Special Issue "Biomedical Polymer Materials"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (14 June 2019)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Annamaria Visco

Department of Engineering, University of Messina, Messina, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: polymer; polymer (nano)composites; polymer characterization
Guest Editor
Prof. Alessandro Pistone

Department of Engineering, University of Messina, Contrada Di Dio, I-98166 Messina, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Nanomaterials; Drug Delivery Systems; Tissue Engineering; Biomaterials

Special Issue Information

Click here to contribute for our special issue!

Dear Colleagues,

Polymeric bio-materials have been widely used in the medical field thanks to their special mechanical, physical, chemical, and biological characteristics. They must be able to interact with vital areas of the human body without creating inflammatory or rejection reactions. Thus, there is a growing interest in finding new biocompatible polymers, biodegradable or not.

Given the rapid development and use of biomaterials, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the relationships among the structure, processing, and properties of biomedical polymers so to widen their medical applications and to improve the characteristics of the materials already used.

This Special Issue focuses on polymers used in the biomedical field. Topics of interest concern polymers (biodegradable or not) used for this purpose and related aspects, such as replacement materials for heart valves and arteries, ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) in joint replacement, scaffolds for tissue engineering, drug delivery systems, suture threads, etc.

Prof. Annamaria Visco
Prof. Alessandro Pistone
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Polymers 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 1500 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

  • biopolymer
  • medical application
  • mechanical properties
  • characterization analyses
  • natural biopolymer
  • polymer degradation
  • bio-absorbable polymer

