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Special Issue "Biomaterials for the Treatment and Diagnosis of Neurodegenerative Diseases"

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: 15 April 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Joan Estelrich
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Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Technology and Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, University of Barcelona, Avda. Joan XXIII, 27-31, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: colloids; micelles; layer-by-layer; liposomes; magnetic particles; drug delivery; magnetic hyperthermia; magnetic photothermia
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Raimon Sabaté
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Technology and Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy and Food Sciences, University of Barcelona, Avda. Joan XXIII, 27-31, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue “Biomaterials for the treatment and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases” will cover a selection of recent research topics on the applications of biomaterials in neurodegenerative diseases. In this way, this issue is dedicated to showing the interdisciplinary research encompassing elements of medicine, biology, chemistry, tissue engineering, and materials science. Among a large number of diseases, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are the most common neurodegenerative diseases. For instance, at present, more than 47 million people worldwide suffer from AD, and the number is predicted to exceed 130 million by 2050. Despite this importance, both diseases lack definite diagnostic approaches and an effective cure. As a consequence of the increasing prevalence of AD and PD and the low efficacy of current therapies, the development of treatment and diagnosis strategies have increased in the last years. The emerging field of biomaterials—and their relation with the nanotechnology—has promised new techniques to solve some of the AD/PD challenges. Nanotechnology uses engineered biomaterials or devices that can interact with biological systems at molecular levels with a high degree of specificity. Biomaterials are widely used in the fields of drug delivery, early diagnosis, and functional tissue engineering. One of the major problems with respect to the treatment and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases is to overcome the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Some biomaterials are able to cross the BBB, and this fact makes possible the increase of the drug availability in the central nervous systems, as well as the detection of biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases in biological fluids.

We invite researchers to contribute original and review articles regarding the impact of Biomaterials in the treatment and diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • nanoparticles
  • liposomes
  • microparticles
  • scaffolds
  • nanodevices
  • nanosized chips
  • quantum dots

Prof. Dr. Joan Estelrich
Dr. Raimon Sabaté
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.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Effects of the Pentapeptide P33 on Memory and Synaptic Plasticity in APP/PS1 Transgenic Mice: A Novel Mechanism Presenting the Protein Fe65 as a Target
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(12), 3050; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20123050 - 22 Jun 2019
Abstract
Regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP) of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) leads to the formation of fragments, among which the intracellular domain of APP (AICD) was also identified to be a causative of early pathological events. AICD-counteracting proteins, such as Fe65, may serve as [...] Read more.
Regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP) of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) leads to the formation of fragments, among which the intracellular domain of APP (AICD) was also identified to be a causative of early pathological events. AICD-counteracting proteins, such as Fe65, may serve as alternative therapeutic targets of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The detection of elevated levels of Fe65 in the brains of both human patients and APP transgenic mice may further strengthen the hypothesis that influencing the interaction between Fe65 and APP may have a beneficial effect on the course of AD. Based on a PXP motif, proven to bind to the WW domain of Fe65, a new pentapeptide was designed and tested. The impedimental effect of P33 on the production of beta amyloid (Aβ) (soluble fraction and aggregated plaques) and on the typical features of the AD pathology (decreased dendritic spine density, synaptic markers, elevated inflammatory reactions) was also demonstrated. Significant enhancements of both learning ability and memory function were observed in a Morris water maze paradigm. The results led us to formulate the theory that P33 acts by altering the conformation of Fe65 via binding to its WW domain, consequently hindering any interactions between Fe65 and key members involved in APP processing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
P3HT:Bebq2-Based Photovoltaic Device Enhances Differentiation of hiPSC-Derived Retinal Ganglion Cells
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(11), 2661; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20112661 - 30 May 2019
Abstract
Electric field stimulation is known to affect various cellular processes, including cell fate specification and differentiation, particularly towards neuronal lineages. This makes it a promising therapeutic strategy to stimulate regeneration of neuronal tissues. Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) is a type of neural cells [...] Read more.
Electric field stimulation is known to affect various cellular processes, including cell fate specification and differentiation, particularly towards neuronal lineages. This makes it a promising therapeutic strategy to stimulate regeneration of neuronal tissues. Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) is a type of neural cells of the retina responsible for transduction of visual signals from the retina to the brain cortex, and is often degenerated in various blindness-causing retinal diseases. The organic photovoltaic materials such as poly-3-hexylthiophene (P3HT) can generate electric current upon illumination with light of the visible spectrum, and possesses several advantageous properties, including light weight, flexibility and high biocompatibility, which makes them a highly promising tool for electric stimulation of cells in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we tested the ability to generate photocurrent by several formulations of blend (bulk heterojunction) of P3HT (which is electron donor material) with several electron acceptor materials, including Alq3 and bis(10-hydroxybenzo[h]quinolinato)beryllium (Bebq2). We found that the photovoltaic device based on bulk heterojunction of P3HT with Bebq2 could generate photocurrent when illuminated by both green laser and visible spectrum light. We tested the growth and differentiation capacity of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC)-derived RGCs when grown in interface with such photostimulated device, and found that they were significantly increased. The application of P3HT:Bebq2-formulation of photovoltaic device has a great potential for developments in retinal transplantation, nerve repair and tissue engineering approaches of treatment of retinal degeneration. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Review of Current Strategies for Delivering Alzheimer’s Disease Drugs across the Blood-Brain Barrier
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(2), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20020381 - 17 Jan 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
Effective therapy for Alzheimer’s disease is a major challenge in the pharmaceutical sciences. There are six FDA approved drugs (e.g., donepezil, memantine) that show some effectiveness; however, they only relieve symptoms. Two factors hamper research. First, the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not [...] Read more.
Effective therapy for Alzheimer’s disease is a major challenge in the pharmaceutical sciences. There are six FDA approved drugs (e.g., donepezil, memantine) that show some effectiveness; however, they only relieve symptoms. Two factors hamper research. First, the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not fully understood. Second, the blood-brain barrier restricts drug efficacy. This review summarized current knowledge relevant to both of these factors. First, we reviewed the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease. Next, we reviewed the structural and biological properties of the blood-brain barrier. We then described the most promising drug delivery systems that have been developed in recent years; these include polymeric nanoparticles, liposomes, metallic nanoparticles and cyclodextrins. Overall, we aim to provide ideas and clues to design effective drug delivery systems for penetrating the blood-brain barrier to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Full article
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