Special Issue "Bionanotechnology"

A special issue of Nanomaterials (ISSN 2079-4991). This special issue belongs to the section "Biology and Medicines".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (23 July 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Andrea Zille
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
2C2T - Centro de Ciência e Tecnologia Têxtil, Universidade do Minho, Campus de Azurém, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
Interests: textile coating and functionalization; medical textiles; biomaterials; nanomaterials; plasma functionalization
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite you to submit your work to a Special Issue of Nanomaterials on "Bionanotechnology". The recent combination of the disciplines of nanotechnology and biology has led to some very important theoretical and practical advances in both biology and nanoengineered materials. Bionanotechnology is an inter-disciplinary area of research placed at the interface of chemistry, biology, materials science, engineering, and medicine, which  finds application in many technological fields. Biological systems are essential in nanotechnology, and many new applications are being developed by mimicking the natural systems. The scope of this Special Issue on bionanotehcnology is to focus not only on biomedical applications that usually are the main subject of research in this field but also on new advanced applications in all sectors, including the biomedical, food, agriculture, energy, and environment areas. In particular, the topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

Emerging microscale technologies; Biosensors; Bionanotech-based water treatment; Tissue engineering and drug delivery; Bionanotechnology in medicine; Bionanotechnology applications in plants and agriculture; Smart medical materials and antimicrobial coatings; Coatings for protection and comfort; Biomimetic coatings ; Memory polymer coatings; Self-cleaning processes; Self-healing coatings ; Smart breathable coatings for textiles; Conductive polymer coatings ; Photonic materials; Biomimetic coatings 

Dr. Andrea Zille
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. Nanomaterials 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 2200 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

  • Emerging microscale technologies
  • Biosensors
  • Bionanotech-based water treatment
  • Tissue engineering and drug delivery
  • Bionanotechnology in medicine
  • Bionanotechnology applications in plants and agriculture
  • Smart medical materials and antimicrobial coatings
  • Coatings for protection and comfort
  • Biomimetic coatings
  • Memory polymer coatings
  • Self-cleaning processes
  • Self-healing coatings
  • Smart breathable coatings for textiles
  • Conductive polymer coatings
  • Photonic materials
  • Biomimetic coatings

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Article
Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Copper Nanoparticles for the Control of Leaf Spot and Anthracnose Diseases of Olive
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(7), 1667; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11071667 - 24 Jun 2021
Viewed by 928
Abstract
Olive crop is frequently treated with copper fungicides to combat foliar and fruit diseases such as olive leaf spot caused by Fusicladium oleagineum and anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum spp. The replacement of copper-based products with more eco-friendly alternatives is a priority. Metal nanoparticles [...] Read more.
Olive crop is frequently treated with copper fungicides to combat foliar and fruit diseases such as olive leaf spot caused by Fusicladium oleagineum and anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum spp. The replacement of copper-based products with more eco-friendly alternatives is a priority. Metal nanoparticles synthesized in several ways have recently revolutionized crop protection with applications against important crop pathogens. In this study, we present the development of four copper-based nanoparticles (CuNP Type 1 to 4) synthesized with a wet chemistry approach. The CuNPs were characterized using Transmission Electron Microscopy, Dynamic Light Scattering, Laser Doppler Electrophoresis, and Attenuated Total Reflection measurements. In addition, the activity of the four CuNP types was tested in vitro and in planta against F. oleagineum and Colletotrichum spp. In vitro sensitivity measurements showed that for both pathogens, mycelial growth was the most susceptible developmental stage to the tested compounds. Against both pathogens, CuNP Type 1 and Type 2 were found to be more active in reducing mycelial growth compared to the reference commercial compounds of copper oxide and copper hydroxide. In planta experiments showed that CuNP Type 3 and CuNP Type 4 exhibited a strong protectant activity against both F. oleagineum and Colletotrichum acutatum with control efficacy values significantly higher than those achieved by the applications of either reference product. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bionanotechnology)
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Article
Pea Protein Nanoemulsion Effectively Stabilizes Vitamin D in Food Products: A Potential Supplementation during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(4), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11040887 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 912
Abstract
Vitamin D deficiency is a global issue which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdowns. Fortification of food staples with vitamin D provides a solution to alleviate this problem. This research explored the use of pea protein nanoemulsion (PPN) to improve the [...] Read more.
