Biocompatible and Biodegradable Polymers for Medical Applications, 2nd Edition

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 10342

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, China
Interests: biomaterials; biofabrication; microfluidics; organs-on-a-chip; electrospinning; 3D printing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
School of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou, China
Interests: controlled drug release; thermogel materials; stimuli-responsive polymeric materials; multi-functional polymeric materials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Further to the success of the Special Issue of Polymers “Biocompatible and Biodegradable Polymers for Medical Applications”, we are delighted to reopen the Special Issue, which is now entitled “Biocompatible and Biodegradable Polymers for Medical Applications, 2nd Edition”.

Polymers are widely used as biomaterials and have motivated development in biomedical fields because of their biocompatibility and biodegradability. Biocompatible and degradable polymers are favoured in developing therapeutic devices, including temporary implants and three-dimensional scaffolds for tissue engineering, as well as pharmacological applications, such as delivery vehicles for controlled/sustained drug release. A wide range of natural and synthetic degradable polymers has been investigated for biomedical applications, with novel materials constantly being developed to meet new challenges. Meanwhile, the development of biotechnology and medical technology has set higher requirements for biomedical materials. 

In this Special Issue, we encourage authors to share their experiences in the field that is broadly understood as “Biocompatible and Biodegradable Polymers for Medical Applications II”. We believe that your studies will contribute to the potential use of these polymers in the biomedical field.

Dr. Yadong Tang
Dr. Lu Jiang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 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

  • biodegradable polymers
  • biomaterials
  • natural polymeric biomaterials
  • synthetic polymeric biomaterials
  • tissue engineering
  • drug delivery

