Special Issue "Polymeric Materials for Biomedical 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: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 10824

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Nuno Alves
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Centre for Rapid and Sustainable Product Development, Leiria, Portugal
Interests: additive manufacturing; biomimetics and bioinspiration; computer-aided engineering; computer-aided manufacturing; multi-material 3D/4D structures; industrial/biomedical applications; tissue engineering; mould design and polymer injection moulding; circular economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Juliana Rosa Dias
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Polytechnic of Leiria, Center for Rapid and Sustainable Product Development, Marinha Grande, 2430-028 Marinha Grande, Portugal
Interests: tissue engineering; electrospinning; skin regeneration; nanofibres; biomaterials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Antonio Gloria
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Polymers, Composites and Biomaterials—National Research Council of Italy, V.le J.F. Kennedy 54—Mostra d’Oltremare Pad. 20, 80125 Naples, Italy
Interests: design for additive manufacturing; reverse engineering; design methods; creative design; mechanical analysis; modeling and simulation; biomechanics; biomimetics; design of polymer and composite structures; scaffold design; design of lightweight structures
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on Polymeric Materials for Biomedical Applications is devoted to the dissemination of high-quality original research articles or comprehensive reviews on cutting-edge developments in this interdisciplinary field. Over the past years, polymer science and technology has been driven by scientific breakthroughs to biomedical applications. A large number of polymeric materials have been developed for biomedical applications, and new advances are being made for the treatment of different diseases, promoting human well-being. The increasing interest in polymeric materials may be due to their synthesis, which is often relatively low cost and easy, as well as to the possibility to obtain a wide range of properties and functionalities for biomedical applications. This excitement is fostered through the convergence of physical, digital, and biological sciences, which will bring about profound changes in the way we design and produce biomedical devices, especially concerning the interfaces between polymeric and biological materials.

Thus, an in-depth understanding of physical, biological, and/or digital cues is highly relevant to the performance and development of any polymer-based biomedical product. Both original contributions and comprehensive reviews are welcome.

With a focus on biomedical applications, potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Synthesis of polymeric materials;
  • Analysis of polymeric materials;
  • Physics of polymeric materials;
  • Theory and simulation of polymeric materials;
  • Conceptual and creative design of polymer-based devices;
  • Additive manufacturing of polymeric materials;
  • Design of biomimetic polymer-based devices;
  • Processing and performance of polymeric materials; 
  • Functional polymeric materials;
  • Bio-based polymeric materials;
  • Biodegradability of polymeric materials.


Prof. Dr. Nuno Alves
Dr. Juliana Dias
Prof. Dr. Antonio Gloria
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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 2400 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

  • polymer-based materials
  • theory and simulation
  • synthesis, physics, and analysis
  • concept and creative design of polymer-based devices
  • additive manufacturing
  • design of biomimetic polymer-based devices
  • functional polymeric materials
  • bio-based polymeric materials
  • biodegradability
  • 3D/4D polymeric scaffolds

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Article
Additive Manufactured Poly(ε-caprolactone)-graphene Scaffolds: Lamellar Crystal Orientation, Mechanical Properties and Biological Performance
Polymers 2022, 14(9), 1669; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14091669 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 722
Abstract
Understanding the mechano–biological coupling mechanisms of biomaterials for tissue engineering is of major importance to assure proper scaffold performance in situ. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to establish correlations between biomaterials, their processing conditions, and their mechanical behaviour, as well as their [...] Read more.
