Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 46035

3D Scaffolds Fabricated by Microfluidic Device for Rat Cardiomyocytes Observation
Microfluidic devices have recently emerged as promising tools for the fabrication of scaffolds for cell culture. To mimic the natural circumstances of organism for cells to grow, here we present three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds fabricated by microfluidics for cells cultivation. This work aims at investigating the behavior in terms of the viability and the proliferation capability of rat H9c2 cardiomyocytes in the gelatin 3D scaffolds by fluorescent images.
A Green Approach towards the Production of CaCO₃ Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering
It is well known that bioactive ceramics exhibit specific biological affinities, especially in the area of tissue re-generation. In this context, we report the development of an eminently scalable, novel, supercritical CO₂ based process for the fabrication of hierarchically porous 'soft' CaCO₃ scaffolds. Porosity at the macro, micro, and nanoscales was obtained through process optimization of the so-called 'coffee-ring effect'. Exposure of these CaCO₃ scaffolds to monocytic THP-1 cells yielded negligible levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) thereby confirming the lack of immunogenicity of the scaffolds. ECM protein treatment of the scaffolds showed enhanced adsorption comparable to standard control such as glass. In vitro studies using osteoblast precursor cell line, MC3T3, also demonstrated the cytocompatibility of hierarchical porous CaCO₃ scaffolds.
A Green Approach towards the Production of CaCO₃ Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering
It is well known that bioactive ceramics exhibit specific biological affinities, especially in the area of tissue re-generation. In this context, we report the development of an eminently scalable, novel, supercritical CO₂ based process for the fabrication of hierarchically porous 'soft' CaCO₃ scaffolds. Porosity at the macro, micro, and nanoscales was obtained through process optimization of the so-called 'coffee-ring effect'. Exposure of these CaCO₃ scaffolds to monocytic THP-1 cells yielded negligible levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) thereby confirming the lack of immunogenicity of the scaffolds. ECM protein treatment of the scaffolds showed enhanced adsorption comparable to standard control such as glass. In vitro studies using osteoblast precursor cell line, MC3T3, also demonstrated the cytocompatibility of hierarchical porous CaCO₃ scaffolds.
A Green Approach towards the Production of CaCO₃ Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering
It is well known that bioactive ceramics exhibit specific biological affinities, especially in the area of tissue re-generation. In this context, we report the development of an eminently scalable, novel, supercritical CO₂ based process for the fabrication of hierarchically porous 'soft' CaCO₃ scaffolds. Porosity at the macro, micro, and nanoscales was obtained through process optimization of the so-called 'coffee-ring effect'. Exposure of these CaCO₃ scaffolds to monocytic THP-1 cells yielded negligible levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) thereby confirming the lack of immunogenicity of the scaffolds. ECM protein treatment of the scaffolds showed enhanced adsorption comparable to standard control such as glass. In vitro studies using osteoblast precursor cell line, MC3T3, also demonstrated the cytocompatibility of hierarchical porous CaCO₃ scaffolds.
A Green Approach towards the Production of CaCO₃ Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering
It is well known that bioactive ceramics exhibit specific biological affinities, especially in the area of tissue re-generation. In this context, we report the development of an eminently scalable, novel, supercritical CO₂ based process for the fabrication of hierarchically porous 'soft' CaCO₃ scaffolds. Porosity at the macro, micro, and nanoscales was obtained through process optimization of the so-called 'coffee-ring effect'. Exposure of these CaCO₃ scaffolds to monocytic THP-1 cells yielded negligible levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) thereby confirming the lack of immunogenicity of the scaffolds. ECM protein treatment of the scaffolds showed enhanced adsorption comparable to standard control such as glass. In vitro studies using osteoblast precursor cell line, MC3T3, also demonstrated the cytocompatibility of hierarchical porous CaCO₃ scaffolds.
Effect of Varying Scaffold Architecture and Porosity of Calcium Alkali Orthophosphate Based-Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering
The goal of this study was to develop 3D scaffolds from a silica containing calcium alkali orthophosphate utilizing two different fabrication processes, first a replica technique namely the Schwartzwalder Somers method (SSM), and second 3D printing, i.e. Rapid prototyping (RP). First, the mechanical and physical properties of the scaffolds (porosity, compressive strength, and solubility) was assessed and second their potential to facilitate homogenous colonization with osteogenic cells and extracellular bone matrix formation throughout the porous scaffold architecture. To this end murine and rat calavarie osteoblastic cells were dynamically seeded on both scaffold types under perfusion with concentrations of 3 million cells. The amount of cells and extracellular matrix as well as osteogenic marker expression was evaluated using hard tissue histology, immunohistochemistry, and histomorphometric analysis. Total porosities of both scaffolds were 86.9 % and 50% for SSM and RP respectively, Compressive strength values were 0.46 ± 0.2 MPa for SSM and 6.6± 0.8 MPa for RP. Regarding the cellular behavior, RP scaffolds displayed a higher cell and matrix percentage of 24.45%. Immunoscoring yielded strong osteocalcin expression of cells and matrix in RP scaffolds and a moderate expression in SSM scaffolds. 3D printed RP scaffolds displayed superior mechanical and biological properties compared to SSM. 3D printed scaffolds represent excellent candidates for bone tissue engineering.
Preparation and Characterization of Silk/Diopside Composite Nanofibers via Electrospinning for Tissue Engineering Application
This work focused on preparation and characterizations of silk fibroin (SF)/nanodiopside nanoceramic via electrospinning process. Nanofibrous scaffolds were characterized by combined techniques of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results confirmed that fabricated SF/diopside scaffolds improved cell attachment and proliferation. The results indicated that the electrospun of SF/nanodiopside nanofibrous scaffolds could be considered as ideal candidates for tissue engineering.
Improved Mechanical Properties and Osteogenesis in Electrospun Poly L-Lactic Ultrafine Nanofiber Scaffolds Incorporated with Graphene Oxide
Recently, the applications of graphene oxide in fabricating scaffolds for bone tissue engineering have been received extensive concern. In this work, poly l-lactic/graphene oxide composite nanofibers were successfully fabricated by electrospinning. The morphology structure, porosity and mechanical properties of the composite nanofibers were characterized using different techniques. And mouse mesenchymal stem cells were cultured on the composite nanofiber scaffolds to assess their suitability for bone tissue engineering. The results indicated that the composite nanofiber scaffolds had finer fiber diameter and higher porosity as compared with pure poly l-lactic nanofibers. Furthermore, incorporation of graphene oxide into the poly l-lactic nanofibers increased protein adsorptivity, boosted the Young’s modulus and tensile strength by nearly 4.2-fold and 3.5-fold, respectively, and significantly enhanced adhesion, proliferation, and osteogenesis in mouse mesenchymal stem cells. The results indicate that composite nanofibers could be excellent and versatile scaffolds for bone tissue engineering.
I-Optimal Design of 3D Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering
Porous 3D scaffolds act as templates for tissue regeneration and provide a temporary mechanical support in the implantation site. This paper presents the design of 3D scaffolds made of poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA)/nanohydroxyapatite (nHA) produced by thermally induced phase separation (TIPS). This method is desirable as it generates interconnected micropores for nutrient supply, while it allows a certain level of control on pore size by manipulating the experimental factors (TIPS temperature, PLGA%, and nHA%). We have used a split-plot I-optimal design of experiments (DOE) to find the optimal set of the hard-to-change and easy-to-change factors that produce a scaffold porosity over 75%. The ultimate goal of this study is to fine-tune the macro/micro-architecture of these composite porous constructs and maximize bone formation. Further optimization of the scaffold architecture is underway by generating interconnected microchannels within the microporous matrix. These new hierarchical scaffolds are anticipated to provide an ideal environment for cell migration and future in vivo vascularization.
UV-Reactive Electrospinning: Preparation, Characterization and Cell Culture Applications of Nanofiber Scaffolds Containing Keratin
Our first aim was to synthesize Hydroxy Apatite (HAP) and then modify its surface by adding 4-Vinylbenzene boronic acid (4-VBBA). The characterization was done by FT-IR. By adding Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) to 4- VBBA-HAP, we obtained a suitable electrospinning solution. PVA solution which was also modified by using alkoxy silanes, in order to prevent the scaffolds from being damaged by aqueous cell medium, was added. Keratin was dissolved and then added into the electrospinning solution. Keratin containing 4-VBBA- HAP/PVA composite was used to fabricate nanofiber scaffolds with the simultaneous UV-reactive electrospinning technique. The structural characterization was done by FT-IR. Thermal gravimetric analysis was also performed by using TGA. The morphological characterization was determined by SEM analyses. Our second aim was to create a scaffold where cells could grow. With this purpose, suitable nanofibers were choosen according to their SEM analysis. Keratin containing nanofibers were seeded with 3T3, ECV and SAOS cells and their cytotoxicity and cell proliferation were investigated by using MTT assay. After cell culturing process morphological characterization was determined by SEM analyses. These scaffolds were designed to be nontoxic biomaterials. Here, a comparision was made between keratin containing 3T3, ECV and SAOS seeded nanofiber scaffolds and the results were presented and discussed.
Polymeric Microspheres for Bone Tissue Engineering
Poly (lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) is a synthetic polymer that can be used in bone tissue engineering with the aim of creating a scaffold in order to support the growth of cells. The formation of microspheres from this polymer is an attractive strategy that would allow for the development of an injectable system, hence avoiding invasive surgical procedures. The aim of this study was to develop a microsphere delivery system for use as an injectable scaffold in bone tissue engineering and evaluate various formulation parameters on its properties. Porous and lysozyme-containing PLGA microspheres were prepared using the double emulsion solvent evaporation method from various molecular weights (MW). Scaffolds were formed by sintering to contain 1 -3mg of lysozyme per gram of scaffold. The mechanical and physical properties of the scaffolds were assessed along with the release of lysozyme, which was used as a model protein. The MW of PLGA was found to have an influence on microsphere size during fabrication, with increased MW leading to an increased microsphere diameter. An inversely proportional relationship was displayed between PLGA MW and mechanical strength of formed scaffolds across loadings for low, intermediate and high MW respectively. Lysozyme release from both microspheres and formed scaffolds showed an initial burst release phase, with both microspheres and scaffolds fabricated using high MW PLGA showing the lowest protein release. Following the initial burst phase, the profiles for each MW followed a similar slow release over 30 days. Overall, the results of this study demonstrate that lysozyme can be successfully incorporated into porous PLGA scaffolds and released over 30 days in vitro, and that varying the MW of the PLGA can be used as a method of altering the physical properties of the resulting scaffolds.
Biocompatible Porous Titanium Scaffolds Produced Using a Novel Space Holder Technique
Synthetic scaffolds are a highly promising new approach to replace both autografts and allografts to repair and remodel damaged bone tissue. Biocompatible porous titanium scaffold was manufactured through a powder metallurgy approach. Magnesium powder was used as space holder material which was compacted with titanium powder and removed during sintering. Evaluation of the porosity and mechanical properties showed a high level of compatibility with human bone. Interconnectivity between pores is higher than 95% for porosity as low as 30%. The elastic moduli are 39 GPa, 16 GPa and 9 GPa for 30%, 40% and 50% porosity samples which match well to that of natural bone (4-30 GPa). The yield strengths for 30% and 40% porosity samples of 315 MPa and 175 MPa are superior to that of human bone (130-180 MPa). In-vitro cell culture tests on the scaffold samples using Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hMSCs) demonstrated their biocompatibility and indicated osseointegration potential. The scaffolds allowed cells to adhere and spread both on the surface and inside the pore structures. With increasing levels of porosity/interconnectivity, improved cell proliferation is obtained within the pores. It is concluded that samples with 30% porosity exhibit the best biocompatibility. The results suggest that porous titanium scaffolds generated using this manufacturing route have excellent potential for hard tissue engineering applications.
Effect of the Hardness of Spacer Agent on Structural Properties of Metallic Scaffolds
Pore size and morphology plays a crucial role on mechanical properties of porous scaffolds. In this research, titanium scaffold was prepared using space holder technique. Sodium chloride and ammonium bicarbonate were utilized as spacer agent separately. The effect of the hardness of spacer on the cell morphology was investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and optical stereo microscopy. Image analyzing software was used to interpret the microscopic images quantitatively. It was shown that sodium chloride, due to its higher hardness, maintain its morphology during cold compaction, and cause better replication in porous scaffolds.
Numerical Simulation of Bio-Chemical Diffusion in Bone Scaffolds
Previously, some materials like solid metals and their alloys have been used as implants in human’s body. In order to amend fixation of these artificial hard human tissues, some porous structures have been introduced. In this way, tissues in vicinity of the porous structure can be attached more easily to the inserted implant. In particular, the porous bone scaffolds are useful since they can deliver important biomolecules like growth factors and proteins. This study focuses on the properties of the degradable porous hard tissues using a three-dimensional numerical Finite Element Method (FEM). The most important studied properties of these structures are diffusivity flux and concentration of different species like glucose, oxygen, and lactate. The process of cells migration into the scaffold is considered as a diffusion process, and related parameters are studied for different values of production/consumption rates.
Numerical Simulation of Bio-Chemical Diffusion in Bone Scaffolds
Previously, some materials like solid metals and their alloys have been used as implants in human’s body. In order to amend fixation of these artificial hard human tissues, some porous structures have been introduced. In this way, tissues in the vicinity of the porous structure can attach more easily to the inserted implant. In particular, the porous bone scaffolds are useful since they can deliver important bio molecules like growth factors and proteins. This study focuses on the properties of the degradable porous hard tissues using a three-dimensional numerical Finite Element Method (FEM). The most important studied properties of these structures are diffusivity flux and concentration of different species like glucose, oxygen, and lactate. The process of cells migration into the scaffold and their metabolic rate are considered as a diffusion process, and related parameters are studied for different values of production/consumption rates.
Numerical Simulation of Bio-Chemical Diffusion in Bone Scaffolds
Previously, some materials like solid metals and their alloys have been used as implants in human’s body. In order to amend fixation of these artificial hard human tissues, some porous structures have been introduced. In this way, tissues in the vicinity of the porous structure can attach more easily to the inserted implant. In particular, the porous bone scaffolds are useful since they can deliver important bio molecules like growth factors and proteins. This study focuses on the properties of the degradable porous hard tissues using a three-dimensional numerical Finite Element Method (FEM). The most important studied properties of these structures are diffusivity flux and concentration of different species like glucose, oxygen, and lactate. The process of cells migration into the scaffold and their metabolic rate are considered as a diffusion process, and related parameters are studied for different values of production/consumption rates.
Two-Component Biocompartible Material for Reconstruction of Articular Hyaline Cartilage
Trauma and arthrosis, not to mention cartilage destruction in overweight and elders put hyaline cartilage lesion among the most frequent diseases of locomotor system. These problems combined with low regeneration potential of the cartilage make regeneration of articular cartilage a high-priority task of tissue engineering. Many types of matrices, the procedures of their installation and autologous chondrocyte implantation protocols were offered, but certain aspects including adhesion of the implant with surrounding cartilage/bone, prevention of the ossification and fibrosis were not resolved. Simplification and acceleration of the procedures resulting in restoration of normal cartilage are also required. We have demonstrated that human chondroblasts can be successfully cultivated at the surface of electrospun scaffolds and produce extracellular matrix components in contrast to chondroblasts grown in homogeneous hydrogels. To restore cartilage we offer to use stacks of electrospun scaffolds fixed with photopolymerized solution of prepared from gelatin and chondroitin-4-sulfate both modified by glycidyl methacrylate and non-toxic photoinitator Darocur 2959. Scaffolds were prepared from nylon 6, polylactide-co-glicolide and their mixtures with modified gelatin. Illumination of chondroblasts in photopolymerized solution using 365 nm LED light had no effect on cell viability at compressive strength of the gel less than0,12 MPa. Stacks of electrospun scaffolds provide good compressive strength and have the potential for substitution with cartilage when biodegradable scaffolds are used. Vascularization can be prevented by introduction of biostable scaffolds in the layers contacting the subchondral bone. Studies of two-component materials (2-3 sheets of electrospun scaffold) implanted in the knee-joints of rabbits and fixed by photopolymerization demonstrated good crush resistance, biocompatibility and good adhesion of the implant with surrounding cartilage. Histological examination of the implants 3 month after implantation demonstrates absence of any inflammation and signs of replacement of the biodegradable scaffolds with normal cartilage. The possibility of intraoperative population of the implants with autologous cells is being investigated.
Poly(ε-Caprolactone)-Based Bilayered Scaffolds Prepared by Electrospinning for Tissue Engineering of Small-Diameter Vascular Grafts
Nowadays, there is an unmet clinical need for new small-diameter vascular grafts to overcome the drawbacks of traditional methods used for treatment of widespread cardiovascular diseases. Vascular tissue engineering (VTE) is a promising approach that can be utilized to develop viable vascular grafts by in vitro seeding of functional cells onto a scaffold allowing them to attach, proliferate and differentiate. To achieve this purpose, the scaffold should provide cells with the initial necessary extracellular matrix environment and structure until being able to reconstruct the required vascular tissue. Therefore, producing scaffolds with suitable features is crucial for guiding cells properly to develop the desired tissue-engineered vascular grafts for clinical applications. The main objective of this work is fabrication and characterization of tubular small-diameter ( < 6 mm) bilayered scaffolds for VTE. The scaffolds were prepared via mixing electrospinning approach of biodegradable poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) polymer – due to its favorable physicochemical properties – to mimic the natural environment-extracellular matrix. Firstly, tubular nanofibrous construct with inner diameter of 3, 4 or 5 mm was electrospun as inner layer, and secondly, microfibrous construct was electrospun as outer layer directly on the first produced inner layer. To improve the biological properties of PCL, a group of the electrospun scaffolds was immersed in type-1 collagen solution. The morphology and structure of the resulting fibrous scaffolds were investigated by scanning electron microscope. The electrospun nanofibrous inner layer contained fibers measuring 219±35 nm in diameter, while the electrospun microfibrous outer layer contained fibers measuring 1011 ± 150 nm. Furthermore, mechanical, thermal and physical tests were conducted with both electrospun bilayered scaffold types where revealed improved properties. Biological investigations using endothelial, smooth muscle and fibroblast cell line showed good biocompatibility of both tested electrospun scaffolds. Better attachment and proliferation were obviously found when cells were cultured on the scaffolds immersed with collagen due to increasing the hydrophilicity of the PCL. The easy, inexpensive and versatile electrospinning approach used in this work was able to successfully produce double layered tubular elastic structures containing both nanofibers and microfibers to imitate the native vascular structure. The PCL – as a suitable and approved biomaterial for many biomedical and tissue engineering applications – can ensure favorable mechanical properties of scaffolds used for VTE. The VTE approach using electrospun bilayered scaffolds offers optimal solutions and holds significant promises for treatment of many cardiovascular diseases.
