Special Issue "Biopolymers 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: 30 November 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Valentina Grumezescu

Guest Editor
Lasers Department, National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics, RO-077125 Magurele, Romania
Interests: nanobiomaterials; nanocarriers for drug delivery, pharmaceutical nanotechnology; bioactive materials; drug delivery; anti-biofilm surfaces; therapeutic applications; targeted delivery of nanoparticles; nanomodified surfaces; thin films; natural products
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Oana Gherasim

Guest Editor
1. Department of Science and Engineering of Oxide Materials and Nanomaterials, Faculty of Applied Chemistry and Materials Science, University Politehnica of Bucharest, RO-011061 Bucharest, Romania
2. Lasers Department, National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics, RO-077125 Magurele, Romania
Interests: materials science and engineering; (micro-/nano-)biomaterials; biomedical devices; laser processing of (bio)materials; bioactive coatings; applied chemistry and chemical engineering; therapeutic (micro-/nano-)biomaterials; biomedicine and life sciences
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polymeric biomaterials represent the most attractive and challenging representatives for modern biomedical applications. Natural or synthetic and blend or composite, biopolymers possess impressive and facile processability, attractive physicochemical properties (compositional and structural tunability, mechanical behavior, chemical stability, adjustable solubility and degradability, reactivity and functionalization potential) and remarkable biofunctionality. Polymeric biomaterials have proven to be beneficial substrates for interactions with (macro)molecules, cells, and living organisms, providing superior and indisputable features, such as biocompatibility, bioactivity, biodegradability, non-toxicity, non-immunogenicity, a pharmacological profile, and restorative and regenerative potential.

Biopolymers have been proven to represent tunable and excellent candidates for modern biomedical applications, including surface-modified medical devices, detection and imaging, drug and gene delivery, pharmacotherapy and immunotherapy, theranostics, and tissue engineering.

This Special Issue on “Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications” will focus on the latest advances and reports on the progress of biopolymeric materials intended for biomedicine. While covering a broad range of fundamental, experimental, and industrial topics, we warmly invite academics and scientists to contribute with original research papers, short communications, and review articles.

Dr. Valentina Grumezescu
Dr. Oana Gherasim
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 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 1800 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

  • (bio)polymers engineering and functionalization
  • bioactive and (multi)functional biopolymers
  • nanosized and nanostructured polymeric biomaterials
  • advanced polymeric biomaterials
  • biotechnology and bioengineering
  • modern biomedicine
  • therapeutic biopolymeric materials
  • regenerative medicine