Understanding the mechano–biological coupling mechanisms of biomaterials for tissue engineering is of major importance to assure proper scaffold performance in situ. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to establish correlations between biomaterials, their processing conditions, and their mechanical behaviour, as well as their biological performance. With this work, it was possible to infer a correlation between the addition of graphene nanoparticles (GPN) in a concentration of 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75% (w/w) (GPN0.25, GPN0.5, and GPN0.75, respectively) in three-dimensional poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL)-based scaffolds, the extrusion-based processing parameters, and the lamellar crystal orientation through small-angle X-ray scattering experiments of extruded samples of PCL and PCL/GPN. Results revealed a significant impact on the scaffold’s mechanical properties to a maximum of 0.5% of GPN content, with a significant improvement in the compressive modulus of 59 MPa to 93 MPa. In vitro cell culture experiments showed the scaffold’s ability to support the adhesion and proliferation of L929 fibroblasts (fold increase of 28, 22, 23, and 13 at day 13 (in relation to day 1) for PCL, GPN0.25, GPN0.5, and GPN0.75, respectively) and bone marrow mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (seven-fold increase for all sample groups at day 21 in relation to day 1). Moreover, the cells maintained high viability, regular morphology, and migration capacity in all the different experimental groups, assuring the potential of PCL/GPN scaffolds for tissue engineering (TE) applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Biomedical Applications)
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Article
Synthesis and Antimicrobial Properties of Highly Cross-Linked pH-Sensitive Hydrogels through Gamma Radiation
Polymers 2021, 13(14), 2223; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13142223 - 06 Jul 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1293
Abstract
The design of new polymeric systems for antimicrobial drug release focused on medical/surgical procedures is of great interest in the biomedical area due to the high prevalence of bacterial infections in patients with wounds or burns. For this reason, in this work, we [...] Read more.
The design of new polymeric systems for antimicrobial drug release focused on medical/surgical procedures is of great interest in the biomedical area due to the high prevalence of bacterial infections in patients with wounds or burns. For this reason, in this work, we present a new design of pH-sensitive hydrogels copolymerized by a graft polymerization method (gamma rays), intended for localized prophylactic release of ciprofloxacin and silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) for potential topical bacterial infections. The synthesized hydrogels were copolymerized from acrylic acid (AAc) and agar. Cross-linked hydrogel film formation depended on monomer concentrations and the degree of radiation used (Cobalt-60). The obtained hydrogel films were characterized by attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and mechanical testing. The swelling of the hydrogels was evidenced by the influence of their pH-sensitiveness. The hydrogel was loaded with antimicrobial agents (AgNPs or ciprofloxacin), and their related activity was evaluated. Finally, the antimicrobial activity of biocidal-loaded hydrogel was tested against Escherichia coli (E. coli) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on in vitro conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Biomedical Applications)
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Article
Characterization and Ex Vivo Application of Indocyanine Green Chitosan Patches in Dura Mater Laser Bonding
Polymers 2021, 13(13), 2130; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13132130 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 810
Abstract
Dura mater repair represents a final and crucial step in neurosurgery: an inadequate dural reconstruction determines dreadful consequences that significantly increase morbidity and mortality rates. Different dural substitutes have been used with suboptimal results. To overcome this issue, in previous studies, we proposed [...] Read more.
Dura mater repair represents a final and crucial step in neurosurgery: an inadequate dural reconstruction determines dreadful consequences that significantly increase morbidity and mortality rates. Different dural substitutes have been used with suboptimal results. To overcome this issue, in previous studies, we proposed a laser-based approach to the bonding of porcine dura mater, evidencing the feasibility of the laser-assisted procedure. In this work, we present the optimization of this approach in ex vivo experiments performed on porcine dura mater. An 810-nm continuous-wave AlGaAs (Aluminium Gallium Arsenide) diode laser was used for welding Indocyanine Green-loaded patches (ICG patches) to the dura. The ICG-loaded patches were fabricated using chitosan, a resistant, pliable and stable in the physiological environment biopolymer; moreover, their absorption peak was very close to the laser emission wavelength. Histology, thermal imaging and leak pressure tests were used to evaluate the bonding effect. We demonstrated that the application of 3 watts (W), pulsed mode (Ton 30 ms, Toff 3.5 ms) laser light induces optimal welding of the ICG patch to the dura mater, ensuring an average fluid leakage pressure of 216 ± 105 mmHg, falling within the range of physiological parameters. This study demonstrated that the thermal effect is limited and spatially confined and that the laser bonding procedure can be used to close the dura mater. Our results showed the effectiveness of this approach and encourage further experiments in in vivo models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Biomedical Applications)
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Article
Fabrication and Characterization of Polyvinylpyrrolidone-Eggshell Membrane-Reduced Graphene Oxide Nanofibers for Tissue Engineering Applications
Polymers 2021, 13(6), 913; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13060913 - 16 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1192
Abstract
One of the best methods to prevent wound infection and speed up wound healing is wound dressing based on nanofiber–polymer scaffolds, which have acceptable antimicrobial performance and appropriate skin regeneration capabilities. In this paper, the electrospinning method was applied to synthesize the polyvinylpyrrolidone-acrylic [...] Read more.