Fabrication of Hybrid Scaffolds Consisting of Cell-laden Electrospun Micro/Nanofibers and PCL Micro-structures for Tissue Regeneration
Tissue engineering is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary research area that may provide options for treating damaged tissues and organs. As a promising technique for regenerating various tissues, this technology requires biomedical scaffolds, which serve as an artificial extracellular matrix (ECM) to support neotissue growth. Electrospun micro/nanofibers have been used widely in tissue engineering because of their high surface-area-to-volume ratio and structural similarity to extracellular matrix. However, low mechanical sustainability, low 3D shape-ability, and low cell infiltration have been major limitations to their use. In this work, we propose new hybrid scaffolds interlayered with cell-laden electrospun micro/nano fibers and poly(caprolactone) microstructures. Also, we applied various concentrations of alginate and electric field strengths to determine optimal conditions for the cell-electrospinning process. The combination of cell-laden bioink (2 ⅹ 10^5 osteoblast-like MG63 cells/mL, 2 wt% alginate, 2 wt% poly(ethylene oxide), and 0.7 wt% lecithin) and a 0.16 kV/mm electric field showed the highest cell viability and fiber formation in this process. Using these conditions and PCL microstructures, we achieved mechanically stable hybrid scaffolds. In addition, the cells embedded in the fibrous structure were viable and proliferated. We suggest that the cell-embedded hybrid scaffolds fabricated using the cell-electrospinning process may be useful for various soft- and hard-tissue regeneration applications.
Poly(L-Lactic Acid) Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering
Biodegradable polymers have received significant scientific attention in tissue engineering (TE) application, in particular their composites consisting of inorganic nanoparticles. In the last 15 years, they are subject of intensive research by many groups, aiming to develop polymer scaffolds with defined biodegradability, porosity and adequate mechanical stability. The most important characteristic making these materials attractive for TE is their biodegradability, a process that could be time controlled and long enough to enable generation of a new tissue as a replacement for the degraded polymer scaffold. In this work poly(L-lactic acid) scaffolds, filled with TiO2 nanoparticles functionalized with oleic acid, have been prepared by thermally induced phase separation method (TIPS). The functionalization of TiO2 nanoparticles with oleic acid was performed in order to improve the nanoparticles dispersibility within the polymer matrix and at the same time to inhibit the cytotoxicity of the nanofiller. The oleic acid was chosen as amphiphilic molecule belonging to the fatty acid family because of its non-toxicity and possibility for mediation between the hydrophilic TiO2 nanoparticles and hydrophobic PLA matrix. The produced scaffolds were characterized with thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and mechanical compression measurements. The bioactivity for bone tissue engineering application was tested in supersaturated simulated body fluid. The degradation process was followed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The results showed anisotropic morphology with elongated open pores (100 µm), high porosity (around 92%) and perfectly dispersed nanofiller. The compression moduli up to 10 MPa were identified independent on the nanofiller content. Functionalized TiO2 nanoparticles induced formation of hydroxyapatite clusters as much as unfunctionalized TiO2. The prepared scaffolds showed properties ideal for scaffold vascularization, cell attachment, growth and proliferation.
Methane Plasma Modified Polyvinyl Alcohol Scaffolds for Melanocytes Cultivation
Vitiligo is the most common depigmentation disorder of the skin characterized by loss of melanocyte in the epidermis that leads to white lesions. One of the possible treatments is autologous transplantation of melanocytes. Biodegradable electrospun polymeric nanofibers provide good mechanical properties and could serve as suitable scaffold for epithelial cells cultivation and follow up transplantation. Moreover the microarchitecture of nanofibers mimics the structure of extracellular matrix and its porosity allows nutrients and waste exchange. The aim of this work was to develop biocompatible and biodegradable polymeric scaffolds suitable for autologous melanocytes transplantation. Electrospun polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) nanofibers were modified by cold methane plasma to lower their hydrofility and to achieve better adhesion, proliferation and viability of the murine melanocyte (Melan-a). Cells were seeded on the modified scaffolds and their adhesion, metabolic activity, proliferation and melanin synthesis was evaluated and compared to non-modified scaffolds. Results clearly indicate that cold methane plasma modified PVA nanofibers are suitable for melanocyte cultivation and may be future candidate for vitiligo treatment. Furthermore, the nanofibers can be functionalized with various bioactive substances, for enhancement of the melanocyte proliferation, melanogenesis or healing and regenerative processes. The project was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports NPU I: LO1309 and by Grant Agency of Charles University (grant No. 1228214).
In Vivo Response of Scaffolds of Bioactive Glass-Ceramic
This study aimed to investigate the in vivo tissue response of the introduction of the bioactive mesh (BM) scaffolds using a model of tibial bone defect implants in rats. Although a previous in vivo study demonstrated a highly positive response of particulate bioactive materials in the morphological and biomechanical properties of the bone callus, the effects of material with superior bioactivity, present in form of meshes have not been studied yet. Eighty male Wistar rats with 3 mm tibial defects were used. Animals were divided into four groups: intact group (IG) – tibia without any injury; bone defect day zero (0dD) – bone defects, sacrificed immediately after injury; bone defect control group (CG) – bone defects without any filler and bone defect filled with BM scaffold. The animals of BM and CG groups were sacrificed 15, 30 and 45 days post-injury to compare the temporal-special effects of the scaffolds on bone healing. The histological analysis revealed an organized newly formed bone at 30 and 45 days post-surgery in the BM. Also, this group presented an increased COX-2 expression on days 15 and 30 post-surgery. Furthermore, the immunohistochemistry analysis revealed that, BM presented a positive immunoexpression of RUNX-2 during all periods evaluated. The biomechanical analysis revealed that at 15 day after surgery, no significant statistically difference was observed between BM and CG and both groups had significantly higher values of maximal load compared to 0dG and significantly lower values than IG. On days 30 and 45 post-surgery, BM presented statistically lower values of maximal load compared to the CG. Nevertheless, at the same periods, BM did not show statistically significant difference compared to the IG maximal load values (p > 0, 05). Our results revealed that the implantation of the BM scaffolds was effective in stimulating newly bone formation.
Modulating the Architecture of 3D Scaffolds in Melt Extrusion Additive Manufacturing
The tissue engineering approach often uses three-dimensional (3D) porous scaffolds for the regeneration or repair of injured and diseased tissues and organs. In recent years, advanced additive manufacturing (AM) has assisted researchers in producing 3D porous scaffolds with custom-designed internal architectures. In some cases, organic solvents have been used to dissolve the biomaterial prior to processing it into a 3D porous construct. Solvent toxicity may not be considered critical in in vitro studies; however, the use of potentially toxic solvents may be subject to scrutiny when the porous scaffolds are intended for clinical trials. On the other hand, optimizing the internal architecture of 3D scaffolds produced by melt extrusion additive manufacturing is highly challenging, mainly due to the pronounced variations in the deposited fiber diameter during the manufacturing process. Variations in polymer viscoelasticity and experimental factors of the fabrication process can influence the scaffold architecture due to extrudate swell. An I-optimal, split-plot designed experiment has been used in this study to investigate the extrudate swell in melt extrusion additive manufacturing. We have used the fitted regression relationships to simultaneously optimize three responses (extrudate swell, scaffold density, and scaffold modulus). We wanted to estimate the full quadratic response surface model, in order to consider possible optimal factor levels in the interior of the design space. To this end, we constructed a 24-run I-optimal, split-plot design in JMP software. The swell response was constrained to be close to 1 while targeting a desired modulus and the lowest density for the scaffold. To the extent of the model’s validity, we have been able to eliminate the effect of extrudate swell in 3D scaffold design, while enabling a desired range of porosity and modulus for bone tissue engineering scaffolds. The result of this optimization was a predicted modulus greater than 10 MPa and a predicted porosity of over 70%. These predicted responses corresponded to factor levels of 2 mm/s for the dispensing speed, a needle diameter of 0.6 μm diameter, a plotting pressure of 2.5 bar, and a melt temperature of 114°C for polycaprolactone (PCL).
Biocellulose Template for 3D Mineral Scaffolds
The field of tissue engineering brings new challenges in terms of proposing original solutions for ongoing medical issues, improving the biological performances of existing clinical systems and speeding the healing process for a faster recovery and a more comfortable life as patient. In this context, we propose the obtaining of 3D porous scaffolds of mineral nature, dedicated to bone repairing and regeneration purposes or employed as bioactive filler for bone cements. Thus, bacterial cellulose - calcium phosphates composite materials have been synthesized by successive immersing of the polymeric membranes in the precursor solution containing Ca2+ and [PO4]3- ions. The mineral phase deposited on the surface of biocellulose fibers was varied as amount through the number of immersing cycles. The intermediary composites were subjected to thermal treatments at different temperatures in order to remove the organic part and provide the formation of a self-sustained 3D architecture. The resulting phase composition consists of common phosphates, while the morphology largely depends on the preparation parameters. Thus, the aspect of the 3D mineral scaffolds can be tuned from a loose microstructure composed of large grains connected via monocrystalline nanorods to a trabecular pattern crossed by parallel internal channels, just like the natural bone. The bioactivity and biocompatibility of the obtained materials have been also assessed, with encouraging results in the clinical use direction. In conclusion, the compositional, structural, morphological and biological characterizations sustain the suitability of the reported biostructures for integration in hard tissue engineering applications.
Magnetic SF (Silk Fibroin) E-Gel Scaffolds Containing bFGF-Conjugated Fe3O4 Nanoparticles
Critical-sized bone defects caused by trauma, bone diseases, prosthetic implant revision or tumor excision cannot be repaired by physiological regenerative processes. Current orthopedic applications for critical-sized bone defects are to use autologous bone grafts, bone allografts, or synthetic graft materials. However, these strategies are unable to solve completely the problem, and motivate the development of novel effective biological scaffolds for tissue engineering applications and regenerative medicine applications. In particular, scaffolds combined with a variety of bio-agents as fundamental tools emerge to provide the regeneration of damaged bone tissues due to their ability to promote cell growth and function. In this study, a magnetic silk fibroin (SF) hydrogel scaffold was prepared by electrogelation process of the concentrated Bombxy mori silk fibroin (8 %wt) aqueous solution. For enhancement of osteoblast-like cells (SaOS-2) growth and adhesion, basal fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) were conjugated physically to the HSA-coated magnetic nanoparticles (Fe3O4) and magnetic SF e-gel scaffolds were prepared by incorporation of Fe3O4, HSA (human serum albumin)=Fe3O4 and HSA=Fe3O4-bFGF nanoparticles. HSA=Fe3O4, HSA=Fe3O4-bFGF loaded and bare SF e-gels scaffolds were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM.) For cell studies, human osteoblast-like cell line (SaOS-2) was used and an MTT assay was used to assess the cytotoxicity of magnetic silk fibroin e-gel scaffolds and cell density on these surfaces. For the evaluation osteogenic activation, ALP (alkaline phosphatase), the amount of mineralized calcium, total protein and collagen were studied. Fe3O4 nanoparticles were successfully synthesized and bFGF was conjugated to HSA=Fe3O4 nanoparticles with %97.5 of binding yield which has a particle size of 71.52±2.3 nm. Electron microscopy images of the prepared HSA and bFGF incorporated SF e-gel scaffolds showed a 3D porous morphology. In terms of water uptake results, bFGF conjugated HSA=Fe3O4 nanoparticles has the best water absorbability behavior among all groups. In the in-vitro cell culture studies realized using SaOS-2 cell line, the coating of Fe3O4 nanoparticles surface with a protein enhance the cell viability and HSA coating and bFGF conjugation, the both have an inductive effect in the cell proliferation. One of the markers of bone formation and osteoblast differentiation, according to the ALP activity and total protein results, HSA=Fe3O4-bFGF loaded SF e-gels had significantly enhanced ALP activity. Osteoblast cultured HSA=Fe3O4-bFGF loaded SF e-gels deposited more calcium compared with SF e-gel. The proposed magnetic scaffolds seem to be promising for bone tissue regeneration and used in future work for various applications.
Safety Conditions Analysis of Scaffolding on Construction Sites
This paper presents the results of analysis of 100 real scaffolding structures in terms of compliance with legal acts and safety of use. In 2016 and 2017 authors examined scaffolds in Poland located at buildings which were at construction or renovation stage. The basic elements affecting the safety of scaffolding use such as anchors, bracings, supports, platforms, guardrails and toe-boards have been taken into account. All of this elements were checked in each of considered scaffolding. Numerical analyses showing the critical elements that have a strong influence on the strain and stability of the scaffolding have been performed. These elements are often neglected by their users. Based on the analyzed scaffoldings, the most common errors concerning assembly process and use of scaffolding were collected. Legal acts on the scaffoldings are not always clear, which causes many issues shown in this article. In practice, people realize how dangerous the use of incomplete scaffolds is when the accident occurs. Despite the fact that the scaffolding should ensure the safety of its users, most accidents on construction sites are caused by fall from a height. Due to a short period of scaffolding use, the quality of its performance is neglected. Complex scaffolding structures require good collaboration between the three entities: designers, fitters, and users. Only in this case the basic functions of the scaffolding: capacity, safety and comfort of use will be fulfilled.
Fabrication of 3D Scaffold Consisting of Spiral-Like Micro-Sized PCL Struts and Selectively Deposited Nanofibers as a Tissue Regenerative Material
Tissue engineering scaffolds must be biocompatible and biodegradable, provide adequate mechanical strength and cell attachment site for proliferation and differentiation. Furthermore, the scaffold morphology (such as pore size, porosity and pore interconnectivity) plays an important role. The electrospinning process has been widely used to fabricate micro/nano-sized fibres. Electrospinning allows for the fabrication of non-woven meshes containing micro- to nano-sized fibers providing high surface-to-volume area for cell attachment. Due to its advantageous characteristics, electrospinning is a useful method for skin, cartilage, bone, and nerve regeneration. In this study, we fabricated PCL scaffolds (SP) consisting of spiral-like struts using 3D melt-plotting system and micro/nanofibers using direct electrospinning writing. By altering the conditions of the conventional melt-plotting method, spiral-like struts were generated. Then, micro/nanofibers were deposited selectively. The control scaffold composed of perpendicular PCL struts was fabricated using the conventional melt-plotting method to compare the cellular activities. The effect on the attached cells (osteoblast-like cells (MG63)) was evaluated depending on the bending instability of the struts. The SP scaffolds showed enhanced biological properties such as initial cell attachment, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation. These results suggest that the SP scaffolds has potential as a bioengineered substitute for soft and hard tissue regeneration.
Experimental Research of Canine Mandibular Defect Construction with the Controlled Meshy Titanium Alloy Scaffold Fabricated by Electron Beam Melting Combined with BMSCs-Encapsulating Chitosan Hydrogel
Objection We observed the repairment effection of canine mandibular defect with meshy Ti6Al4V scaffold fabricated by electron beam melting (EBM) combined with bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) encapsulated in chitosan hydrogel. Method Meshy titanium scaffolds were prepared by EBM of commercial Ti6Al4V power. The length of scaffolds was 24 mm, the width was 5 mm and height was 8mm. The pore size and porosity were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Chitosan /Bio-Oss hydrogel was prepared by chitosan, β- sodium glycerophosphate and Bio-Oss power. BMMSCs were harvested from canine iliac crests. BMMSCs were seeded in titanium scaffolds and encapsulated in Chitosan /Bio-Oss hydrogel. The validity of BMMSCs was evaluated by cell count kit-8 (CCK-8). The osteogenic differentiation ability was evaluated by alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and gene expression of OC, OPN and CoⅠ. Combination were performed by injecting BMMSCs/ Chitosan /Bio-Oss hydrogel into the meshy Ti6Al4V scaffolds and solidified. 24 mm long box-shaped bone defects were made at the mid-portion of mandible of adult beagles. The defects were randomly filled with BMMSCs/ Chitosan/Bio-Oss + titanium, Chitosan /Bio-Oss+titanium, titanium alone. Autogenous iliac crests graft as control group in 3 beagles. Radionuclide bone imaging was used to monitor the new bone tissue at 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks after surgery. CT examination was made on the surgery day and 4 weeks, 12 weeks and 24 weeks after surgery. The animals were sacrificed in 4, 12 and 24 weeks after surgery. The bone formation were evaluated by histology and micro-CT. Results: The pores of the scaffolds was interconnected, the pore size was about 1 mm, the average porosity was about 76%. The pore size of the hydrogel was 50-200μm and the average porosity was approximately 90%. The hydrogel were solidified under the condition of 37℃in 10 minutes. The validity and the osteogenic differentiation ability of BMSCs were not affected by titanium scaffolds and hydrogel. Radionuclide bone imaging shown an increasing tendency of the revascularization and bone regeneration was observed in all the groups at 2, 4, 8 weeks after operation, and there were no changes at 12weeks.The tendency was more obvious in the BMMSCs/ Chitosan/Bio-Oss +titanium group and autogenous group. CT, Micro-CT and histology shown that new bone formed increasingly with the time extend. There were more new bone regenerated in BMMSCs/ Chitosan /Bio-Oss + titanium group and autogenous group than the other two groups. At 24 weeks, the autogenous group was achieved bone union. The BMSCs/ Chitosan /Bio-Oss group was seen extensive new bone formed around the scaffolds and more new bone inside of the central pores of scaffolds than Chitosan /Bio-Oss + titanium group and titanium group. The difference was significantly. Conclusion: The titanium scaffolds fabricated by EBM had controlled porous structure, good bone conduction and biocompatibility. Chitosan /Bio-Oss hydrogel had injectable plasticity, thermosensitive property and good biocompatibility. The meshy Ti6Al4V scaffold produced by EBM combined BMSCs encapsulated in chitosan hydrogel had good capacity on mandibular bone defect repair.
Preparation and Characterization of Newly Developed Trabecular Structures in Titanium Alloy to Optimize Osteointegration
Electron Beam Melting (EBM) process was used to prepare porous scaffolds with controlled porosity to ensure optimal levels of osteointegration for different trabeculae sizes. Morphological characterization by means of SEM analyses was carried out to assess pore dimensions; tensile, compression and adhesion tests have been carried out to determine the mechanical behavior. The results indicate that EBM process allows the creation of regular and repeatable porous scaffolds. Mechanical properties greatly depend on pore dimension and on bulk-pore ratio. Adhesion resistance meets the normative requirements, and the overall performance of the produced structures is compatible with potential orthopaedic applications.
Role of Nano Gelatin and Hydrogel Based Scaffolds in Odontogenic Differentiation of Human Dental Pulp Stem Cells
The objective of this study is to evaluate and compare the role of nano-gelatin and Bioengineered Scaffolds on the attachment, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation of human dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs). Tooth decay and early fall have each been one of the most prevailing dental disorders which cause physical and emotional suffering and compromise the patient's quality of life. The design of novel scaffolding materials will be based on mimicking the architecture of natural dental extracellular matrix which may provide as in vivo environments for proper cell growth. This methodology will involve the combination of nano-fibred gelatin as well as biodegradable hydrogel based tooth scaffold. We have measured and optimized the Dental Pulp Stem Cells growth profile in cultures carried out on collagen-coated plastic surface, however, for tissue regeneration study, we aim to develop an enhanced microenvironment for stem cell growth and dental tissue regeneration. We believe biomimetic cell adhesion and scaffolds might provide a near in vivo growth environment for proper growth and differentiation of human DPSCs, which further help in dentin/pulp tissue regeneration.
