Special Issue "Biological, Biomimetic, and Biomedical Applications of Membranes"

A special issue of Membranes (ISSN 2077-0375).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Claus Hélix-Nielsen

Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Bygningstorvet, Building 115, room 140, 2800 Kgs., Lyngby, Denmark
Website | E-Mail
Interests: biomimetic membranes; membrane transport; membrane channel and transporter proteins; lipid–protein interactions, electrophysiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since Jean-Antoine Nollet, in 1748, discovered the phenomenon of osmosis in natural membranes, there has been a profound interest in understanding membrane processes, ranging from the intricate transport of water, solutes, and gasses across biological membranes to establishing tailored permeability properties in polymeric matrixes. Some concepts have originated in the bio-membrane realm, others arose in a material properties context, but irrespective of context origin, a solid understanding of water, gas, and solute interactions with membrane materials at the molecular level is indispensable.

With the advent of biomimetic- and biomimicry-based concepts, the synergy between biological and biophysical research and engineering-based approaches for membrane material and membrane process development is being reinforced, as exemplified by the recent development of membranes incorporating natural components, such as aquaporin water channels. These new developments may be particularly relevant for developments of membranes for biomedical applications, such as hemodialysis, hemofiltration, hemodiafiltration, wound dressings, and gas exchange during surgical procedures.

The aim with this Special Issue is to deliver new insights in the recent advances in membrane applications within biology, biotechnology, biomimetics, and biomedical areas. We look forward to receive submissions describing original research or focused reviews related to design, materials, synthesis methods, and process developments.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Claus Hélix-Nielsen
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. Membranes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1000 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.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Novel Blend for Producing Porous Chitosan-Based Films Suitable for Biomedical Applications
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 22 December 2017 / Published: 3 January 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (5088 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this work, a chitosan–gelatin–ferulic acid blend was used in different ratios for preparing novel films that can be used in biomedical applications. Both acetic and formic acid were tested as solvents for the chitosan–gelatin–ferulic acid blend. Glycerol was tested as a plasticizer. [...] Read more.
In this work, a chitosan–gelatin–ferulic acid blend was used in different ratios for preparing novel films that can be used in biomedical applications. Both acetic and formic acid were tested as solvents for the chitosan–gelatin–ferulic acid blend. Glycerol was tested as a plasticizer. The thickness, mechanical strength, static water contact angle and water uptake of the prepared films were determined. Also, the prepared films were characterized using different analysis techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) analysis, X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Acetic acid produced continuous compact surfaces that are not recommended for testing in biomedical applications. The plasticized chitosan–gelatin–ferulic acid blend, using formic acid solvent, produced novel hexagonal porous films with a pore size of around 10–14 µm. This blend is recommended for preparing films (scaffolds) for testing in biomedical applications as it has the advantage of a decreased thickness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological, Biomimetic, and Biomedical Applications of Membranes)
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Open AccessArticle Development of pH-sensitive Dextran Derivatives with Strong Adjuvant Function and Their Application to Antigen Delivery
Received: 10 June 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3438 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
To achieve efficient cancer immunotherapy, the induction of cytotoxic T lymphocyte-based cellular immunity is necessary. In order to induce cellular immunity, antigen carriers that can deliver antigen into cytosol of antigen presenting cells and can activate these cells are required. We previously developed [...] Read more.
To achieve efficient cancer immunotherapy, the induction of cytotoxic T lymphocyte-based cellular immunity is necessary. In order to induce cellular immunity, antigen carriers that can deliver antigen into cytosol of antigen presenting cells and can activate these cells are required. We previously developed 3-methyl glutarylated dextran (MGlu-Dex) for cytoplasmic delivery of antigen via membrane disruption ability at weakly acidic pH in endosome/lysosomes. MGlu-Dex-modified liposomes delivered model antigens into cytosol of dendritic cells and induced antigen-specific cellular immunity. However, their antitumor effects were not enough to complete the regression of the tumor. In this study, antigen delivery performance of dextran derivatives was improved by the introduction of more hydrophobic spacer groups next to carboxyl groups. 2-Carboxycyclohexane-1-carboxylated dextran (CHex-Dex) was newly synthesized as pH-responsive dextran derivative. CHex-Dex formed stronger hydrophobic domains at extremely weak acidic pH and destabilized lipid membrane more efficiently than MGlu-Dex. CHex-Dex-modified liposomes were taken up by dendritic cells 10 times higher than MGlu-Dex-modified liposomes and delivered model antigen into cytosol. Furthermore, CHex-Dex achieved 600 times higher IL-12 production from dendritic cells than MGlu-Dex. Therefore, CHex-Dex is promising as multifunctional polysaccharide having both cytoplasmic antigen delivery function and strong activation property of dendritic cells for induction of cellular immunity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological, Biomimetic, and Biomedical Applications of Membranes)
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Graphical abstract