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Threads Made with Blended Biopolymers: Mechanical, Physical and Biological Features
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 901; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050901
Received: 12 April 2019 / Revised: 12 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 17 May 2019
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Abstract
Poly (Lactic Acid), PLA, and Poly (ε-CaproLactone), PCL, compatibilized with Ethyl Ester l-Lysine Triisocyanate (LTI) can be employed as biomaterials. We mixed PLA with PCL and LTI in a twin extruder and by a melt spinning process obtained threads with an average [...] Read more.
Poly (Lactic Acid), PLA, and Poly (ε-CaproLactone), PCL, compatibilized with Ethyl Ester l-Lysine Triisocyanate (LTI) can be employed as biomaterials. We mixed PLA with PCL and LTI in a twin extruder and by a melt spinning process obtained threads with an average diameter of about 0.3 mm. In order to study the possible application of these threads, mechanical tensile (with the calorimetric and morphological investigations) and biological tests were performed. The results highlighted these biopolymers as promising materials for sutures since they can be rigid and elastic (especially by increasing the PCL amount in the blend), and they are bioactive, able to inhibit bacterial growth. This paper represents a starting point to optimize the blend composition for biomedical suture application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Polymer Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Dextran-Coated Zinc-Doped Hydroxyapatite for Biomedical Applications
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050886
Received: 22 April 2019 / Revised: 11 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
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Abstract
Dextran-coated zinc-doped hydroxyapatite (ZnHApD) was synthesized by an adapted sol-gel method. The stability of ZnHApD nanoparticles in an aqueous solution was analyzed using ultrasonic measurements. The analysis of the evolution in time of the attenuation for each of the frequencies was performed. The [...] Read more.
Dextran-coated zinc-doped hydroxyapatite (ZnHApD) was synthesized by an adapted sol-gel method. The stability of ZnHApD nanoparticles in an aqueous solution was analyzed using ultrasonic measurements. The analysis of the evolution in time of the attenuation for each of the frequencies was performed. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) investigations exhibited that no impurity was found. The morphology, size and size distribution of the ZnHApD sample was investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The TEM and SEM results showed that the ZnHApD particles have an ellipsoidal shape and a narrow distribution of sizes. The cell growth and toxicity of HEK-293 cells were investigated on the ZnHApD solution for four different concentrations and analyzed after 24 and 48 h. The ZnHApD solution presented a non-toxic activity against HEK-293 cells for all analyzed concentrations. The antibacterial assay revealed that all the tested microorganisms were inhibited by the ZnHApD dispersion after 24 and 48 h of incubation. It was observed that the effect of the ZnHApD solution on bacteria growth depended on the bacterial strain. The Porphyromonas gingivalis ATCC 33277 bacterial strain was the most sensitive, as a growth inhibition in the presence of 0.075 μg/mL ZnHApD in the culture medium was observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Polymer Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Polylactide Composite Pins Reinforced with Bioresorbable Continuous Glass Fibers Demonstrating Bone-like Apatite Formation and Spiral Delamination Degradation
Polymers 2019, 11(5), 812; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050812
Received: 13 April 2019 / Revised: 30 April 2019 / Accepted: 30 April 2019 / Published: 6 May 2019
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Abstract
The emergence of polylactide composites reinforced with bioresorbable silicate glass fibers has allowed for the long-term success of biodegradable polymers in load-bearing orthopedic applications. However, few studies have reported on the degradation behavior and bioactivity of such biocomposites. The aim of this work [...] Read more.
The emergence of polylactide composites reinforced with bioresorbable silicate glass fibers has allowed for the long-term success of biodegradable polymers in load-bearing orthopedic applications. However, few studies have reported on the degradation behavior and bioactivity of such biocomposites. The aim of this work was to investigate the degradation behavior and in vitro bioactivity of a novel biocomposite pin composed of bioresorbable continuous glass fibers and poly-L-D-lactide in simulated body fluid for 78 weeks. As the materials degraded, periodic spiral delamination formed microtubes and funnel-shaped structures in the biocomposite pins. It was speculated that the direction of degradation, from both ends towards the middle of the fibers and from the surface through to the bulk of the polymer matrix, could facilitate bone healing. Following immersion in simulated body fluid, a bone-like apatite layer formed on the biocomposite pins which had a similar composition and structure to natural bone. The sheet- and needle-like apatite nanostructure was doped with sodium, magnesium, and carbonate ions, which acted to lower the Ca/P atomic ratio to less than the stoichiometric apatite and presented a calcium-deficient apatite with low crystallinity. These findings demonstrated the bioactivity of the new biocomposite pins in vitro and their excellent potential for load-bearing applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Polymer Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
In vitro Comparative Study of Fibroblastic Behaviour on Polymethacrylate (PMMA) and Lithium Disilicate Polymer Surfaces
Polymers 2019, 11(4), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11040744
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 23 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and lithium disilicate are widely used materials in the dental field. PMMA is mainly used for the manufacture of removable prostheses; however, with the incorporation of CAD-CAM technology, new applications have been introduced for this material, including as a provisional [...] Read more.
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and lithium disilicate are widely used materials in the dental field. PMMA is mainly used for the manufacture of removable prostheses; however, with the incorporation of CAD-CAM technology, new applications have been introduced for this material, including as a provisional implant attachment. Lithium disilicate is considered the gold standard for definitive attachment material. On the other hand, PMMA has begun to be used in clinics as a provisional attachment until the placement of a definitive one occurs. Although there are clinical studies regarding its use, there are few studies on cell reorganization around this type of material. This is why we carried out an in vitro comparative study using discs of both materials in which human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) were cultured. After processing them, we analyzed various cellular parameters (cell count, cytoskeleton length, core size and coverage area). We analyzed the surface of the discs together with their composition. The results obtained were mostly not statistically significant, which shows that the qualities of PMMA make it a suitable material as an implant attachment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Polymer Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Dapivirine Bioadhesive Vaginal Tablets Based on Natural Polymers for the Prevention of Sexual Transmission of HIV