Dry Modifications of PCL/Chitosan/PCL Tissue Scaffolds
Natural polymers are widely used in tissue engineering applications, because of their biocompatibility, biodegradability and solubility in the physiological medium. On the other hand, synthetic polymers are also widely utilized in tissue engineering applications, because they carry no risk of infectious diseases and do not cause immune system reaction. However, the disadvantages of both polymer types block their individual usages as tissue scaffolds efficiently. Therefore, the idea of usage of natural and synthetic polymers together as a single 3D hybrid scaffold which has the advantages of both and the disadvantages of none has been entered to the literature. On the other hand, even though these hybrid structures support the cell adhesion and/or proliferation, various surface modification techniques applied to the surfaces of them to create topographical changes on the surfaces and to obtain reactive functional groups required for the immobilization of biomolecules, especially on the surfaces of synthetic polymers in order to improve cell adhesion and proliferation. In a study presented here, to improve the surface functionality and topography of the layer by layer electrospun 3D poly-epsilon-caprolactone/chitosan/poly-epsilon-caprolactone hybrid tissue scaffolds by using atmospheric pressure plasma method, thus to improve cell adhesion and proliferation of these tissue scaffolds were aimed. The formation/creation of the functional hydroxyl and amine groups and topographical changes on the surfaces of scaffolds were realized by using two different atmospheric pressure plasma systems (nozzle type and dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) type) carried out under different gas medium (air, Ar+O2, Ar+N2). The plasma modification time and distance for the nozzle type plasma system as well as the plasma modification time and the gas flow rate for DBD type plasma system were optimized with monitoring the changes in surface hydrophilicity by using contact angle measurements. The topographical and chemical characterizations of these modified biomaterials’ surfaces were carried out with SEM and ESCA, respectively. The results showed that the atmospheric pressure plasma modifications carried out with both nozzle type plasma and DBD plasma caused topographical and functionality changes on the surfaces of the layer by layer electrospun tissue scaffolds. However, the shelf life studies indicated that the hydrophilicity introduced to the surfaces was mainly because of the functionality changes. Therefore, according to the optimized results, samples treated with nozzle type air plasma modification applied for 9 minutes from a distance of 17 cm and Ar+O2 DBD plasma modification applied for 1 minute under 70 cm3/min O2 flow rate were found to have the highest hydrophilicity compared to pristine samples.
Angiopermissive Foamed and Fibrillar Scaffolds for Vascular Graft Applications
Pre-seeding with autologous endothelial cells improves the long-term patency of synthetic vascular grafts levels obtained with autografts, but is limited to a single centre due to resource, time and other constraints. Spontaneous in vivo endothelialization would obviate the need for pre-seeding, but has been shown to be absent in man due to limited transanastomotic and fallout healing, and the lack of transmural ingrowth due to insufficient porosity. Two types of graft scaffolds with increased interconnected porosity for improved tissue ingrowth and healing are thus proposed and described. Foam-type polyurethane (PU) scaffolds with small, medium and large, interconnected pores were made by phase inversion and spherical porogen extraction, with and without additional surface modification with covalently attached heparin and subsequent loading with and delivery of growth factors. Fibrillar scaffolds were made either by standard electrospinning using degradable PU (Degrapol®), or by dual electrospinning using non-degradable PU. The latter process involves sacrificial fibres that are co-spun with structural fibres and subsequently removed to increased porosity and pore size. Degrapol samples were subjected to in vitro degradation, and all scaffold types were evaluated in vivo for tissue ingrowth and vascularization using rat subcutaneous model. The foam scaffolds were additionally evaluated in a circulatory (rat infrarenal aortic interposition) model that allows for the grafts to be anastomotically and/or ablumenally isolated to discern and determine endothelialization mode. Foam-type grafts with large (150 µm) pores showed improved subcutaneous healing in terms of vascularization and inflammatory response over smaller pore sizes (60 and 90µm), and vascularization of the large porosity scaffolds was significantly increased by more than 70% by heparin modification alone, and by 150% to 400% when combined with growth factors. In the circulatory model, extensive transmural endothelialization (95±10% at 12 w) was achieved. Fallout healing was shown to be sporadic and limited in groups that were ablumenally isolated to prevent transmural ingrowth (16±30% wrapped vs. 80±20% control; p< 0.002). Heparinization and GF delivery improved both mural vascularization and lumenal endothelialization. Degrapol electrospun scaffolds showed decrease in molecular mass and corresponding tensile strength over the first 2 weeks, but very little decrease in mass over the 4w test period. Studies on the effect of tissue ingrowth with and without concomitant degradation of the scaffolds, are being used to develop material models for the finite element modelling. In the case of the dual-spun scaffolds, the PU fibre fraction could be controlled shown to vary linearly with porosity (P = −0.18FF +93.5, r2=0.91), which in turn showed inverse linear correlation with tensile strength and elastic modulus (r2 > 0.96). Calculated compliance and burst pressures of the scaffolds increased with fibre fraction, and compliances matching the human popliteal artery (5-10 %/100 mmHg), and high burst pressures (> 2000 mmHg) could be achieved. Increasing porosity (76 to 82 and 90%) resulted in increased tissue ingrowth from 33±7 to 77±20 and 98±1% after 28d. Transmural endothelialization of highly porous foamed grafts is achievable in a circulatory model, and the enhancement of porosity and tissue ingrowth may hold the key the development of spontaneously endothelializing electrospun grafts.
Systematic Identification and Quantification of Substrate Specificity Determinants in Human Protein Kinases
Protein kinases participate in a myriad of cellular processes of major biomedical interest. The in vivo substrate specificity of these enzymes is a process determined by several factors, and despite several years of research on the topic, is still far from being totally understood. In the present work, we have quantified the contributions to the kinase substrate specificity of i) the phosphorylation sites and their surrounding residues in the sequence and of ii) the association of kinases to adaptor or scaffold proteins. We have used position-specific scoring matrices (PSSMs), to represent the stretches of sequences phosphorylated by 93 families of kinases. We have found negative correlations between the number of sequences from which a PSSM is generated and the statistical significance and the performance of that PSSM. Using a subset of 22 statistically significant PSSMs, we have identified specificity determinant residues (SDRs) for 86% of the corresponding kinase families. Our results suggest that different SDRs can function as positive or negative elements of substrate recognition by the different families of kinases. Additionally, we have found that human proteins with known function as adaptors or scaffolds (kAS) tend to interact with a significantly large fraction of the substrates of the kinases to which they associate. Based on this characteristic we have identified a set of 279 potential adaptors/scaffolds (pAS) for human kinases, which is enriched in Pfam domains and functional terms tightly related to the proposed function. Moreover, our results show that for 74.6% of the kinase– pAS association found, the pAS colocalize with the substrates of the kinases they are associated to. Finally, we have found evidence suggesting that the association of kinases to adaptors and scaffolds, may contribute significantly to diminish the in vivo substrate crossed- specificity of protein kinases. In general, our results indicate the relevance of several SDRs for both the positive and negative selection of phosphorylation sites by kinase families and also suggest that the association of kinases to pAS proteins may be an important factor for the localization of the enzymes with their set of substrates.
Biomimetic Nanofibrous Composites for Tendon-Bone Interface Regeneration
Injuries associated with tendons are among the most common traumas. The native tendon-bone (TB) interface is comprised of diverse tissues, namely, tendon, fibrocartilage, and bone, containing multiple cell phenotypes such as fibroblasts, fibrochondrocytes and osteoblasts in respective zones. Due to the limited capacity of current reconstruction procedures, there exists a need for new augmentation matrices to improve the biological fixation to obtain a scarless healing at the TB interface. Our approach to TB integration focuses on the use of biomimetic, nanofibrous scaffolds incorporated with bioactive agents. Growth factors injected into the zone of injury facilitates restoration of the normal function of TB interface. In this regard, transforming growth factor β3 (TGF-β3) was found to be upregulated during TB insertion development. Similarly, connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) was shown to be sufficient to differentiate mesenchymal stem cells into tendon specific cells. Hydroxyapatite is known as the major mineral-based component of the bone tissue and polycaprolactone (PCL) is a versatile biomaterial utilized for the engineering of multiple tissues including tendon, ligament, cartilage as well as bone. The objectives of this study are to 1) fabricate PCL-based scaffolds containing TGF-β3, CTGF and nano-HA (nHA), where concentrations of CTGF and nHA change in opposite directions, while TGF-β3 is located in the middle portion of the nanofibrous composites [such organization is expected to contribute to generation of tendon (in CTGF rich zone), fibrocartilage (by TGF-β3) and bone (in nHA rich zone) upon positioning the scaffold in proper zones], 2) establish controlled release of TGF-β3 and CTGF from nanofiber scaffolds, and 3) to investigate stem cell behavior on these scaffolds. Such a design is proposed for the first time, represents a significant departure from the conventional stratified approach, and is expected to contribute to scar-free TB interface regeneration. Our findings show that linearly varying nHA distribution can be accomplished across the scaffold thickness that is also the case in native TB interface. Incorporation of nHA into PCL nanofibers led to increased mean fiber diameter from 361±9nm to 459±21nm, and a decrease in contact angle from 120.01±2.77 ° to 115.24±1.17 °. We have also demonstrated that TGF-β3 can be incorporated into nanofiber scaffolds with electrospinning and released in a sustained manner. We are to investigate the response of stem cells on the proposed scaffolds for interface-related matrix formation (collagen and glycosaminoglycans) and expression of relevant markers such as collagen types I, II, and X. This study not only reveals the importance of design and use of biomimetic scaffolds in tissue engineering but also yields new insights into the effect of bioactive molecules on interface regeneration by controlling their local availability. These discoveries will serve as the foundation for the development of biomimetic tissue engineering technologies aimed at promoting biological graft fixation. This research is funded by TUBITAK.
The Healing Effect of Unrestricted Somatic Stem Cells Loaded in Collagen-Modified Nanofibrous PHBV Scaffold on Full-Thickness Skin Defects
Unrestricted somatic stem cells (USSCs) loaded in nanofibrous PHBV scaffold can be used for skin regeneration when grafted into full-thickness skin defects of rats. Nanofibrous PHBV scaffolds were designed using electrospinning method and then, modified with the immobilized collagen via the plasma method. Afterward, the scaffolds were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy, physical and mechanical assays. In this study; nanofibrous PHBV scaffolds loaded with and without USSCs were grafted into the skin defects. The wounds were subsequently investigated at 21 days after grafting. Results of mechanical and physical analyses showed good resilience and compliance to movement as a skin graft. In animal models; all study groups excluding the control group exhibited the most pronounced effect on wound closure, with the statistically significant improvement in wound healing being seen on post-operative Day 21. Histological and immunostaining examinations of healed wounds from all groups, especially the groups treated with stem cells, showed a thin epidermis plus recovered skin appendages in the dermal layer. Thus, the graft of collagen-coated nanofibrous PHBV scaffold loaded with USSC showed better results during the healing process of skin defects in rat model.
Stimulation of Nerve Tissue Differentiation and Development Using Scaffold-Based Cell Culture in Bioreactors
Nerve tissue engineering is the main field of research aimed at finding an alternative to autografts as a treatment for nerve injuries. Scaffolds are used as a support to enhance nerve regeneration. In order to successfully design novel scaffolds and in vitro cell culture systems, a deep understanding of the factors affecting nerve regeneration processes is needed. Physical and biological parameters associated with the culture environment have been identified as potentially influential in nerve cell differentiation, including electrical stimulation, exposure to extracellular-matrix (ECM) proteins, dynamic medium conditions and co-culture with glial cells. The mechanisms involved in driving the cell to differentiation in the presence of these factors are poorly understood; the complexity of each of them raises the possibility that they may strongly influence each other. Some questions that arise in investigating nerve regeneration include: What are the best protein coatings to promote neural cell attachment? Is the scaffold design suitable for providing all the required factors combined? What is the influence of dynamic stimulation on cell viability and differentiation? In order to study these effects, scaffolds adaptable to bioreactor culture conditions were designed to allow electrical stimulation of cells exposed to ECM proteins, all within a dynamic medium environment. Gold coatings were used to make the surface of viscose rayon microfiber scaffolds (VRMS) conductive, and poly-L-lysine (PLL) and laminin (LN) surface coatings were used to mimic the ECM environment and allow the attachment of rat PC12 neural cells. The robustness of the coatings was analyzed by surface resistivity measurements, scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation and immunocytochemistry. Cell attachment to protein coatings of PLL, LN and PLL+LN was studied using DNA quantification with Hoechst. The double coating of PLL+LN was selected based on high levels of PC12 cell attachment and the reported advantages of laminin for neural differentiation. The underlying gold coatings were shown to be biocompatible using cell proliferation and live/dead staining assays. Coatings exhibiting stable properties over time under dynamic fluid conditions were developed; indeed, cell attachment and the conductive power of the scaffolds were maintained over 2 weeks of bioreactor operation. These scaffolds are promising research tools for understanding complex neural cell behavior. They have been used to investigate major factors in the physical culture environment that affect nerve cell viability and differentiation, including electrical stimulation, bioreactor hydrodynamic conditions, and combinations of these parameters. The cell and tissue differentiation response was evaluated using DNA quantification, immunocytochemistry, RT-qPCR and functional analyses.
Searching for Novel Scaffolds of Triazole Non-Nucleoside Inhibitors of HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase
Azoles are a promising class of the new generation of HIV-1 nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). From thousands of reported compounds, many possess the same basic structure of an aryl substituted azole ring linked by a thioglycolamide chain with another aromatic ring. To find novel extensions for this primary scaffold, we explored the 5-position substitution of triazole NNRTIs using molecular docking followed by synthesis of selected compounds. We discovered that heterocyclic substituents in 5-position of the triazole ring are detrimental to the inhibitory activity of compounds with 4-membered thioglycolamide linker. This substitution seems to be viable only for compounds with a shorter 2-membered linker such as in derivatives of 4‐benzyl‐3‐(benzyl-sulfanyl)‐5‐(thiophen‐2‐yl)‐4H‐1,2,4‐triazole reported earlier. A new scaffold of 2‐[(4‐benzyl‐5‐methyl‐4H‐1,2,4‐triazol‐3‐yl)sulfanyl]‐N‐phenylacetamide has been identified in this study.
Design of 3D Bioprinted Scaffolds for Cartilage Regeneration
Cartilage is a dense connective tissue with limited self-repair properties. Currently, the therapeutic use of autologous or allogenic chondrocytes makes up an alternative therapy to the pharmacological treatment. The design of a bioprinted 3D cartilage with chondrocytes and biodegradable biomaterials offers a new therapeutic alternative able of bridging the limitations of current therapies in the field. We have developed an enhanced printing processes-Injection Volume Filling (IVF) to increase the viability and survival of the cells when working with high-temperature thermoplastics without the limitation of the scaffold geometry in contact with cells. We have demonstrated the viability of the printing process using chondrocytes for cartilage regeneration. This development will accelerate the clinical uptake of the technology and overcomes the current limitation when using thermoplastics as scaffolds. An alginate-based hydrogel combined with human chondrocytes (isolated from osteoarthritis patients) was formulated as bioink-A and the polylactic acid as bioink-B. The bioprinting process was carried out with the REGEMAT V1 bioprinter (Regemat 3D, Granada-Spain) through a IVF. The printing capacity of the bioprinting plus the viability and cell proliferation of bioprinted chondrociytes was evaluated after five weeks by confocal microscopy and Alamar Blue Assay (Biorad). Results showed that the IVF process does not decrease the cell viability of the chondrocytes during the printing process as the cells do not have contact with the thermoplastic at elevated temperatures. The viability and cellular proliferation of the bioprinted artificial 3D cartilage increased after 5 weeks. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the potential use of Regemat V1 for 3D bioprinting of cartilage and the viability of bioprinted chondrocytes in the scaffolds for application in regenerative medicine.
Tricalcium Phosphate-Chitosan Composites for Tissue Engineering Applications
In the field of tissue engineering, the compositional and microstructural features of the employed materials play an important role, with implications on the mechanical and biological behaviour of the medical devices. In this context, the development of calcium phosphate-natural biopolymer composites represents a choice of many scientific groups. Thus, tricalcium phosphate powders were synthesized by a wet method, namely co-precipitation, starting from high purity reagents. Moreover, the substitution of calcium with magnesium have been approached, in the 5-10 wt.% range. Afterwards, the phosphate powders were integrated into two types of composites with chitosan, different from morphological point of view. First, 3D porous scaffolds were obtained by a freeze-drying procedure. Second, uniform compact films were achieved by film casting. The influence of chitosan molecular weight (low, medium and high), as well as phosphate powder to polymer ratio (1:1 and 1:2) on the morphological properties, were analysed in detail. In conclusion, the reported biocomposites, prepared by a straightforward route are suitable for bone substitution or repairing applications.
Hydroxyapatite-Chitosan Composites for Tissue Engineering Applications
In the field of tissue engineering, the compositional and microstructural features of the employed materials play an important role, with implications on the mechanical and biological behaviour of the medical devices. In this context, the development of apatite - natural biopolymer composites represents a choice of many scientific groups. Thus, hydroxyapatite powders were synthesized by a wet method, namely co-precipitation, starting from high purity reagents (CaO, MgO, and H3PO4). Moreover, the substitution of calcium with magnesium have been approached, in the 5 - 10 wt.% range. Afterward, the phosphate powders were integrated in two types of composites with chitosan, different from morphological point of view. First, 3D porous scaffolds were obtained by a freeze-drying procedure. Second, uniform, compact films were achieved by film casting. The influence of chitosan molecular weight (low, medium and high), as well as apatite powder to polymer ratio (1:1 and 1:2) on the morphological properties, were analysed in detail. In conclusion, the reported biocomposites, prepared by a straightforward route are suitable for bone substitution or repairing applications.
