Special Issue "Supramolecular Hydrogels, Cryogels, Self-Healing Hydrogels, Smart Hydrogels, and Other Advanced Polymeric Systems for Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Applications"

A special issue of Pharmaceutics (ISSN 1999-4923). This special issue belongs to the section "Pharmaceutical Technology, Manufacturing and Devices".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Nihal Engin Vrana
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
INSERM UMR1121 University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
Interests: biomaterials; coatings; tissue engineering; multifunctional systems; antimicrobials; supramolecular assemblies; biomaterial testing; immunomodulation
Dr. Murat Guvendiren
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, NJIT, University Heights, Newark, NJ 07102, USA
Interests: hydrogels; polymeric biomaterials; 3D bioprinting; biomimetics; stem cells
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Eda Ayse Aksoy
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Hacettepe University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sıhhiye, 06100, Ankara, Turkey
Interests: biomaterials; polymer synthesis; polyurethanes; natural polymers; biodegradable elastomers; biocomposites; surface modification of biomaterials; pharmaceutical and tissue engineering applications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hydrogels are natural or synthetic polymeric networks, which have the ability to absorb significant amounts of water in their highly hydrated state. Their unique physicochemical properties, provide flexibility and 3D structures very similar to that of natural tissues. In recent years, there has been a continuous effort to design new and intelligent gel-based systems. Integration of thermosensitive, self-healing, and injectability properties into gel network systems increases their applicability in tissue engineering and other pharmaceutical applications such as gene/drug delivery. Cryogelation techniques also overcome the mechanical limitations of classical hydrogels and provide high toughness to gel macromolecular structure. Smart hydrogels, cryogels, self-healing hydrogels, thermosensitive hydrogels, and 3D and 4D printable hydrogels together with other polymeric systems such as foam hold great potential for drug delivery, gene delivery, cell encapsulation, and as scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

This Special Issue will cover novel formulations and strategies for smart hydrogels, cryogels, self-healing hydrogels, thermosensitive hydrogels, 3D and 4D printable hydrogels, bioinks and other advanced polymeric systems for pharmaceutical and biomedical applications.

Dr. Nihal Engin Vrana
Dr. Murat Guvendiren
Dr. Eda Ayse Aksoy
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. Pharmaceutics 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

  • supramolecular hydrogels
  • smart hydrogels
  • cryogels
  • self-healing hydrogels
  • thermosensitive hydrogels
  • 3D and 4D printable hydrogels
  • bioinks
  • advanced polymeric systems

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Mucoadhesive In Situ Rectal Gel Loaded with Rifampicin: Strategy to Improve Bioavailability and Alleviate Liver Toxicity
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030336 - 05 Mar 2021
Viewed by 425
Abstract
Although it is a front-line in tuberculosis treatment, rifampicin (RF) exhibits poor oral bioavailability and hepatotoxicity. Rectal mucoadhesive and in situ rectal gels were developed to overcome drug drawbacks. A RF/polyethylene glycol 6000 co-precipitate was first prepared in different ratios. Based on the [...] Read more.
Although it is a front-line in tuberculosis treatment, rifampicin (RF) exhibits poor oral bioavailability and hepatotoxicity. Rectal mucoadhesive and in situ rectal gels were developed to overcome drug drawbacks. A RF/polyethylene glycol 6000 co-precipitate was first prepared in different ratios. Based on the drug solubility, the selected ratio was investigated for drug/polymer interaction and then incorporated into in situ rectal gels using Pluronic F127 (15%) and Pluronic F68 (10%) as a gel base and mucoadhesive polymers (HPMC, sodium alginate and chitosan). The formulations were assessed for gelation temperature and gel strength. The selected formulation was investigated for in vivo assessments. The results showed that a 1:1 drug/polymer ratio exhibited satisfying solubility with the recorded drug/polymer interaction. Depending on their concentrations, adding mucoadhesive polymers shifted the gelation temperature to lower temperatures and improved the gel strength. The selected formulation (F4) did not exhibit any anal leakage or marked rectal irritation. Using a validated chromatographic analytical method, F4 exhibited higher drug absorption with a 3.38-fold and 1.74-fold higher bioavailability when compared to oral drug suspension and solid suppositories, respectively. Toxicity studies showed unnoticeable hepatic injury in terms of biochemical, histopathological and immunohistochemical examinations. Together, F4 showed a potential of enhanced performance and also offered lower hepatic toxicity, thus offering an encouraging therapeutic alternative. Full article
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Article
Hybrid Pectin-Liposome Formulation against Multi-Resistant Bacterial Strains
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(8), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12080769 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1079
Abstract
This work describes the development of a gastroresistant antimicrobial formulation composed of two carriers, pectin and liposomes, intended to improve the efficiency of norfloxacin (NOR) against multi-resistant bacterial strains. The formulations showed physicochemical stability for 180 days (4 °C) in terms of size, [...] Read more.
This work describes the development of a gastroresistant antimicrobial formulation composed of two carriers, pectin and liposomes, intended to improve the efficiency of norfloxacin (NOR) against multi-resistant bacterial strains. The formulations showed physicochemical stability for 180 days (4 °C) in terms of size, polydispersity, and zeta potential of the vesicles, prolonging the in vitro release of NOR for 11 h. The hybrid nanocarriers improved the in vitro antimicrobial activity against different multidrug-resistant bacterial strains, such as Salmonella sp., Pseudomonasaeruginosa, E. coli and Campylobacterjejuni, in comparison to commercial NOR and liposomal suspensions. The in vivo toxicity assay in chicken embryos revealed that the hybrid systems were not toxic in any of the different parameters analyzed, a result also corroborated by the analyses of biochemical biomarkers of the chicken-embryos liver function. Full article
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Review

