Special Issue "Micro/Nano-system for Drug Delivery"

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "B:Biology and Biomedicine".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Claudio Nastruzzi
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Guest Editor
Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, 44121, Italy
Interests: biomaterials; microfluidcs; tissue engineering; nanotechnolgy; composite material
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Gabriele Pitingolo
Website
Guest Editor
Ecole Normale Supérieure-PSL Research University, Département de Chimie, Paris, France
Interests: biomaterials; microfluidics; organ on chip; nanotechnology; microfabrication

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last few decades, micro and nano-scaled devices and systems have gained great attention in pharmaceutical and biomedical applications, such as in the design of micro/nanoparticles, biosensors, and microdevices to perform high-throughput in vitro drug testing. For example, micelles, liposomes, dendrimers and polymeric nanoparticles are widely used in pharmaceutics for targeted drug delivery and cosmetics. The advantages over conventional systems are represented by an enhancement of delivery, an extended bioactivity, and also by minimal side effects, demonstrating high performance characteristics and more economical since minimum amounts of expensive drugs are used. In addition, novel miniaturized live-cell microdevices recently were developed by researchers around the world to screen free drug and complex delivery systems. For example, microfluidic cell-chips resolve many issues found in conventional 2D in vitro technology, providing benefits, such as reduced sample quantity and integration of 3D cell culture, physically more representative of the physiological/pathological microenvironment. To realize the full potential of these micro/nano systems, integrated platforms for preparation and testing need to be developed, offering a way to accelerate the clinical translation of novel drug delivery. Accordingly, this Special Issue seeks to showcase research papers, short communications, and review articles that focus on novel micro and nano systems used in biomedicine, nanobiotechnology and drug delivery, with a particular interest in microscale cell-chip platforms for drug screening and high-throughput experimentation.

Prof. Dr. Claudio Nastruzzi
Dr. Gabriele Pitingolo
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. Micromachines 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 1600 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.

Keywords

  • micelles
  • liposomes
  • polymer nanoparticles
  • microparticles
  • microfluidic cell chip
  • microscale bioengineering
  • drug delivery systems

