Special Issue "Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Esmaiel Jabbari

Biomimetic Materials and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 703 777 8265
Interests: bioinspired gels; gels for stem cell delivery; self-assembled micelles for growth factor immobilization; models gels to control cell microenvironment; composite materials with structure at multiple length scales; skeletal tissue engineering

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polymers form the foundation of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine as a supportive matrix for cell immobilization and growth factor delivery. Polymers, due to their wide range of properties, have been used as films, porous scaffolds, fibres, micro- and nanoparticles, viscous gels, and patterned matrices in regenerative medicine to control cell fate. It has been widely established that the fate of implanted cells is mediated by cell-matrix interaction at nano-, micro-, and macro-scales. Further, the fate of multi-cellular implants is dependent on in situ, timed-release of growth factors to guide the differentiation and maturation of cells to different lineages. As a result, recently there has been great interest in polymers with a hierarchical structure to mimic the complex interaction of cells with their microenvironment at multiple length scales, and polymers that can locally release growth factors to specific cells in different time scales. Related topics include polymers with a hierarchical structure, hybrid and degradable scaffolds, load-bearing and self-healing scaffolds, polymers for cell encapsulation and biofabrication, polymers for micro-patterning, microfluidic devices, and high-throughput screening, injectable, and in situ hardening polymers for minimally-invasive applications, polymers that modulate the body’s immune response, and polymeric delivery systems for spatiotemporal delivery of growth factors.

Prof. Dr. Esmaiel Jabbari
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • smart, self-healing, and load-bearing polymeric scaffolds
  • electrically responsive polymers for nerve signal transmission
  • polymers with hierarchical structures
  • polymers for cell encapsulation and cell-adhesive polymers
  • polymers for biofabrication
  • injectable in situ hardening polymers for minimally invasive applications
  • polymers for high throughput screening applications
  • polymers for micro- and nano-patterning, and microfluidics
  • hybrid degradable polymeric scaffolds
  • immunomodulatory polymeric scaffolds
  • polymers for on-demand delivery of growth factors

Related Special Issues

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Highly Concentrated Alginate-Gellan Gum Composites for 3D Plotting of Complex Tissue Engineering Scaffolds
Polymers 2016, 8(5), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8050170
Received: 21 December 2015 / Revised: 14 April 2016 / Accepted: 18 April 2016 / Published: 26 April 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (8104 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In tissue engineering, additive manufacturing (AM) technologies have brought considerable progress as they allow the fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) structures with defined architecture. 3D plotting is a versatile, extrusion-based AM technology suitable for processing a wide range of biomaterials including hydrogels. In this [...] Read more.
In tissue engineering, additive manufacturing (AM) technologies have brought considerable progress as they allow the fabrication of three-dimensional (3D) structures with defined architecture. 3D plotting is a versatile, extrusion-based AM technology suitable for processing a wide range of biomaterials including hydrogels. In this study, composites of highly concentrated alginate and gellan gum were prepared in order to combine the excellent printing properties of alginate with the favorable gelling characteristics of gellan gum. Mixtures of 16.7 wt % alginate and 2 or 3 wt % gellan gum were found applicable for 3D plotting. Characterization of the resulting composite scaffolds revealed an increased stiffness in the wet state (15%–20% higher Young’s modulus) and significantly lower volume swelling in cell culture medium compared to pure alginate scaffolds (~10% vs. ~23%). Cytocompatibility experiments with human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) revealed that cell attachment was improved—the seeding efficiency was ~2.5–3.5 times higher on the composites than on pure alginate. Additionally, the composites were shown to support hMSC proliferation and early osteogenic differentiation. In conclusion, print fidelity of highly concentrated alginate-gellan gum composites was comparable to those of pure alginate; after plotting and crosslinking, the scaffolds possessed improved qualities regarding shape fidelity, mechanical strength, and initial cell attachment making them attractive for tissue engineering applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Rapid Hydrophilization of Model Polyurethane/Urea (PURPEG) Polymer Scaffolds Using Oxygen Plasma Treatment
Polymers 2016, 8(4), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8040144
Received: 12 February 2016 / Revised: 22 March 2016 / Accepted: 8 April 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (11107 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polyurethane/urea copolymers based on poly(ethylene glycol) (PURPEG) were exposed to weakly ionized, highly reactive low-pressure oxygen plasma to improve their sorption kinetics. The plasma was sustained with an inductively coupled radiofrequency generator operating at various power levels in either E-mode (up to the [...] Read more.
