Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications II

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 (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 29997

Special Issue Editors


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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
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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 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 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

  • (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 (9 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 2503 KiB  
Article
Synthesis and Investigation of Physicochemical and Biological Properties of Films Containing Encapsulated Propolis in Hyaluronic Matrix
by Gohar Khachatryan, Karen Khachatryan, Magdalena Krystyjan, Lidia Krzemińska-Fiedorowicz, Anna Lenart-Boroń, Anna Białecka, Magdalena Krupka, Marcel Krzan, Karolina Blaszyńska, Monika Hanula and Lesław Juszczak
Polymers 2023, 15(5), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15051271 - 2 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2333
Abstract
The dynamic development of nanotechnology has enabled the development of innovative and novel techniques for the production and use of nanomaterials. One of them is the use of nanocapsules based on biodegradable biopolymer composites. Closing compounds with antimicrobial activity inside the nanocapsule cause [...] Read more.
The dynamic development of nanotechnology has enabled the development of innovative and novel techniques for the production and use of nanomaterials. One of them is the use of nanocapsules based on biodegradable biopolymer composites. Closing compounds with antimicrobial activity inside the nanocapsule cause the gradual release of biologically active substances into the environment, and the effect on pathogens is regular, prolonged and targeted. Known and used in medicine for years, propolis, thanks to the synergistic effect of active ingredients, has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Biodegradable and flexible biofilms were obtained, the morphology of the composite was determined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and particle size was measured by the dynamic light scattering (DLS) method. Antimicrobial properties of biofoils were examined on commensal skin bacteria and pathogenic Candida isolates based on the growth inhibition zones. The research confirmed the presence of spherical nanocapsules with sizes in the nano/micrometric scale. The properties of the composites were characterized by infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy. It has been proven that hyaluronic acid is a suitable matrix for the preparation of nanocapsules, as no significant interactions between hyaluronan and the tested compounds have been demonstrated. Color analysis and thermal properties, as well as the thickness and mechanical properties of the obtained films, were determined. Antimicrobial properties of the obtained nanocomposites were strong in relation to all analyzed bacterial and yeast strains isolated from various regions of the human body. These results suggest high potential applicability of the tested biofilms as effective materials for dressings to be applied on infected wounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications II)
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10 pages, 2110 KiB  
Article
Uricase Crowding via Polyelectrolyte Layers Coacervation for Carbon Fiber-Based Electrochemical Detection of Uric Acid
by Anna A. Baldina, Liubov V. Pershina, Ulyana V. Noskova, Anna A. Nikitina, Anton A. Muravev, Ekaterina V. Skorb and Konstantin G. Nikolaev
Polymers 2022, 14(23), 5145; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14235145 - 26 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1826
Abstract
Urate oxidase (UOx) surrounded by synthetic macromolecules, such as polyethyleneimine (PEI), poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH), and poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) (PSS) is a convenient model of redox-active biomacromolecules in a crowded environment and could display high enzymatic activity towards uric acid, an important marker of COVID-19 [...] Read more.
Urate oxidase (UOx) surrounded by synthetic macromolecules, such as polyethyleneimine (PEI), poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH), and poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) (PSS) is a convenient model of redox-active biomacromolecules in a crowded environment and could display high enzymatic activity towards uric acid, an important marker of COVID-19 patients. In this work, the carbon fiber electrode was modified with Prussian blue (PB) redox mediator, UOx layer, and a layer-by-layer assembled polyelectrolyte film, which forms a complex coacervate consisting of a weakly charged polyelectrolyte (PEI or PAH) and a highly charged one (PSS). The film deposition process was controlled by cyclic voltammetry and scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (at the stage of PB deposition) and through quartz crystal microbalance technique (at latter stages) revealed uniform distribution of the polyelectrolyte layers. Variation of the polyelectrolyte film composition derived the following statements. (1) There is a linear correlation between electrochemical signal and concentration of uric acid in the range of 10−4–10−6 M. (2) An increase in the number of polyelectrolyte layers provides more reproducible values for uric acid concentration in real urine samples of SARS-CoV-2 patients measured by electrochemical enzyme assay, which are comparable to those of spectrophotometric assay. (3) The PAH/UOx/PSS/(PAH/PSS)2-coated carbon fiber electrode displays the highest sensitivity towards uric acid. (4) There is a high enzyme activity of UOx immobilized into the hydrogel nanolayer (values of the Michaelis–Menten constant are up to 2 μM) and, consequently, high affinity to uric acid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications II)
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19 pages, 6223 KiB  
Article
Bioactive Coatings Loaded with Osteogenic Protein for Metallic Implants
by Oana Gherasim, Alexandru Mihai Grumezescu, Valentina Grumezescu, Ecaterina Andronescu, Irina Negut, Alexandra Cătălina Bîrcă, Bianca Gălățeanu and Ariana Hudiță
Polymers 2021, 13(24), 4303; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13244303 - 9 Dec 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2774
Abstract
Osteoconductive and osteoinductive coatings represent attractive and tunable strategies towards the enhanced biomechanics and osseointegration of metallic implants, providing accurate local modulation of bone-to-implant interface. Composite materials based on polylactide (PLA) and hydroxyapatite (HAp) are proved beneficial substrates for the modulation of bone [...] Read more.