Polymers 2019, 11(3), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11030483
Received: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2195 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Young sub-Saharan women are a group that is vulnerable to the sexual transmission of HIV. Pre-exposure prophylaxis through vaginal microbicides could provide them an option for self-protection. Dapivirine has been demonstrated to have topical inhibitory effects in HIV, and to provide protection against [...] Read more.
Young sub-Saharan women are a group that is vulnerable to the sexual transmission of HIV. Pre-exposure prophylaxis through vaginal microbicides could provide them an option for self-protection. Dapivirine has been demonstrated to have topical inhibitory effects in HIV, and to provide protection against the sexual transmission of this virus. This paper reports on the studies into swelling behaviour, bioadhesion and release carried out on dapivirine tablets based on chitosan, locust bean gum and pectin, to select the most suitable formulation. The modified simulated vaginal fluid led to a high solubility of dapivirine and allowed the dapivirine release profiles to be characterized in sink conditions; this aqueous medium is an alternative to organic solvents, which are not a realistic option when evaluating systems whose behaviour varies in aqueous and organic media. Of the formulations evaluated, dapivirine/pectin tablets containing 290 mg of polymer and 30 mg of dapivirine present the most moderate swelling, making them the most comfortable dosage forms. Their high bioadhesive capacity would also allow the formulation to remain in the action zone and release the drug in a sustained manner, pointing to this formulation as the most promising candidate for future evaluations of vaginal microbicides for the prevention of HIV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Polymer Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of bFGF on the Fabrication of Microencapsulated Cartilage Cells under Different Shaking Modes
Polymers 2019, 11(3), 471; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11030471
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Cell encapsulation in hydrogels has been extensively used in cytotherapy, regenerative medicine, 3D cell culture, and tissue engineering. Herein, we fabricated microencapsulated cells through microcapsules loaded with C5.18 chondrocytes alginate/chitosan prepared by a high-voltage electrostatic method. Under optimized conditions, microencapsulated cells presented uniform [...] Read more.
Cell encapsulation in hydrogels has been extensively used in cytotherapy, regenerative medicine, 3D cell culture, and tissue engineering. Herein, we fabricated microencapsulated cells through microcapsules loaded with C5.18 chondrocytes alginate/chitosan prepared by a high-voltage electrostatic method. Under optimized conditions, microencapsulated cells presented uniform size distribution, good sphericity, and a smooth surface with different cell densities. The particle size distribution was determined at 150–280 μm, with an average particle diameter of 220 μm. The microencapsulated cells were cultured under static, shaking, and 3D micro-gravity conditions with or without bFGF (basic fibroblast growth factor) treatment. The quantified detection (cell proliferation detection and glycosaminoglycan (GAG)/type II collagen (Col-II)) content was respectively determined by cell counting kit-8 assay (CCK-8) and dimethylmethylene blue (DMB)/Col-II secretion determination) and qualitative detection (acridine orange/ethidium bromide, hematoxylin-eosin, alcian blue, safranin-O, and immunohistochemistry staining) of these microencapsulated cells were evaluated. Results showed that microencapsulated C5.18 cells under three-dimensional microgravity conditions promoted cells to form large cell aggregates within 20 days by using bFGF, which provided the possibility for cartilage tissue constructs in vitro. It could be found from the cell viability (cell proliferation) and synthesis (content of GAG and Col-II) results that microencapsulated cells had a better cell proliferation under 3D micro-gravity conditions using bFGF than under 2D conditions (including static and shaking conditions). We anticipate that these results will be a benefit for the design and construction of cartilage regeneration in future tissue engineering applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Polymer Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Tablet of Ximenia Americana L. Developed from Mucoadhesive Polymers for Future Use in Oral Treatment of Fungal Infections
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 379; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020379
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 17 February 2019 / Published: 20 February 2019
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Abstract
The use of biocompatible polymers such as Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC), Hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC), Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), and Carbopol in solid formulations results in mucoadhesive systems capable of promoting the prolonged and localized release of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). This strategy represents a technological innovation that can [...] Read more.
The use of biocompatible polymers such as Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC), Hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC), Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), and Carbopol in solid formulations results in mucoadhesive systems capable of promoting the prolonged and localized release of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs). This strategy represents a technological innovation that can be applied to improving the treatment of oral infections, such as oral candidiasis. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop a tablet of Ximenia americana L. from mucoadhesive polymers for use in the treatment of oral candidiasis. An X. americana extract (MIC of 125 μg·mL−1) was obtained by turbolysis at 50% of ethanol, a level that demonstrated activity against Candida albicans. Differential Thermal Analysis and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy techniques allowed the choice of HPMC as a mucoadhesive agent, besides polyvinylpyrrolidone, magnesium stearate, and mannitol to integrate the formulation of X. americana. These excipients were granulated with an ethanolic solution 70% v/v at PVP 5%, and a mucoadhesive tablet was obtained by compression. Finally, mucoadhesive strength was evaluated, and the results demonstrated good mucoadhesive forces in mucin disk and pig buccal mucosa. Therefore, the study allowed a new alternative to be developed for the treatment of buccal candidiasis, one which overcomes the inconveniences of common treatments, costs little, and facilitates patients’ adhesion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Polymer Materials)
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