Polyurethane/urea copolymers based on poly(ethylene glycol) (PURPEG) were exposed to weakly ionized, highly reactive low-pressure oxygen plasma to improve their sorption kinetics. The plasma was sustained with an inductively coupled radiofrequency generator operating at various power levels in either E-mode (up to the forward power of 300 W) or H-mode (above 500 W). The treatments that used H-mode caused nearly instant thermal degradation of the polymer samples. The density of the charged particles in E-mode was on the order of 1016 m−3, which prevented material destruction upon plasma treatment, but the density of neutral O-atoms in the ground state was on the order of 1021 m−3. The evolution of plasma characteristics during sample treatment in E-mode was determined by optical emission spectroscopy; surface modifications were determined by water adsorption kinetics and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy; and etching intensity was determined by residual gas analysis. The results showed moderate surface functionalization with hydroxyl and carboxyl/ester groups, weak etching at a rate of several nm/s, rather slow activation down to a water contact angle of 30° and an ability to rapidly absorb water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Rheological and Mechanical Behavior of Silk Fibroin Reinforced Waterborne Polyurethane
Polymers 2016, 8(3), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8030094
Received: 29 November 2015 / Revised: 1 March 2016 / Accepted: 3 March 2016 / Published: 21 March 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (4563 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Waterborne polyurethane (WPU) is a versatile and environment-friendly material with growing applications in both industry and academia. Silk fibroin (SF) is an attractive material known for its structural, biological and hemocompatible properties. The SF reinforced waterborne polyurethane (WPU) is a promising scaffold material [...] Read more.
Waterborne polyurethane (WPU) is a versatile and environment-friendly material with growing applications in both industry and academia. Silk fibroin (SF) is an attractive material known for its structural, biological and hemocompatible properties. The SF reinforced waterborne polyurethane (WPU) is a promising scaffold material for tissue engineering applications. In this work, we report synthesis and characterization of a novel nanocomposite using SF reinforced WPU. The rheological behaviors of WPU and WPU-SF dispersions with different solid contents were investigated with steady shear and dynamic oscillatory tests to evaluate the formation of the cross-linked gel structure. The average particle size and the zeta potential of WPU-SF dispersions with different SF content were examined at 25 °C to investigate the interaction between SF and WPU. FTIR, SEM, TEM and tensile testing were performed to study the effects of SF content on the structural morphology and mechanical properties of the resultant composite films. Experimental results revealed formation of gel network in the WPU dispersions at solid contents more than 17 wt %. The conjugate reaction between the WPU and SF as well as the hydrogen bond between them helped in dispersing the SF powder into the WPU matrix as small aggregates. Addition of SF to the WPU also improved the Young’s modulus from 0.30 to 3.91 MPa, tensile strength from 0.56 to 8.94 MPa, and elongation at break from 1067% to 2480%, as SF was increased up to 5 wt %. Thus, significant strengthening and toughening can be achieved by introducing SF powder into the WPU formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Electrospun PCL-PIBMD Meshes Modified with Plasmid Complexes in Vitro and in Vivo
Polymers 2016, 8(3), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8030058
Received: 23 January 2016 / Revised: 12 February 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2016 / Published: 23 February 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (4927 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Functional artificial vascular meshes from biodegradable polymers have been widely explored for certain tissue engineered meshes. Still, the foreign body reaction and limitation in endothelialization are challenges for such devices. Here, degradable meshes from phase-segregated multiblock copolymers consisting of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and polydepsipeptide [...] Read more.