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Cytochalasin-B-Inducible Nanovesicle Mimics of Natural Extracellular Vesicles That Are Capable of Nucleic Acid Transfer
Micromachines 2019, 10(11), 750; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10110750 - 01 Nov 2019
Abstract
Extracellular vesicles provide cell-to-cell communication and have great potential for use as therapeutic carriers. This study was aimed at the development of an extracellular vesicle-based system for nucleic acid delivery. Three types of nanovesicles were assayed as oligonucleotide carriers: Mesenchymal stem cell-derived extracellular [...] Read more.
Extracellular vesicles provide cell-to-cell communication and have great potential for use as therapeutic carriers. This study was aimed at the development of an extracellular vesicle-based system for nucleic acid delivery. Three types of nanovesicles were assayed as oligonucleotide carriers: Mesenchymal stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles and mimics prepared either by cell treatment with cytochalasin B or by vesicle generation from plasma membrane. Nanovesicles were loaded with a DNA oligonucleotide by freezing/thawing, sonication, or permeabilization with saponin. Oligonucleotide delivery was assayed using HEK293 cells. Extracellular vesicles and mimics were characterized by a similar oligonucleotide loading level but different efficiency of oligonucleotide delivery. Cytochalasin-B-inducible nanovesicles exhibited the highest level of oligonucleotide accumulation in HEK293 cells and a loading capacity of 0.44 ± 0.05 pmol/µg. The loaded oligonucleotide was mostly protected from nuclease action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-system for Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessCommunication
Gelatin-Coated Microfluidic Channels for 3D Microtissue Formation: On-Chip Production and Characterization
Micromachines 2019, 10(4), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10040265 - 19 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Traditional two-dimensional (2D) cell culture models are limited in their ability to reproduce human structures and functions. On the contrary, three-dimensional (3D) microtissues have the potential to permit the development of new cell-based assays as advanced in vitro models to test new drugs. [...] Read more.
Traditional two-dimensional (2D) cell culture models are limited in their ability to reproduce human structures and functions. On the contrary, three-dimensional (3D) microtissues have the potential to permit the development of new cell-based assays as advanced in vitro models to test new drugs. Here, we report the use of a dehydrated gelatin film to promote tumor cells aggregation and 3D microtissue formation. The simple and stable gelatin coating represents an alternative to conventional and expensive materials like type I collagen, hyaluronic acid, or matrigel. The gelatin coating is biocompatible with several culture formats including microfluidic chips, as well as standard micro-well plates. It also enables long-term 3D cell culture and in situ monitoring of live/dead assays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-system for Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle
Stabilized Production of Lipid Nanoparticles of Tunable Size in Taylor Flow Glass Devices with High-Surface-Quality 3D Microchannels
Micromachines 2019, 10(4), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10040220 - 27 Mar 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
Nanoparticles as an application platform for active ingredients offer the advantage of efficient absorption and rapid dissolution in the organism, even in cases of poor water solubility. Active substances can either be presented directly as nanoparticles or can be integrated in a colloidal [...] Read more.
Nanoparticles as an application platform for active ingredients offer the advantage of efficient absorption and rapid dissolution in the organism, even in cases of poor water solubility. Active substances can either be presented directly as nanoparticles or can be integrated in a colloidal carrier system (e.g., lipid nanoparticles). For bottom-up nanoparticle production minimizing particle contamination, precipitation processes provide an adequate approach. Microfluidic systems ensure a precise control of mixing for the precipitation, which enables a tunable particle size definition. In this work, a gas/liquid Taylor flow micromixer made of chemically inert glass is presented, in which the organic phases are injected through a symmetric inlet structure. The 3D structuring of the glass was performed by femtosecond laser ablation. Rough microchannel walls are typically obtained by laser ablation but were smoothed by a subsequent annealing process resulting in lower hydrophilicity and even rounder channel cross-sections. Only with such smooth channel walls can a substantial reduction of fouling be obtained, allowing for stable operation over longer periods. The ultrafast mixing of the solutions could be adjusted by simply changing the gas volume flow rate. Narrow particle size distributions are obtained for smaller gas bubbles with a low backflow and when the rate of liquid volume flow has a small influence on particle precipitation. Therefore, nanoparticles with adjustable sizes of down to 70 nm could be reliably produced in continuous mode. Particle size distributions could be narrowed to a polydispersity value of 0.12. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-system for Drug Delivery)
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Open AccessArticle
Empirical Modeling of Zn/ZnO Nanoparticles Decorated/Conjugated with Fotolon (Chlorine e6) Based Photodynamic Therapy towards Liver Cancer Treatment
Micromachines 2019, 10(1), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10010060 - 17 Jan 2019
Cited by 7Correction
Abstract
The current study is based on Zn/ZnO nanoparticles photodynamic therapy (PDT) mediated effects on healthy liver cells and cancerous cells. The synthesis of Zn/ZnO nanoparticles was accomplished using chemical and hydrothermal methods. The characterization of the synthesized nanoparticles was carried out using manifold [...] Read more.
The current study is based on Zn/ZnO nanoparticles photodynamic therapy (PDT) mediated effects on healthy liver cells and cancerous cells. The synthesis of Zn/ZnO nanoparticles was accomplished using chemical and hydrothermal methods. The characterization of the synthesized nanoparticles was carried out using manifold techniques (e.g., transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS)). In order to study the biotoxicity of the grown nanoparticles, they were applied individually and in conjunction with the third generation photosensitiser Fotolon (Chlorine e6) in the in vivo model of the normal liver of the Wister rat, and in the in vitro cancerous liver (HepG2) model both in the dark and under a variety of laser exposures (630 nm, Ultraviolet (UV) light). The localization of ZnO nanoparticles was observed by applying fluorescence spectroscopy on a 1 cm2 selected area of normal liver, whereas the in vitro cytotoxicity and reactive oxygen species (ROS) detection were carried out by calculating the loss in the cell viability of the hepatocellular model by applying a neutral red assay (NRA). Furthermore, a statistical analysis is carried out and it is ensured that the p value is less than 0.05. Thus, the current study has highlighted the potential for applying Zn/ZnO nanoparticles in photodynamic therapy that would lead to wider medical applications to improve the efficiency of cancer treatment and its biological aspect study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-system for Drug Delivery)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Microfluidics Mediated Production of Foams for Biomedical Applications
Micromachines 2020, 11(1), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11010083 - 12 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Within the last decade, there has been increasing interest in liquid and solid foams for several industrial uses. In the biomedical field, liquid foams can be used as delivery systems for dermatological treatments, for example, whereas solid foams are frequently used as scaffolds [...] Read more.
Within the last decade, there has been increasing interest in liquid and solid foams for several industrial uses. In the biomedical field, liquid foams can be used as delivery systems for dermatological treatments, for example, whereas solid foams are frequently used as scaffolds for tissue engineering and drug screening. Most of the foam functionalities are largely correlated to their mechanical properties and their structure, especially bubble/pore size, shape, and interconnectivity. However, the majority of conventional foaming fabrication techniques lack pore size control which can induce important inhomogeneities in the foams and subsequently decrease their performance. In this perspective, new advanced technologies have been introduced, such as microfluidics, which offers a highly controlled production, allowing for design customization of both liquid foams and solid foams obtained through liquid-templating. This short review explores both the fabrication and the characterization of foams, with a focus on solid polymer foams, and sheds the light on how microfluidics can overcome some existing limitations, playing a crucial role in their production for biomedical applications, especially as scaffolds in tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano-system for Drug Delivery)
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