Vitamin D deficiency is a global issue which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdowns. Fortification of food staples with vitamin D provides a solution to alleviate this problem. This research explored the use of pea protein nanoemulsion (PPN) to improve the stability of vitamin D in various food products. PPN was created using a pH-shifting and ultrasonication combined method. The physicochemical properties were studied, including particle size, foaming ability, water holding capacity, antioxidant activity, and total phenolic contents. The fortification of several food formulations (non-fat cow milk, canned orange juice, orange juice powder, banana milk, and infant formula) with vitamin D–PPN was investigated and compared to raw untreated pea protein (UPP) regarding their color, viscosity, moisture content, chemical composition, vitamin D stability, antioxidant activity, and morphology. Finally, a sensory evaluation (quantitative descriptive analysis, and consumer testing) was conducted. The results show that PPN with a size of 21.8 nm protected the vitamin D in all tested products. PPN may serve as a potential carrier and stabilizer of vitamin D in food products with minimum effects on the taste and color. Hence, PPN may serve as a green and safe method for food fortification during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bionanotechnology)
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Article
Comparison of Different Protein Emulsifiers on Physicochemical Properties of β-Carotene-Loaded Nanoemulsion: Effect on Formation, Stability, and In Vitro Digestion
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(1), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11010167 - 11 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 768
Abstract
In this study, β-carotene-loaded nanoemulsions are emulsified using four biomacromolecular proteins—peanut protein isolate (PPI), soy protein isolate (SPI), rice bran protein isolate (RBPI), and whey protein isolate (WPI)—in order to explore their emulsion stability and in vitro digestion characteristics. All four nanoemulsions attained [...] Read more.
In this study, β-carotene-loaded nanoemulsions are emulsified using four biomacromolecular proteins—peanut protein isolate (PPI), soy protein isolate (SPI), rice bran protein isolate (RBPI), and whey protein isolate (WPI)—in order to explore their emulsion stability and in vitro digestion characteristics. All four nanoemulsions attained high encapsulation levels (over 90%). During the three-stage in vitro digestion model (including oral, gastric, and small intestine digestion phases), the PPI-emulsified nanoemulsion showed the highest lipolysis rates (117.39%) and bioaccessibility (37.39%) among the four nanoemulsions. Moreover, the PPI-emulsified nanoemulsion (with the smallest droplet size) also demonstrated the highest stability during storage and centrifugation, while those for the RBPI-emulsified nanoemulsion (with the largest droplet size) were the lowest. In addition, all four nanoemulsions showed superior oxidation stability when compared with the blank control of corn oil. The oxidation rates of the PPI- and WPI-stabilized groups were slower than the other two groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bionanotechnology)
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Article
Ecotoxicity to Freshwater Organisms and Cytotoxicity of Nanomaterials: Are We Generating Sufficient Data for Their Risk Assessment?
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(1), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11010066 - 30 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1231
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to investigate the eco-cytotoxicity of several forms of nanomaterials (NM), such as nano-CuO, nano-TiO2, nano-SiO2 and nano-ZnO, on different aquatic species (Raphidocelis subcapitata, Daphnia magna and Lemna minor) following standard [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the eco-cytotoxicity of several forms of nanomaterials (NM), such as nano-CuO, nano-TiO2, nano-SiO2 and nano-ZnO, on different aquatic species (Raphidocelis subcapitata, Daphnia magna and Lemna minor) following standard protocols and on human cell lines (Caco-2, SV-80, HepG2 and HaCaT). Predicted no-effect concentrations (PNEC) or hazard concentrations for 5% of the species (HC5) were also estimated based on the compilation of data available in the literature. Most of the NM agglomerated strongly in the selected culture media. For the ecotoxicity assays, nano-CuO and nano-ZnO even in particle agglomeration state were the most toxic NM to the freshwater organisms compared to nano-TiO2 and nano-SiO2. Nano-ZnO was the most toxic NM to R. subcapitata and D. magna, while nano-CuO was found to be very toxic to L. minor. Nano-CuO was very toxic to Caco-2 and HepG2 cells, particularly at the highest tested concentrations, while the other NM showed no toxicity to the different cell lines. The HC5 and PNEC values are still highly protective, due to data limitations. However, the present study provides consistent evidence of the potential risks of both nano-CuO and nano-ZnO against aquatic organisms and also their effects on public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bionanotechnology)
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Article
Porous Platinum Black-Coated Minimally Invasive Microneedles for Non-Enzymatic Continuous Glucose Monitoring in Interstitial Fluid
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11010037 - 25 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1088
Abstract
Individuals with diabetes can benefit considerably from continuous blood glucose monitoring. To address this challenge, a proof-of-concept was performed for continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) based on an enzymeless porous nanomaterial (pNM)-modified microneedle electrode array (MNEA). The pNM sensing layer was electrochemically deposited on [...] Read more.