Hydroxyapatite Nanorods as Novel Fillers for Improving the Properties of PBSu
This study evaluates the hypothesis that the incorporation of fibrous hydroxyapatite nanoparticles (nHA) with high crystallinity and high aspect ratio, synthesized by hydrothermal method, into Poly(butylene succinate) (PBSu), improves the bioactivity of the aliphatic polyester and affects new bone growth inhibiting resorption and enhancing bone formation. Hydroxyapatite nanorods were synthesized using a simple hydrothermal procedure. First, the HPO42- -containing solution was added drop-wise into the Ca2+-containing solution, while the molar ratio of Ca/P was adjusted at 1.67. The HA precursor was then treated hydrothermally at 200°C for 72 h. The resulting powder was characterized using XRD, FT-IR, TEM, and EDXA. Afterwards, PBSu nanocomposites containing 2.5wt% (nHA) were prepared by in situ polymerization technique for the first time and were examined as potential scaffolds for bone engineering applications. For comparison purposes composites containing either 2.5wt% micro-Bioglass (mBG) or 2.5wt% mBG-nHA were prepared and studied, too. The composite scaffolds were characterized using SEM, FTIR, and XRD. Mechanical testing (Instron 3344) and Contact Angle measurements were also carried out. Enzymatic degradation was studied in an aqueous solution containing a mixture of R. Oryzae and P. Cepacia lipases at 37°C and pH=7.2. In vitro biomineralization test was performed by immersing all samples in simulated body fluid (SBF) for 21 days. Biocompatibility was assessed using rat Adipose Stem Cells (rASCs), genetically modified by nucleofection with DNA encoding SB100x transposase and pT2-Venus-neo transposon expression plasmids in order to attain fluorescence images. Cell proliferation and viability of cells on the scaffolds were evaluated using fluoresce microscopy and MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay. Finally, osteogenic differentiation was assessed by staining rASCs with alizarine red using cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC) method. TEM image of the fibrous HAp nanoparticles, synthesized in the present study clearly showed the fibrous morphology of the synthesized powder. The addition of nHA decreased significantly the contact angle of the samples, indicating that the materials become more hydrophilic and hence they absorb more water and subsequently degrade more rapidly. In vitro biomineralization test confirmed that all samples were bioactive as mineral deposits were detected by X-ray diffractometry after incubation in SBF. Metabolic activity of rASCs on all PBSu composites was high and increased from day 1 of culture to day 14. On day 28 metabolic activity of rASCs cultured on samples enriched with bioceramics was significantly decreased due to possible differentiation of rASCs to osteoblasts. Staining rASCs with alizarin red after 28 days in culture confirmed our initial hypothesis as the presence of calcium was detected, suggesting osteogenic differentiation of rACS on PBSu/nHAp/mBG 2.5% and PBSu/mBG 2.5% composite scaffolds.
Poly-ε-Caprolactone Nanofibers with Synthetic Growth Factor Enriched Liposomes as Controlled Drug Delivery System
PCL (poly-ε-caprolactone) nanofibrous scaffolds with adhered liposomes were prepared and tested as a possible drug delivery system for various synthetic growth factors. TGFβ, bFGF, and IGF-I have been shown to increase hMSC (human mesenchymal stem cells) proliferation and to induce hMSC differentiation. Functionalized PCL nanofibers were prepared with synthetic growth factors encapsulated in liposomes adhered to them in three different concentrations. Other samples contained PCL nanofibers with adhered, free synthetic growth factors. The synthetic growth factors free medium served as a control. The interaction of liposomes with the PCL nanofibers was visualized by SEM, and the release kinetics were determined by ELISA testing. The potential of liposomes, immobilized on the biodegradable scaffolds, as a delivery system for synthetic growth factors, and as a suitable system for MSCs adhesion, proliferation and differentiation in vitro was evaluated by MTS assay, dsDNA amount determination, confocal microscopy, flow cytometry and real-time PCR. The results showed that the growth factors adhered to the PCL nanofibers stimulated cell proliferation mainly up to day 11 and that subsequently their effect was lower. By contrast, the release of the lowest concentration of growth factors from liposomes resulted in gradual proliferation of MSCs throughout the experiment. Moreover, liposomes, as well as free growth factors, stimulated type II collagen production, which was confirmed by immunohistochemical staining using monoclonal antibody against type II collagen. The results of this study indicate that growth factors enriched liposomes adhered to surface of PCL nanofibers could be useful as a drug delivery instrument for application in short timescales, be combined with nanofiber scaffolds to promote local and persistent delivery while mimicking the local microenvironment. This work was supported by project LO1508 from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic
Preparation and Evaluation of Gelatin-Hyaluronic Acid-Polycaprolactone Membrane Containing 0.5 % Atorvastatin Loaded Nanostructured Lipid Carriers as a Nanocomposite Scaffold for Skin Tissue Engineering
Gelatin and hyaluronic acid are commonly used in skin tissue engineering scaffolds, but because of their low mechanical properties and high biodegradation rate, adding a synthetic polymer such as polycaprolactone could improve the scaffold properties. Therefore, we developed a gelatin-hyaluronic acid-polycaprolactone scaffold, containing 0.5 % atorvastatin loaded nanostructured lipid carriers (NLCs) for skin tissue engineering. The atorvastatin loaded NLCs solution was prepared by solvent evaporation method and freeze drying process. Synthesized atorvastatin loaded NLCs was added to the gelatin and hyaluronic acid solution, and a membrane was fabricated with solvent evaporation method. Thereafter it was coated by a thin layer of polycaprolactone via spine coating set. The resulting scaffolds were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses. Moreover, mechanical properties, in vitro degradation in 7 days period, and in vitro drug release of scaffolds were also evaluated. SEM images showed the uniform distributed NLCs with an average size of 100 nm in the scaffold structure. Mechanical test indicated that the scaffold had a 70.08 Mpa tensile modulus which was twofold of tensile modulus of normal human skin. A Franz-cell diffusion test was performed to investigate the scaffold drug release in phosphate buffered saline (pH=7.4) medium. Results showed that 72% of atorvastatin was released during 5 days. In vitro degradation test demonstrated that the membrane was degradated approximately 97%. In conclusion, suitable physicochemical and biological properties of membrane indicated that the developed gelatin-hyaluronic acid-polycaprolactone nanocomposite scaffold containing 0.5 % atorvastatin loaded NLCs could be used as a good candidate for skin tissue engineering applications.
Development of PCL/Chitosan Core-Shell Electrospun Structures
Skin tissue engineering is a promising field for the treatment of skin defects using scaffolds. This approach involves the use of living cells and biomaterials to restore, maintain, or regenerate tissues and organs in the body by providing; (i) larger surface area for cell attachment, (ii) proper porosity for cell colonization and cell to cell interaction, and (iii) 3-dimensionality at macroscopic scale. Recent studies on this area mainly focus on fabrication of scaffolds that can closely mimic the natural extracellular matrix (ECM) for creation of tissue specific niche-like environment at the subcellular scale. Scaffolds designed as ECM-like architectures incorporating into the host with minimal scarring/pain and facilitate angiogenesis. This study is related to combining of synthetic PCL and natural chitosan polymers to form 3D PCL/Chitosan core-shell structures for skin tissue engineering applications. Amongst the polymers used in tissue engineering, natural polymer chitosan and synthetic polymer poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) are widely preferred in the literature. Chitosan has been among researchers for a very long time because of its superior biocompatibility and structural resemblance to the glycosaminoglycan of bone tissue. However, the low mechanical flexibility and limited biodegradability properties reveals the necessity of using this polymer in a composite structure. On the other hand, PCL is a versatile polymer due to its low melting point (60°C), ease of processability, degradability with non-enzymatic processes (hydrolysis) and good mechanical properties. Nevertheless, there are also several disadvantages of PCL such as its hydrophobic structure, limited bio-interaction and susceptibility to bacterial biodegradation. Therefore, it became crucial to use both of these polymers together as a hybrid material in order to overcome the disadvantages of both polymers and combine advantages of those. The scaffolds here were fabricated by using electrospinning technique and the characterizations of the samples were done by contact angle (CA) measurements, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-Ray Photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Additionally, gas permeability test, mechanical test, thickness measurement and PBS absorption and shrinkage tests were performed for all type of scaffolds (PCL, chitosan and PCL/chitosan core-shell). By using ImageJ launcher software program (USA) from SEM photographs the average inter-fiber diameter values were calculated as 0.717±0.198 µm for PCL, 0.660±0.070 µm for chitosan and 0.412±0.339 µm for PCL/chitosan core-shell structures. Additionally, the average inter-fiber pore size values exhibited decrease of 66.91% and 61.90% for the PCL and chitosan structures respectively, compare to PCL/chitosan core-shell structures. TEM images proved that homogenous and continuous bead free core-shell fibers were obtained. XPS analysis of the PCL/chitosan core-shell structures exhibited the characteristic peaks of PCL and chitosan polymers. Measured average gas permeability value of produced PCL/chitosan core-shell structure was determined 2315±3.4 g.m-2.day-1. In the future, cell-material interactions of those developed PCL/chitosan core-shell structures will be carried out with L929 ATCC CCL-1 mouse fibroblast cell line. Standard MTT assay and microscopic imaging methods will be used for the investigation of the cell attachment, proliferation and growth capacities of the developed materials.
The Effect of Calcium Phosphate Composite Scaffolds on the Osteogenic Differentiation of Rabbit Dental Pulp Stem Cells
The objective of this study was to compare the effects of the two calcium phosphate composite scaffolds on the attachment, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of rabbit dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs). One nano-hydroxyapatite/collagen/poly (L-lactide) (nHAC/PLA), imitating the composition and the micro-structure characteristics of the natural bone, was made by Beijing Allgens Medical Science & Technology Co., Ltd. (China). The other beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP), being fully interoperability globular pore structure, was provided by Shanghai Bio-lu Biomaterials Co, Ltd. (China). We compared the absorption water rate and the protein adsorption rate of two scaffolds and the characterization of DPSCs cultured on the culture plate and both scaffolds under osteogenic differentiation media (ODM) treatment. The constructs were then implanted subcutaneously into the back of severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice for 8 and 12 weeks to compare their bone formation capacity. The results showed that the ODM-treated DPSCs expressed osteocalcin (OCN), bone sialoprotein (BSP), type I collagen (COLI) and osteopontin (OPN) by immunofluorescence staining. Positive alkaline phosphatase (ALP) staining, calcium deposition and calcium nodules were also observed on the ODM-treated DPSCs. The nHAC/PLA had significantly higher absorption water rate and protein adsorption rate than ß-TCP. The initial attachment of DPSCs seeded onto nHAC/PLA was significantly higher than that onto ß-TCP; and the proliferation rate of the cells was significantly higher than that of ß-TCP on 1, 3 and 7 days of cell culture. DPSCs+ß-TCP had significantly higher ALP activity, calcium/phosphorus content and mineral formation than DPSCs+nHAC/PLA. When implanted into the back of SCID mice, nHAC/PLA alone had no new bone formation, newly formed mature bone and osteoid were only observed in β-TCP alone, DPSCs+nHAC/PLA and DPSCs+β-TCP, and this three groups displayed increased bone formation over the 12-week period. The percentage of total bone formation area had no difference between DPSCs+β-TCP and DPSCs+nHAC/PLA at each time point,but the percentage of mature bone formation area of DPSCs+β-TCP was significantly higher than that of DPSCs+nHAC/PLA. Our results demonstrated that the DPSCs on nHAC/PLA had a better proliferation and that the DPSCs on β-TCP had a more mineralization in vitro, much more newly formed mature bones in vivo were presented in DPSCs+β-TCP group. These findings have provided a further knowledge that scaffold architecture has a different influence on the attachment, proliferation and differentiation of cells. This study may provide insight into the clinical periodontal bone tissue repair with DPSCs+β-TCP construct.
Poly(ε-caprolactone)/Halloysite Nanotube Nanocomposites Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering
Tissue engineering offers a new approach to regenerate diseased or damaged tissues such as bone. Great effort is devoted to eliminating the need of removing non-degradable implants at the end of their life span, with biodegradable polymers playing a major part. Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) is one of the best candidates for this purpose due to its high permeability, good biodegradability and exceptional biocompatibility, which has stimulated extensive research into its potential application in the biomedical fields. However, PCL degrades much slower than other known biodegradable polymers and has a total degradation of 2-4 years depending on the initial molecular weight of the device. This is due to its relatively hydrophobic character and high crystallinity. Consequently, much attention has been given to the tunable degradation of PCL to meet the diverse requirements of biomedicine. Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) is a biodegradable polyester that lacks bioactivity, so when used in bone tissue engineering, new bone tissue cannot bond tightly on the polymeric surface. Therefore, it is important to incorporate reinforcing fillers into PCL matrix in order to result in a promising combination of bioactivity, biodegradability, and strength. Natural clay halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) were incorporated into PCL polymeric matrix, via in situ ring-opening polymerization of caprolactone, in concentrations 0.5, 1 and 2.5 wt%. Both unmodified and modified with aminopropyltrimethoxysilane (APTES) HNTs were used in this study. The effect of nanofiller concentration and functionalization with end-amino groups on the physicochemical properties of the prepared nanocomposites was studied. Mechanical properties were found enhanced after the incorporation of nanofillers, while the modification increased further the values of tensile and impact strength. Thermal stability of PCL was not affected by the presence of nanofillers, while the crystallization rate that was studied by Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Polarized Light Optical Microscopy (POM) increased. All materials were subjected to enzymatic hydrolysis in phosphate buffer in the presence of lipases. Due to the hydrophilic nature of HNTs, the biodegradation rate of nanocomposites was higher compared to neat PCL. In order to confirm the effect of hydrophilicity, contact angle measurements were also performed. In vitro biomineralization test confirmed that all samples were bioactive as mineral deposits were detected by X-ray diffractometry after incubation in SBF. All scaffolds were tested in relevant cell culture using osteoblast-like cells (MG-63) to demonstrate their biocompatibility
Prospects of Acellular Organ Scaffolds for Drug Discovery
Drug toxicity often goes undetected until clinical trials, the most expensive and dangerous phase of drug development. Both human cell culture and animal studies have limitations that cannot be overcome by improvements in drug testing protocols. Tissue engineering is an emerging alternative approach to creating models of human malignant tumors for experimental oncology, personalized medicine, and drug discovery studies. This new generation of bioengineered tumors provides an opportunity to control and explore the role of every component of the model system including cell populations, supportive scaffolds, and signaling molecules. An area that could greatly benefit from these models is cancer research. Recent advances in tissue engineering demonstrated that decellularized tissue is an excellent scaffold for tissue engineering. Decellularization of donor organs such as heart, liver, and lung can provide an acellular, naturally occurring three-dimensional biologic scaffold material that can then be seeded with selected cell populations. Preliminary studies in animal models have provided encouraging results for the proof of concept. Decellularized Organs preserve organ microenvironment, which is critical for cancer metastasis. Utilizing 3D tumor models results greater proximity of cell culture morphological characteristics in a model to its in vivo counterpart, allows more accurate simulation of the processes within a functioning tumor and its pathogenesis. 3D models allow study of migration processes and cell proliferation with higher reliability as well. Moreover, cancer cells in a 3D model bear closer resemblance to living conditions in terms of gene expression, cell surface receptor expression, and signaling. 2D cell monolayers do not provide the geometrical and mechanical cues of tissues in vivo and are, therefore, not suitable to accurately predict the responses of living organisms. 3D models can provide several levels of complexity from simple monocultures of cancer cell lines in liquid environment comprised of oxygen and nutrient gradients and cell-cell interaction to more advanced models, which include co-culturing with other cell types, such as endothelial and immune cells. Following this reasoning, spheroids cultivated from one or multiple patient-derived cell lines can be utilized to seed the matrix rather than monolayer cells. This approach furthers the progress towards personalized medicine. As an initial step to create a new ex vivo tissue engineered model of a cancer tumor, optimized protocols have been designed to obtain organ-specific acellular matrices and evaluate their potential as tissue engineered scaffolds for cultures of normal and tumor cells. Decellularized biomatrix was prepared from animals’ kidneys, urethra, lungs, heart, and liver by two decellularization methods: perfusion in a bioreactor system and immersion-agitation on an orbital shaker with the use of various detergents (SDS, Triton X-100) in different concentrations and freezing. Acellular scaffolds and tissue engineered constructs have been characterized and compared using morphological methods. Models using decellularized matrix have certain advantages, such as maintaining native extracellular matrix properties and biomimetic microenvironment for cancer cells; compatibility with multiple cell types for cell culture and drug screening; utilization to culture patient-derived cells in vitro to evaluate different anticancer therapeutics for developing personalized medicines.
Bi-Layer Electro-Conductive Nanofibrous Conduits for Peripheral Nerve Regeneration
Injury of peripheral nervous system (PNS) can lead to loss of sensation or movement. To date, one of the challenges for surgeons is repairing large gaps in PNS. To solve this problem, nerve conduits have been developed. Conduits produced by means of electrospinning can mimic extracellular matrix and provide enough surface for further functionalization. In this research, a conductive bilayer nerve conduit with poly caprolactone (PCL), poly (lactic acid co glycolic acid) (PLGA) and MWCNT for promoting peripheral nerve regeneration was fabricated. The conduit was made of longitudinally aligned PLGA nanofibrous sheets in the lumen to promote nerve regeneration and randomly oriented PCL nanofibers on the outer surface for mechanical support. The intra-luminal guidance channel was made out of conductive aligned nanofibrous rolled sheets which are coated with laminin via dopamine. Different properties of electrospun scaffolds were investigated by using contact angle, mechanical strength, degradation time, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The SEM analysis was shown that size range of nanofibrous mat were about 600-750 nm and MWCNTs deposited between nanofibers. The XPS result was shown that laminin attached to the nanofibers surface successfully. The contact-angle and tensile tests analysis revealed that scaffolds have good hydrophilicity and enough mechanical strength. In vitro studies demonstrated that this conductive surface was able to enhance the attachment and proliferation of PC12 and Schwann cells. We concluded that this bilayer composite conduit has good potential for nerve regeneration.
Effect of Degree of Phosphorylation on Electrospinning and In vitro Cell Behavior of Phosphorylated Polymers as Biomimetic Materials for Tissue Engineering Applications
Over the past few years, phosphorous containing polymers have received widespread attention for applications such as high performance optical fibers, flame retardant materials, drug delivery and tissue engineering. Being pentavalent, phosphorous can exist in different chemical environments in these polymers which increase their versatility. In human biochemistry, phosphorous based compounds exert their functions both in soluble and insoluble form occurring as inorganic or as organophosphorous compounds. Specifically in case of biomacromolecules, phosphates are critical for functions of DNA, ATP, phosphoproteins, phospholipids, phosphoglycans and several coenzymes. Inspired by the role of phosphorous in functional biomacromolecules, design and synthesis of biomimetic materials are thus carried out by several authors to study macromolecular function or as substitutes in clinical tissue regeneration conditions. In addition, many regulatory signals of the body are controlled by phoshphorylation of key proteins present either in form of growth factors or matrix-bound scaffold proteins. This inspires works on synthesis of phospho-peptidomimetic amino acids for understanding key signaling pathways and this is extended to obtain molecules with potentially useful biological properties. Apart from above applications, phosphate groups bound to polymer backbones have also been demonstrated to improve function of osteoblast cells and augment performance of bone grafts. Despite the advantages of phosphate grafting, however, there is limited understanding on effect of degree of phosphorylation on macromolecular physicochemical and/or biological properties. Such investigations are necessary to effectively translate knowledge of macromolecular biochemistry into relevant clinical products since they directly influence processability of these polymers into suitable scaffold structures and control subsequent biological response. Amongst various techniques for fabrication of biomimetic scaffolds, nanofibrous scaffolds fabricated by electrospinning technique offer some special advantages in resembling the attributes of natural extracellular matrix. Understanding changes in physico-chemical properties of polymers as function of phosphorylation is therefore going to be crucial in development of nanofiber scaffolds based on phosphorylated polymers. The aim of the present work is to investigate the effect of phosphorous grafting on the electrospinning behavior of polymers with aim to obtain biomaterials for bone regeneration applications. For this purpose, phosphorylated derivatives of two polymers of widely different electrospinning behaviors were selected as starting materials. Poly(vinyl alcohol) is a conveniently electrospinnable polymer at different conditions and concentrations. On the other hand, electrospinning of chitosan backbone based polymers have been viewed as a critical challenge. The phosphorylated derivatives of these polymers were synthesized, characterized and electrospinning behavior of various solutions containing these derivatives was compared with electrospinning of pure poly (vinyl alcohol). In PVA, phosphorylation adversely impacted electrospinnability while in NMPC, higher phosphate content widened concentration range for nanofiber formation. Culture of MG-63 cells on electrospun nanofibers, revealed that degree of phosphate modification of a polymer significantly improves cell adhesion or osteoblast function of cultured cells. It is concluded that improvement of cell response parameters of nanofiber scaffolds can be attained as a function of controlled degree of phosphate grafting in polymeric biomaterials with implications for bone tissue engineering applications.