One of the best methods to prevent wound infection and speed up wound healing is wound dressing based on nanofiber–polymer scaffolds, which have acceptable antimicrobial performance and appropriate skin regeneration capabilities. In this paper, the electrospinning method was applied to synthesize the polyvinylpyrrolidone-acrylic acid hydrogel (PVPA)–eggshell membrane (ESM)–reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanosheets nanocomposite dressings with different reduced graphene oxide contents (0, 0.5, 1, and 2 wt.%). Thus, smooth nanofibers were fabricated, including a high amount of rGO, which reduced the fiber diameter. Based on the results, rGO played an important role in water impermeability. The results showed that by increasing the rGO concentration from 0.5 to 2 wt%, the contact angle value increased persistently. Results showed that compared to PVPA–ESM, the mechanical strength and strain of PVPA–ESM/1 wt% rGO significantly enhanced 28% and 23%, respectively. Incorporation of 1 wt% rGO enhanced swelling ratio from 875% for PVPA-ESM to 1235% after 420 min, while increasing the rGO to 2 wt% increased the degradation rate of the composites. According to the in vitro cell culture studies, PVPA-ESM wound dressings with 0.5–1 wt% rGO content enhanced PC12 cell viability compared to the wound dressings without rGO nanosheets. Generally, rGO–loaded PVPA-ESM nanofiber wound dressing can be considered as a potential candidate to be used in skin regeneration applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Biomedical Applications)
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Article
Fabrication and Characterization of Polycaprolactone/Chitosan—Hydroxyapatite Hybrid Implants for Peripheral Nerve Regeneration
Polymers 2021, 13(5), 775; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13050775 - 03 Mar 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 953
Abstract
Major efforts for the advancement of tubular-shaped implant fabrication focused recently on the development of 3D printing methods that can enable the fabrication of complete devices in a single printing process. However, the main limitation of these solutions is the use of non-biocompatible [...] Read more.
Major efforts for the advancement of tubular-shaped implant fabrication focused recently on the development of 3D printing methods that can enable the fabrication of complete devices in a single printing process. However, the main limitation of these solutions is the use of non-biocompatible polymers. Therefore, a new technology for obtaining hybrid implants that employ polymer extrusion and electrophoretic deposition is applied. The fabricated structures are made of two layers: polycaprolactone skeleton and chitosan–hydroxyapatite electrodeposit. Both of them can be functionalized by incorporation of mechanical or biological cues that favor ingrowth, guidance, and correct targeting of axons. The electrodeposition process is conducted at different voltages in order to determine the influence of this process on the structural, chemical, and mechanical properties of implants. In addition, changes in mechanical properties of implants during their incubation in phosphate-buffered solution (pH 7.4) at 37 °C up to 28 days are examined. The presented technology, being low-cost and relatively simple, shall find a broad scope of applications in customized nerve tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Biomedical Applications)
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Article
A Multi-Scale Approach to Microencapsulation by Interfacial Polymerization
Polymers 2021, 13(4), 644; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13040644 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1147
Abstract
This work applies a multi-scale approach to the microencapsulation by interfacial polymerization. Such microencapsulation is used to produce fertilizers, pesticides and drugs. In this study, variations at three different scales (molecular, microscopic and macroscopic) of product design (i.e., product variables, process variables and [...] Read more.