Functional artificial vascular meshes from biodegradable polymers have been widely explored for certain tissue engineered meshes. Still, the foreign body reaction and limitation in endothelialization are challenges for such devices. Here, degradable meshes from phase-segregated multiblock copolymers consisting of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and polydepsipeptide segments are successfully prepared by electrospinning and electrospraying techniques. The pEGFP-ZNF580 plasmid microparticles (MPs-pZNF580) were loaded into the electrospun meshes to enhance endothelialization. These functional meshes were evaluated in vitro and in vivo. The adhesion and proliferation of endothelial cells on the meshes were enhanced in loaded mesh groups. Moreover, the hemocompatibility and the tissue response of the meshes were further tested. The complete tests showed that the vascular meshes modified with MPs-pZNF580 possessed satisfactory performance with an average fiber diameter of 550 ± 160 nm, tensile strength of 27 ± 3 MPa, Young’s modulus of 1. 9 ± 0.2 MPa, water contact angle of 95° ± 2°, relative cell number of 122% ± 1% after 7 days of culture, and low blood platelet adhesion as well as weak inflammatory reactions compared to control groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication of Nerve Growth Factor Encapsulated Aligned Poly(ε-Caprolactone) Nanofibers and Their Assessment as a Potential Neural Tissue Engineering Scaffold
Polymers 2016, 8(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8020054
Received: 16 December 2015 / Revised: 6 February 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2016 / Published: 19 February 2016
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (3952 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Peripheral nerve injury is a serious clinical problem to be solved. There has been no breakthrough so far and neural tissue engineering offers a promising approach to promote the regeneration of peripheral neural injuries. In this study, emulsion electrospinning technique was introduced as [...] Read more.
Peripheral nerve injury is a serious clinical problem to be solved. There has been no breakthrough so far and neural tissue engineering offers a promising approach to promote the regeneration of peripheral neural injuries. In this study, emulsion electrospinning technique was introduced as a flexible and promising technique for the fabrication of random (R) and aligned (A) Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL)-Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)&Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) nanofibrous scaffolds [(R/A)-PCL-NGF&BSA], where NGF and BSA were encapsulated in the core while PCL form the shell. Random and aligned pure PCL, PCL-BSA, and PCL-NGF nanofibers were also produced for comparison. The scaffolds were characterized by Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) and water contact angle test. Release study showed that, with the addition of stabilizer BSA, a sustained release of NGF from emulsion electrospun PCL nanofibers was observed over 28 days. [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt; MTS] assay revealed that (R/A)-PCL-NGF and (R/A)-PCL-NGF&BSA scaffolds favored cell growth and showed no cytotoxicity to PC12 cells. Laser scanning confocal microscope images exhibited that the A-PCL-NGF&BSA scaffold increased the length of neurites and directed neurites extension along the fiber axis, indicating that the A-PCL-NGF&BSA scaffold has a potential for guiding nerve tissue growth and promoting nerve regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Development of Poly(ɛ-caprolactone) Scaffold Loaded with Simvastatin and Beta-Cyclodextrin Modified Hydroxyapatite Inclusion Complex for Bone Tissue Engineering
Polymers 2016, 8(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8020049
Received: 1 December 2015 / Revised: 26 January 2016 / Accepted: 5 February 2016 / Published: 9 February 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3706 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In this study, we developed poly(ɛ-caprolactone) (PCL) 3D scaffolds using a solid free form fabrication (SFF) technique. β-cyclodextrin (βCD) was grafted to hydroxyapatite (HAp) and this βCD grafted HAp was coated onto the PCL scaffold surface, followed by drug loading through an inclusion [...] Read more.
