Special Issue "Biopolymers for Medical and Pharmaceutical Applications"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ana Vallés-Lluch
Website
Guest Editor
1. Centre for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain 2. Biomedical Research Networking Centre in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), Valencia, Spain
Interests: Polymers; biomedical applications; polymer nanocomposites; acrylates; polyesters; hydrogels; scaffolds; structure/property relationships in polymers; tissue engineering
Prof. Dr. Guillermo Vilariño-Feltrer
Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain
Interests: Polymers; biomedical applications; polymer nanocomposites; polyesters; scaffolds; hydrogels; spatial gradient; structure/property relationships in polymers; molecular structure
Prof. Dr. José Carlos Rodríguez Hernández
Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain
Interests: Polymers; biomedical applications; polymer nanocomposites; acrylates; scaffolds; structure/property relationships in polymers; tissue engineering; surface-protein-cell interaction; surface characterization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polymeric biomolecules (a.k.a. biopolymers), either produced by living organisms or chemically synthesized from a biological material, have endless applications in the medical field, as culture platforms, as cell vehicles for tissue engineering strategies and drug carriers, in fixing and wound-healing devices, or testing and clinical diagnosis.

This Special Issue covers newly designed biopolymer-based systems with potential in the biomedical field and their biological development towards a targeted application. The Special Issue will collect original papers and reviews covering, but not restricted to, the following topics:

  • Biopolymer design attending to particular needs (functionalization of biopolymers, cross-linking techniques; multicomponent systems, nanocomposites; modulation of relevant properties)
  • Advances in conventional and novel (rapid prototyping and bioprinting) fabrication techniques of scaffolds
  • Injectable hydrogels and microparticles; smart materials; biosensors
  • Biopolymers for encapsulation and controlled delivery of drugs/biologically active substances
  • Interaction with the biological medium (molecular, cellular or tissue responses; surface-protein-cell interaction; biocompatibility, bioactivity and hydrolysis; culture protocols and sterilization issues)

Prof. Dr. Ana Vallés-Lluch
Prof. Dr. Guillermo Vilariño-Feltrer
Prof. Dr. José Carlos Rodríguez Hernández
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. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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

  • Natural polymer
  • biodegradable
  • biopolymer design
  • functionalization
  • cross-linking
  • scaffold
  • hydrogel
  • microparticle
  • biocompatibility
  • hydrolysis
  • tissue engineering
  • drug delivery