Osteoconductive and osteoinductive coatings represent attractive and tunable strategies towards the enhanced biomechanics and osseointegration of metallic implants, providing accurate local modulation of bone-to-implant interface. Composite materials based on polylactide (PLA) and hydroxyapatite (HAp) are proved beneficial substrates for the modulation of bone cells’ development, being suitable mechanical supports for the repair and regeneration of bone tissue. Moreover, the addition of osteogenic proteins represents the next step towards the fabrication of advanced biomaterials for hard tissue engineering applications, as their regulatory mechanisms beneficially contribute to the new bone formation. In this respect, laser-processed composites, based on PLA, Hap, and bone morphogenetic protein 4(BMP4), are herein proposed as bioactive coatings for metallic implants. The nanostructured coatings proved superior ability to promote the adhesion, viability, and proliferation of osteoprogenitor cells, without affecting their normal development and further sustaining the osteogenic differentiation of the cells. Our results are complementary to previous studies regarding the successful use of chemically BMP-modified biomaterials in orthopedic and orthodontic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications II)
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15 pages, 5819 KiB  
Article
Development, Characterization and Cell Viability Inhibition of PVA Spheres Loaded with Doxorubicin and 4′-Amino-1-Naphthyl-Chalcone (D14) for Osteosarcoma
by Viviane Seba, Gabriel Goetten de Lima, Bruno L. Pereira, Gabriel Silva, Luiza Steffens Reinhardt, Pablo Ricardo Arantes, Bor Shin Chee, Mariana Bastos dos Santos, Suzelei C. França, Luis Octavio Regasini, Ana Lúcia Fachin, Zhi Cao, Michael J. D. Nugent and Mozart Marins
Polymers 2021, 13(16), 2611; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13162611 - 6 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2617
Abstract
Chalcones (1,3-diaryl-2-propen-1-ones) are naturally occurring polyphenols with known anticancer activity against a variety of tumor cell lines, including osteosarcoma (OS). In this paper, we present the preparation and characterization of spheres (~2 mm) from polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) containing a combination of 4′-Amino-1-Naphthyl-Chalcone (D14) [...] Read more.
Chalcones (1,3-diaryl-2-propen-1-ones) are naturally occurring polyphenols with known anticancer activity against a variety of tumor cell lines, including osteosarcoma (OS). In this paper, we present the preparation and characterization of spheres (~2 mm) from polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) containing a combination of 4′-Amino-1-Naphthyl-Chalcone (D14) and doxorubicin, to act as a new polymeric dual-drug anticancer delivery. D14 is a potent inhibitor of osteosarcoma progression and, when combined with doxorubicin, presents a synergetic effect; hence, physically crosslinked PVA spheres loaded with D14 and doxorubicin were prepared using liquid nitrogen and six freeze–thawing cycles. Physical-chemical characterization using a scanning electron microscope (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) presented that the drugs were incorporated into the spheres via weak interactions between the drugs and the polymeric chains, resulting in overall good drug stability. The cytotoxicity activity of the PVA spheres co-encapsulating both drugs was tested against the U2OS human osteosarcoma cell line by 3- (4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl) -2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, and compared to the spheres carrying either D14 or doxorubicin alone. The co-delivery showed a cytotoxic effect 2.6-fold greater than doxorubicin alone, revealing a significant synergistic effect with a coefficient of drug interaction (CDI) of 0.49. The obtained results suggest this developed PVA sphere as a potential dual-drug delivery system that could be used for the prominent synergistic anticancer activity of co-delivering D14 and doxorubicin, providing a new potential strategy for improved osteosarcoma treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications II)
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12 pages, 3879 KiB  
Article
Curcumin-Functionalized Gelatin Films: Antioxidant Materials with Modulated Physico-Chemical Properties
by Katia Rubini, Elisa Boanini, Silvia Parmeggiani and Adriana Bigi
Polymers 2021, 13(11), 1824; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13111824 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2368
Abstract
In this paper we used curcumin as a functionalizing agent of gelatin films with the aim to get antioxidant materials with modulated physico-chemical properties. To this aim, we prepared gelatin films at different contents of curcumin up to about 1.2 wt%. The as-prepared [...] Read more.