In this study, we developed poly(ɛ-caprolactone) (PCL) 3D scaffolds using a solid free form fabrication (SFF) technique. β-cyclodextrin (βCD) was grafted to hydroxyapatite (HAp) and this βCD grafted HAp was coated onto the PCL scaffold surface, followed by drug loading through an inclusion complex interaction between the βCD and adamantane (AD) or between βCD and simvastatin (SIM). The scaffold structure was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The release profile of simvastatin in the β-CD grafted HAp was also evaluated. Osteogenic differentiation of adipose-derived stromal cells (ADSCs) was examined using an alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP) assay. The results suggest that drug loaded PCL-HAp 3-D scaffolds enhances osteogenic differentiation of ADSCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Electrospun Poly(lactide-co-glycolide-co-3(S)-methyl-morpholine-2,5-dione) Nanofibrous Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering
Polymers 2016, 8(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8020013
Received: 4 November 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 7 January 2016 / Published: 29 January 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (3266 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biomimetic scaffolds have been investigated in vascular tissue engineering for many years. Excellent biodegradable materials are desired as temporary scaffolds to support cell growth and disappear gradually with the progress of guided tissue regeneration. In the present paper, a series of biodegradable copolymers [...] Read more.
Biomimetic scaffolds have been investigated in vascular tissue engineering for many years. Excellent biodegradable materials are desired as temporary scaffolds to support cell growth and disappear gradually with the progress of guided tissue regeneration. In the present paper, a series of biodegradable copolymers were synthesized and used to prepared micro/nanofibrous scaffolds for vascular tissue engineering. Poly(lactide-co-glycolide-co-3(S)-methyl-morpholine-2,5-dione) [P(LA-co-GA-co-MMD)] copolymers with different l-lactide (LA), glycolide (GA), and 3(S)-methyl-2,5-morpholinedione (MMD) contents were synthesized using stannous octoate as a catalyst. Moreover, the P(LA-co-GA-co-MMD) nanofibrous scaffolds were prepared by electrospinning technology. The morphology of scaffolds was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and the results showed that the fibers are smooth, regular, and randomly oriented with diameters of 700 ± 100 nm. The weight loss of scaffolds increased significantly with the increasing content of MMD, indicating good biodegradable property of the scaffolds. In addition, the cytocompatibility of electrospun nanofibrous scaffolds was tested by human umbilical vein endothelial cells. It is demonstrated that the cells could attach and proliferate well on P(LA-co-GA-co-MMD) scaffolds and, consequently, form a cell monolayer fully covering on the scaffold surface. Furthermore, the P(LA-co-GA-co-MMD) scaffolds benefit to excellent cell infiltration after subcutaneous implantation. These results indicated that the P(LA-co-GA-co-MMD) nanofibrous scaffolds could be potential candidates for vascular tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Magnetically-Responsive Hydrogels for Modulation of Chondrogenic Commitment of Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells
Polymers 2016, 8(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8020028
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 19 January 2016 / Published: 25 January 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1801 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are attractive tools to overcome limitations of current regenerative medicine strategies, demonstrating potential to integrate therapeutic and diagnostic functionalities in highly controlled systems. In traditional tissue engineering (TE) approaches, the MNPs association with stem cells in a three-dimensional (3D) template [...] Read more.
Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are attractive tools to overcome limitations of current regenerative medicine strategies, demonstrating potential to integrate therapeutic and diagnostic functionalities in highly controlled systems. In traditional tissue engineering (TE) approaches, the MNPs association with stem cells in a three-dimensional (3D) template offers the possibility to achieve a mechano-magnetic responsive system, enabling remote control actuation. Herein, we propose to study the role of MNPs integrated in κ-carrageenan (κC) hydrogels in the cellular response of human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) aiming at cartilage TE applications. The results indicated that the concentration of MNPs in the κC hydrogels influences cellular behavior, tuning a positive effect on cell viability, cell content and metabolic activity of hASCs, with the most promising outcomes found in 5% MNP-κC matrices. Although hASCs laden in MNPs-free- and MNPs-κC hydrogels showed similar metabolic and proliferation levels, MNPs κC hydrogels under magnetic actuation evidenced an instructive effect on hASCs, at a gene expression level, towards chondrogenic phenotype even in basic medium cultures. Therefore, the MNPs-based systems developed in this study may contribute to advanced strategies towards cartilage-like engineered substitutes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Cationic Nanocylinders Promote Angiogenic Activities of Endothelial Cells
Polymers 2016, 8(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8010015
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 7 January 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 14 January 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3915 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Polymers have been used extensively taking forms as scaffolds, patterned surface and nanoparticle for regenerative medicine applications. Angiogenesis is an essential process for successful tissue regeneration, and endothelial cell–cell interaction plays a pivotal role in regulating their tight junction formation, a hallmark of [...] Read more.