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 4267 KiB  
Article
Poly Lactic-co-Glycolic Acid (PLGA) Loaded with a Squaraine Dye as Photosensitizer for Antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy
by Degnet Melese Dereje, Carlotta Pontremoli, Ana García, Simone Galliano, Montserrat Colilla, Blanca González, María Vallet-Regí, Isabel Izquierdo-Barba and Nadia Barbero
Polymers 2024, 16(14), 1962; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16141962 - 9 Jul 2024
Viewed by 480
Abstract
Antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy (aPDT) is an innovative and promising method for combating infections, reducing the risk of antimicrobial resistance compared to traditional antibiotics. Squaraine (SQ) dyes can be considered promising photosensitizers (PSs) but are generally hydrophobic molecules that can self-aggregate under physiological conditions. [...] Read more.
Antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy (aPDT) is an innovative and promising method for combating infections, reducing the risk of antimicrobial resistance compared to traditional antibiotics. Squaraine (SQ) dyes can be considered promising photosensitizers (PSs) but are generally hydrophobic molecules that can self-aggregate under physiological conditions. To overcome these drawbacks, a possible solution is to incorporate SQs inside nanoparticles (NPs). The present work deals with the design and development of innovative nanophotosensitizers based on poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) NPs incorporating a brominated squaraine (BrSQ) with potential application in aPDT. Two designs of experiments (DoEs) based on the single emulsion and nanoprecipitation methods were set up to investigate how different variables (type of solvent, solvent ratio, concentration of PLGA, stabilizer and dye, sonication power and time) can affect the size, zeta (ζ)-potential, yield, entrapment efficiency, and drug loading capacity of the SQ-PLGA NPs. SQ-PLGA NPs were characterized by NTA, FE-SEM, and UV-Vis spectroscopy and the ability to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) was evaluated, proving that ROS generation ability is preserved in SQ-PLGA. In vitro antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria in planktonic state using Staphylococcus aureus was conducted in different conditions and pH to evaluate the potential of these nanophotosensitizers for aPDT in the local treatment of infections. Full article
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17 pages, 3970 KiB  
Article
Phloroglucinol-Based Carbon Quantum Dots/Polyurethane Composite Films: How Structure of Carbon Quantum Dots Affects Antibacterial and Antibiofouling Efficiency of Composite Films
by Zoran M. Marković, Dušan D. Milivojević, Janez Kovač and Biljana M. Todorović Marković
Polymers 2024, 16(12), 1646; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16121646 - 11 Jun 2024
Viewed by 789
Abstract
Nowadays, bacteria resistance to many antibiotics is a huge problem, especially in clinics and other parts of the healthcare system. This critical health issue requires a dynamic approach to produce new types of antibacterial coatings to combat various pathogen microbes. In this research, [...] Read more.
Nowadays, bacteria resistance to many antibiotics is a huge problem, especially in clinics and other parts of the healthcare system. This critical health issue requires a dynamic approach to produce new types of antibacterial coatings to combat various pathogen microbes. In this research, we prepared a new type of carbon quantum dots based on phloroglucinol using the bottom-up method. Polyurethane composite films were produced using the swell–encapsulation–shrink method. Detailed electrostatic force and viscoelastic microscopy of carbon quantum dots revealed inhomogeneous structure characterized by electron-rich/soft and electron-poor/hard regions. The uncommon photoluminescence spectrum of carbon quantum dots core had a multipeak structure. Several tests confirmed that carbon quantum dots and composite films produced singlet oxygen. Antibacterial and antibiofouling efficiency of composite films was tested on eight bacteria strains and three bacteria biofilms. Full article
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19 pages, 16063 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Printable Biomaterials for Use in Neural Tissue Engineering: An In Vitro Characterization and In Vivo Biocompatibility Assessment
by Miguel Etayo-Escanilla, Noelia Campillo, Paula Ávila-Fernández, José Manuel Baena, Jesús Chato-Astrain, Fernando Campos, David Sánchez-Porras, Óscar Darío García-García and Víctor Carriel
Polymers 2024, 16(10), 1426; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16101426 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 1272
Abstract
Nervous system traumatic injuries are prevalent in our society, with a significant socioeconomic impact. Due to the highly complex structure of the neural tissue, the treatment of these injuries is still a challenge. Recently, 3D printing has emerged as a promising alternative for [...] Read more.
Nervous system traumatic injuries are prevalent in our society, with a significant socioeconomic impact. Due to the highly complex structure of the neural tissue, the treatment of these injuries is still a challenge. Recently, 3D printing has emerged as a promising alternative for producing biomimetic scaffolds, which can lead to the restoration of neural tissue function. The objective of this work was to compare different biomaterials for generating 3D-printed scaffolds for use in neural tissue engineering. For this purpose, four thermoplastic biomaterials, ((polylactic acid) (PLA), polycaprolactone (PCL), Filaflex (FF) (assessed here for the first time for biomedical purposes), and Flexdym (FD)) and gelatin methacrylate (GelMA) hydrogel were subjected to printability and mechanical tests, in vitro cell–biomaterial interaction analyses, and in vivo biocompatibility assessment. The thermoplastics showed superior printing results in terms of resolution and shape fidelity, whereas FD and GelMA revealed great viscoelastic properties. GelMA demonstrated a greater cell viability index after 7 days of in vitro cell culture. Moreover, all groups displayed connective tissue encapsulation, with some inflammatory cells around the scaffolds after 10 days of in vivo implantation. Future studies will determine the usefulness and in vivo therapeutic efficacy of novel neural substitutes based on the use of these 3D-printed scaffolds. Full article
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19 pages, 6417 KiB  