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
PLLA Honeycomb-Like Pattern on Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene as a Substrate for Fibroblast Growth
Polymers 2020, 12(11), 2436; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12112436 - 22 Oct 2020
Abstract
In this study, we present the surface patterning of a biopolymer poly(l-lactide) (PLLA) for fibroblast growth enhancement. The patterning is based on a self-organized pore arrangement directly fabricated from a ternary system of a solvent-nonsolvent biopolymer. We successfully created a porous [...] Read more.
In this study, we present the surface patterning of a biopolymer poly(l-lactide) (PLLA) for fibroblast growth enhancement. The patterning is based on a self-organized pore arrangement directly fabricated from a ternary system of a solvent-nonsolvent biopolymer. We successfully created a porous honeycomb-like pattern (HCP) on a thermally resistant polymer—fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP). An important preparation step for HCP is activation of the substrate in Ar plasma discharge. The polymer activation leads to changes in the surface chemistry, which corresponds to an increase in the substrate surface wettability. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of the PLLA concentration in solution on the surface morphology, roughness, wettability, and chemistry, and subsequently, also on fibroblast proliferation. We confirmed that the amount of PLLA in solution significantly affects the material surface properties. The pore size of the prepared layers, the surface wettability, and the surface oxygen content increased with an increasing amount of biopolymer in the coating solution. The optimal amount was 1 g of PLLA, which resulted in the highest number of cells after 6 days from seeding; however, all three biopolymer concentrations exhibited significantly better results compared to pristine FEP. The cytocompatibility tests showed that the HCP promoted the attachment of cell filopodia to the underlying substrate and, thus, significantly improved the cell–material interactions. We prepared a honeycomb biodegradable support for enhanced cell growth, so the surface properties of perfluoroethylenepropylene were significantly enhanced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Exopolysaccharide Produced from Fermented Bamboo Shoot-Isolated Lactobacillus Fermentum
Polymers 2020, 12(7), 1531; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12071531 - 10 Jul 2020
Abstract
This study aimed at providing a route towards the production of a novel exopolysaccharide (EPS) from fermented bamboo shoot-isolated Lactobacillus fermentum. A lactic acid bacteria strain, with high EPS production ability, was isolated from fermented bamboo shoots. This strain, R-49757, was identified [...] Read more.
This study aimed at providing a route towards the production of a novel exopolysaccharide (EPS) from fermented bamboo shoot-isolated Lactobacillus fermentum. A lactic acid bacteria strain, with high EPS production ability, was isolated from fermented bamboo shoots. This strain, R-49757, was identified in the BCCM/LMG Bacteria Collection, Ghent University, Belgium by the phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase gene sequencing method, and it was named Lb. fermentum MC3. The molecular mass of the EPS measured via gel permeation chromatography was found to be 9.85 × 104 Da. Moreover, the monosaccharide composition in the EPS was analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Consequently, the EPS was discovered to be a heteropolysaccharide with the appearance of two main sugars—D-glucose and D-mannose—in the backbone. The results of one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy analyses prove the repeating unit of this polysaccharide to be [→6)-β-D-Glcp-(1→3)-β-D-Manp-(1→6)-β-D-Glcp-(1→]n, which appears to be a new EPS. The obtained results open up an avenue for the production of novel EPSs for biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Gelatin Hydrogels Reinforced by Absorbable Nanoparticles and Fibrils Cured In Situ by Visible Light for Tissue Adhesive Applications
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1113; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051113 - 13 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Most gelatin hydrogels used in regenerative medicine applications today are fabricated by photocrosslinking due to the convenience and speed of this method. However, in most cases photoinitiators are used, which require UV light, which, in turn, can cause cell and tissue damage, or [...] Read more.
Most gelatin hydrogels used in regenerative medicine applications today are fabricated by photocrosslinking due to the convenience and speed of this method. However, in most cases photoinitiators are used, which require UV light, which, in turn, can cause cell and tissue damage, or using functionalized gelatin. Recently, ruthenium (II) tris-bipyridyl chloride has been studied as an initiator that can induce dityrosine bond formation using visible light. In addition, continuous fibrils and small particles are often used to reinforce composite materials. Therefore, this study investigated the visible-light-induced photocrosslinking of native gelatin molecules via dityrosine bonds formation as well as gel reinforcement by collagen fibrils and mesoporous bioactive glass (MBG) particles. The results show that collagen and MBG exerted a synergistic effect on maintaining gel integrity with a dental LED curing light when the irradiation time was shortened to 30 s. Without the two reinforcing components, the gel could not form a geometric shape stable gel even when the exposure time was 120 s. The shear strength increased by 62% with the collagen and MBG compared with the blank control. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that the addition of collagen and MBG enhanced gel stability in an artificial saliva solution. These results demonstrate the considerable advantages of using tyrosine-containing biomolecules, and using a dental LED curing light for the crosslinking of hydrogels in terms of their suitability and feasibility for use as bioadhesives in confined clinical working space, such as the oral cavity, and in application as in situ-crosslinked injectable hydrogels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
In Vitro and In Vivo Comparison Study of Electrospun PLA and PLA/PVA/SA Fiber Membranes for Wound Healing
Polymers 2020, 12(4), 839; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12040839 - 06 Apr 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Wound dressings can accelerate wound healing. The degradable polymer poly(lactic acid) (PLA) shows good mechanical properties and biocompatibility. Sodium alginate (SA) holds good biocompatibility, hemostasis, and high hygroscopicity. Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) has good spinnability as a pharmaceutical excipient. Herein, we carried out a [...] Read more.