Polymers have been used extensively taking forms as scaffolds, patterned surface and nanoparticle for regenerative medicine applications. Angiogenesis is an essential process for successful tissue regeneration, and endothelial cell–cell interaction plays a pivotal role in regulating their tight junction formation, a hallmark of angiogenesis. Though continuous progress has been made, strategies to promote angiogenesis still rely on small molecule delivery or nuanced scaffold fabrication. As such, the recent paradigm shift from top-down to bottom-up approaches in tissue engineering necessitates development of polymer-based modular engineering tools to control angiogenesis. Here, we developed cationic nanocylinders (NCs) as inducers of cell–cell interaction and investigated their effect on angiogenic activities of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in vitro. Electrospun poly (l-lactic acid) (PLLA) fibers were aminolyzed to generate positively charged NCs. The aninolyzation time was changed to produce two different aspect ratios of NCs. When HUVECs were treated with NCs, the electrostatic interaction of cationic NCs with negatively charged plasma membranes promoted migration, permeability and tubulogenesis of HUVECs compared to no treatment. This effect was more profound when the higher aspect ratio NC was used. The results indicate these NCs can be used as a new tool for the bottom-up approach to promote angiogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Tailoring Hydrogel Viscoelasticity with Physical and Chemical Crosslinking
Polymers 2015, 7(12), 2650-2669; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym7121539
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 25 November 2015 / Accepted: 4 December 2015 / Published: 15 December 2015
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (6612 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Biological tissues are viscoelastic, demonstrating a mixture of fluid and solid responses to mechanical strain. Whilst viscoelasticity is critical for native tissue function, it is rarely used as a design criterion in biomaterials science or tissue engineering. We propose that viscoelasticity may be [...] Read more.
Biological tissues are viscoelastic, demonstrating a mixture of fluid and solid responses to mechanical strain. Whilst viscoelasticity is critical for native tissue function, it is rarely used as a design criterion in biomaterials science or tissue engineering. We propose that viscoelasticity may be tailored to specific levels through manipulation of the hydrogel type, or more specifically the proportion of physical and chemical crosslinks present in a construct. This theory was assessed by comparing the mechanical properties of various hydrogel blends, comprising elastic, equilibrium, storage and loss moduli, as well as the loss tangent. These properties were also assessed in human articular cartilage explants. It was found that whilst very low in elastic modulus, the physical crosslinks found in gellan gum-only provided the closest approximation of loss tangent levels found in cartilage. Blends of physical and chemical crosslinks (gelatin methacrylamide (GelMA) combined with gellan gum) gave highest values for elastic response. However, a greater proportion of gellan gum to GelMA than investigated may be required to achieve native cartilage viscoelasticity in this case. Human articular chondrocytes encapsulated in hydrogels remained viable over one week of culture. Overall, it was shown that viscoelasticity may be tailored similarly to other mechanical properties and may prove a new criterion to be included in the design of biomaterial structures for tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Multi-Channeled Polymeric Microsystem for Studying the Impact of Surface Topography on Cell Adhesion and Motility
Polymers 2015, 7(11), 2371-2388; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym7111519
Received: 16 July 2015 / Revised: 3 November 2015 / Accepted: 11 November 2015 / Published: 23 November 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3518 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents the complete development and experimental validation of a microsystem designed to systematically assess the impact of surface topography on cell adhesion and dynamics. The microsystem includes two pools for culturing cells and for including chemicals. These pools are connected by [...] Read more.