Synthesis and Characterization of Fibrin/Polyethylene Glycol-Based Interpenetrating Polymer Networks for Dermal Tissue Engineering
In skin regenerative medicine, one of the critical issues is to produce a three-dimensional scaffold with optimized porosity for dermal fibroblast infiltration and neovascularization, which exhibits high mechanical properties and displays sufficient wound healing characteristics. In this study, we report on the synthesis and characterization of macroporous sequential interpenetrating polymer networks (IPNs) combining skin wound healing properties of fibrin with the excellent physical properties of polyethylene glycol (PEG). Fibrin fibers serve as a provisional biologically active network to promote cell adhesion and proliferation while PEG provides the mechanical stability to maintain the entire 3D construct. After having modified both PEG and Serum Albumin (used for promoting enzymatic degradability) by adding methacrylate residues (PEGDM and SAM, respectively), Fibrin/PEGDM-SAM sequential IPNs were synthesized as follows: Macroporous sponges were first produced from PEGDM-SAM hydrogels by a freeze-drying technique and then rehydrated by adding the fibrin precursors. Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM) and Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy (CLSM) were used to characterize their microstructure. Human dermal fibroblasts were cultivated during one week in the constructs and different cell culture parameters (viability, morphology, proliferation) were evaluated. Subcutaneous implantations of the scaffolds were conducted on five-week old male nude mice to investigate their biocompatibility in vivo. We successfully synthesized interconnected and macroporous Fibrin/PEGDM-SAM sequential IPNs. The viability of primary dermal fibroblasts was well maintained (above 90%) after 2 days of culture. Cells were able to adhere, spread and proliferate in the scaffolds suggesting the suitable porosity and intrinsic biologic properties of the constructs. The fibrin network adopted a spider web shape that covered partially the pores allowing easier cell infiltration into the macroporous structure. To further characterize the in vitro cell behavior, cell proliferation (EdU incorporation, MTS assay) is being studied. Preliminary histological analysis of animal studies indicated the persistence of hydrogels even after one-month post implantation and confirmed the absence of inflammation response, good biocompatibility and biointegration of our scaffolds within the surrounding tissues. These results suggest that our Fibrin/PEGDM-SAM IPNs could be considered as potential candidates for dermis regenerative medicine. Histological analysis will be completed to further assess scaffold remodeling including de novo extracellular matrix protein synthesis and early stage angiogenesis analysis. Compression measurements will be conducted to investigate the mechanical properties.
Exploring Bio-Inspired Catecholamine Chemistry to Design Durable Anti-Fungal Wound Dressings
Sturdy Insect Cuticle Sclerotization, Incredible Substrate independent Mussel’s bioadhesion, Tanning of Leather are some of catechol(amine)s mediated natural processes. Chemical contemplation spots toward a mechanism instigated with the formation of the quinone moieties from the respective catechol(amine)s, via oxidation, followed by the nucleophilic addition of the amino acids/proteins/peptides to this quinone leads to the development of highly strong, cross-linked and water-resistant proteinacious structures. Inspired with this remarkable catechol(amine)s chemistry towards amino acids/proteins/peptides, we attempted to design highly stable and water-resistant antifungal wound dressing mats with exceptional durability using collagen (protein), dopamine (catecholamine) and antifungal drugs (Amphotericin B and Caspofungin) as the key materials. Electrospinning technique has been used to fabricate desired nanofibrous mat including Collagen (COLL), COLL/Dopamine (COLL/DP) and calcium incorporated COLL/DP (COLL-DP-Ca2+). The prepared protein-based scaffolds have been studied for their microscopic investigations (SEM, TEM, and AFM), structural analysis (FT-IR), mechanical properties, water wettability characteristics and aqueous stability. Biocompatibility of these scaffolds has been analyzed for dermal fibroblast cells using MTS assay, Cell TrackerTM Green CMFDA and confocal imaging. Being the winner sample, COLL-DP-Ca2+ scaffold has been selected for incorporating two antifungal drugs namely Caspofungin (Peptide based) and Amphotericin B (Non-Peptide based). Antifungal efficiency of the designed mats has been evaluated for eight diverse fungal strains employing different microbial assays including disc diffusion, cell-viability assay, time kill kinetics etc. To confirm the durability of these mats, in term of their antifungal activity, drug leaching studies has been performed and monitored using disc diffusion assay each day. Ex-vivo fungal infection model has also been developed and utilized to validate the antifungal efficacy of the designed wound dressings. Results clearly reveal dopamine mediated crosslinking within COLL-antifungal scaffolds that leads to the generation of highly stable, mechanical tough, biocompatible wound dressings having the zone of inhabitation of ≥ 2 cm for almost all the investigated fungal strains. Leaching studies and Ex-vivo model has confirmed the durability of these wound dressing for more than 3 weeks and certified their suitability for commercialization. A model has also been proposed to enlighten the chemical mechanism involved for the development of these antifungal wound dressings with exceptional robustness.
Safety Climate Assessment and Its impact on the productivity of Construction Enterprises
Research Background: Problems related to the occupational health and decreasing level of safety occur commonly in the construction industry. Important factor in the occupational safety in construction industry is scaffold use. All scaffolds used in construction, renovation, and demolition shall be erected, dismantled and maintained in accordance with safety procedure. However, key of dealing with scaffolds safety and risk assessment in construction industry is important. Thus, way on doing assessment and liability of assessment seems to be crucial for professionals. However, it is found that those professionals prone to heavily rely on their own experiences and knowledge on decision making on risk assessment, which lack of a systematic approach and lack of ways to check the reliability of the decisions. Purpose of the Article: Purpose of the paper was to indicate crucial parameters that could be modeling with RAM use for improving both building enterprise productivity and/or developing potential and Safety Climate. The developed RAM could be a benefit for predicting high-risk construction activities and thus preventing accidents occurred based on a set of historical accident data. Methodology/Methods: A Risk Assessment Model (RAM) has been developed for assessing risk levels as various construction process stages with various work trades impacting different spheres of enterprise activity. The RAM is the result of research project realized at the above 60 construction sites, both in Poland and Portugal, where 450 observations have been completed including also harmful physical and chemical factors, stress level, also worker habits, as well as a hundred ex-post reconstruction of construction accidents scenarios. genetic modeling tool has been used for developing the RAM. Findings and Value Added: Common types of trades, accidents, and accident causes have been explored, in addition to suitable risk assessment methods and criteria. We have found the initial worker stress level is more direct predictor for developing of the unsafe chain leading to the accident than the workload, and concentration of harmful factors at the workplace or even training frequency and management involvement.
Prospects of Low Immune Response Transplants Based on Acellular Organ Scaffolds
Transplantation is an effective treatment option for patients suffering from different end-stage diseases. However, it is plagued by a constant shortage of donor organs and the subsequent need of a lifelong immunosuppressive therapy for the patient. Currently some researchers look towards using of pig organs to replace human organs for transplantation since the matrix derived from porcine organs is a convenient substitute for the human matrix. As an initial step to create a new ex vivo tissue engineered model, optimized protocols have been created to obtain organ-specific acellular matrices and evaluated their potential as tissue engineered scaffolds for culture of normal cells and tumor cell lines. These protocols include decellularization by perfusion in a bioreactor system and immersion-agitation on an orbital shaker with use of various detergents (SDS, Triton X-100) and freezing. Complete decellularization – in terms of residual DNA amount – is an important predictor of probability of immune rejection of materials of natural origin. However, the signs of cellular material may still remain within the matrix even after harsh decellularization protocols. In this regard, the matrices obtained from tissues of low-immunogenic pigs with α3Galactosyl-tranferase gene knock out (GalT-KO) may be a promising alternative to native animal sources. The research included a study of induced effect of frozen and fresh fragments of GalT-KO skin on healing of full-thickness plane wounds in 80 rats. Commercially available wound dressings (Ksenoderm, Hyamatrix and Alloderm) as well as allogenic skin were used as a positive control and untreated wounds were analyzed as a negative control. The results were evaluated on the 4th day after grafting, which corresponds to the time of start of normal wound epithelization. It has been shown that a non-specific immune response in models treated with GalT-Ko pig skin was milder than in all the control groups. Research has been performed to measure technical skin characteristics: stiffness and elasticity properties, corneometry, tevametry, and cutometry. These metrics enabled the evaluation of hydratation level, corneous layer husking level, as well as skin elasticity and micro- and macro-landscape. These preliminary data may contribute to development of personalized transplantable organs from GalT-Ko pigs with significantly limited potential of immune rejection. By applying growth factors to a decellularized skin sample it is possible to achieve various regenerative effects based on the particular situation. In this particular research BMP2 and Heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor have been used. Ideally, a bioengineered organ must be biocompatible, non-immunogenic and support cell growth. Porcine organs are attractive for xenotransplantation if severe immunologic concerns can be bypassed. The results indicate that genetically modified pig tissues with knock-outed α3Galactosyl-tranferase gene may be used for production of low-immunogenic matrix suitable for transplantation.
Hydroxyapatite Based Porous Scaffold for Tooth Tissue Engineering
A key experimental trial in the regeneration of large oral and craniofacial defects is the neogenesis of osseous and ligamentous interfacial structures. Currently, oral regenerative medicine strategies are unpredictable for repair of tooth supporting tissues destroyed as a consequence of trauma, chronic infection or surgical resection. A different approach combining the gel-casting method with Hydroxy Apatite HA-based scaffold and different cell lineages as a hybrid system leads to successively mimic the early stage of tooth development, in vitro. HA is widely accepted as a bioactive material for guided bone and tooth regeneration. In this study, it was reported that, HA porous scaffold preparation, characterization and evaluation of structural and chemical properties. HA is the main factor that exists in tooth and it is in harmony with structural, biological, and mechanical characteristics. Here, this study shows mimicking immature tooth at the late bell stage design and construction of HA scaffolds for cell transplantation of human Adipose Stem Cells (hASCs), human Bone Marrow Stem Cells (hBMSCs) and Gingival Epitelial cells for the formation of human tooth dentin-pulp-enamel complexes in vitro. Scaffold characterization was demonstrated by SEM, FTIR and pore size and density measurements. The biological contraction of dental tissues against each other was demonstrated by mRNA gene expressions, histopatologic observations and protein release profile by ELISA tecnique. The tooth shaped constructs with a pore size ranging from 150 to 300 µm arranged by gathering right amounts of materials provide interconnected macro-porous structure. The newly formed tissue like structures that grow and integrate within the HA designed constructs forming tooth cementum like tissue, pulp and bone structures. These findings are important as they emphasize the potential biological effect of the hybrid scaffold system. In conclusion, this in vitro study clearly demonstrates that designed 3D scaffolds shaped as a immature tooth at the late bell stage were essential to form enamel-dentin-pulp interfaces with an appropriate cell and biodegradable material combination. The biomimetic architecture achieved here is providing a promising platform for dental tissue engineering.
Preparation of Natural Polymeric Scaffold with Desired Pore Morphology for Stem Cell Differentiation
In the context of tissue engineering, the effect of microtopography as afforded by scaffold morphology is an important design parameter. Since the morphology of pores can effect on cell behavior, in this study, porous Chitosan (CHIT) - Gelatin (GEL)- Alginate (ALG) scaffolds with microtubule orientation structure were manufactured by unidirectional freeze-drying method and the effect of pore morphology on differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) was investigated. This study showed that, the provided scaffold with natural polymer had good properties for cell behavior and the pores with highest orientation rate have produced appropriate substrate for the differentiation of stem cells.
Hybrid Manufacturing System to Produce 3D Structures for Osteochondral Tissue Regeneration
One utmost challenge in Tissue Engineering is the production of 3D constructs capable of mimicking the functional hierarchy of native tissues. This is well stated for osteochondral tissue due to the complex mechanical functional unit based on the junction of articular cartilage and bone. Thus, the aim of the present study was to develop a new additive manufacturing system coupling micro-extrusion with hydrogels printing. An integrated system was developed with 2 main features: (i) the printing of up to three distinct hydrogels; (ii) in coordination with the printing of a thermoplastic structural support. The hydrogel printing module was projected with a ‘revolver-like’ system, where the hydrogel selection was made by a rotating mechanism. The hydrogel deposition was then controlled by pressured air input. The use of specific components approved for medical use was incorporated in the material dispensing system (Nordson EDF Optimum® fluid dispensing system). The thermoplastic extrusion modulus enabled the control of required extrusion temperature through electric resistances in the polymer reservoir and the extrusion system. After testing and upgrades, a hydrogel modulus with 3 syringes (3cm3 capacity each), with a pressure range of 0-2.5bar, a rotational speed of 0-5rpm, and working with needles from 200-800µm was obtained. This modulus was successfully coupled to the extrusion system that presented a temperature up to 300˚C, a pressure range of 0-12bar, and working with nozzles from 200-500µm. The applied motor could provide a velocity range 0-2000mm/min. Although, there are distinct printing requirements for hydrogels and polymers, the novel system could develop hybrid scaffolds, combining the 2 moduli. The morphological analysis showed high reliability (n=5) between the theoretical and obtained filament and pore size (350µm and 300µm vs. 342±4µm and 302±3µm, p>0.05, respectively) of the polymer; and multi-material 3D constructs were successfully obtained. Human tissues present very distinct and complex structures regarding their mechanical properties, organization, composition and dimensions. For osteochondral regenerative medicine, a multiphasic scaffold is required as subchondral bone and overlying cartilage must regenerate at the same time. Thus, a scaffold with 3 layers (bone, intermediate and cartilage parts) can be a promising approach. The developed system may give a suitable solution to construct those hybrid scaffolds with enhanced properties. The present novel system is a step-forward regarding osteochondral tissue engineering due to its ability to generate layered mechanically stable implants through the double-printing of hydrogels with thermoplastics.
The Influence of Alginate Microspheres Modified with DAT on the Proliferation and Adipogenic Differentiation of ASCs
Decellularized adipose tissue (DAT) has received lots of attention as biological scaffolds recently. DAT that extracted from the extracellular matrix (ECM) of adipose tissues holds great promise as a xenogeneic biomaterial for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. In our study, 2-D DATsol film was fabricated to enhance cell adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation of ASCs in vitro. DAT was also used to modify alginate for improvement of cell adhesion. Alginate microspheres modified with DAT were prepared by Nisco. These microspheres could provide a highly supportive 3-D environment for ASCs. In our works, ASCs were immobilized in alginate microspheres modified with DAT to promoted cell adhesion and adipogenic differentiation. Accordingly, we hypothesize that tissue regeneration in vivo could be promoted with the aid of modified microspheres in future.
Synthesis of Functionalized-2-Aryl-2, 3-Dihydroquinoline-4(1H)-Ones via Fries Rearrangement of Azetidin-2-Ones
Quinoline-4-ones represent an important class of heterocyclic scaffolds that have attracted significant interest due to their various biological and pharmacological activities. This heterocyclic unit also constitutes an integral component in drugs used for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, sleep disorders and in antibiotics viz. norfloxacin and ciprofloxacin. The synthetic accessibility and possibility of fictionalization at varied positions in quinoline-4-ones exemplifies an elegant platform for the designing of combinatorial libraries of functionally enriched scaffolds with a range of pharmacological profles. They are also considered to be attractive precursors for the synthesis of medicinally imperative molecules such as non-steroidal androgen receptor antagonists, antimalarial drug Chloroquine and martinellines with antibacterial activity. 2-Aryl-2,3-dihydroquinolin-4(1H)-ones are present in many natural and non-natural compounds and are considered to be the aza-analogs of favanones. The β-lactam class of antibiotics is generally recognized to be a cornerstone of human health care due to the unparalleled clinical efficacy and safety of this type of antibacterial compound. In addition to their biological relevance as potential antibiotics, β-lactams have also acquired a prominent place in organic chemistry as synthons and provide highly efficient routes to a variety of non-protein amino acids, such as oligopeptides, peptidomimetics, nitrogen-heterocycles, as well as biologically active natural and unnatural products of medicinal interest such as indolizidine alkaloids, paclitaxel, docetaxel, taxoids, cyptophycins, lankacidins, etc. A straight forward route toward the synthesis of quinoline-4-ones via the triflic acid assisted Fries rearrangement of N-aryl-βlactams has been reported by Tepe and co-workers. The ring expansion observed in this case was solely attributed to the inherent ring strain in β-lactam ring because -lactam failed to undergo rearrangement under reaction conditions. Theabovementioned protocol has been recently extended by our group for the synthesis of benzo[b]-azocinon-6-ones via a tandem Michael addition–Fries rearrangement of sorbyl anilides as well as for the single-pot synthesis of 2-aryl-quinolin-4(3H)-ones through the Fries rearrangement of 3-dienyl-βlactams. In continuation with our synthetic endeavours with the β-lactam ring and in view of the lack of convenient approaches for the synthesis of C-3 functionalized quinolin-4(1H)-ones, the present work describes the single-pot synthesis of C-3 functionalized quinolin-4(1H)-ones via the trific acid promoted Fries rearrangement of C-3 vinyl/isopropenyl substituted β-lactams. In addition, DFT calculations and MD simulations were performed to investigate the stability profles of synthetic compounds.