Wound dressings can accelerate wound healing. The degradable polymer poly(lactic acid) (PLA) shows good mechanical properties and biocompatibility. Sodium alginate (SA) holds good biocompatibility, hemostasis, and high hygroscopicity. Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) has good spinnability as a pharmaceutical excipient. Herein, we carried out a comparison study of electrospun PLA and PLA/PVA/SA fiber membranes for wound healing in vitro and in vivo. In this study, PLA and PLA/PVA/SA nanofiber membranes were fabricated through electrospinning to produce a highly porous and large specific surface area that could promote wound healing. In vitro experiments showed that PLA and PLA/PVA/SA nanofiber membranes could all provide good support for the growth of rat fibroblasts (L929). Moreover, rat fibroblasts displayed slightly better adhesion and proliferation on PLA/PVA/SA than on the PLA fiber membranes. The in vivo potentiality of the PLA and PLA/PVA/SA fiber membranes was assessed in rat models of skin defects in which the PLA and PLA/PVA/SA fiber membranes significantly improved wound healing compared to commercially available gauzes. No significant differences in wound healing were observed between PLA and PLA/PVA/SA fiber membranes in our study. Furthermore, Masson staining and PCR displayed the PLA fiber membrane promoted protein deposition compared to the PLA/PVA/SA fiber membrane. In addition, IHC suggested that PLA/PVA/SA dressing reduced the inflammatory response during early wound healing compared to the PLA fiber membrane. These findings highlight the utility of fiber membranes as novel wound-healing dressings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Evaluation of Dip-Coated PCL-Blend-PEG Coatings in Simulated Conditions
Polymers 2020, 12(3), 717; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12030717 - 24 Mar 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Our study focused on the long-term degradation under simulated conditions of coatings based on different compositions of polycaprolactone-polyethylene glycol blends (PCL-blend-PEG), fabricated for titanium implants by a dip-coating technique. The degradation behavior of polymeric coatings was evaluated by polymer mass loss measurements of [...] Read more.
Our study focused on the long-term degradation under simulated conditions of coatings based on different compositions of polycaprolactone-polyethylene glycol blends (PCL-blend-PEG), fabricated for titanium implants by a dip-coating technique. The degradation behavior of polymeric coatings was evaluated by polymer mass loss measurements of the PCL-blend-PEG during immersion in SBF up to 16 weeks and correlated with those yielded from electrochemical experiments. The results are thoroughly supported by extensive compositional and surface analyses (FTIR, GIXRD, SEM, and wettability investigations). We found that the degradation behavior of PCL-blend-PEG coatings is governed by the properties of the main polymer constituents: the PEG solubilizes fast, immediately after the immersion, while the PCL degrades slowly over the whole period of time. Furthermore, the results evidence that the alteration of blend coatings is strongly enhanced by the increase in PEG content. The biological assessment unveiled the beneficial influence of PCL-blend-PEG coatings for the adhesion and spreading of both human-derived mesenchymal stem cells and endothelial cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Organic Material Induced by Electron Beam Irradiation for Medical Application
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020306 - 03 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study analyzed the effects of irradiation of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) containing 40% of bronze using an electron beam with energy of 10 MeV. Dosages from 26 to156 kGy (2.6–15.6 Mrad) were used. The impact of a high-energy electron beam on the thermal, spectrophotometric, [...] Read more.
This study analyzed the effects of irradiation of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) containing 40% of bronze using an electron beam with energy of 10 MeV. Dosages from 26 to156 kGy (2.6–15.6 Mrad) were used. The impact of a high-energy electron beam on the thermal, spectrophotometric, mechanical, and tribological properties was determined, and the results were compared with those obtained for pure PTFE. Thermal properties studies showed that such irradiation caused changes in melting temperature Tm and crystallization temperature Tc, an increase in crystallization heat ∆Hc, and a large increase in crystallinity χc proportional to the absorbed dose for both polymers. The addition of bronze decreased the degree of crystallinity of PTFE by twofold. Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) studies confirmed that the main phenomenon associated with electron beam irradiation was the photodegradation of the polymer chains for both PTFE containing bronze and pure PTFE. This had a direct effect on the increase in the degree of crystallinity observed in DSC studies. The use of a bronze additive could lead to energy dissipation over the additive particles. An increase in hardness H and Young’s modulus E was also observed. The addition of bronze and the irradiation with an electron beam improved of the operational properties of PTFE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications)
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Review

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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight-Polyethylene (UHMWPE) as a Promising Polymer Material for Biomedical Applications: A Concise Review
Polymers 2020, 12(2), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12020323 - 04 Feb 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) is used in biomedical applications due to its high wear-resistance, ductility, and biocompatibility. A great deal of research in recent decades has focused on further improving its mechanical and tribological performances in order to provide durable implants in [...] Read more.
Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) is used in biomedical applications due to its high wear-resistance, ductility, and biocompatibility. A great deal of research in recent decades has focused on further improving its mechanical and tribological performances in order to provide durable implants in patients. Several methods, including irradiation, surface modifications, and reinforcements have been employed to improve the tribological and mechanical performance of UHMWPE. The effect of these modifications on tribological and mechanical performance was discussed in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications)
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