Individuals with diabetes can benefit considerably from continuous blood glucose monitoring. To address this challenge, a proof-of-concept was performed for continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) based on an enzymeless porous nanomaterial (pNM)-modified microneedle electrode array (MNEA). The pNM sensing layer was electrochemically deposited on MNs by applying a fixed negative current of −2.5 mA cm˗2 for 400 s. The pNM-modified MNEA was packed using a biocompatible Nafion ionomer. The fabricated MNEAs were 600 × 100 × 150 µm in height, width, and thickness, respectively. The surfaces of the modified MNs were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The fabricated MNEAs showed a wide dynamic range (1–30 mM) in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and in artificial interstitial fluid (ISF), with good sensitivities (PBS: 1.792 ± 0.25 µA mM−1 cm−2, ISF: 0.957 ± 0.14 µA mM−1 cm−2) and low detection limits (PBS: 7.2 µM, ISF: 22 µM). The sensor also showed high stability (loss of 3.5% at the end of 16 days), selectivity, and reproducibility (Relative standard deviations (RSD) of 1.64% and 0.70% for intra- and inter-assay, respectively) and a good response time (2 s) with great glucose recovery rates in ISF (98.7–102%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bionanotechnology)
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Article
Formulation, Characterization and Evaluation against SH-SY5Y Cells of New Tacrine and Tacrine-MAP Loaded with Lipid Nanoparticles
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(10), 2089; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10102089 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 807
Abstract
Tacrine (TAC) was the first FDA approved drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, resulting in increased memory and enhanced cognitive symptoms in patients. However, long-term therapy presents poor patient compliance associated with undesired side effects such as nausea, vomiting and hepatoxicity. To [...] Read more.
Tacrine (TAC) was the first FDA approved drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, resulting in increased memory and enhanced cognitive symptoms in patients. However, long-term therapy presents poor patient compliance associated with undesired side effects such as nausea, vomiting and hepatoxicity. To improve its therapeutic efficacy and decrease toxicity, the use of nanoparticles could be applied as a possible solution to delivery TAC. In this context, a project has been designed to develop a new nanostructured lipid carrier (NLC) as a delivery system for TAC and conjugate TAC and model amphipathic peptide (MAP) to decrease TAC limitations. Different formulations loaded with TAC and TAC + MAP were prepared using a combination of Compritol 888 ATO as the solid lipid and Transcutol HP as the liquid lipid component. Physical characterization was evaluated in terms of particle size, surface charge, encapsulation efficiency and in vitro drug release studies. Particle size distributions within the nanometer range were obtained with encapsulation efficiencies of 72.4% for the TAC and 85.6% for the TAC + MAP conjugate. Furthermore, cytotoxicity of all NLC formulations was determined against neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. The optimized TAC delivery system revealed low toxicity suggesting this could be a potential carrier system to deliver TAC. However, TAC + MAP conjugated even encapsulated in the NLC system demonstrated toxicity against the SH-SY5Y cell line. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bionanotechnology)
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Article
Antifungal Potential of Nanostructured Crystalline Copper and Its Oxide Forms
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10051003 - 24 May 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1231
Abstract
Copper has been used as an antimicrobial agent for over a century and is now being added to commercial fungicides. Nanomaterials have attracted much attention due to the special properties they have over their bulk form. We studied nanostructured copper (Cu-NPs), investigating the [...] Read more.