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Separation of Peptides with Forward Osmosis Biomimetic Membranes
Received: 9 September 2016 / Revised: 2 November 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 15 November 2016
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Abstract
Forward osmosis (FO) membranes have gained interest in several disciplines for the rejection and concentration of various molecules. One application area for FO membranes that is becoming increasingly popular is the use of the membranes to concentrate or dilute high value compound solutions [...] Read more.
Forward osmosis (FO) membranes have gained interest in several disciplines for the rejection and concentration of various molecules. One application area for FO membranes that is becoming increasingly popular is the use of the membranes to concentrate or dilute high value compound solutions such as pharmaceuticals. It is crucial in such settings to control the transport over the membrane to avoid losses of valuable compounds, but little is known about the rejection and transport mechanisms of larger biomolecules with often flexible conformations. In this study, transport of two chemically similar peptides with molecular weight (Mw) of 375 and 692 Da across a thin film composite Aquaporin Inside™ Membrane (AIM) FO membrane was investigated. Despite the relative large size, both peptides were able to permeate the dense active layer of the AIM membrane and the transport mechanism was determined to be diffusion-based. Interestingly, the membrane permeability increased 3.65 times for the 692 Da peptide (1.39 × 10−12 m2·s−1) compared to the 375 Da peptide (0.38 × 10−12 m2·s−1). This increase thus occurs for an 85% increase in Mw but only for a 34% increase in peptide radius of gyration (Rg) as determined from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. This suggests that Rg is a strong influencing factor for membrane permeability. Thus, an increased Rg reflects the larger peptide chains ability to sample a larger conformational space when interacting with the nanostructured active layer increasing the likelihood for permeation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological, Biomimetic, and Biomedical Applications of Membranes)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview A Comprehensive Review of Our Current Understanding of Red Blood Cell (RBC) Glycoproteins
Received: 18 August 2017 / Revised: 20 September 2017 / Accepted: 24 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3406 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human red blood cells (RBC), which are the cells most commonly used in the study of biological membranes, have some glycoproteins in their cell membrane. These membrane proteins are band 3 and glycophorins A–D, and some substoichiometric glycoproteins (e.g., CD44, CD47, Lu, Kell, [...] Read more.
Human red blood cells (RBC), which are the cells most commonly used in the study of biological membranes, have some glycoproteins in their cell membrane. These membrane proteins are band 3 and glycophorins A–D, and some substoichiometric glycoproteins (e.g., CD44, CD47, Lu, Kell, Duffy). The oligosaccharide that band 3 contains has one N-linked oligosaccharide, and glycophorins possess mostly O-linked oligosaccharides. The end of the O-linked oligosaccharide is linked to sialic acid. In humans, this sialic acid is N-acetylneuraminic acid (NeuAc). Another sialic acid, N-glycolylneuraminic acid (NeuGc) is present in red blood cells of non-human origin. While the biological function of band 3 is well known as an anion exchanger, it has been suggested that the oligosaccharide of band 3 does not affect the anion transport function. Although band 3 has been studied in detail, the physiological functions of glycophorins remain unclear. This review mainly describes the sialo-oligosaccharide structures of band 3 and glycophorins, followed by a discussion of the physiological functions that have been reported in the literature to date. Moreover, other glycoproteins in red blood cell membranes of non-human origin are described, and the physiological function of glycophorin in carp red blood cell membranes is discussed with respect to its bacteriostatic activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological, Biomimetic, and Biomedical Applications of Membranes)
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Open AccessReview Membrane-Accelerated Amyloid-β Aggregation and Formation of Cross-β Sheets
Received: 12 June 2017 / Revised: 26 July 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (10585 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Amyloid-β aggregates play a causative role in Alzheimer’s disease. These aggregates are a product of the physical environment provided by the basic neuronal membrane, composed of a lipid bilayer. The intrinsic properties of the lipid bilayer allow amyloid-β peptides to nucleate [...] Read more.
Amyloid- β aggregates play a causative role in Alzheimer’s disease. These aggregates are a product of the physical environment provided by the basic neuronal membrane, composed of a lipid bilayer. The intrinsic properties of the lipid bilayer allow amyloid- β peptides to nucleate and form well-ordered cross- β sheets within the membrane. Here, we correlate the aggregation of the hydrophobic fragment of the amyloid- β protein, A β 25 - 35 , with the hydrophobicity, fluidity, and charge density of a lipid bilayer. We summarize recent biophysical studies of model membranes and relate these to the process of aggregation in physiological systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological, Biomimetic, and Biomedical Applications of Membranes)
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Open AccessReview Past, Present and Future of Surgical Meshes: A Review
Received: 15 June 2017 / Revised: 9 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 22 August 2017
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (665 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Surgical meshes, in particular those used to repair hernias, have been in use since 1891. Since then, research in the area has expanded, given the vast number of post-surgery complications such as infection, fibrosis, adhesions, mesh rejection, and hernia recurrence. Researchers have focused [...] Read more.
Surgical meshes, in particular those used to repair hernias, have been in use since 1891. Since then, research in the area has expanded, given the vast number of post-surgery complications such as infection, fibrosis, adhesions, mesh rejection, and hernia recurrence. Researchers have focused on the analysis and implementation of a wide range of materials: meshes with different fiber size and porosity, a variety of manufacturing methods, and certainly a variety of surgical and implantation procedures. Currently, surface modification methods and development of nanofiber based systems are actively being explored as areas of opportunity to retain material strength and increase biocompatibility of available meshes. This review summarizes the history of surgical meshes and presents an overview of commercial surgical meshes, their properties, manufacturing methods, and observed biological response, as well as the requirements for an ideal surgical mesh and potential manufacturing methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological, Biomimetic, and Biomedical Applications of Membranes)
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