Special Issue "Biomedical Polymer Materials II"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Alessandro Pistone
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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University of Messina, Messina, Italy
Interests: nanomaterials; drug delivery systems; tissue engineering; biomaterials
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Annamaria Visco
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering, University of Messina, Messina, Italy
Interests: structure-properties relationships in polymers, polymers characterization, biopolymers, polymer blends, polymer (nano)composites
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

On the success of “Biomedical Polymer Materials”, a Special Issue in Polymers,

https://www.mdpi.com/journal/polymers/special_issues/Biomed,

and to provide a continuity in this popular topic, we are pleased to open the second volume of this Special Issue in order to continue the collection of recent scientific contributions regarding synthetic polymers and biopolymers for application in biomedical field.

Polymeric biomaterials can find wide application in medical field thanks to their 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.

To do this, it is important to understand the relationships among the structure, processing, 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 synthesis, functionalization, characterizations, mechanical properties, degradation mechanism and kinetics, and novel applications of polymers in the biomedical field.

Topics of interest concern polymers, synthetic and bio, used 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, 3D printed polymeric constructs for medical applications, and so on.

Prof. Alessandro Pistone
Prof. Annamaria Visco
Guest Editors

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Published Papers (7 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Dental Composition Modified with Aryloxyphosphazene Containing Carboxyl Groups
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051176 - 20 May 2020
Abstract
A modifier consisting of the mixture of cyclotriphosphazenes containing 4-allyl-2-methoxyphenoxy and β-carboxyethenylphenoxy moieties was developed for administration with acrylate dental restorative compositions. The synthesized compounds were characterized by 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The optimal conditions to [...] Read more.
A modifier consisting of the mixture of cyclotriphosphazenes containing 4-allyl-2-methoxyphenoxy and β-carboxyethenylphenoxy moieties was developed for administration with acrylate dental restorative compositions. The synthesized compounds were characterized by 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The optimal conditions to combine the modifier with the starting dental mixture consisting of bis-GMA and TGM-3 were revealed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) method. Properties of the cured modified compositions were evaluated for the compliance with requirements of ISO 4049:2019. It was found that these compositions possess the increased adhesion to dental tissues and cure depth and the decreased water sorption and water solubility. The values of elastic modules, destructive compressive stress and microhardness were also increasing along with the increased content of the modifier in the composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Polymer Materials II)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Double Substitution in Cationic Chitosan Derivatives on DNA Transfection Efficiency
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1057; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051057 - 05 May 2020
Abstract
Recently, much effort has been expended on the development of non-viral gene delivery systems based on polyplexes of nucleic acids with various cationic polymers. Natural polysaccharide derivatives are promising carriers due to their low toxicity. In this work, chitosan was chemically modified by [...] Read more.
Recently, much effort has been expended on the development of non-viral gene delivery systems based on polyplexes of nucleic acids with various cationic polymers. Natural polysaccharide derivatives are promising carriers due to their low toxicity. In this work, chitosan was chemically modified by a reaction with 4-formyl-n,n,n-trimethylanilinium iodide and pyridoxal hydrochloride and subsequent reduction of the imine bond with NaBH4. This reaction yielded three novel derivatives, n-[4-(n’,n’,n’-trimethylammonium)benzyl]chitosan chloride (TMAB-CS), n-[(3-hydroxy-5-(hydroxymethyl)-2-methyl-4-pyridine)methyl]chitosan chloride (Pyr-CS), and n-[4-(n’,n’,n’’-trimethylammonium)benzyl]-n-[(3-hydroxy-5-(hydroxymethyl)-2-methyl-4-pyridine)methyl]chitosan chloride (PyrTMAB-CS). Their structures and degrees of substitution were established by 1H NMR spectroscopy as DS1 = 0.22 for TMAB-CS, DS2 = 0.28 for Pyr-CS, and DS1 = 0.21, DS2 = 0.22 for PyrTMAB-CS. Dynamic light scattering measurements revealed that the new polymers formed stable polyplexes with plasmid DNA encoding the green fluorescent protein (pEGFP-N3) and that the particles had the smallest size (110–165 nm) when the polymer:DNA mass ratio was higher than 5:1. Transfection experiments carried out in the HEK293 cell line using the polymer:DNA polyplexes demonstrated that Pyr-CS was a rather poor transfection agent at polymer:DNA mass ratios less than 10:1, but it was still more effective than the TMAB-CS and PyrTMAB-CS derivatives that contained a quaternary ammonium group. By contrast, TMAB-CS and PyrTMAB-CS were substantially more effective than Pyr-CS at higher polymer:DNA mass ratios and showed a maximum efficiency at 200:1 (50%–70% transfected cells). Overall, the results show the possibility of combining substituent effects in a single carrier, thereby increasing its efficacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Polymer Materials II)
