. Here, barium sulfate radiopaque [...] Read more.
This work reports the versatility of polydopamine (PD) when applied as a particle coating in a composite of polylactide (PLA). Polydopamine was observed to increase the particle–matrix interface strength and facilitate the adsorption of drugs to the material surface. Here, barium sulfate radiopaque particles were functionalized with polydopamine and integrated into a polylactide matrix, leading to the formulation of a biodegradable and X-ray opaque material with enhanced mechanical properties. Polydopamine functionalized barium sulfate particles also facilitated the adsorption and release of the antibiotic levofloxacin. Analysis of the antibacterial capacity of these composites and the metabolic activity and proliferation of human dermal fibroblasts in vitro demonstrated that these materials are non-cytotoxic and can be 3D printed to formulate complex biocompatible materials for bone fixation devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)
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Article
Cross-Linked Self-Assembling Peptides and Their Post-Assembly Functionalization via One-Pot and In Situ Gelation System
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(12), 4261; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21124261 - 15 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 909
Abstract
Supramolecular nanostructures formed through peptide self-assembly can have a wide range of applications in the biomedical landscape. However, they often lose biomechanical properties at low mechanical stress due to the non-covalent interactions working in the self-assembling process. Herein, we report the design of [...] Read more.
Supramolecular nanostructures formed through peptide self-assembly can have a wide range of applications in the biomedical landscape. However, they often lose biomechanical properties at low mechanical stress due to the non-covalent interactions working in the self-assembling process. Herein, we report the design of cross-linked self-assembling peptide hydrogels using a one-pot in situ gelation system, based on 1-ethyl-3-[3-dimethylaminopropyl] carbodiimide/N-hydroxysulfosuccinimide (EDC/sulfo–NHS) coupling, to tune its biomechanics. EDC/sulfo–NHS coupling led to limited changes in storage modulus (from 0.9 to 2 kPa), but it significantly increased both the strain (from 6% to 60%) and failure stress (from 19 to 35 Pa) of peptide hydrogel without impairing the spontaneous formation of β-sheet-containing nano-filaments. Furthermore, EDC/sulfo–NHS cross-linking bestowed self-healing and thixotropic properties to the peptide hydrogel. Lastly, we demonstrated that this strategy can be used to incorporate bioactive functional motifs after self-assembly on pre-formed nanostructures by functionalizing an Ac-LDLKLDLKLDLK-CONH2 (LDLK12) self-assembling peptide with the phage display-derived KLPGWSG peptide involved in the modulation of neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation. The incorporation of a functional motif did not alter the peptide’s secondary structure and its mechanical properties. The work reported here offers new tools to both fine tune the mechanical properties of and tailor the biomimetic properties of self-assembling peptide hydrogels while retaining their nanostructures, which is useful for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)
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Article
Development of 3D Hepatic Constructs Within Polysaccharide-Based Scaffolds with Tunable Properties
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(10), 3644; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21103644 - 21 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 929
Abstract
Organoids production is a key tool for in vitro studies of physiopathological conditions, drug-induced toxicity assays, and for a potential use in regenerative medicine. Hence, it prompted studies on hepatic organoids and liver regeneration. Numerous attempts to produce hepatic constructs had often limited [...] Read more.
Organoids production is a key tool for in vitro studies of physiopathological conditions, drug-induced toxicity assays, and for a potential use in regenerative medicine. Hence, it prompted studies on hepatic organoids and liver regeneration. Numerous attempts to produce hepatic constructs had often limited success due to a lack of viability or functionality. Moreover, most products could not be translated for clinical studies. The aim of this study was to develop functional and viable hepatic constructs using a 3D porous scaffold with an adjustable structure, devoid of any animal component, that could also be used as an in vivo implantable system. We used a combination of pharmaceutical grade pullulan and dextran with different porogen formulations to form crosslinked scaffolds with macroporosity ranging from 30 µm to several hundreds of microns. Polysaccharide scaffolds were easy to prepare and to handle, and allowed confocal observations thanks to their transparency. A simple seeding method allowed a rapid impregnation of the scaffolds with HepG2 cells and a homogeneous cell distribution within the scaffolds. Cells were viable over seven days and form spheroids of various geometries and sizes. Cells in 3D express hepatic markers albumin, HNF4α and CYP3A4, start to polarize and were sensitive to acetaminophen in a concentration-dependant manner. Therefore, this study depicts a proof of concept for organoid production in 3D scaffolds that could be prepared under GMP conditions for reliable drug-induced toxicity studies and for liver tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)
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Article
Polylactide/Hydroxyapatite Nonwovens Incorporated into Chitosan/Graphene Materials Hydrogels to Form Novel Hierarchical Scaffolds
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(7), 2330; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072330 - 27 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 899
Abstract
In this study, hierarchical, cylindrical scaffolds based on polylactide (PLA) microfibers incorporated into chitosan (CS) hydrogel were prepared for potential use in bone tissue engineering. PLA nonwovens modified with hydroxyapatite particles (HAp) were obtained using the electrospinning method. Then, three-dimensional scaffolds were created [...] Read more.
In this study, hierarchical, cylindrical scaffolds based on polylactide (PLA) microfibers incorporated into chitosan (CS) hydrogel were prepared for potential use in bone tissue engineering. PLA nonwovens modified with hydroxyapatite particles (HAp) were obtained using the electrospinning method. Then, three-dimensional scaffolds were created by rolling up the nonwovens and immersing them in CS-based solutions with graphene oxide (GO) or reduced graphene oxide (rGO) dispersed in the polymer matrix. Hydrogels were cross-linked using a novel freezing-thawing-gelling method. A broad spectrum of research methods was applied in order to thoroughly characterize both the nanofillers and the composite systems: scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometry, attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, rheological and mechanical testing, as well as the assessment of chemical stability, bioactivity and cytocompatibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)
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Article
Halogen-Mediated Partial Oxidation of Polyvinyl Alcohol for Tissue Engineering Purposes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(3), 801; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21030801 - 25 Jan 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 809
Abstract
Partial oxidation of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) with potassium permanganate turned out to be an efficient method to fabricate smart scaffolds for tissue engineering, endowed with biodegradation and protein delivery capacity. This work considered for the first time the use of halogens (bromine, chlorine [...] Read more.
