Special Issue "Novel Biomaterials for Diseases Detection, Monitoring or Treatment"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomaterials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. Tania Betancourt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Texas State University, TX, USA
Interests: nanomedicine; stimuli-responsive polymeric biomaterials; drug delivery

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research in the area of biomaterials over the past few decades has led to the development of novel technologies and devices that have impacted modern detection, monitoring and treatment strategies for cancer, inflammatory/autoimmune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, endocrynological diseases, and lung and cardiovascular diseases. Among these technologies, theranostic biomaterials that combine therapeutic and diagnostic capabilitites, activatable biomaterials that can be triggered to function by disease-associated and external stimuli, and image-guided therapeutic systems offer significant potential for disease management.

The emerging fields of theranostic and activatable systems promise more effective, localized and personalized treatment for a range of diseases by combining molecular diagnostics and targeted therapeutics into a single system. These dual capabilities enable monitoring of the biodistribution and interaction of these biomaterials with the targeted tissues via minimally invasive molecular imaging techniques, as well as a localized therapeutic response that can be personalized to the biological characteristics of the disease.  Nanotechnology plays a vital role in this field by enabling the use of nanoscaled systems to overcome the limitations of current invasive diagnostic methods and traditional therapeutic options. Several technologies are critical to the development of these functional systems and are of interest for this Special Issue including but not limited to (1) nanoparticle-based contrast agents for biomedical imaging, (2) novel stimuli-responsive biomaterials including those preprared from synthetic polymers, functional nucleic acids, or polypeptides, and (3) externally activatable biomaterials including those used in laser-, ultrasound-, magnetic- or radiation-induced drug delivery and thermal ablation.

This special issue focuses on the synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of novel polymeric, inorganic and hybrid biomaterials that can enable future diagnostic, imaging, and therapeutic strategies. Original research articles, research communications and reviews highlighting recent advances in the topics described above are cordially invited.

Assoc. Prof. Tania Betancourt
Guest Editor

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. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). 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.


  • Nanomedicines
  • Stimuli-responsive biomaterials
  • Theranostics
  • Biodegradable biomaterials
  • Hydrogels
  • Micelles
  • Photoresponsive materials
  • Drug delivery
  • Image-guided therapy
  • Combinatorial therapy
  • Thermal ablation
  • Biopolymers
  • Molecular imaging
  • Diagnostics
  • Biosensing

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Near Infrared-Activated Dye-Linked ZnO Nanoparticles Release Reactive Oxygen Species for Potential Use in Photodynamic Therapy
Materials 2020, 13(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13010017 - 18 Dec 2019
Novel dye-linked zinc oxide nanoparticles (NPs) hold potential as photosensitizers for biomedical applications due to their excellent thermal- and photo-stability. The particles produced reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon irradiation with 850 nm near infrared (NIR) light in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Upon [...] Read more.
Novel dye-linked zinc oxide nanoparticles (NPs) hold potential as photosensitizers for biomedical applications due to their excellent thermal- and photo-stability. The particles produced reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon irradiation with 850 nm near infrared (NIR) light in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Upon irradiation, ROS detected in vitro in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and human carcinoma MCF7 cells positively correlated with particle concentration and interestingly, ROS detected in MCF7 was higher than in HUVEC. Preferential cytotoxicity was also exhibited by the NPs as cell killing was higher in MCF7 than in HUVEC. In the absence of irradiation, dye-linked ZnO particles minimally affected the viability of cell (HUVEC) at low concentrations (<30 μg/mL), but viability significantly decreased at higher particle concentrations, suggesting a need for particle surface modification with poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG) for improved biocompatibility. The presence of PEG on particles after dialysis was indicated by an increase in size, an increase in zeta potential towards neutral, and spectroscopy results. Cell viability was improved in the absence of irradiation when cells were exposed to PEG-coated, dye-linked ZnO particles compared to non-surface modified particles. The present study shows that there is potential for biological application of dye-linked ZnO particles in photodynamic therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biomaterials for Diseases Detection, Monitoring or Treatment)
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