Efficient Synthesis of Highly Functionalized Biologically Important Spirocarbocyclic Oxindoles via Hauser Annulation
The unique structural features of spiro-oxindoles with diverse biological activities have made them privileged structures in new drug discovery. The key structural characteristic of these compounds is the spiro ring fused at the C-3 position of the oxindole core with varied heterocyclic motifs. Structural diversification of heterocyclic scaffolds to synthesize new chemical entities as pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals is one of the important goals of synthetic organic chemists. Nitrogen and oxygen containing heterocycles are by far the most widely occurring privileged structures in medicinal chemistry. The structural complexity and distinct three-dimensional arrangement of functional groups of these privileged structures are generally responsible for their specificity against biological targets. Structurally diverse compound libraries have proved to be valuable assets for drug discovery against challenging biological targets. Thus, identifying a new combination of substituents at C-3 position on oxindole moiety is of great importance in drug discovery to improve the efficiency and efficacy of the drugs. The development of suitable methodology for the synthesis of spiro-oxindole compounds has attracted much interest often in response to the significant biological activity displayed by the both natural and synthetic compounds. So creating structural diversity of oxindole scaffolds is need of the decade and formidable challenge. A general way to improve synthetic efficiency and also to access diversified molecules is through the annulation reactions. Annulation reactions allow the formation of complex compounds starting from simple substrates in a single transformation consisting of several steps in an ecologically and economically favorable way. These observations motivated us to develop the annulation reaction protocol to enable the synthesis of a new class of spiro-oxindole motifs which in turn would enable the enhancement of molecular diversity. As part of our enduring interest in the development of novel, efficient synthetic strategies to enable the synthesis of biologically important oxindole fused spirocarbocyclic systems, We have developed an efficient methodology for the construction of highly functionalized spirocarbocyclic oxindoles through [4+2] annulation of phthalides via Hauser annulation. functionalized spirocarbocyclic oxindoles was accomplished for the first time in the literature using Hauser annulation strategy. The reaction between methyleneindolinones and arylsulfonylphthalides catalyzed by cesium carbonate led to the access of new class of biologically important spiro[indoline-3,2'-naphthalene] derivatives in very good yields. The synthetic utility of the annulated product was further demonstrated by fluorination Using NFSI as a fluorinating agent to furnish corresponding fluorinated product.
Preliminary Design, Production and Characterization of a Coral and Alginate Composite for Bone Engineering
The loss of functional tissue is a ubiquitous and expensive health care problem, with very limited treatment options for these patients. The golden standard for large bone damage is a cadaveric bone as an allograft with stainless steel support; however, this solution only applies to bones with simple morphologies (long bones), has a limited material supply and presents long term problems regarding mechanical strength, integration, differentiation and induction of native bone tissue. Therefore, the fabrication of a scaffold with biological, physical and chemical properties similar to the human bone with a fabrication method for morphology manipulation is the focus of this investigation. Towards this goal, an alginate and coral matrix was created using two production techniques; the coral was chosen because of its chemical composition and the alginate due to its compatibility and mechanical properties. In order to construct the coral alginate scaffold the following methodology was employed; cleaning of the coral, its pulverization, scaffold fabrication and finally the mechanical and biological characterization. The experimental design had: mill method and proportion of alginate and coral, as the two factors, with two and three levels each, using 5 replicates. The coral was cleaned with sodium hypochlorite and hydrogen peroxide in an ultrasonic bath. Then, it was milled with both a horizontal and a ball mill in order to evaluate the morphology of the particles obtained. After this, using a combination of alginate and coral powder and water as a binder, scaffolds of 1cm3 were printed with a SpectrumTM Z510 3D printer. This resulted in solid cubes that were resistant to small compression stress. Then, using a ESQUIM DP-143 silicon mold, constructs used for the mechanical and biological assays were made. An INSTRON 2267® was implemented for the compression tests; the density and porosity were calculated with an analytical balance and the biological tests were performed using cell cultures with VERO fibroblast, and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) as visualization tool. The Young’s moduli were dependent of the pulverization method, the proportion of coral and alginate and the interaction between these factors. The maximum value was 5,4MPa for the 50/50 proportion of alginate and horizontally milled coral. The biological assay showed more extracellular matrix in the scaffolds consisting of more alginate and less coral. The density and porosity were proportional to the amount of coral in the powder mix. These results showed that this composite has potential as a biomaterial, but its behavior is elastic with a small Young’s Modulus, which leads to the conclusion that the application may not be for long bones but for tissues similar to cartilage.
Suitability Verification of Cellulose Nanowhisker as a Scaffold for Bone Tissue Engineering
Scaffolds are an important part to support growth and differentiation of osteoblast for regeneration of injured bone in bone tissue engineering. We utilized tunicate cellulose nanowhisker (CNW) as scaffold and developed complex system that can enhance differentiation of osteoblast by applying mechanical stimulation. CNW, a crystal form of cellulose, has high stiffness with a large surface area and is useful as a biomedical material due to its biodegradability and biocompatibility. In this study, CNW was obtained from tunicate extraction and was confirmed for its adhesion, differentiation, growth of osteoblast without cytotoxicity. In addition, osteoblast was successfully differentiated under mechanical stimulation, followed by calcium dependent signaling. In conclusion, we verified suitability of CNW as scaffold and possibility of bone substitutes.
Effect of the Polymer Modification on the Cytocompatibility of Human and Rat Cells
Tissue engineering includes combination of materials and techniques used for the improvement, repair or replacement of the tissue. Scaffolds, permanent or temporally material, are used as support for the creation of the &quot;new cell structures&quot;. For this important component (scaffold), a variety of materials can be used. The advantage of some polymeric materials is their cytocompatibility and possibility of biodegradation. Poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) is a biodegradable, &nbsp;semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymer. PLLA can be fully degraded into H2O and CO2. In this experiment, the effect of the surface modification of biodegradable polymer (performed by plasma treatment) on the various cell types was studied. The surface parameters and changes of the physicochemical properties of modified PLLA substrates were studied by different methods. Surface wettability was determined by goniometry, surface morphology and roughness study were performed with atomic force microscopy and chemical composition was determined using photoelectron spectroscopy. The physicochemical properties were studied in relation to cytocompatibility of human osteoblast (MG 63 cells), rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC), and human stem cells (ASC) of the adipose tissue in vitro. A fluorescence microscopy was chosen to study and compare cell-material interaction. Important parameters of the cytocompatibility like adhesion, proliferation, viability, shape, spreading of the cells were evaluated. It was found that the modification leads to the change of the surface wettability depending on the time of modification. Short time of exposition (10-120&nbsp;s) can reduce the wettability of the aged samples, exposition longer than 150&nbsp;s causes to increase of contact angle of the aged PLLA. The surface morphology is significantly influenced by duration of modification, too. The plasma treatment involves the formation of the crystallites, whose number increases with increasing time of modification. On the basis of physicochemical properties evaluation, the cells were cultivated on the selected samples. Cell-material interactions are strongly affected by material chemical structure and surface morphology. It was proved that the plasma treatment of PLLA has a positive effect on the adhesion, spreading, homogeneity of distribution and viability of all cultivated cells. This effect was even more apparent for the VSMCs and ASCs which homogeneously covered almost the whole surface of the substrate after 7 days of cultivation. The viability of these cells was high (more than 98% for VSMCs, 89-96% for ASCs). This experiment is one part of the basic research, which aims to easily create scaffolds for tissue engineering with subsequent use of stem cells and their subsequent &quot;reorientation&quot; towards the bone cells or smooth muscle cells.
Numerical Modelling of Effective Diffusivity in Bone Tissue Engineering
The field of tissue engineering is an active area of research. Bone tissue engineering helps to resolve the clinical problems of critical size and non-healing defects by the creation of man-made bone tissue. We will design and validate an efficient numerical model, which will simulate the effective diffusivity in bone tissue engineering. Our numerical model will be based on the finite element analysis of the diffusion-reaction equations. It will have the ability to optimize the diffusivity, even at multi-scale, with the variation of time. It will also have a special feature, with which we will not only be able to predict the oxygen, glucose and cell density dynamics, more accurately, but will also sort the issues arising due to anisotropy. We will fix these problems with the help of modifying the governing equations, by selecting appropriate spatio-temporal finite element schemes, by adaptive grid refinement strategy and by transient analysis.
Starch Incorporated Hydroxyapatite/Chitin Nanocomposite as a Novel Bone Construct
A nanocomposite system integrating hydroxyapatite, chitin and starch (n-HA/CT/ST) has been synthesized via co-precipitation approach at room temperature, addressing the issues of biocompatibility, mechanical strength and cytotoxicity required for Bone tissue engineering. The interactions, crystallite size and surface morphology against n-HA/CT (nano-hydroxyapatite/chitin) nanocomposite have been obtained by correlating and comparing the results of FTIR, SEM, TEM and XRD. The comparative study of the bioactivity of n-HA/CT and n-HA/CT/ST nanocomposites revealed that the incorporation of starch as templating agent improved these properties in n-HA/CT/ST nanocomposite. The rise in thermal stability in n-HA/CT/ST nanocomposite as compared to n-HA/CT has been observed by comparing the TGA results. The comparison of SEM images of both the scaffolds indicated that the addition of ST influenced the surface morphology of n-HA/CT scaffold which appeared to be rougher and porous. The MTT assay on murine fibroblast L929 cells and in-vitro bioactivity of n-HA/CT/ST matrix referred superior non-toxic property of n-HA/CT/ST nanocomposite and higher possibility of osteo-integration in-vivo, respectively.
Characterization of Retinal Pigmented Cell Epithelium Cell Sheet Cultivated on Synthetic Scaffold
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading cause of blindness. It can cause severe visual loss due to damaged retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). RPE is an important component of the retinal tissue. It functions as a transducing boundary for visual perception making it an essential factor for sight. The RPE also functions as a metabolically complex and functional cell layer that is responsible for the local homeostasis and maintenance of the extra photoreceptor environment. Thus one of the suggested method of treating such diseases would be regenerating these RPE cells. As such, we intend to grow these cells using a synthetic scaffold to provide a stable environment that reduces the batch effects found in natural scaffolds. Stiffness of the scaffold will also be investigated to determine the optimal Young’s modulus for cultivating these cells. The cells will be generated into a monolayer cell sheet and their functions such as formation of tight junctions and gene expression patterns will be assessed to evaluate the cell sheet quality compared to a native RPE tissue.
Determining the Electrospinning Parameters of Poly(ε-Caprolactone)
Electrospinning is a versatile way to occur fibers at nano-scale and polycaprolactone is a biomedical material which has a wide usage in cartilage defects and tissue regeneration. PCL is biocompatible and durable material which can be used in bio-implants. Therefore, electrospinning process was chosen as a fabrication method to get PCL fibers in an effective way because of its significant adjustments. In this research study, electrospinning parameters was evaluated during the producing of polymer tissue scaffolds. Polycaprolactone’s molecular weight was 80.000 Da and was employed as a tissue material in the electrospinning process. PCL was decomposed in dimethylformamid(DMF) and chloroform(CF) with the weight ratio of 1:1. Different compositions (1%, 3%, 5%, 10% and 20 %) of PCL was prepared in the laboratory conditions. All solvents with different percentages of PCL have been taken into the syringe and loaded into the electrospinning system. In electrospinning dozens of trial were applied to get homogeneously uniform scaffold samples. Taylor cone which is crucial point for electrospinning characteristic was occurred and changed in different voltages up to the material compositions’ conductivity. While the PCL percentages were increasing in the electrospinning, structure started to arise with droplets, which was an expressive problem for tissue scaffold. The vertical and horizontal layouts were applied to produce non-woven structures at all.
A Textile-Based Scaffold for Skin Replacements
The therapeutic treatment of extensive, deep wounds is limited. Autologous split-skin grafts are used as a so-called ‘gold standard’. Most common deficits are the defects at the donor site, the risk of scarring as well as the limited availability and quality of the autologous grafts. The aim of this project is a tissue engineered dermal-epidermal skin replacement to overcome the limitations of the gold standard. A key requirement for the development of such a three-dimensional implant is the formation of a functional capillary-like network inside the implant to ensure a sufficient nutrient and gas supply. Tailored three-dimensional warp knitted spacer fabrics are used to reinforce the mechanically week fibrin gel-based scaffold and further to create a directed in vitro pre-vascularization along the parallel-oriented pile yarns within a co-culture. In this study various three-dimensional warp knitted spacer fabrics were developed in a factorial design to analyze the influence of the machine parameters such as the stitch density and the pattern of the fabric on the scaffold performance and further to determine suitable parameters for a successful fibrin gel-incorporation and a physiological performance of the scaffold. The fabrics were manufactured on a Karl Mayer double-bar raschel machine DR 16 EEC/EAC. A fine machine gauge of E30 was used to ensure a high pile yarn density for sufficient nutrient, gas and waste exchange. In order to ensure a high mechanical stability of the graft, the fabrics were made of biocompatible PVDF yarns. Key parameters such as the pore size, porosity and stress/strain behavior were investigated under standardized, controlled climate conditions. The influence of the input parameters on the mechanical and morphological properties as well as the ability of fibrin gel incorporation into the spacer fabric was analyzed. Subsequently, the pile yarns of the spacer fabrics were colonized with Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVEC) to analyze the ability of the fabric to further function as a guiding structure for a directed vascularization. The cells were stained with DAPI and investigated using fluorescence microscopy. The analysis revealed that the stitch density and the binding pattern have a strong influence on both the mechanical and morphological properties of the fabric. As expected, the incorporation of the fibrin gel was significantly improved with higher pore sizes and porosities, whereas the mechanical strength decreases. Furthermore, the colonization trials revealed a high cell distribution and density on the pile yarns of the spacer fabrics. For a tailored reinforcing structure, the minimum porosity and pore size needs to be evaluated which still ensures a complete incorporation of the reinforcing structure into the fibrin gel matrix. That will enable a mechanically stable dermal graft with a dense vascular network for a sufficient nutrient and oxygen supply of the cells. The results are promising for subsequent research in the field of reinforcing mechanically weak biological scaffolds and develop functional three-dimensional scaffolds with an oriented pre-vascularization.
Improved 3D Structure Prediction of Beta-Barrel Membrane Proteins by Using Evolutionary Coupling Constraints, Reduced State Space and an Empirical Potential Function
Beta-barrel membrane proteins are found in the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria, mitochondria, and chloroplasts. They carry out diverse biological functions, including pore formation, membrane anchoring, enzyme activity, and bacterial virulence. In addition, beta-barrel membrane proteins increasingly serve as scaffolds for bacterial surface display and nanopore-based DNA sequencing. Due to difficulties in experimental structure determination, they are sparsely represented in the protein structure databank and computational methods can help to understand their biophysical principles. We have developed a novel computational method to predict the 3D structure of beta-barrel membrane proteins using evolutionary coupling (EC) constraints and a reduced state space. Combined with an empirical potential function, we can successfully predict strand register at > 80% accuracy for a set of 49 non-homologous proteins with known structures. This is a significant improvement from previous results using EC alone (44%) and using empirical potential function alone (73%). Our method is general and can be applied to genome-wide structural prediction.
Synthesis of Biologically Active Heterocyclic Compounds via C-H Bond Activation
The isoindoline, indazole and indole heterocycles are ubiquitous structural motif found in heterocyclic compounds as they exhibit biological and medicinal applications. For example, isoindoline motif is present in molecules that act as endothelin-A receptor antagonists and dipeptidyl peptidase inhibitors. Moreover, isoindoline derivatives are very crucial constituents in the field of materials science as attractive candidates for organic light-emitting devices. However, compounds containing the indazole motif are known to exhibit to a variety of biological activities, such as estrogen receptor, HIV protease inhibition and anti-tumor activity. The prevalence of indazoles and indoles has led to the development of many useful methods for their preparation. Thus, isoindoline, indazole and indole heterocycles can be new candidates for the next generation of pharmaceuticals. Therefore, the development of highly efficient strategies for the formation of these heterocyclic architectures is an area of great interest in organic synthesis. The past years, transition-metal-catalyzed C−H activation followed by annulation reaction has been frequently used as a powerful tool to construct various heterocycles. Herein, we describe our recent achievements about the transition-metal-catalyzed tandem cyclization reactions of N-benzyltriflamides, 1,2-disubstituted arylhydrazines, acetanilides, etc. via C−H bond activation to access the corresponding bioactive heterocylic scaffolds.
Discovery of New Inhibitors for Colorectal Cancer Treatment
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the main causes of cancer death in the world. Although several drugs have been developed to treat colorectal cancer, such as Regorafenib and 5-FU, their efficacy is often limited by the development of drug resistance. Therefore, development of new drugs with new scaffolds is necessary to treat CRC. Here, we used site-moiety maps to identify inhibitors against PIM1, LIMK1, SRC, and mTOR, which are often overexpressed in CRC. A site-moiety map represents physicochemical properties and moiety preferences of a binding site through anchors. An anchor contains three elements: (1) conserved interacting residues of a binding pocket; (2) moiety preference of the binding pocket; and (3) the type (e.g., hydrogen-bonding or van der Waals interactions) of interaction between the moieties and the binding pocket. Then, we performed a structure-based virtual screening of ~260,000 compounds and selected compound candidates with high site-moiety map scores for bioassays. Among these candidates, compound 1 and compound 2 inhibited the growth of CRC cells with IC50 values of
Reconstructing Calvarial Bone Lesions Using PHBV Scaffolds and Cord Blood Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Rat
For tissue engineering of bone, anatomical and operational reconstructions of damaged tissue seem to be vital. This is done via reconstruction of bone and appropriate biological joint with bone tissues of damaged areas. In this study the condition of biodegradable bed Nanofibrous PHBV and USSC cells were used to accelerate bone repair of damaged area. Hollow nanofabrication scaffold of damageable life was designed as PHBV by electrospinning and via determining the best factors such as the kind and amount of solvent, specific volume and rate. The separation of osseous tissue infiltration and evaluating its nature by flow cytometrocical analysis was done. Animal test including USSC as well as PHBV condition in the damaged bone was done in the rat. After 8 weeks the implanted area was analyzed using CT scan and was sent to histopathology ward. Finally, the rate and quality of reconstruction were determined after H and E coloring. Histomorphic analysis indicated a statistically significant difference between the experimental group of PHBV, USSC+PHBV and control group. Besides, the histopathologic analysis showed that bone reconstruction rate was high in the area containing USSC and PHBV, compared with area having PHBV and control group and consequently the reconstruction quality of bones and the relationship between the new bone tissues and surrounding bone tissues were high too. Using PHBR scaffold and USSC together could be useful in the amending of wide range of bone lesion.
Effect of B2O3 Addition on Sol-gel Synthesized 45S5 Bioglass
Ceramics or glass ceramics with the property of bone bonding at the nearby tissues and producing possible bone in growth are known to be bioactive. The most extensively used glass in this context is 45S5 which is a silica based bioglass mostly explored in the field of tissue engineering as scaffolds for bone repair. Nowadays, the borate based bioglass are being utilized in orthopedic area largely due to its superior bioactivity with the formation of bone bonding. An attempt has been made, in the present study, to observe the effect of B2O3 addition in 45S5 glass and perceive its consequences on the thermal, mechanical and biological properties. The B2O3 was added in 1, 2.5, and 5 wt% with simultaneous reduction in the silica content of the 45S5 composition. The borate based bioglass has been synthesized by the means of sol-gel route. The synthesized powders were then thermally analyzed by DSC-TG. The as synthesized powders were then calcined at 600ºC for 2hrs. The calcined powders were then pressed into pellets followed by sintering at 850ºC with a holding time of 2hrs. The phase analysis and the microstructural analysis of the as synthesized and calcined powder glass samples and the sintered glass samples were being carried out using XRD and FESEM respectively. The formation of hydroxyapatite layer was performed by immersing the sintered samples in the simulated body fluid (SBF) and mechanical property has been tested for the sintered samples by universal testing machine (UTM). The sintered samples showed the presence of sodium calcium silicate phase while the formation of hydroxyapaptite takes place for SBF immersed samples. The formation of hydroxyapatite is more pronounced in case of borated based glass samples instead of 45S5.