This work applies a multi-scale approach to the microencapsulation by interfacial polymerization. Such microencapsulation is used to produce fertilizers, pesticides and drugs. In this study, variations at three different scales (molecular, microscopic and macroscopic) of product design (i.e., product variables, process variables and properties) are considered simultaneously. We quantify the effect of the formulation, composition and pH change on the microcapsules’ properties. Additionally, the method of measuring the strength of the microcapsules by crushing a sample of microcapsules’ suspension was tested. Results show that the xylene release rate in the microcapsules decreases when the amine functionality is greater due to a stronger crosslinking. Such degree of crosslinking increases the compression force over the microcapsules and improves their appearance. When high levels of amine concentration are used, the initial pH values in the reaction are also high which leads to agglomeration. This study provides a possible explanation to the aggregation based on the kinetic and thermodynamic controls in reactions and shows that the pH measurements account for the polyurea reaction and carbamate formation, which is a reason why this is not a suitable method to study kinetics of polymerization. Finally, the method used to measure the compressive strength of the microcapsules detected differences in formulations and composition with low sensibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Biomedical Applications)
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Article
Evaluating Antibacterial Efficacy and Biocompatibility of PAN Nanofibers Loaded with Diclofenac Sodium Salt
Polymers 2021, 13(4), 510; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13040510 - 08 Feb 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1126
Abstract
Side effects of the drugs’ oral administration led us to examine the possibility of using diclofenac sodium (DLF) in a polymeric drug delivery system based on electrospun polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers, which can be produced cost-effectively and with good applicability for transdermal treatments. The [...] Read more.
Side effects of the drugs’ oral administration led us to examine the possibility of using diclofenac sodium (DLF) in a polymeric drug delivery system based on electrospun polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers, which can be produced cost-effectively and with good applicability for transdermal treatments. The inclusion of DLF in PAN nanofibers increased the nanofiber diameter from ~200 nm to ~500 nm. This increase can be attributed to the increase in the spinning solution viscosity. FTIR spectra confirm the entrapment of the DLF into the PAN nanofibers. X-ray diffraction pattern showed that the inclusion of the DLF in the PAN nanofibers had caused the misalignment in the polymeric chains of the PAN, thus resulting in a decrease of the peak intensity at 2θ = 17o. The DLF loaded PAN nanofibers were efficient against the gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and gram-negative Escherichia coli (E. coli), with maximum inhibition zone of 16 ± 0.46 mm for E. coli and 15.5 ± 0.28 mm for S. aureus. Good cell viability ~95% for L929 cells in more extended incubation periods was reported. A gradual release of DLF from the PAN nanofiber was observed and can be attributed to the stability of Pan in PBS medium. Cell adhesion micrographs show that cell-cell interaction is stronger than the cell-material interaction. This type of weak cell interaction with the wound dressing is particularly advantageous, as this will not disturb the wound surface during the nursing of the wound. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Biomedical Applications)
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Article
Fabrication of Bio-Based Gelatin Sponge for Potential Use as A Functional Acellular Skin Substitute
Polymers 2020, 12(11), 2678; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12112678 - 13 Nov 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1182
Abstract
Gelatin possesses biological properties that resemble native skin and can potentially be fabricated as a skin substitute for full-thickness wound treatment. The native property of gelatin, whereby it is easily melted and degraded at body temperature, could prevent its biofunctionality for various applications. [...] Read more.