In this paper we used curcumin as a functionalizing agent of gelatin films with the aim to get antioxidant materials with modulated physico-chemical properties. To this aim, we prepared gelatin films at different contents of curcumin up to about 1.2 wt%. The as-prepared films, as well as glutaraldehyde crosslinked films, were submitted to several tests: swelling, water solubility, differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, mechanical tests and curcumin release. The radical scavenging activity of the as-prepared films is similar to that of free curcumin, indicating remarkable antioxidant properties. All the other tested properties vary as a function of curcumin content and/or the presence of the crosslinking agent. In particular, the films exhibit sustained curcumin release in different solvents. Thanks to its biocompatibility, biodegradability and lack of antigenicity, gelatin uses span from food processing to packaging and biomaterials. It follows that the modulated properties exhibited by the functionalized materials developed in this work can be usefully employed in different application fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications II)
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12 pages, 18186 KiB  
Article
Effect of Chitosan and Aloe Vera Extract Concentrations on the Physicochemical Properties of Chitosan Biofilms
by Cristiana M. P. Yoshida, Murilo S. Pacheco, Mariana A. de Moraes, Patrícia S. Lopes, Patrícia Severino, Eliana B. Souto and Classius F. da Silva
Polymers 2021, 13(8), 1187; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13081187 - 7 Apr 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3504
Abstract
Chitosan films have been extensively studied as dressings in formulations for the treatment of chronic wounds. The incorporation of aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) into chitosan dressings could potentialize the healing process since aloe vera shows several pharmacological activities. This work aimed [...] Read more.
Chitosan films have been extensively studied as dressings in formulations for the treatment of chronic wounds. The incorporation of aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) into chitosan dressings could potentialize the healing process since aloe vera shows several pharmacological activities. This work aimed to evaluate the effect of aloe vera and chitosan concentrations on the physicochemical properties of the developed films. The films were obtained by casting technique and characterized with respect to their color parameters, morphology, barrier and mechanical properties, and thermal analysis. Results showed that the presence of aloe vera modified the films′ color parameters, changed barrier properties, increased fluid handling capacity (FHC), and decreased water-vapor permeability (WVP). The reduced elongation at break resulted in more rigid films. Aloe vera concentration did not significantly change film properties, but the presence of this gel increased the films’ stability at temperatures below 200 °C, showing similar behavior as chitosan films above 400 °C. The results suggest a crosslinking/complexation between chitosan and aloe vera, which combine appropriate physicochemical properties for application as wound dressing materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications II)
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19 pages, 4129 KiB  
Article
Composite P(3HB-3HV)-CS Spheres for Enhanced Antibiotic Efficiency
by Oana Gherasim, Alexandru Mihai Grumezescu, Anton Ficai, Valentina Grumezescu, Alina Maria Holban, Bianca Gălățeanu and Ariana Hudiță
Polymers 2021, 13(6), 989; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13060989 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3010
Abstract
Natural-derived biopolymers are suitable candidates for developing specific and selective performance-enhanced antimicrobial formulations. Composite polymeric particles based on poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) and chitosan, P(3HB-3HV)-CS, are herein proposed as biocompatible and biodegradable delivery systems for bioproduced antibiotics: bacitracin (Bac), neomycin (Neo) and kanamycin (Kan). The stimuli-responsive [...] Read more.