Partial oxidation of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) with potassium permanganate turned out to be an efficient method to fabricate smart scaffolds for tissue engineering, endowed with biodegradation and protein delivery capacity. This work considered for the first time the use of halogens (bromine, chlorine and iodine) as less aggressive agents than potassium permanganate to perform controlled PVA oxidation, in order to prevent degradation of polymer molecular size upon chemical modification. Oxidized PVA solutions were chemically characterized (i.e., dinitrophenylhydrazine assay, viscosity measurements, molecular size distribution) before preparing physically cross-linked hydrogels. Scaffolds were assessed for their mechanical properties and cell/tissue biocompatibiliy through cytotoxic extract test on IMR-90 fibroblasts and subcutaneous implantation into BALB/c mice. According to chemical investigations, bromine and iodine allowed for minor alteration of polymer molecular weight. Uniaxial tensile tests demonstrated that oxidized scaffolds had decreased mechanical resistance to deformation, suggesting tunable hydrogel stiffness. Finally, oxidized hydrogels exhibited high biocompatibility both in vitro and in vivo, resulting neither to be cytotoxic nor to elicit severe immunitary host reaction in comparison with atoxic PVA. In conclusion, PVA hydrogels oxidized by halogens were successfully fabricated in the effort of adapting polymer characteristics to specific tissue engineering applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)
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Article
Fabrication and Characterization of Polyetherimide Electrospun Scaffolds Modified with Graphene Nano-Platelets and Hydroxyapatite Nano-Particles
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(2), 583; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21020583 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 745
Abstract
Solution electrospinning process (SEP) is a versatile technique for generating non-woven fibrous materials intended to a wide range of applications. One of them is the production of fibrous and porous scaffolds aiming to mimic bone tissue, as artificial extracellular matrices (ECM). In the [...] Read more.
Solution electrospinning process (SEP) is a versatile technique for generating non-woven fibrous materials intended to a wide range of applications. One of them is the production of fibrous and porous scaffolds aiming to mimic bone tissue, as artificial extracellular matrices (ECM). In the present work, pure and nano-modified electrospun polyetherimide (PEI) scaffolds have been successfully fabricated. The nano-modified ones include (a) graphene nano-platelets (GNPs), (b) hydroxyapatite (HAP), and (c) mixture of both. After fabrication, the morphological characteristics of these scaffolds were revealed by using scanning electron (SEM) and transmission electron (TEM) microscopies, while porosity and mean fiber diameter were also calculated. In parallel, contact angle experiments were conducted so that the hydrophilicity level of these materials to be determined. Finally, the mechanical performance of the fabricated scaffolds was investigated by conducting uniaxial tensile tests. Ιn future work, the fabricated scaffolds will be further utilized for investigation as potential candidate materials for cell culture with perspective in orthopedic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)
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Review

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Review
Bioresorbable Polymeric Scaffold in Cardiovascular Applications
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(10), 3444; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21103444 - 13 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1413
Abstract
Advances in material science and innovative medical technologies have allowed the development of less invasive interventional procedures for deploying implant devices, including scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering. Biodegradable materials (e.g., resorbable polymers) are employed in devices that are only needed for a transient [...] Read more.
Advances in material science and innovative medical technologies have allowed the development of less invasive interventional procedures for deploying implant devices, including scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering. Biodegradable materials (e.g., resorbable polymers) are employed in devices that are only needed for a transient period. In the case of coronary stents, the device is only required for 6–8 months before positive remodelling takes place. Hence, biodegradable polymeric stents have been considered to promote this positive remodelling and eliminate the issue of permanent caging of the vessel. In tissue engineering, the role of the scaffold is to support favourable cell-scaffold interaction to stimulate formation of functional tissue. The ideal outcome is for the cells to produce their own extracellular matrix over time and eventually replace the implanted scaffold or tissue engineered construct. Synthetic biodegradable polymers are the favoured candidates as scaffolds, because their degradation rates can be manipulated over a broad time scale, and they may be functionalised easily. This review presents an overview of coronary heart disease, the limitations of current interventions and how biomaterials can be used to potentially circumvent these shortcomings in bioresorbable stents, vascular grafts and cardiac patches. The material specifications, type of polymers used, current progress and future challenges for each application will be discussed in this manuscript. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)
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Review
Injectable Biomaterials for Dental Tissue Regeneration
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(10), 3442; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21103442 - 13 May 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1405
Abstract
Injectable biomaterials scaffolds play a pivotal role for dental tissue regeneration, as such materials are highly applicable in the dental field, particularly when compared to pre-formed scaffolds. The defects in the maxilla-oral area are normally small, confined and sometimes hard to access. This [...] Read more.
Injectable biomaterials scaffolds play a pivotal role for dental tissue regeneration, as such materials are highly applicable in the dental field, particularly when compared to pre-formed scaffolds. The defects in the maxilla-oral area are normally small, confined and sometimes hard to access. This narrative review describes different types of biomaterials for dental tissue regeneration, and also discusses the potential use of nanofibers for dental tissues. Various studies suggest that tissue engineering approaches involving the use of injectable biomaterials have the potential of restoring not only dental tissue function but also their biological purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Scaffolds: Design, Processing, and Biomedical Application)
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