Gelatin possesses biological properties that resemble native skin and can potentially be fabricated as a skin substitute for full-thickness wound treatment. The native property of gelatin, whereby it is easily melted and degraded at body temperature, could prevent its biofunctionality for various applications. This study aimed to fabricate and characterise buffalo gelatin (Infanca halal certified) crosslinked with chemical type crosslinker (genipin and genipin fortified with EDC) and physicaly crosslink using the dihydrothermal (DHT) method. A porous gelatin sponge (GS) was fabricated by a freeze-drying process followed by a complete crosslinking via chemical—natural and synthetic—or physical intervention using genipin (GNP), 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) (EDC) and dihydrothermal (DHT) methods, respectively. The physicochemical, biomechanical, cellular biocompatibility and cell-biomaterial interaction of GS towards human epidermal keratinocytes (HEK) and dermal fibroblasts (HDF) were evaluated. Results showed that GS had a uniform porous structure with pore size ranging between 60 and 200 µm with high porosity (>78.6 ± 4.1%), high wettability (<72.2 ± 7.0°), high tensile strain (>13.65 ± 1.10%) and 14 h of degradation rate. An increase in the concentration and double-crosslinking approach demonstrated an increment in the crosslinking degree, enzymatic hydrolysis resistance, thermal stability, porosity, wettability and mechanical strength. The GS can be tuned differently from the control by approaching the GS via a different crosslinking strategy. However, a decreasing trend was observed in the pore size, water retention and water absorption ability. Crosslinking with DHT resulted in large pore sizes (85–300 µm) and low water retention (236.9 ± 18.7 g/m2·day) and a comparable swelling ratio with the control (89.6 ± 7.1%). Moreover no changes in the chemical content and amorphous phase identification were observed. The HEK and HDF revealed slight toxicity with double crosslinking. HEK and HDF attachment and proliferation remain similar to each crosslinking approach. Immunogenicity was observed to be higher in the double-crosslinking compared to the single-crosslinking intervention. The fabricated GS demonstrated a dynamic potential to be tailored according to wound types by manipulating the crosslinking intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Biomedical Applications)
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Article
Synthesis, Characterization and Cytotoxicity Studies of Aminated Microcrystalline Cellulose Derivatives against Melanoma and Breast Cancer Cell Lines
Polymers 2020, 12(11), 2634; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12112634 - 10 Nov 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1114
Abstract
Cellulose based materials are emerging in the commercial fields and high-end applications, especially in biomedicines. Aminated cellulose derivatives have been extensively used for various applications but limited data are available regarding its cytotoxicity studies for biomedical application. The aim of this study is [...] Read more.
Cellulose based materials are emerging in the commercial fields and high-end applications, especially in biomedicines. Aminated cellulose derivatives have been extensively used for various applications but limited data are available regarding its cytotoxicity studies for biomedical application. The aim of this study is to synthesize different 6-deoxy-amino-cellulose derivatives from Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) via tosylation and explore their cytotoxic potential against normal fibroblasts, melanoma and breast cancer. 6-deoxy-6-hydrazide Cellulose (Cell Hyd) 6-deoxy-6-diethylamide Cellulose (Cell DEA) and 6-deoxy-6-diethyltriamine Cellulose (Cell DETA) were prepared and characterized by various technologies like Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy-attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR), nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), X-ray diffractogram (XRD), Scanning Electron microscopy (SEM), Elemental Analysis and Zeta potential measurements. Cytotoxicity was evaluated against normal fibroblasts (NIH3T3), mouse skin melanoma (B16F10), human epithelial adenocarcinoma (MDA-MB-231) and human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7) cell lines. IC50 values obtained from cytotoxicity assay and live/dead assay images analysis showed MCC was non cytotoxic while Cell Hyd, Cell DEA and Cell DETA exhibited noncytotoxic activity up to 200 μg/mL to normal fibroblast cells NIH3T3, suggesting its safe use in medical fields. The mouse skin melanoma (B16F10) are the most sensitive cells to the cytotoxic effects of Cell Hyd, Cell DEA and Cell DETA, followed by human breast adenocarcinoma (MCF-7). Based on our study, it is suggested that aminated cellulose derivatives could be promising candidates for tissue engineering applications and in cancer inhibiting studies in future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Biomedical Applications)
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