Copper has been used as an antimicrobial agent for over a century and is now being added to commercial fungicides. Nanomaterials have attracted much attention due to the special properties they have over their bulk form. We studied nanostructured copper (Cu-NPs), investigating the potential for improved antifungal properties derived from its special properties and studied any effect that the oxidation of copper (CuO-NPs) may have. We conducted this research against Colletotrichum gloeoesporioides, a devastating pathogen to plants/crops worldwide. Research on the effects of copper on this fungus are limited. Our studies showed that nanoforms of copper had significant antifungal activities, with Cu-NPs offering the most sustainable efficacy and was more effective than its oxidative form (CuO-NPs). Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images of the treated pathogen show that the hyphae had a swollen appearance, lost their filamentous structure, and the mycelia had a powder-like structure, indicating the probable destruction of the hyphal tubular cell wall. X-ray Difractogram (XRD) outputs showed substantial changes in the physical characteristics of the Cu-NPs after interaction with the fungus. This is the first report to demonstrate chemo-physical changes in the metal compounds, opening new insights for further studies on the mechanism of copper’s antifungal properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bionanotechnology)
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Article
Multifunctional Chitosan/Gold Nanoparticles Coatings for Biomedical Textiles
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(8), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9081064 - 24 Jul 2019
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1824
Abstract
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), chemically synthesized by citrate reduction, were for the first time immobilized onto chitosan-treated soybean knitted fabric via exhaustion method. AuNPs were successfully produced in the form of highly spherical, moderated polydisperse, stable structures. Their average size was estimated at ≈35 [...] Read more.
Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), chemically synthesized by citrate reduction, were for the first time immobilized onto chitosan-treated soybean knitted fabric via exhaustion method. AuNPs were successfully produced in the form of highly spherical, moderated polydisperse, stable structures. Their average size was estimated at ≈35 nm. Successful immobilization of chitosan and AuNPs were confirmed by alterations in the fabric’s spectrophotometric reflectance spectrum and by detection of nitrogen and gold, non-conjugated C=O stretching vibrations of carbonyl functional groups and residual N-acetyl groups characteristic bands by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis. XPS analysis confirms the strong binding of AuNPs on the chitosan matrix. The fabrics’ thermal stability increased with the introduction of both chitosan and AuNPs. Coated fabrics revealed an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of +50, which established their effectiveness in ultraviolet (UV) radiation shielding. They were also found to resist up to 5 washing cycles with low loss of immobilized AuNPs. Compared with AuNPs or chitosan alone, the combined functionalized coating on soy fabrics demonstrated an improved antimicrobial effect by reducing Staphylococcus aureus adhesion (99.94%) and Escherichia coli (96.26%). Overall, the engineered fabrics were confirmed as multifunctional, displaying attractive optical properties, UV-light protection and important antimicrobial features, that increase their interest for potential biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bionanotechnology)
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Review

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Review
Hard and Soft Protein Corona of Nanomaterials: Analysis and Relevance
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(4), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11040888 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1058
Abstract
Upon contact with a biological milieu, nanomaterials tend to interact with biomolecules present in the media, especially proteins, leading to the formation of the so-called “protein corona”. As a result of these nanomaterial–protein interactions, the bio-identity of the nanomaterial is altered, which is [...] Read more.
Upon contact with a biological milieu, nanomaterials tend to interact with biomolecules present in the media, especially proteins, leading to the formation of the so-called “protein corona”. As a result of these nanomaterial–protein interactions, the bio-identity of the nanomaterial is altered, which is translated into modifications of its behavior, fate, and pharmacological profile. For biomedical applications, it is fundamental to understand the biological behavior of nanomaterials prior to any clinical translation. For these reasons, during the last decade, numerous publications have been focused on the investigation of the protein corona of many different types of nanomaterials. Interestingly, it has been demonstrated that the structure of the protein corona can be divided into hard and soft corona, depending on the affinity of the proteins for the nanoparticle surface. In the present document, we explore the differences between these two protein coronas, review the analysis techniques used for their assessment, and reflect on their relevance for medical purposes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bionanotechnology)
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Review
Nanomaterials for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(2), 546; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11020546 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1638
Abstract
The diagnosis and treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs) remain challenging due to the lack of convenient assessment techniques and to the resistance to conventional antimicrobial therapy, showing the need for novel approaches to address such problems. In this regard, nanotechnology has a [...] Read more.
