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Special Issue "Polymer Biomaterials for Immune System Modulation"

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 December 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Giuseppe Bardi
Website
Guest Editor
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy
Interests: Innate immune system; chemokines; nanomaterials; nanobiointeractions; adjuvants
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Nicola Tirelli
Website
Guest Editor
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genoa, Italy
Interests: polymer chemistry; colloid science; drug delivery; nanobiointeractions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Immune system (IS) activation may represent a major obstacle for drug delivery and pharmaceutical treatments in general; even when it is part of a beneficial outcome (e.g. vaccines), and the details of the response are critical to achieve a therapeutically valid target. Therefore, the possibility of modulating IS responses is a necessary component of precision medicine, allowing us to increase or decrease inflammatory processes in a fashion dependent on the therapeutic peculiarities.

For example, the efficacy of a given drug could be improved by using (nano)materials that hijack leukocytic machineries and upregulate specific processes, including cytokines or endo/phagocytic pathways. Biodegradable polymeric (nano)materials from synthetic or natural sources are advantageous in the tunability of their biological interactions through chemical/processing variables, which affect biocompatibility, (enzymatic) degradability, biodistribution and extracellular targeting, internalization and intracellular localization, the kinetics of drug release and transcription factor activation.

This Special Issue will welcome contributions ranging from materials design and processing (synthesis, functionalization, size control, microfluidics), through in vitro studies (new in vitro models, multicellular, 3D, microfluidics), to in vivo administration (pharmacokinetics, therapeutic outcomes), and will specifically focus on the immunological issues that accompany the use of (nano)materials and how the latter can influence them. This will include, but will not be limited to, studies aiming at dendritic cell targeting and vaccine development, topical and systemic anti-inflammatory therapies, cancer immunity applications, wound healing and angiogenetic processes.

Dr. Giuseppe Bardi
Prof. Nicola Tirelli
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

  • Polymers
  • Nanoparticles
  • Microparticles
  • Matrices
  • Precision medicine
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Drug delivery
  • Immune system
  • Inflammation
  • Drug conjugates

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Main Chain Polysulfoxides as Active ‘Stealth’ Polymers with Additional Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Behaviour
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(18), 4583; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20184583 - 17 Sep 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
We present the evaluation of a sulfoxide-based polymer (poly(propylene sulfoxide), PPSO) as a potential ‘stealth’ macromolecule, and at the same time as a pharmacologically active (anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant) material. The combination of these two concepts may at first seem peculiar since the gold standard polymer [...] Read more.
We present the evaluation of a sulfoxide-based polymer (poly(propylene sulfoxide), PPSO) as a potential ‘stealth’ macromolecule, and at the same time as a pharmacologically active (anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant) material. The combination of these two concepts may at first seem peculiar since the gold standard polymer in biomaterials and drug delivery, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), is ‘stealth’ due to its chemical and biological inertness, which makes it hardly biologically active. Polysulfoxides, on the contrary, may couple a substantial inertness towards biomolecules under homeostatic conditions, with the possibility to scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS) associated to inflammation. Polysulfoxides, therefore, are rather uniquely, ‘active’ ‘stealth’ polymers. Here, we describe the synthesis of PPSO through controlled oxidation of poly(propylene sulfide) (PPS), which on its turn was obtained via anionic ring-opening polymerization. In vitro, PPSO was characterized by a low toxicity (IC50 ~7 mg/mL at 24 h on human dermal fibroblasts) and a level of complement activation (in human plasma) and macrophage uptake slightly lower than PEG of a similar size. Importantly, and differently from PEG, on LPS-activated macrophages, PPSO showed a strong and dose-dependent ROS (hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorite)-scavenging activity, which resulted in a corresponding reduction of cytokine production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Biomaterials for Immune System Modulation)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Natural Polysaccharide Nanomaterials: An Overview of Their Immunological Properties
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 5092; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20205092 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Natural occurring polymers, or biopolymers, represent a huge part of our planet biomass. They are formed by long chains of monomers of the same type or a combination of different ones. Polysaccharides are biopolymers characterized by complex secondary structures performing several roles in [...] Read more.
Natural occurring polymers, or biopolymers, represent a huge part of our planet biomass. They are formed by long chains of monomers of the same type or a combination of different ones. Polysaccharides are biopolymers characterized by complex secondary structures performing several roles in plants, animals, and microorganisms. Because of their versatility and biodegradability, some of them are extensively used for packaging, food, pharmaceutical, and biomedical industries as sustainable and renewable materials. In the recent years, their manipulation at the nanometric scale enormously increased the range of potential applications, boosting an interdisciplinary research attempt to exploit all the potential advantages of nanostructured polysaccharides. Biomedical investigation mainly focused on nano-objects aimed at drug delivery, tissue repair, and vaccine adjuvants. The achievement of all these applications requires the deep knowledge of polysaccharide nanomaterials’ interactions with the immune system, which orchestrates the biological response to any foreign substance entering the body. In the present manuscript we focused on natural polysaccharides of high commercial importance, namely, starch, cellulose, chitin, and its deacetylated form chitosan, as well as the seaweed-derived carrageenan and alginate. We reviewed the available information on their biocompatibility, highlighting the importance of their physicochemical feature at the nanoscale for the modulation of the immune system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Biomaterials for Immune System Modulation)
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