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Review
Silk Fibroin: An Ancient Material for Repairing the Injured Nervous System
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(3), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13030429 - 23 Mar 2021
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Abstract
Silk refers to a family of natural fibers spun by several species of invertebrates such as spiders and silkworms. In particular, silkworm silk, the silk spun by Bombyx mori larvae, has been primarily used in the textile industry and in clinical settings as [...] Read more.
Silk refers to a family of natural fibers spun by several species of invertebrates such as spiders and silkworms. In particular, silkworm silk, the silk spun by Bombyx mori larvae, has been primarily used in the textile industry and in clinical settings as a main component of sutures for tissue repairing and wound ligation. The biocompatibility, remarkable mechanical performance, controllable degradation, and the possibility of producing silk-based materials in several formats, have laid the basic principles that have triggered and extended the use of this material in regenerative medicine. The field of neural soft tissue engineering is not an exception, as it has taken advantage of the properties of silk to promote neuronal growth and nerve guidance. In addition, silk has notable intrinsic properties and the by-products derived from its degradation show anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Finally, this material can be employed for the controlled release of factors and drugs, as well as for the encapsulation and implantation of exogenous stem and progenitor cells with therapeutic capacity. In this article, we review the state of the art on manufacturing methodologies and properties of fiber-based and non-fiber-based formats, as well as the application of silk-based biomaterials to neuroprotect and regenerate the damaged nervous system. We review previous studies that strategically have used silk to enhance therapeutics dealing with highly prevalent central and peripheral disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and peripheral trauma. Finally, we discuss previous research focused on the modification of this biomaterial, through biofunctionalization techniques and/or the creation of novel composite formulations, that aim to transform silk, beyond its natural performance, into more efficient silk-based-polymers towards the clinical arena of neuroprotection and regeneration in nervous system diseases. Full article
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Review
Additive Manufacturing of Oral Tablets: Technologies, Materials and Printed Tablets
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020156 - 25 Jan 2021
Viewed by 755
Abstract
Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as three-dimensional (3D) printing, enables fabrication of custom-designed and personalized 3D constructs with high complexity in shape and composition. AM has a strong potential to fabricate oral tablets with enhanced customization and complexity as compared to tablets manufactured [...] Read more.
Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as three-dimensional (3D) printing, enables fabrication of custom-designed and personalized 3D constructs with high complexity in shape and composition. AM has a strong potential to fabricate oral tablets with enhanced customization and complexity as compared to tablets manufactured using conventional approaches. Despite these advantages, AM has not yet become the mainstream manufacturing approach for fabrication of oral solid dosage forms mainly due to limitations of AM technologies and lack of diverse printable drug formulations. In this review, AM of oral tablets are summarized with respect to AM technology. A detailed review of AM methods and materials used for the AM of oral tablets is presented. This article also reviews the challenges in AM of pharmaceutical formulations and potential strategies to overcome these challenges. Full article
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Review
The Overview of Porous, Bioactive Scaffolds as Instructive Biomaterials for Tissue Regeneration and Their Clinical Translation
Pharmaceutics 2020, 12(7), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics12070602 - 29 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1302
Abstract
Porous scaffolds have been employed for decades in the biomedical field where researchers have been seeking to produce an environment which could approach one of the extracellular matrixes supporting cells in natural tissues. Such three-dimensional systems offer many degrees of freedom to modulate [...] Read more.
Porous scaffolds have been employed for decades in the biomedical field where researchers have been seeking to produce an environment which could approach one of the extracellular matrixes supporting cells in natural tissues. Such three-dimensional systems offer many degrees of freedom to modulate cell activity, ranging from the chemistry of the structure and the architectural properties such as the porosity, the pore, and interconnection size. All these features can be exploited synergistically to tailor the cell–material interactions, and further, the tissue growth within the voids of the scaffold. Herein, an overview of the materials employed to generate porous scaffolds as well as the various techniques that are used to process them is supplied. Furthermore, scaffold parameters which modulate cell behavior are identified under distinct aspects: the architecture of inert scaffolds (i.e., pore and interconnection size, porosity, mechanical properties, etc.) alone on cell functions followed by comparison with bioactive scaffolds to grasp the most relevant features driving tissue regeneration. Finally, in vivo outcomes are highlighted comparing the accordance between in vitro and in vivo results in order to tackle the future translational challenges in tissue repair and regeneration. Full article
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