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro Investigation of Thiol-Functionalized Cellulose Nanofibrils as a Chronic Wound Environment Modulator
Polymers 2021, 13(2), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13020249 - 13 Jan 2021
Abstract
There is currently a huge need for new, improved therapeutic approaches for the treatment of chronic wounds. One promising strategy is to develop wound dressings capable of modulating the chronic wound environment (e.g., by controlling the high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) [...] Read more.
There is currently a huge need for new, improved therapeutic approaches for the treatment of chronic wounds. One promising strategy is to develop wound dressings capable of modulating the chronic wound environment (e.g., by controlling the high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and proteases). Here, we selected the thiol-containing amino acid cysteine to endow wood-derived cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) with bioactivity toward the modulation of ROS levels and protease activity. Cysteine was covalently incorporated into CNF and the functionalized material, herein referred as cys-CNF, was characterized in terms of chemical structure, degree of substitution, radical scavenging capacity, and inhibition of protease activity. The stability of the thiol groups was evaluated over time, and an in vitro cytotoxicity study with human dermal fibroblasts was performed to evaluate the safety profile of cys-CNF. Results showed that cys-CNF was able to efficiently control the activity of the metalloprotease collagenase and to inhibit the free radical DPPH (1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical), activities that were correlated with the presence of free thiol groups on the nanofibers. The stability study showed that the reactivity of the thiol groups challenged the bioactivity over time. Nevertheless, preparing the material as an aerogel and storing it in an inert atmosphere were shown to be valid approaches to increase the stability of the thiol groups in cys-CNF. No signs of toxicity were observed on the dermal fibroblasts when exposed to cys-CNF (concentration range 0.1–0.5 mg/mL). The present work highlights cys-CNF as a promising novel material for the development of bioactive wound dressings for the treatment of chronic wounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Medical and Pharmaceutical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
pH-Sensitive Starch-Based Hydrogels: Synthesis and Effect of Molecular Components on Drug Release Behavior
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 1974; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12091974 - 31 Aug 2020
Abstract
The drug release behavior of pH-sensitive starch-based hydrogels was systematically studied. Hydrogels were synthesized by copolymerization of acrylic acid (AA) and other acrylate comonomers onto the starch backbone. The hydrophilic agents 2-hydroxy ethyl methacrylate (HEMA), and acrylamide (AAm), as well as the hydrophobic [...] Read more.
The drug release behavior of pH-sensitive starch-based hydrogels was systematically studied. Hydrogels were synthesized by copolymerization of acrylic acid (AA) and other acrylate comonomers onto the starch backbone. The hydrophilic agents 2-hydroxy ethyl methacrylate (HEMA), and acrylamide (AAm), as well as the hydrophobic butyl-methacrylate (BMA), were utilized as comonomers. Methylene-bisacrylamide (MBA) was employed as a crosslinking agent. The synthesized hydrogels were loaded with caffeine as a model drug. The effects of the hydrophobic/hydrophilic character of the comonomers and chemical crosslinking on the swelling capacity and the release rate of caffeine were investigated. The use of the crosslinking agent and hydrophobic monomers decreased the swelling capacity of the hydrogels. The release rate of caffeine increased with the presence of a hydrophobic monomer. The fastest release was obtained with the AA/BMA/AAm formulation, and the slowest release was observed with the AA/HEMA/AAm formulation. The transport mechanism was controlled by Fickian diffusion in formulations containing AAm, and controlled by the polymer-relaxation mechanism in formulations containing MBA. Overall, our results showed that the swelling and drug delivery behavior can be tuned by varying the chemical composition of the copolymer formulations. These starch-based hydrogels can be useful as drug delivery devices in many biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Medical and Pharmaceutical Applications)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Antibacterial-Integrated Collagen Wound Dressing for Diabetes-Related Foot Ulcers: An Evidence-Based Review of Clinical Studies
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2168; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12092168 - 22 Sep 2020
Abstract
Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a chronic wound frequently delayed from severe infection. Wound dressing provides an essential barrier between the ulcer and the external environment. This review aimed to analyse the effectiveness of antibacterial collagen-based dressing for DFU treatment in a clinical [...] Read more.
Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is a chronic wound frequently delayed from severe infection. Wound dressing provides an essential barrier between the ulcer and the external environment. This review aimed to analyse the effectiveness of antibacterial collagen-based dressing for DFU treatment in a clinical setting. An electronic search in four databases, namely, Scopus, PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE(R), and ISI Web of Science, was performed to obtain relevant articles published within the last ten years. The published studies were included if they reported evidence of (1) collagen-based antibacterial dressing or (2) wound healing for diabetic ulcers, and (3) were written in English. Both randomised and non-randomised clinical trials were included. The search for relevant clinical studies (n) identified eight related references discussing the effectiveness of collagen-based antibacterial wound dressings for DFU comprising collagen impregnated with polyhexamethylene biguanide (n = 2), gentamicin (n = 3), combined-cellulose and silver (n = 1), gentian violet/methylene blue mixed (n = 1), and silver (n = 1). The clinical data were limited by small sample sizes and multiple aetiologies of chronic wounds. The evidence was not robust enough for a conclusive statement, although most of the studies reported positive outcomes for the use of collagen dressings loaded with antibacterial properties for DFU wound healing. This study emphasises the importance of having standardised clinical trials, larger sample sizes, and accurate reporting for reliable statistical evidence confirming DFU treatment efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Medical and Pharmaceutical Applications)
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