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Open AccessArticle
Chitosan/PAMAM/Hydroxyapatite Engineered Drug Release Hydrogels with Tunable Rheological Properties
Polymers 2020, 12(4), 754; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12040754 - 31 Mar 2020
Abstract
In this paper, a new formulation of biodegradable and bioresorbable chitosan-based hydrogel for controlled drug release was investigated. A chitosan–dendrimer–hydroxyapatite hydrogel, obtained by covalently grafting chitosan powder with an hyperbranched PAMAM dendrimer followed by in-situ precipitation of hydroxyapatite and gelification, was synthesized and [...] Read more.
In this paper, a new formulation of biodegradable and bioresorbable chitosan-based hydrogel for controlled drug release was investigated. A chitosan–dendrimer–hydroxyapatite hydrogel, obtained by covalently grafting chitosan powder with an hyperbranched PAMAM dendrimer followed by in-situ precipitation of hydroxyapatite and gelification, was synthesized and characterized by FTIR, NMR, TGA, XRD and rheological studies. The hydrogels have been also doped with an anti-inflammatory drug (ketoprofen) in order to investigate their drug release properties. Chemical and chemical-physical characterizations confirmed the successful covalent functionalization of chitosan with PAMAM and the synthesis of nanostructured hydroxyapatite. The developed hydrogel made it possible to obtain an innovative system with tunable rheological and drug-releasing properties relative to the well-known formulation containing chitosan and hydroxyapatite powder. The developed hydrogel showed different rheological and drug-releasing properties of chitosan matrix mixed with hydroxyapatite as a function of dendrimer molecular weight; therefore, the chitosan–dendrimer–hydroxyapatite hydrogel can couple the well-known osteoconductive properties of hydroxyapatite with the drug-release behavior and good processability of chitosan–dendrimer hydrogels, opening new approaches in the field of tissue engineering based on biopolymeric scaffolds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Polymer Materials II)
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Open AccessArticle
GSK3787-Loaded Poly(Ester Amide) Particles for Intra-Articular Drug Delivery
Polymers 2020, 12(4), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12040736 - 26 Mar 2020
Abstract
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating joint disorder affecting more than 240 million people. There is no disease modifying therapeutic, and drugs that are used to alleviate OA symptoms result in side effects. Recent research indicates that inhibition of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ (PPARδ) [...] Read more.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating joint disorder affecting more than 240 million people. There is no disease modifying therapeutic, and drugs that are used to alleviate OA symptoms result in side effects. Recent research indicates that inhibition of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor δ (PPARδ) in cartilage may attenuate the development or progression of OA. PPARδ antagonists such as GSK3787 exist, but would benefit from delivery to joints to avoid side effects. Described here is the loading of GSK3787 into poly(ester amide) (PEA) particles. The particles contained 8 wt.% drug and had mean diameters of about 600 nm. Differential scanning calorimetry indicated the drug was in crystalline domains in the particles. Atomic force microscopy was used to measure the Young’s moduli of individual particles as 2.8 MPa. In vitro drug release studies showed 11% GSK3787 was released over 30 days. Studies in immature murine articular cartilage (IMAC) cells indicated low toxicity from the drug, empty particles, and drug-loaded particles and that the particles were not taken up by the cells. Ex vivo studies on murine joints showed that the particles could be injected into the joint space and resided there for at least 7 days. Overall, these results indicate that GSK3787-loaded PEA particles warrant further investigation as a delivery system for potential OA therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Polymer Materials II)
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Open AccessArticle
Decomposition of Glucose-Sensitive Layer-by-Layer Films Using Hemin, DNA, and Glucose Oxidase
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020319 - 04 Feb 2020