Article
Alternating Current Electrospinning of Polycaprolactone/Chitosan Nanofibers for Wound Healing Applications
by Jon Andrade del Olmo, Petr Mikeš, Nikifor Asatiani, José María Alonso, Virginia Sáez Martínez and Raúl Pérez González
Polymers 2024, 16(10), 1333; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16101333 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 929
Abstract
Traditional wound dressings have not been able to satisfy the needs of the regenerative medicine biomedical area. With the aim of improving tissue regeneration, nanofiber-based wound dressings fabricated by electrospinning (ES) processes have emerged as a powerful approach. Nowadays, nanofiber-based bioactive dressings are [...] Read more.
Traditional wound dressings have not been able to satisfy the needs of the regenerative medicine biomedical area. With the aim of improving tissue regeneration, nanofiber-based wound dressings fabricated by electrospinning (ES) processes have emerged as a powerful approach. Nowadays, nanofiber-based bioactive dressings are mainly developed with a combination of natural and synthetic polymers, such as polycaprolactone (PCL) and chitosan (CHI). Accordingly, herein, PCL/CHI nanofibers have been developed with varying PCL:CHI weight ratios (9:1, 8:2 and 7:3) or CHI viscosities (20, 100 and 600 mPa·s) using a novel alternating current ES (ACES) process. Such nanofibers were thoroughly characterized by determining physicochemical and nanomechanical properties, along with wettability, absorption capacity and hydrolytic plus enzymatic stability. Furthermore, PCL/CHI nanofiber biological safety was validated in terms of cytocompatibility and hemocompatibility (hemolysis < 2%), in addition to a notable antibacterial performance (bacterial reductions of 99.90% for S. aureus and 99.91% for P. aeruginosa). Lastly, the enhanced wound healing activity of PCL/CHI nanofibers was confirmed thanks to their ability to remarkably promote cell proliferation, which make them ideal candidates for long-term applications such as wound dressings. Full article
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21 pages, 20502 KiB  
Article
Cryostructuring of Polymeric Systems: 67 Properties and Microstructure of Poly(Vinyl Alcohol) Cryogels Formed in the Presence of Phenol or Bis-Phenols Introduced into the Aqueous Polymeric Solutions Prior to Their Freeze–Thaw Processing
by Olga Yu. Kolosova, Viktor G. Vasil’ev, Ivan A. Novikov, Elena V. Sorokina and Vladimir I. Lozinsky
Polymers 2024, 16(5), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16050675 - 1 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1298
Abstract
Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) physical cryogels that contained the additives of o-, m-, and p-bis-phenols or phenol were prepared, and their physico-chemical characteristics and macroporous morphology and the solute release dynamics were evaluated. These phenolic additives caused changes in the viscosity [...] Read more.
Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) physical cryogels that contained the additives of o-, m-, and p-bis-phenols or phenol were prepared, and their physico-chemical characteristics and macroporous morphology and the solute release dynamics were evaluated. These phenolic additives caused changes in the viscosity of initial PVA solutions before their freeze–thaw processing and facilitated the growth in the rigidity of the resultant cryogels, while their heat endurance decreased. The magnitude of the effects depended on the interposition of phenolic hydroxyls in the molecules of the used additives and was stipulated by their H-bonding with PVA OH-groups. Subsequent rinsing of such “primary” cryogels with pure water led to the lowering of their rigidity. The average size of macropores inside these heterophase gels also depended on the additive type. It was found also that the release of phenolic substances from the additive-containing cryogels occurred via virtually a free diffusion mechanism; therefore, drug delivery systems such as PVA cryogels loaded with either pyrocatechol, resorcinol, hydroquinone, or phenol, upon the in vitro agar diffusion tests, exhibited antibacterial activity typical of these phenols. The promising biomedical potential of the studied nanocomposite gel materials is supposed. Full article
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15 pages, 3989 KiB  
Article
Influence of Ethylene Oxide and Gamma Irradiation Sterilization Processes on the Properties of Poly-L-Lactic-Acid (PLLA) Materials
by Natalie Krug, Jan-Christoph Zarges and Hans-Peter Heim
Polymers 2023, 15(16), 3461; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15163461 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1913
Abstract
In order to encourage the substitution of petrochemical polymers in medical technology with sustainable, bio-based materials, there is an urgent need for further investigations, especially data regarding their sterility performance. Within the scope of the investigations, selected material properties of poly-L-lactic-acid (PLLA), a [...] Read more.
In order to encourage the substitution of petrochemical polymers in medical technology with sustainable, bio-based materials, there is an urgent need for further investigations, especially data regarding their sterility performance. Within the scope of the investigations, selected material properties of poly-L-lactic-acid (PLLA), a specific type of poly(lactic-acid) (PLA), were analyzed before and after sterilization (using ethylene oxide or gamma irradiation) in order to investigate deviations in its chemical structure, wettability, optical, and mechanical properties. In particular, parameters such as molecular weight, complex viscosity, tensile strength, water contact angle, and color were discussed. Sterilization temperatures close to the glass transition of PLA, high humidity, and interactions with the ethylene oxide molecules have resulted in an increase in crystallinity, a decrease in elongation at break, and in some cases, a variation in wettability. As a consequence of exposure to high-energy radiation, the material’s toughness is reduced due to chain scission, which is manifested through a decrease in molecular weight, an increase in crystallinity, and a partial change in surface energy. For the selected PLLA-materials (Luminy® L130, NP HT 202, and NP HT 203), ethylene oxide sterilization resulted in a comparatively minor variation in the characteristics behavior, and was chosen as the preferred method. Full article
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Review