Natural-derived biopolymers are suitable candidates for developing specific and selective performance-enhanced antimicrobial formulations. Composite polymeric particles based on poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) and chitosan, P(3HB-3HV)-CS, are herein proposed as biocompatible and biodegradable delivery systems for bioproduced antibiotics: bacitracin (Bac), neomycin (Neo) and kanamycin (Kan). The stimuli-responsive spheres proved efficient platforms for boosting the antibiotic efficiency and antibacterial susceptibility, as evidenced against Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains. Absent or reduced proinflammatory effects were evidenced on macrophages in the case of Bac-/Neo- and Kan-loaded spheres, respectively. Moreover, these systems showed superior ability to sustain and promote the proliferation of dermal fibroblasts, as well as to preserve their ultrastructure (membrane and cytoskeleton integrity) and to exhibit anti-oxidant activity. The antibiotic-loaded P(3HB-3HV)-CS spheres proved efficient alternatives for antibacterial strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications II)
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Review

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32 pages, 1912 KiB  
Review
Fabrication of Hybrid Nanofibers from Biopolymers and Poly (Vinyl Alcohol)/Poly (ε-Caprolactone) for Wound Dressing Applications
by Sibusiso Alven and Blessing Atim Aderibigbe
Polymers 2021, 13(13), 2104; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13132104 - 26 Jun 2021
Cited by 45 | Viewed by 4435
Abstract
The management of chronic wounds is challenging. The factors that impede wound healing include malnutrition, diseases (such as diabetes, cancer), and bacterial infection. Most of the presently utilized wound dressing materials suffer from severe limitations, including poor antibacterial and mechanical properties. Wound dressings [...] Read more.
The management of chronic wounds is challenging. The factors that impede wound healing include malnutrition, diseases (such as diabetes, cancer), and bacterial infection. Most of the presently utilized wound dressing materials suffer from severe limitations, including poor antibacterial and mechanical properties. Wound dressings formulated from the combination of biopolymers and synthetic polymers (i.e., poly (vinyl alcohol) or poly (ε-caprolactone) display interesting properties, including good biocompatibility, improved biodegradation, good mechanical properties and antimicrobial effects, promote tissue regeneration, etc. Formulation of these wound dressings via electrospinning technique is cost-effective, useful for uniform and continuous nanofibers with controllable pore structure, high porosity, excellent swelling capacity, good gaseous exchange, excellent cellular adhesion, and show a good capability to provide moisture and warmth environment for the accelerated wound healing process. Based on the above-mentioned outstanding properties of nanofibers and the unique properties of hybrid wound dressings prepared from poly (vinyl alcohol) and poly (ε-caprolactone), this review reports the in vitro and in vivo outcomes of the reported hybrid nanofibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications II)
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31 pages, 3339 KiB  
Review
Polymeric Nanoparticles for Antimicrobial Therapies: An up-to-date Overview
by Vera Alexandra Spirescu, Cristina Chircov, Alexandru Mihai Grumezescu and Ecaterina Andronescu
Polymers 2021, 13(5), 724; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13050724 - 27 Feb 2021
Cited by 91 | Viewed by 5462
Abstract
Despite the many advancements in the pharmaceutical and medical fields and the development of numerous antimicrobial drugs aimed to suppress and destroy pathogenic microorganisms, infectious diseases still represent a major health threat affecting millions of lives daily. In addition to the limitations of [...] Read more.
Despite the many advancements in the pharmaceutical and medical fields and the development of numerous antimicrobial drugs aimed to suppress and destroy pathogenic microorganisms, infectious diseases still represent a major health threat affecting millions of lives daily. In addition to the limitations of antimicrobial drugs associated with low transportation rate, water solubility, oral bioavailability and stability, inefficient drug targeting, considerable toxicity, and limited patient compliance, the major cause for their inefficiency is the antimicrobial resistance of microorganisms. In this context, the risk of a pre-antibiotic era is a real possibility. For this reason, the research focus has shifted toward the discovery and development of novel and alternative antimicrobial agents that could overcome the challenges associated with conventional drugs. Nanotechnology is a possible alternative, as there is significant evidence of the broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity of nanomaterials and nanoparticles in particular. Moreover, owing to their considerable advantages regarding their efficient cargo dissolving, entrapment, encapsulation, or surface attachment, the possibility of forming antimicrobial groups for specific targeting and destruction, biocompatibility and biodegradability, low toxicity, and synergistic therapy, polymeric nanoparticles have received considerable attention as potential antimicrobial drug delivery agents. In this context, the aim of this paper is to provide an up-to-date overview of the most recent studies investigating polymeric nanoparticles designed for antimicrobial therapies, describing both their targeting strategies and their effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biopolymers for Biomedical Applications II)
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