Abstract
Glucose-sensitive films were prepared through the layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition of hemin-modified poly(ethyleneimine) (H-PEI) solution and DNA solution (containing glucose oxidase (GOx)). H-PEI/DNA + GOx multilayer films were constructed using electrostatic interactions. The (H-PEI/DNA + GOx)5 film was then partially decomposed by hydrogen [...] Read more.
Glucose-sensitive films were prepared through the layer-by-layer (LbL) deposition of hemin-modified poly(ethyleneimine) (H-PEI) solution and DNA solution (containing glucose oxidase (GOx)). H-PEI/DNA + GOx multilayer films were constructed using electrostatic interactions. The (H-PEI/DNA + GOx)5 film was then partially decomposed by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The mechanism for the decomposition of the LbL film was considered to involve more reactive oxygen species (ROS) that were formed by the reaction of hemin and H2O2, which then caused nonspecific DNA cleavage. In addition, GOx present in the LbL films reacts with glucose to generate hydrogen peroxide. Therefore, decomposition of the (H-PEI/DNA + GOx)5 film was observed when the thin film was immersed in a glucose solution. (H-PEI/DNA + GOx)5 films exposed to a glucose solution for periods of 24, 48 72, and 96 h indicated that the decomposition of the film increased with the time to 9.97%, 16.3%, 23.1%, and 30.5%, respectively. The rate of LbL film decomposition increased with the glucose concentration. At pH and ionic strengths close to physiological conditions, it was possible to slowly decompose the LbL film at low glucose concentrations of 1–10 mM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Polymer Materials II)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
An Insight into the Structural Diversity and Clinical Applicability of Polyurethanes in Biomedicine
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1197; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051197 - 24 May 2020
Abstract
Due to their mechanical properties, ranging from flexible to hard materials, polyurethanes (PUs) have been widely used in many industrial and biomedical applications. PUs’ characteristics, along with their biocompatibility, make them successful biomaterials for short and medium-duration applications. The morphology of PUs includes [...] Read more.
Due to their mechanical properties, ranging from flexible to hard materials, polyurethanes (PUs) have been widely used in many industrial and biomedical applications. PUs’ characteristics, along with their biocompatibility, make them successful biomaterials for short and medium-duration applications. The morphology of PUs includes two structural phases: hard and soft segments. Their high mechanical resistance featuresare determined by the hard segment, while the elastomeric behaviour is established by the soft segment. The most important biomedical applications of PUs include antibacterial surfaces and catheters, blood oxygenators, dialysis devices, stents, cardiac valves, vascular prostheses, bioadhesives/surgical dressings/pressure-sensitive adhesives, drug delivery systems, tissue engineering scaffolds and electrospinning, nerve generation, pacemaker lead insulation and coatings for breast implants. The diversity of polyurethane properties, due to the ease of bulk and surface modification, plays a vital role in their applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Polymer Materials II)
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Open AccessReview
Water-Soluble Photoinitiators in Biomedical Applications
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1073; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051073 - 07 May 2020
Abstract
Light-initiated polymerization processes are currently an important tool in various industrial fields. The advancement of technology has resulted in the use of photopolymerization in various biomedical applications, such as the production of 3D hydrogel structures, the encapsulation of cells, and in drug delivery [...] Read more.
Light-initiated polymerization processes are currently an important tool in various industrial fields. The advancement of technology has resulted in the use of photopolymerization in various biomedical applications, such as the production of 3D hydrogel structures, the encapsulation of cells, and in drug delivery systems. The use of photopolymerization processes requires an appropriate initiating system that, in biomedical applications, must meet additional criteria such as high water solubility, non-toxicity to cells, and compatibility with visible low-power light sources. This article is a literature review on those compounds that act as photoinitiators of photopolymerization processes in biomedical applications. The division of initiators according to the method of photoinitiation was described and the related mechanisms were discussed. Examples from each group of photoinitiators are presented, and their benefits, limitations, and applications are outlined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomedical Polymer Materials II)
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