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13 pages, 726 KiB  
Review
A Comparative Analysis of Mechanical Properties of Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) vs. Standard Materials Used in Orthodontic Fixed Appliances: A Systematic Review
by Pyi Phyo Win, Oak Gar Moe, Daniel De-Shing Chen, Tzu-Yu Peng and Johnson Hsin-Chung Cheng
Polymers 2024, 16(9), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16091271 - 2 May 2024
Viewed by 842
Abstract
Polyetheretherketone (PEEK), an organic thermoplastic polymer, has gained interest in dentistry due to its excellent mechanical strength, flexibility, and biocompatibility. Furthermore, the ability to utilize CAD/CAM in the fabrication of PEEK enhances accuracy, reliability, and efficiency while also saving time. Hence, several orthodontic [...] Read more.
Polyetheretherketone (PEEK), an organic thermoplastic polymer, has gained interest in dentistry due to its excellent mechanical strength, flexibility, and biocompatibility. Furthermore, the ability to utilize CAD/CAM in the fabrication of PEEK enhances accuracy, reliability, and efficiency while also saving time. Hence, several orthodontic studies have explored the utilization of PEEK in various applications, such as archwires, brackets, fixed lingual retainers, palatal expansion devices, transpalatal arches, Tübingen palatal plates, different types of space maintainers, mini-implant insertion guides, and more. However, a complete systematic review of the available data comparing the performance of PEEK with traditional orthodontic materials has not yet been conducted. Therefore, this systematic review seeks to assess if PEEK material meets the required mechanical criteria to serve as an alternative to conventional orthodontic appliances. To ensure clarity and precision, this review will specifically concentrate on fixed appliances. This systemic review followed the PRISMA guidelines and utilized databases including PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, Springer, Web of Science, and Wiley. Searches were restricted to English language articles from January 2013 to February 2024. Keywords such as “Polyetheretherketone” or “PEEK” and “Orthodontic” or “Orthodontic device” or “Orthodontic materials” were employed across all databases. Nine studies were incorporated, covering orthodontic archwires, brackets, and fixed lingual retainers. Based on the reviewed literature, PEEK demonstrates promising potential in orthodontic fixed appliances, offering advantages in force delivery, friction reduction, and aesthetic appeal. Further research is needed to fully explore its capabilities and optimize its application in clinical practice. Full article
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20 pages, 2341 KiB  
Review
Surface Modification of Nano-Hydroxyapatite/Polymer Composite for Bone Tissue Repair Applications: A Review
by Shuo Tang, Yifei Shen, Liuyun Jiang and Yan Zhang
Polymers 2024, 16(9), 1263; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16091263 - 1 May 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 931
Abstract
Nano-hydroxyapatite (n-HA) is the main inorganic component of natural bone, which has been widely used as a reinforcing filler for polymers in bone materials, and it can promote cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation. It can also produce interactions between cells and material surfaces [...] Read more.
Nano-hydroxyapatite (n-HA) is the main inorganic component of natural bone, which has been widely used as a reinforcing filler for polymers in bone materials, and it can promote cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation. It can also produce interactions between cells and material surfaces through selective protein adsorption and has therefore always been a research hotspot in orthopedic materials. However, n-HA nano-particles are inherently easy to agglomerate and difficult to disperse evenly in the polymer. In addition, there are differences in trace elements between n-HA nano-particles and biological apatite, so the biological activity needs to be improved, and the slow degradation in vivo, which has seriously hindered the application of n-HA in bone fields, is unacceptable. Therefore, the modification of n-HA has been extensively reported in the literature. This article reviewed the physical modification and various chemical modification methods of n-HA in recent years, as well as their modification effects. In particular, various chemical modification methods and their modification effects were reviewed in detail. Finally, a summary and suggestions for the modification of n-HA were proposed, which would provide significant reference for achieving high-performance n-HA in biomedical applications. Full article
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36 pages, 9601 KiB  
Review
Pharmaceutical Applications of Biomass Polymers: Review of Current Research and Perspectives
by Cornelia Bejenaru, Antonia Radu, Adina-Elena Segneanu, Andrei Biţă, Maria Viorica Ciocîlteu, George Dan Mogoşanu, Ionela Amalia Bradu, Titus Vlase, Gabriela Vlase and Ludovic Everard Bejenaru
Polymers 2024, 16(9), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16091182 - 23 Apr 2024
Viewed by 703
Abstract
Polymers derived from natural biomass have emerged as a valuable resource in the field of biomedicine due to their versatility. Polysaccharides, peptides, proteins, and lignin have demonstrated promising results in various applications, including drug delivery design. However, several challenges need to be addressed [...] Read more.
Polymers derived from natural biomass have emerged as a valuable resource in the field of biomedicine due to their versatility. Polysaccharides, peptides, proteins, and lignin have demonstrated promising results in various applications, including drug delivery design. However, several challenges need to be addressed to realize the full potential of these polymers. The current paper provides a comprehensive overview of the latest research and perspectives in this area, with a particular focus on developing effective methods and efficient drug delivery systems. This review aims to offer insights into the opportunities and challenges associated with the use of natural polymers in biomedicine and to provide a roadmap for future research in this field. Full article
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