The diagnosis and treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs) remain challenging due to the lack of convenient assessment techniques and to the resistance to conventional antimicrobial therapy, showing the need for novel approaches to address such problems. In this regard, nanotechnology has a strong potential for both the diagnosis and therapy of UTIs via controlled delivery of antimicrobials upon stable, effective and sustained drug release. On one side, nanoscience allowed the production of various nanomaterial-based evaluation tools as precise, effective, and rapid procedures for the identification of UTIs. On the other side, nanotechnology brought tremendous breakthroughs for the treatment of UTIs based on the use of metallic nanoparticles (NPs) for instance, owing to the antimicrobial properties of metals, or of surface-tailored nanocarriers, allowing to overcome multidrug-resistance and prevent biofilm formation via targeted drug delivery to desired sites of action and preventing the development of cytotoxic processes in healthy cells. The goal of the current study is therefore to present the newest developments for the diagnosis and treatment of UTIs based on nanotechnology procedures in relation to the currently available techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bionanotechnology)
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Review
(Bio)Nanotechnology in Food Science—Food Packaging
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(2), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11020292 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2618
Abstract
Background: Bionanotechnology, as a tool for incorporation of biological molecules into nanoartifacts, is gaining more and more importance in the field of food packaging. It offers an advanced expectation of food packaging that can ensure longer shelf life of products and safer packaging [...] Read more.
Background: Bionanotechnology, as a tool for incorporation of biological molecules into nanoartifacts, is gaining more and more importance in the field of food packaging. It offers an advanced expectation of food packaging that can ensure longer shelf life of products and safer packaging with improved food quality and traceability. Scope and approach: This review recent focuses on advances in food nanopackaging, including bio-based, improved, active, and smart packaging. Special emphasis is placed on bio-based packaging, including biodegradable packaging and biocompatible packaging, which presents an alternative to most commonly used non-degradable polymer materials. Safety and environmental concerns of (bio)nanotechnology implementation in food packaging were also discussed including new EU directives. Conclusions: The use of nanoparticles and nanocomposites in food packaging increases the mechanical strength and properties of the water and oxygen barrier of packaging and may provide other benefits such as antimicrobial activity and light-blocking properties. Concerns about the migration of nanoparticles from packaging to food have been expressed, but migration tests and risk assessment are unclear. Presumed toxicity, lack of additional data from clinical trials and risk assessment studies limit the use of nanomaterials in the food packaging sector. Therefore, an assessment of benefits and risks must be defined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bionanotechnology)
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Review
Crystallized TiO2 Nanosurfaces in Biomedical Applications
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(6), 1121; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10061121 - 06 Jun 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1490
Abstract
Crystallization alters the characteristics of TiO2 nanosurfaces, which consequently influences their bio-performance. In various biomedical applications, the anatase or rutile crystal phase is preferred over amorphous TiO2. The most common crystallization technique is annealing in a conventional furnace. Methods such [...] Read more.
Crystallization alters the characteristics of TiO2 nanosurfaces, which consequently influences their bio-performance. In various biomedical applications, the anatase or rutile crystal phase is preferred over amorphous TiO2. The most common crystallization technique is annealing in a conventional furnace. Methods such as hydrothermal or room temperature crystallization, as well as plasma electrolytic oxidation (PEO) and other plasma-induced crystallization techniques, present more feasible and rapid alternatives for crystal phase initiation or transition between anatase and rutile phases. With oxygen plasma treatment, it is possible to achieve an anatase or rutile crystal phase in a few seconds, depending on the plasma conditions. This review article aims to address different crystallization techniques on nanostructured TiO2 surfaces and the influence of crystal phase on biological response. The emphasis is given to electrochemically anodized nanotube arrays and their interaction with the biological environment. A short overview of the most commonly employed medical devices made of titanium and its alloys is presented and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bionanotechnology)
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