This paper presents the complete development and experimental validation of a microsystem designed to systematically assess the impact of surface topography on cell adhesion and dynamics. The microsystem includes two pools for culturing cells and for including chemicals. These pools are connected by several channels that have different microtextures, along which the cells crawl from one well to another. The impact of channel surface topography on cell performance, as well as the influence of other relevant factors, can therefore be assessed. The microsystem stands out for its being able to precisely define the surface topographies from the design stage and also has the advantage of including the different textures under study in a single device. Validation has been carried out by culturing human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) on the microsystem pre-treated with a coating of hMSC conditioned medium (CM) produced by these cells. The impact of surface topography on cell adhesion, motility, and velocity has been quantified, and the relevance of using a coating of hMSC-CM for these kinds of studies has been analyzed. Main results, current challenges, and future proposals based on the use of the proposed microsystem as an experimental resource for studying cell mechanobiology are also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Biopolymeric Mucin and Synthetic Polymer Analogs: Their Structure, Function and Role in Biomedical Applications
Polymers 2016, 8(3), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8030071
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 23 February 2016 / Accepted: 24 February 2016 / Published: 2 March 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (4213 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mucin networks are viscoelastic fibrillar aggregates formed through the complex self-association of biopolymeric glycoprotein chains. The networks form a lubricious, hydrated protective shield along epithelial regions within the human body. The critical role played by mucin networks in impacting the transport properties of [...] Read more.
Mucin networks are viscoelastic fibrillar aggregates formed through the complex self-association of biopolymeric glycoprotein chains. The networks form a lubricious, hydrated protective shield along epithelial regions within the human body. The critical role played by mucin networks in impacting the transport properties of biofunctional molecules (e.g., biogenic molecules, probes, nanoparticles), and its effect on bioavailability are well described in the literature. An alternate perspective is provided in this paper, presenting mucin’s complex network structure, and its interdependent functional characteristics in human physiology. We highlight the recent advances that were achieved through the use of mucin in diverse areas of bioengineering applications (e.g., drug delivery, biomedical devices and tissue engineering). Mucin network formation is a highly complex process, driven by wide variety of molecular interactions, and the network possess structural and chemical variations, posing a great challenge to understand mucin’s bulk behavior. Through this review, the prospective potential of polymer based analogs to serve as mucin mimic is suggested. These analog systems, apart from functioning as an artificial model, reducing the current dependency on animal models, can aid in furthering our fundamental understanding of such complex structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Open AccessReview Application of Collagen Scaffold in Tissue Engineering: Recent Advances and New Perspectives
Polymers 2016, 8(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8020042
Received: 13 December 2015 / Revised: 24 January 2016 / Accepted: 27 January 2016 / Published: 4 February 2016
Cited by 48 | PDF Full-text (1365 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Collagen is the main structural protein of most hard and soft tissues in animals and the human body, which plays an important role in maintaining the biological and structural integrity of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and provides physical support to tissues. Collagen can [...] Read more.
Collagen is the main structural protein of most hard and soft tissues in animals and the human body, which plays an important role in maintaining the biological and structural integrity of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and provides physical support to tissues. Collagen can be extracted and purified from a variety of sources and offers low immunogenicity, a porous structure, good permeability, biocompatibility and biodegradability. Collagen scaffolds have been widely used in tissue engineering due to these excellent properties. However, the poor mechanical property of collagen scaffolds limits their applications to some extent. To overcome this shortcoming, collagen scaffolds can be cross-linked by chemical or physical methods or modified with natural/synthetic polymers or inorganic materials. Biochemical factors can also be introduced to the scaffold to further improve its biological activity. This review will summarize the structure and biological characteristics of collagen and introduce the preparation methods and modification strategies of collagen scaffolds. The typical application of a collagen scaffold in tissue engineering (including nerve, bone, cartilage, tendon, ligament, blood vessel and skin) will be further provided. The prospects and challenges about their future research and application will also be pointed out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Open AccessReview Engineered Polymeric Hydrogels for 3D Tissue Models
Polymers 2016, 8(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8010023
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 4 January 2016 / Accepted: 15 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (1159 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polymeric biomaterials are widely used in a wide range of biomedical applications due to their unique properties, such as biocompatibility, multi-tunability and easy fabrication. Specifically, polymeric hydrogel materials are extensively utilized as therapeutic implants and therapeutic vehicles for tissue regeneration and drug delivery [...] Read more.