The Effect of Micro/Nano Structure of Poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) Film Using a Two-Step Process (Casting/Plasma) on Cellular Responses
One of the important factors in tissue engineering is to design optimal biomedical scaffolds, which can be governed by topographical surface characteristics, such as size, shape, and direction. Of these properties, we focused on the effects of nano- to micro-sized hierarchical surface. To fabricate the hierarchical surface structure on poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) film, we employed a micro-casting technique by pressing the mold and nano-etching technique using a modified plasma process. The micro-sized topography of PCL film was controlled by sizes of the micro structures on lotus leaf. Also, the nano-sized topography and hydrophilicity of PCL film were controlled by a modified plasma process. After the plasma treatment, the hydrophobic property of the PCL film was significantly changed into hydrophilic property, and the nano-sized structure was well developed. The surface properties of the modified PCL film were investigated in terms of initial cell morphology, attachment, and proliferation using osteoblast-like-cells (MG63). In particular, initial cell attachment, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation in the hierarchical structure were enhanced dramatically compared to those of the smooth surface. We believe that these results are because of a synergistic effect between the hierarchical structure and the reactive functional groups due to the plasma process. Based on the results presented here, we propose a new biomimetic surface model that maybe useful for effectively regenerating hard tissues.
Apparent Temperature Distribution on Scaffoldings during Construction Works
People on construction scaffoldings work in dynamically changing, often unfavorable climate. Additionally, this kind of work is performed on low stiffness structures at high altitude, which increases the risk of accidents. It is therefore desirable to define the parameters of the work environment that contribute to increasing the construction worker occupational safety level. The aim of this article is to present how changes in microclimate parameters on scaffolding can impact the development of dangerous situations and accidents. For this purpose, indicators based on the human thermal balance were used. However use of this model under construction conditions is often burdened by significant errors or even impossible to implement due to the lack of precise data. Thus, in the target model, the modified parameter was used – apparent environmental temperature. Apparent temperature in the proposed Scaffold Use Risk Assessment Model has been perceived outdoor temperature, caused by the combined effects of air temperature, radiative temperature, relative humidity and wind speed (wind chill index, heat index). The paper presents correlations between component factors and apparent temperature for facade scaffolding with a width of 24.5 m and a height of 42.3 m, located at south-west side of building. The distribution of factors on the scaffolding has been used to evaluate fitting of the microclimate model. The results of the studies indicate that observed ranges of apparent temperature on the scaffolds frequently results in worker's inability to adapt. This leads to reduced concentration, increased fatigue, adversely affects health, and consequently increases the risk of dangerous situations and accidental injuries.
Sonodynamic Activity of Porphyrins-SWCNT
In recent years, medical science has improved chemotherapy, radiation therapy and adjuvant therapy and has developed newer targeted therapies as well as refining surgical techniques for removing cancer. However, the chances of surviving the disease depend greatly on the type and location of the cancer and the extent of the disease at the start of treatment. Moreover, mainstream forms of cancer treatment have side effects which range from the unpleasant to the fatal. Therefore, the continuation of progress in anti-cancer therapy may depend on placing emphasis on other existing but less thoroughly investigated therapeutic approaches such as Sonodynamic Therapy (SDT). SDT is based on the local activation of a so called 'sonosensitizer', a molecule able to be excited by ultrasound, the radical production as a consequence of its relaxation processes and cell death due to different mechanisms induced by radical production. The present work deals with synthesis, characterization and preliminary in vitro test of Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWCNT) decorated with porphyrins and biological vectors. The SWCNT’s surface was modified exploiting 1, 3-dipolar cycloaddition or Dies Alder reactions. For this purpose, different porphyrins scaffolds were ad-hoc synthesized using also non-conventional techniques. To increase cellular specificity of porphyrin-conjugated SWCNTs and to improve their ability to be suspended in aqueous solution, the modified nano-tubes were grafted with suitable glutamine or hyaluronic acid derivatives. These nano-sized sonosensitizers were characterized by several methodologies and tested in vitro on different cancer cell lines.
Shear Stress and Oxygen Concentration Manipulation in a Micropillars Microfluidic Bioreactor
Microfluidics is a promising approach for biomedicine cell culture experiments with microfluidic bioreactors (MBR), which can provide high precision in volume and time control over mass transport and microenvironments in small-scale studies. Nevertheless, shear stress and oxygen concentration are important factors that affect the microenvironment and then the cell culture. It is presented a novel MBR design in which differences in geometry, shear stress, and oxygen concentration were studied and optimized for cell culture. The aim is to mimic the in vivo condition with biocompatible materials and continuous perfusion of nutrients, a healthy shear stress, and oxygen concentration. The design consists of a capture system of PDMS micropillars which keep cells in place, so it is not necessary any hydrogel or complicated scaffolds for cells immobilization. Besides, the design allows continuous supply with nutrients or even any other chemical for cell experimentation. Finite element method simulations were used to study and optimize the effect of parameters such as flow rate, shear stress, oxygen concentration, micropillars shape, and dimensions. The micropillars device was fabricated with microsystem technology such as soft-lithography, deep reactive ion etching, self-assembled monolayer, replica molding, and oxygen plasma bonding. Eight different geometries were fabricated and tested, with different flow rates according to the simulations. During the experiments, it was observed the effect of micropillars size, shape, and configuration for stability and shear stress control when increasing flow rate. The device was tested with several successful HepG2 3D cell cultures. With this MBR, the aforementioned parameters can be controlled in order to keep a healthy microenvironment according to specific necessities of different cell types, with no need of hydrogels and can be used for a wide range of experiments with cells.
NMR-Based Metabolomic Study of Antimalarial Plant Species Used Traditionally by Vha-Venda People in Limpopo Province, South Africa
Regardless of the significant advances accomplished in reducing the burden of malaria and other tropical diseases in recent years, malaria remains a major cause of mortality in endemic countries. This is especially the case in sub-Saharan Africa where 99% of the estimated global malaria deaths occurs on an annual basis. The emergence of resistant Plasmodium species and the lack of diversified chemotherapeutic agents provide the rationale for bioprospecting for antiplasmodial scaffolds. Crude extracts from twenty indigenous antimalarial plant species were screened for antimalarial activity and then subjected to 1H NMR-based metabolomic analysis. Ten plant extracts exhibited significant in vitro antiplasmodial activity (IC50 ≤ 5 µg/ml). The Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of the acquired 1H NMR spectra could not separate the analyzed plant extracts according to the detected antiplasmodial bioactivity. Application of supervised Orthogonal Projections to Latent Structures–Discriminant Analysis (OPLS-DA) to the 1H NMR profiles resulted in a discrimination pattern that could be correlated to bioactivity. A contribution plot generated from the OPLS-DA scoring plot illustrated the classes of compounds responsible for the observed grouping. Given the preliminary in vitro results, Tabernaemontana elegans Stapf. (Apocynaceae) and Vangueria infausta Burch. subsp. infausta (Rubiaceae) were subjected to further phytochemical investigations. Two indole alkaloids, dregamine and tabernaemontanine possessing antiplasmodial activity were isolated from T. elegans. Two compounds were isolated from V. infausta subsp. infausta and identified as friedelin (IC50 = 3.01 µg/ml) and morindolide (IC50 = 18.5 µg/ml). While these compounds have been previously identified, this is the first account of their occurrence in the genus Vangueria and their antiplasmodial activity. Based on the results of the study, metabolomics can be used to globally identify classes of plant secondary metabolites that are responsible for antiplasmodial activity.
Bioreactor for Cell-Based Impedance Measuring with Diamond Coated Gold Interdigitated Electrodes
Cell-based impedance spectroscopy is suitable method for electrical monitoring of cell activity especially on substrates that cannot be easily inspected by optical microscope (without fluorescent markers) like decellularized tissues, nano-fibrous scaffold etc. Special sensor for this measurement was developed. This sensor consists of corning glass substrate with gold interdigitated electrodes covered with diamond layer. This diamond layer provides biocompatible non-conductive surface for cells. Also, a special PPFC flow cultivation chamber was developed. This chamber is able to fix sensor in place. The spring contacts are connecting sensor pads with external measuring device. Construction allows real-time live cell imaging. Combining with perfusion system allows medium circulation and generating shear stress stimulation. Experimental evaluation consist of several setups, including pure sensor without any coating and also collagen and fibrin coating was done. The Adipose derived stem cells (ASC) and Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were seeded onto sensor in cultivation chamber. Then the chamber was installed into microscope system for live-cell imaging. The impedance measurement was utilized by vector impedance analyzer. The measured range was from 10 Hz to 40 kHz. These impedance measurements were correlated with live-cell microscopic imaging and immunofluorescent staining. Data analysis of measured signals showed response to cell adhesion of substrates, their proliferation and also change after shear stress stimulation which are important parameters during cultivation. Further experiments plan to use decellularized tissue as scaffold fixed on sensor. This kind of impedance sensor can provide feedback about cell culture conditions on opaque surfaces and scaffolds that can be used in tissue engineering in development artificial prostheses. This work was supported by the Ministry of Health, grants No. 15-29153A and 15-33018A.
Non-Cytotoxic Natural Sourced Inorganic Hydroxyapatite (HAp) Scaffold Facilitate Bone-like Mechanical Support and Cell Proliferation
Bioactive materials improve devices for a long lifespan but have mechanical limitations. Mechanical characterization is one of the very important characteristics to evaluate the life span and functionality of the scaffold material. After implantation of scaffold material the primary stage rejection of scaffold occurs due to non biocompatible effect of host body system. The second major problems occur due to the effect of mechanical failure. The mechanical and biocompatibility failure of the scaffold materials can be overcome by the prior evaluation of the scaffold materials. In this study chemically treated Labeo rohita scale is used for synthesizing hydroxyapatite (HAp) biomaterial. Thermo-gravimetric and differential thermal analysis (TG-DTA) is carried out to ensure thermal stability. The chemical composition and bond structures of wet ball-milled calcined HAp powder is characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FE-SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis. Fish scale derived apatite materials consists of nano-sized particles with Ca/P ratio of 1.71. The biocompatibility through cytotoxicity evaluation and MTT assay are carried out in MG63 osteoblast cell lines. In the cell attachment study, the cells are tightly attached with HAp scaffolds developed in the laboratory. The result clearly suggests that HAp material synthesized in this study do not have any cytotoxic effect, as well as it has a natural binding affinity for mammalian cell lines. The synthesized HAp powder further successfully used to develop porous scaffold material with suitable mechanical property of ~0.8GPa compressive stress, ~1.10 GPa a hardness and ~ 30-35% porosity which is acceptable for implantation in trauma region for animal model. The histological analysis also supports the bio-affinity of processed HAp biomaterials in Wistar rat model for investigating the contact reaction and stability at the artificial or natural prosthesis interface for biomedical function. This study suggests the natural sourced fish scale-derived HAp material could be used as a suitable alternative biomaterial for tissue engineering application in near future.
Study of the Combinatorial Impact of Substrate Properties on Mesenchymal Stem Cell Migration Using Microfluidics
Cell Migration is a vital phenomenon that the cells undergo in various physiological processes like wound healing, disease progression, embryogenesis, etc. Cell migration depends primarily on the chemical and physical cues available in the cellular environment. The chemical cue involves the chemokines secreted and gradients generated in the environment while physical cues indicate the impact of matrix properties like nanotopography and stiffness on the cells. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) have been shown to have a role wound healing in vivo and its migration to the site of the wound has been shown to have a therapeutic effect. In the field of stem cell based tissue regeneration of bones and cartilage, one approach has been to introduce scaffold laden with MSCs into the site of injury to enable tissue regeneration. In this work, we have studied the combinatorial impact of the substrate physical properties on MSC migration. A microfluidic in vitro model was created to perform the migration studies. The microfluidic model used is a three compartment device consisting of two cell seeding compartments and one migration compartment. Four different PDMS substrates with varying substrate roughness, stiffness and hydrophobicity were created. Its surface roughness and stiffness was measured using Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) while its hydrphobicity was measured from the water contact angle using an optical tensiometer. These PDMS substrates are sealed to the microfluidic chip following which the MSCs are seeded and the cell migration is studied over the period of a week. Cell migration was quantified using fluorescence imaging of the cytoskeleton (F-actin) to find out the area covered by the cells inside the migration compartment. The impact of adhesion proteins on cell migration was also quantified using a real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT PCR). These results suggested that the optimal substrate for cell migration would be one with an intermediate level of roughness, stiffness and hydrophobicity. A higher or lower value of these properties affected cell migration negatively. These observations have helped us in understanding that different substrate properties need to be considered in tandem, especially while designing scaffolds for tissue regeneration as cell migration is normally impacted by the combinatorial impact of the matrix. These observations may lead us to scaffold optimization in future tissue regeneration applications.
Consumption and Diffusion Based Model of Tissue Organoid Development
In vitro organoid cultivation requires the simultaneous provision of necessary vascularization and nutrients perfusion of cells during organoid development. However, many aspects of this problem are still unsolved. The functionality of vascular network intergrowth is limited during early stages of organoid development since a function of the vascular network initiated on final stages of in vitro organoid cultivation. Therefore, a microchannel network should be created in early stages of organoid cultivation in hydrogel matrix aimed to conduct and maintain minimally required the level of nutrients perfusion for all cells in the expanding organoid. The network configuration should be designed properly in order to exclude hypoxic and necrotic zones in expanding organoid at all stages of its cultivation. In vitro vascularization is currently the main issue within the field of tissue engineering. As perfusion and oxygen transport have direct effects on cell viability and differentiation, researchers are currently limited only to tissues of few millimeters in thickness. These limitations are imposed by mass transfer and are defined by the balance between the metabolic demand of the cellular components in the system and the size of the scaffold. Current approaches include growth factor delivery, channeled scaffolds, perfusion bioreactors, microfluidics, cell co-cultures, cell functionalization, modular assembly, and in vivo systems. These approaches may improve cell viability or generate capillary-like structures within a tissue construct. Thus, there is a fundamental disconnect between defining the metabolic needs of tissue through quantitative measurements of oxygen and nutrient diffusion and the potential ease of integration into host vasculature for future in vivo implantation. A model is proposed for growth prognosis of the organoid perfusion based on joint simulations of general nutrient diffusion, nutrient diffusion to the hydrogel matrix through the contact surfaces and microchannels walls, nutrient consumption by the cells of expanding organoid, including biomatrix contraction during tissue development, which is associated with changed consumption rate of growing organoid cells. The model allows computing effective microchannel network design giving minimally required the level of nutrients concentration in all parts of growing organoid. It can be used for preliminary planning of microchannel network design and simulations of nutrients supply rate depending on the stage of organoid development.
Predictive Pathogen Biology: Genome-Based Prediction of Pathogenic Potential and Countermeasures Targets
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) and recombination leads to the emergence of bacterial antibiotic resistance and pathogenic traits. HGT events can be identified by comparing a large number of fully sequenced genomes across a species or genus, define the phylogenetic range of HGT, and find potential sources of new resistance genes. In-depth comparative phylogenomics can also identify subtle genome or plasmid structural changes or mutations associated with phenotypic changes. Comparative phylogenomics requires that accurately sequenced, complete and properly annotated genomes of the organism. Assembling closed genomes requires additional mate-pair reads or “long read” sequencing data to accompany short-read paired-end data. To bring down the cost and time required of producing assembled genomes and annotating genome features that inform drug resistance and pathogenicity, we are analyzing the performance for genome assembly of data from the Illumina NextSeq, which has faster throughput than the Illumina HiSeq (~1-2 days versus ~1 week), and shorter reads (150bp paired-end versus 300bp paired end) but higher capacity (150-400M reads per run versus ~5-15M) compared to the Illumina MiSeq. Bioinformatics improvements are also needed to make rapid, routine production of complete genomes a reality. Modern assemblers such as SPAdes 3.6.0 running on a standard Linux blade are capable in a few hours of converting mixes of reads from different library preps into high-quality assemblies with only a few gaps. Remaining breaks in scaffolds are generally due to repeats (e.g., rRNA genes) are addressed by our software for gap closure techniques, that avoid custom PCR or targeted sequencing. Our goal is to improve the understanding of emergence of pathogenesis using sequencing, comparative genomics, and machine learning analysis of ~1000 pathogen genomes. Machine learning algorithms will be used to digest the diverse features (change in virulence genes, recombination, horizontal gene transfer, patient diagnostics). Temporal data and evolutionary models can thus determine whether the origin of a particular isolate is likely to have been from the environment (could it have evolved from previous isolates). It can be useful for comparing differences in virulence along or across the tree. More intriguing, it can test whether there is a direction to virulence strength. This would open new avenues in the prediction of uncharacterized clinical bugs and multidrug resistance evolution and pathogen emergence.
Synergistic Effect of Chondroinductive Growth Factors and Synovium-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Regeneration of Cartilage Defects in Rabbits
Regeneration of injured articular cartilage remains one of the most difficult and unsolved problems in traumatology and orthopedics. Currently, for the treatment of cartilage defects surgical techniques for stimulation of the regeneration of cartilage in damaged joints such as multiple microperforation, mosaic chondroplasty, abrasion and microfractures is used. However, as shown by clinical practice, they can not provide a full and sustainable recovery of articular hyaline cartilage. In this regard, the current high hopes in the regeneration of cartilage defects reasonably are associated with the use of tissue engineering approaches to restore the structural and functional characteristics of damaged joints using stem cells, growth factors and biopolymers or scaffolds. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of chondroinductive growth factors and synovium-derived mesenchymal stem cells (SD-MSCs) on the regeneration of cartilage defects in rabbits. SD-MSCs were isolated from the synovium membrane of Flemish giant rabbits, and expanded in complete culture medium α-MEM. Rabbit SD-MSCs were characterized by CFU-assay and by their ability to differentiate into osteoblasts, chondrocytes and adipocytes. The effects of growth factors (TGF-β1, BMP-2, BMP-4 and IGF-I) on MSC chondrogenesis were examined in micromass pellet cultures using histological and biochemical analysis. Articular cartilage defect (4mm in diameter) in the intercondylar groove of the patellofemoral joint was performed with a kit for the mosaic chondroplasty. The defect was made until subchondral bone plate. Delivery of SD-MSCs and growth factors was conducted in combination with hyaloronic acid (HA). SD-MSCs, growth factors and control groups were compared macroscopically and histologically at 10, 30, 60 and 90 days aftrer intra-articular injection. Our in vitro comparative study revealed that TGF-β1 and BMP-4 are key chondroinductive factors for both the growth and chondrogenesis of SD-MSCs. The highest effect on MSC chondrogenesis was observed with the synergistic interaction of TGF-β1 and BMP-4. In addition, biochemical analysis of the chondrogenic micromass pellets also revealed that the levels of glycosaminoglycans and DNA after combined treatment with TGF-β1 and BMP-4 was significantly higher in comparison to individual application of these factors. In vivo study showed that for complete regeneration of cartilage defects with intra-articular injection of SD-MSCs with HA takes time 90 days. However, single injection of SD-MSCs in combiantion with TGF-β1, BMP-4 and HA significantly promoted regeneration rate of the cartilage defects in rabbits. In this case, complete regeneration of cartilage defects was observed in 30 days after intra-articular injection. Thus, our in vitro and in vivo study demonstrated that combined application of rabbit SD-MSC with chondroinductive growth factors and HA results in strong synergistic effect on the chondrogenesis significantly enhancing regeneration of the damaged cartilage.