Polymeric biomaterials are widely used in a wide range of biomedical applications due to their unique properties, such as biocompatibility, multi-tunability and easy fabrication. Specifically, polymeric hydrogel materials are extensively utilized as therapeutic implants and therapeutic vehicles for tissue regeneration and drug delivery systems. Recently, hydrogels have been developed as artificial cellular microenvironments because of the structural and physiological similarity to native extracellular matrices. With recent advances in hydrogel materials, many researchers are creating three-dimensional tissue models using engineered hydrogels and various cell sources, which is a promising platform for tissue regeneration, drug discovery, alternatives to animal models and the study of basic cell biology. In this review, we discuss how polymeric hydrogels are used to create engineered tissue constructs. Specifically, we focus on emerging technologies to generate advanced tissue models that precisely recapitulate complex native tissues in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Open AccessReview Biomedical Applications of Biodegradable Polyesters
Polymers 2016, 8(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8010020
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 16 January 2016
Cited by 65 | PDF Full-text (2441 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The focus in the field of biomedical engineering has shifted in recent years to biodegradable polymers and, in particular, polyesters. Dozens of polyester-based medical devices are commercially available, and every year more are introduced to the market. The mechanical performance and wide range [...] Read more.
The focus in the field of biomedical engineering has shifted in recent years to biodegradable polymers and, in particular, polyesters. Dozens of polyester-based medical devices are commercially available, and every year more are introduced to the market. The mechanical performance and wide range of biodegradation properties of this class of polymers allow for high degrees of selectivity for targeted clinical applications. Recent research endeavors to expand the application of polymers have been driven by a need to target the general hydrophobic nature of polyesters and their limited cell motif sites. This review provides a comprehensive investigation into advanced strategies to modify polyesters and their clinical potential for future biomedical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Open AccessReview 3D Printing of Scaffold for Cells Delivery: Advances in Skin Tissue Engineering
Polymers 2016, 8(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym8010019
Received: 13 December 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 8 January 2016 / Published: 16 January 2016
Cited by 27 | PDF Full-text (3326 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Injury or damage to tissue and organs is a major health problem, resulting in about half of the world’s annual healthcare expenditure every year. Advances in the fields of stem cells (SCs) and biomaterials processing have provided a tremendous leap for researchers to [...] Read more.
Injury or damage to tissue and organs is a major health problem, resulting in about half of the world’s annual healthcare expenditure every year. Advances in the fields of stem cells (SCs) and biomaterials processing have provided a tremendous leap for researchers to manipulate the dynamics between these two, and obtain a skin substitute that can completely heal the wounded areas. Although wound healing needs a coordinated interplay between cells, extracellular proteins and growth factors, the most important players in this process are the endogenous SCs, which activate the repair cascade by recruiting cells from different sites. Extra cellular matrix (ECM) proteins are activated by these SCs, which in turn aid in cellular migrations and finally secretion of growth factors that can seal and heal the wounds. The interaction between ECM proteins and SCs helps the skin to sustain the rigors of everyday activity, and in an attempt to attain this level of functionality in artificial three-dimensional (3D) constructs, tissue engineered biomaterials are fabricated using more advanced techniques such as bioprinting and laser assisted printing of the organs. This review provides a concise summary of the most recent advances that have been made in the area of polymer bio-fabrication using 3D bio printing used for encapsulating stem cells for skin regeneration. The focus of this review is to describe, in detail, the role of 3D architecture and arrangement of cells within this system that can heal wounds and aid in skin regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymers Applied in Tissue Engineering)
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Polymers EISSN 2073-4360 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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