A Computational Approach to Screen Antagonist’s Molecule against Mycobacterium tuberculosis Lipoprotein LprG (Rv1411c)
Tuberculosis (TB) caused by bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) continues to take a disturbing toll on human life and healthcare facility worldwide. The global burden of TB remains enormous. The alarming rise of multi-drug resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis calls for an increase in research efforts towards the development of new target specific therapeutics against diverse strains of M. tuberculosis. Therefore, the discovery of new molecular scaffolds targeting new drug sites should be a priority for a workable plan for fighting resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Mtb non-acylated lipoprotein LprG (Rv1411c) has a Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) agonist actions that depend on its association with triacylated glycolipids binding specifically with the hydrophobic pocket of Mtb LprG lipoprotein. The detection of a glycolipid carrier function has important implications for the role of LprG in Mycobacterial physiology and virulence. Therefore, considering the pivotal role of glycolipids in mycobacterial physiology and host-pathogen interactions, designing competitive antagonist (chemotherapeutics) ligands that competitively bind to glycolipid binding domain in LprG lipoprotein, will lead to inhibition of tuberculosis infection in humans. In this study, a unified approach involving ligand-based virtual screening protocol USRCAT (Ultra Shape Recognition) software and molecular docking studies using Auto Dock Vina 1.1.2 using the X-ray crystal structure of Mtb LprG protein was implemented. The docking results were further confirmed by DSX (DrugScore eXtented), a robust program to evaluate the binding energy of ligands bound to the Ligand binding domain of the Mtb LprG lipoprotein. The ligand, which has the higher hypothetical affinity, also has greater negative value. Based on the USRCAT, Lipinski’s values and molecular docking results, [(2R)-2,3-di(hexadecanoyl oxy)propyl][(2S,3S,5S,6R)-3,4,5-trihydroxy-2,6-bis[[(2R,3S,4S,5R,6S)-3,4,5-trihydroxy-6 (hydroxymethyl)tetrahydropyran-2-yl]oxy]cyclohexyl] phosphate (XPX) was confirmed as a promising drug-like lead compound (antagonist) binding specifically to the hydrophobic domain of LprG protein with affinity greater than that of PIM2 (agonist of LprG protein) with a free binding energy of -9.98e+006 Kcal/mol and binding affinity of -132 Kcal/mol, respectively. A further, in vitro assay of this compound is required to establish its potency in inhibiting molecular evasion mechanism of MTB within the infected host macrophages. These results will certainly be helpful in future anti-TB drug discovery efforts against Multidrug-Resistance Tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
Human Factors as the Main Reason of the Accident in Scaffold Use Assessment Model
Problems concerning safety, occupational health, and Safety Climate are commonly found in the construction industry, including materials or people falling from a height, stepping on objects and injuries by hand tools handling. An important factor in the occupational safety among construction enterprises is the use of the scaffold. Therefore, it is crucial to work on safety and risk assessment in construction industry, especially on scaffolds. Thus, a method and tools for the accident risks as well as liability assessment seem to be essential for professionals. In these conditions, the consortium of three Polish universities with the participation of Portugal researchers since 2015 has undertaken a research project. Main goal of the research project is Scaffold Use Risk Assessment Model (SURAM) formulation, developed for the assessment of risk levels as a various construction process stages with various work trades. Finally, in 2016, the project received financing by the National Center for Research and development according to PBS3/A2/19/2015 – Research Grant. Method: One of the arms of the research project is the assessment of worker visual concentration on the sight zones as well as risky visual point inadequate observation. In this part of research, the mobile eye-tracker was used to monitor the worker observation zones. SMI Eye Tracking Glasses is a tool, which allows us to analyze in real time and place where our eyesight is concentrated on and consequently build the map of worker's eyesight concentration during a shift. While the project is still running, currently 64 construction sites have been examined, and more than 600 workers took part in the experiment including monitoring of typical parameters of the work regimen, workload, microclimate, sound vibration, etc. Full equipment can also be useful in more advanced analyses. Because of that technology we have verified not only main focus of workers eyes during work on or next to scaffolding, but we also have examined which changes in the surrounding environment during their shift influenced their concentration. Results: We have found that only up to 45,75% time during the examination the eyesight concentration on any of the three places of their work sight-zones. Workers seem to be distracted by noisy vehicles or people nearby. In opposite to our initial assumptions and findings by other authors, we have found that parts of the scaffoldings that are reflective aren’t more noticeable by workers in their direct work area. For now, we have noticed only at some of the scaffoldings red curbs as an only part of it that is more reflective than others. Surprisingly on numbers of samples, we have not recognize any significant number of concentration on those curbs. Conclusion: We have found the eye-tracking method useful for the construction of the SURAM model in the risk perception and worker’s behavior sub-modules. We also have found that the initial worker's stress and work visual conditions seem to be more predictive for assessment of the risky developing situation or an accident than other parameters relating to a work environment.
Cryotopic Macroporous Polymeric Matrices for Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering Applications
Three-dimensional matrices were fabricated from blend of natural-natural polymers like carrageenan-gelatin and synthetic -natural polymers such as PEG- gelatin (PEG of different molecular weights (2,000 and 6,000) using two different crosslinkers; glutaraldehyde and EDC-NHS by cryogelation technique. Blends represented a feasible approach to design 3-D scaffolds with controllable mechanical, physical and biochemical properties without compromising biocompatibility and biodegradability. These matrices possessed interconnected porous structure, good mechanical strength, biodegradable nature, constant swelling kinetics, ability to withstand high temperature and visco-elastic behavior. Hemocompatibility of cryogel matrices was determined by coagulation assays and hemolytic activity assay which demonstrated that these cryogels have negligible effects on coagulation time and have excellent blood compatibility. In vitro biocompatibility (cell-matrix interaction) inferred good cell adhesion, proliferation, and secretion of ECM on matrices. These matrices provide a microenvironment for the growth, proliferation, differentiation and secretion of ECM of different cell types such as IMR-32, C2C12, Cos-7, rat bone marrow derived MSCs and human bone marrow MSCs. Hoechst 33342 and PI staining also confirmed that the cells were uniformly distributed, adhered and proliferated properly on the cryogel matrix. An ideal scaffold used for tissue engineering application should allow the cells to adhere, proliferate and maintain their functionality. Neurotransmitter analysis has been done which indicated that IMR-32 cells adhered, proliferated and secreted neurotransmitters when they interacted with these matrices which showed restoration of their functionality. The cell-matrix interaction up to molecular level was also evaluated so to check genotoxicity and protein expression profile which indicated that these cryogel matrices are non-genotoxic and maintained biofunctionality of cells growing on these matrices. All these cryogels, when implanted subcutaneously in balb/c mice, showed no adverse systemic or local toxicity effects at implantation site. There was no significant increase in inflammatory cell count has otherwise been observed after scaffold implantation. These cryogels are supermacroporous and this porous structure allows cell infiltration and proliferation of host cells. This showed the integration and presence of infiltrated cells into the cryogel implants. Histological analysis confirmed that the implanted cryogels do not have any adverse effect in spite of host immune system recognition at the site of implantation, on its surrounding tissues and other vital host organs. In vivo biocompatibility study after in vitro biocompatibility analysis has also concluded that these synthesized cryogels act as important biological substitutes, more adaptable and appropriate for transplantation. Thus, these cryogels showed their potential for soft tissue engineering applications.
A Novel Concept of Optical Immunosensor Based on High-Affinity Recombinant Protein Binders for Tailored Target-Specific Detection
Recently, novel strategies based on so-called molecular evolution were shown to be effective for the production of various peptide ligand libraries with high affinities to molecular targets of interest comparable or even better than monoclonal antibodies. The major advantage of these peptide scaffolds is mainly their prevailing low molecular weight and simple structure. This study describes a new high-affinity binding molecules based immunesensor using a simple optical system for human serum albumin (HSA) detection as a model molecule. We present a comparison of two variants of recombinant binders based on albumin binding domain of the protein G (ABD) performed on micropatterned glass chip. Binding domains may be tailored to any specific target of interest by molecular evolution. Micropatterened glass chips were prepared using UV-photolithography on chromium sputtered glasses. Glass surface was modified by (3-aminopropyl)trietoxysilane and biotin-PEG-acid using EDC/NHS chemistry. Two variants of high-affinity binding molecules were used to detect target molecule. Firstly, a variant is based on ABD domain fused with TolA chain. This molecule is in vivo biotinylated and each molecule contains one molecule of biotin and one ABD domain. Secondly, the variant is ABD domain based on streptavidin molecule and contains four gaps for biotin and four ABD domains. These high-affinity molecules were immobilized to the chip surface via biotin-streptavidin chemistry. To eliminate nonspecific binding 1% bovine serum albumin (BSA) or 6% fetal bovine serum (FBS) were used in every step. For both variants range of measured concentrations of fluorescently labelled HSA was 0 – 30 µg/ml. As a control, we performed a simultaneous assay without high-affinity binding molecules. Fluorescent signal was measured using inverse fluorescent microscope Olympus IX 70 with COOL LED pE 4000 as a light source, related filters, and camera Retiga 2000R as a detector. The fluorescent signal from non-modified areas was substracted from the signal of the fluorescent areas. Results were presented in graphs showing the dependence of measured grayscale value on the log-scale of HSA concentration. For the TolA variant the limit of detection (LOD) of the optical immunosensor proposed in this study is calculated to be 0,20 µg/ml for HSA detection in 1% BSA and 0,24 µg/ml in 6% FBS. In the case of streptavidin-based molecule, it was 0,04 µg/ml and 0,07 µg/ml respectively. The dynamical range of the immunosensor was possible to estimate just in the case of TolA variant and it was calculated to be 0,49 – 3,75 µg/ml and 0,73-1,88 µg/ml respectively. In the case of the streptavidin-based the variant we didn´t reach the surface saturation even with the 480 ug/ml concentration and the upper value of dynamical range was not estimated. Lower value was calculated to be 0,14 µg/ml and 0,17 µg/ml respectively. Based on the obtained results, it´s clear that both variants are useful for creating the bio-recognizing layer on immunosensors. For this particular system, it is obvious that the variant based on streptavidin molecule is more useful for biosensing on glass planar surfaces. Immunosensors based on this variant would exhibit better limit of detection and wide dynamical range.
Surface Adjustments for Endothelialization of Decellularized Porcine Pericardium
The porcine pericardium is used as a material for cardiac and aortic valves substitutes. Current biological aortic heart valve prosthesis have a limited lifetime period because they undergo degeneration. In order to make them more biocompatible and prolong their lifetime it is necessary to reseed the decellularized prostheses with endothelial cells and with valve interstitial cells. The endothelialization of the prosthesis-surface may be supported by suitable chemical surface modification of the prosthesis. The aim of this study is to prepare bioactive fibrin layers which would both support endothelialization of porcine pericardium and enhance differentiation and maturation of the endothelial cells seeded. As a material for surface adjustments we used layers of fibrin with/without heparin and some of them with adsorbed or chemically bound FGF2, VEGF or their combination. Fibrin assemblies were prepared in 24-well cell culture plate and were seeded with HSVEC (Human Saphenous Vein Endothelial Cells) at a density of 20,000 cells per well in EGM-2 medium with 0.5% FS and without heparin, without FGF2 and without VEGF; medium was supplemented with aprotinin (200 U/mL). As a control, surface polystyrene (PS) was used. Fibrin was also used as homogeneous impregnation of the decellularized porcine pericardium throughout the scaffolds. Morphology, density, and viability of the seeded endothelial cells were observed from micrographs after staining the samples by LIVE/DEAD cytotoxicity/viability assay kit on the days 1, 3, and 7. Endothelial cells were immunocytochemically stained for proteins involved in cell adhesion, i.e. alphaV integrin, vinculin, and VE-cadherin, markers of endothelial cells differentiation and maturation, i.e. von Willebrand factor and CD31, and for extracellular matrix proteins typically produced by endothelial cells, i.e. type IV collagen and laminin. The staining intensities were subsequently quantified using a software. HSVEC cells grew on each of the prepared surfaces better than on control surface. They reached confluency. The highest cell densities were obtained on the surface of fibrin with heparin and both grow factors used together. Intensity of alphaV integrins staining was highest on samples with remained fibrin layer, i.e. on layers with lower cell densities, i.e. on fibrin without heparin. Vinculin staining was apparent, but was rather diffuse, on fibrin with both FGF2 and VEGF and on control PS. Endothelial cells on all samples were positively stained for von Willebrand factor and CD31. VE-cadherin receptors clusters were best developed on fibrin with heparin and growth factors. Significantly stronger staining of type IV collagen was observed on fibrin with heparin and both growth factors. Endothelial cells on all samples produced laminin-1. Decellularized pericardium was homogeneously filled with fibrin structures. These fibrin-modified pericardium samples will be further seeded with cells and cultured in a bioreactor. Fibrin layers with/without heparin and with adsorbed or chemically bound FGF2, VEGF or their combination are good surfaces for endothelialization of cardiovascular prostheses or porcine pericardium based heart valves. Supported by the Ministry of Health, grants No15-29153A and 15-32497A, and the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, project No. P108/12/G108.
Wastes for Cleaning Water: Evaluation of Chicken Feathers for Metal Ions Removal
Poultry industry produces a huge amount of chicken feathers waste worldwide around. Nowadays, high environmental and economic impacts are associated with the handling of this left-over since chicken feathers (CFs) are a truly waste that requires management and treatment (incineration, compost, etc.), causing high costs compared with the near zero value of the feathers. Therefore, during lasts years there has been an interest to valorize CFs to obtain value-added products such as biocomposites, biosorbents, filter media, insulation materials and tissue engineering scaffolds. The main aim of this study was to explore the potential use of CFs waste for removing heavy metals from water, in order to propose more environmental friendly alternative technologies for preventing the pollution of water. For this purpose, preliminary biosorption kinetic tests of Cu2+ ion were carried out and modeled in order to determine the necessary equilibrium time to achieve constant sorption. Likewise, the isotherms of the biosorption were studied and modelled in order to determine the biosorption capacity and its characteristics. Regarding the origin of CFs and their sanitization, they were taken from a slaughterhouse and, successively, stabilized by an oxidative cleaning process using aqueous hydrogen peroxide, dried, and crushed to a maximum size of 1 mm. To perform the kinetic study, 0.4 g of crushed CFs were added to several aliquots of 40mL of a 0.2mM aqueous solutions of Cu2+ with a pH=5-6 adjusted with HCl (0.001M). Solutions were placed on a rotating shaker (ELMI. Intelli-Mixer, RM-2M) at constant agitation (50 rpm), at room temperature (23ºC) and for different periods (ranging from 2 to 1200 minutes). Samples were filtered through glass microfiber filters (pore size 1.2µm), and the concentrations of Cu2+ ion was analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry (GBC 932AA spectrophotometer). Similarly, the biosorption isotherms were carried out adding 0.4 g of crushed CFs to 40mL of several solutions with different concentrations of Cu2+, ranging from 0.2 to 6 mM for 30 minutes. Other operational conditions such as pH, rotation speed and temperature were identical to those of kinetic studies. Data obtained by the kinetic study indicate that the percentage of biosorbed metal ion increases with time contact and rapidly reaches the equilibrium at a time no greater than 15 minutes. Concretely, for the initial concentration 0.2 mM, the percentage of metal ion removal was ca. 94% at 15 minutes of contact. The kinetic experimental data fitted well the well-known pseudo-second order model with a biosortion rate constant of about k2=132.7 (g CFs/mmol Cu2+•min) with a fitting r value 0.999. Besides, the biosorption isotherms of Cu2+ were correlated with common isotherm equations such as Freundlich, Langmuir and Temkin, being the second mathematical model the one that best fits the experimentally obtained data (r=0.988). The maximal biosorption capacity was 0.1 mmol/g CFs. These results proved that the mechanism controlling the biosorption is based on distinct specific sites capable to retain the metal ion. It is reasonable to assume that the existing interaction takes place between the anionic carboxylic groups of the CFs and the metal ion. The authors thank the financial support from project ref.MAT2015-65392-C2-1-R (MINECO/FEDER).
Composite Electrospun Aligned PLGA/Curcumin/Heparin Nanofibrous Membranes for Wound Dressing Application
Wound healing is a complicated process involving overlapping hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation, and maturation phases. Ideal wound dressings can replace native skin functions in full thickness skin wounds through faster healing rate and also by reducing scar formation. Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) is an U.S. FDA approved biodegradable polymer to be used as ideal wound dressing material. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of curcumin in decreasing the release of inflammatory cytokines, inhibiting enzymes associated with inflammations, and scavenging free radicals that are the major cause of inflammation during wound healing. Heparin has binding affinities to various growth factors. With the unique and beneficial features offered by those molecules toward the complex process of wound healing, we postulate a composite wound dressing constructed from PLGA, curcumin and heparin would be a good candidate to accelerate scarless wound healing. In this work, we use electrospinning to prepare curcumin-loaded aligned PLGA nanofibrous membranes (PC NFMs). PC NFMs were further subject to oxygen plasma modification and surfaced-grafted with heparin through carbodiimide-mediated covalent bond formation to prepare curcumin-loaded PLGA-g-heparin (PCH) NFMs. The nanofibrous membranes could act as three-dimensional scaffolds to attract fibroblast migration, reduce inflammation, and increase wound-healing related growth factors concentrations at wound sites. From scanning electron microscopy analysis, the nanofibers in each NFM are with diameters ranging from 456 to 479 nm and with alignment angles within  0.5°. The NFMs show high tensile strength and good water absorptivity and provide suitable pore size for nutrients/wastes transport. Exposure of human dermal fibroblasts to the extraction medium of PC or PCH NFM showed significant protective effects against hydrogen peroxide than PLGA NFM. In vitro wound healing assays also showed that the extraction medium of PCH NFM showed significantly better migration ability toward fibroblasts than PC NFM, which is further better than PLGA NFM. The in vivo healing efficiency of the NFMs was further evaluated by a full thickness excisional wound healing diabetic rat model. After 14 days, PCH NFMs exhibits 86% wound closure rate, which is significantly different from other groups (79% for PC and 73% for PLGA NFM). Real-time PCR analysis indicated PC and PCH NFMs down regulated anti-oxidative enzymes like glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), which are well-known transcription factors involved in cellular inflammatory responses to stimuli. From histology, the wound area treated with PCH NFMs showed more vascular lumen formation from immunohistochemistry of α-smooth muscle actin. The wound site also had more collagen type III (65.8%) expression and less collagen type I (3.5%) expression, indicating scar-less wound healing. From Western blot analysis, the PCH NFM showed good affinity toward growth factors from increased concentration of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) at the wound site to accelerate wound healing. From the results, we suggest PCH NFM as a promising candidate for wound dressing applications.