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J. Funct. Biomater., Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2011), Pages 88-307

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Novel Pulsatile Bioreactor for Mechanical Stimulation of Tissue Engineered Cardiac Constructs
J. Funct. Biomater. 2011, 2(3), 107-118; doi:10.3390/jfb2030107
Received: 21 June 2011 / Accepted: 18 July 2011 / Published: 20 July 2011
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1011 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
After myocardial infarction, the implantation of stem cell seeded scaffolds on the ischemic zone represents a promising strategy for restoration of heart function. However, mechanical integrity and functionality of tissue engineered constructs need to be determined prior to implantation. Therefore, in this study
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After myocardial infarction, the implantation of stem cell seeded scaffolds on the ischemic zone represents a promising strategy for restoration of heart function. However, mechanical integrity and functionality of tissue engineered constructs need to be determined prior to implantation. Therefore, in this study a novel pulsatile bioreactor mimicking the myocardial contraction was developed to analyze the behavior of mesenchymal stem cells derived from umbilical cord tissue (UCMSC) colonized on titanium-coated polytetrafluorethylene scaffolds to friction stress. The design of the bioreactor enables a simple handling and defined mechanical forces on three seeded scaffolds at physiological conditions. The compact system made of acrylic glass, Teflon®, silicone, and stainless steel allows the comparison of different media, cells and scaffolds. The bioreactor can be gas sterilized and actuated in a standard incubator. Macroscopic observations and pressure-measurements showed a uniformly sinusoidal pulsation, indicating that the bioreactor performed well. Preliminary experiments to determine the adherence rate and morphology of UCMSC after mechanical loadings showed an almost confluent cellular coating without damage on the cell surface. In summary, the bioreactor is an adequate tool for the mechanical stress of seeded scaffolds and offers dynamic stimuli for pre-conditioning of cardiac tissue engineered constructs in vitro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cells and Biomaterials)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Influence of Porcine Intervertebral Disc Matrix on Stem Cell Differentiation
J. Funct. Biomater. 2011, 2(3), 155-172; doi:10.3390/jfb2030155
Received: 15 July 2011 / Accepted: 4 August 2011 / Published: 8 August 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (487 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For back disorders, cell therapy is one approach for a real regeneration of a degenerated nucleus pulposus. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) could be differentiated into nucleus pulposus (NP)-like cells and used for cell therapy. Therefore it is necessary to find a suitable
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For back disorders, cell therapy is one approach for a real regeneration of a degenerated nucleus pulposus. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) could be differentiated into nucleus pulposus (NP)-like cells and used for cell therapy. Therefore it is necessary to find a suitable biocompatible matrix, which supports differentiation. It could be shown that a differentiation of hMSC in a microbial transglutaminase cross-linked gelatin matrix is possible, but resulted in a more chondrocyte-like cell type. The addition of porcine NP extract to the gelatin matrix caused a differentiation closer to the desired NP cell phenotype. This concludes that a hydrogel containing NP extract without any other supplements could be suitable for differentiation of hMSCs into NP cells. The NP extract itself can be cross-linked by transglutaminase to build a hydrogel free of NP atypical substrates. As shown by side-specific biotinylation, the NP extract contains molecules with free glutamine and lysine residues available for the transglutaminase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cells and Biomaterials)
Open AccessArticle Temperature-Responsive Biocompatible Copolymers Incorporating Hyperbranched Polyglycerols for Adjustable Functionality
J. Funct. Biomater. 2011, 2(3), 173-194; doi:10.3390/jfb2030173
Received: 28 June 2011 / Revised: 9 August 2011 / Accepted: 12 August 2011 / Published: 23 August 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (903 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Temperature-triggered copolymers are proposed for a number of bio-applications but there is no ideal material platform, especially for injectable drug delivery. Options are needed for degradable biomaterials that not only respond to temperature but also easily accommodate linkage of active molecules. A first
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Temperature-triggered copolymers are proposed for a number of bio-applications but there is no ideal material platform, especially for injectable drug delivery. Options are needed for degradable biomaterials that not only respond to temperature but also easily accommodate linkage of active molecules. A first step toward realizing this goal is the design and synthesis of the novel materials reported herein. A multifunctional macromer, methacrylated hyperbranched polyglycerol (HPG-MA) with an average of one acrylate unit per copolymer, was synthesized and copolymerized with N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm), hydroxyethyl methacrylate-polylactide (HEMAPLA) and acrylic acid (AAc). The potential to fully exploit the copolymers by modification of the multiple HPG hydroxyl groups will not be discussed here. Instead, this report focuses on the thermoresponsive, biocompatible, and degradation properties of the material. Poly(NIPAAm-co-HEMAPLA-co-AAc-co-HPG-MA) displayed increasing lower critical solution temperatures (LCST) as the HPG content increased over a range of macromer ratios. For the copolymer with the maximum HPG incorporation (17%), the LCST was ~30 °C. In addition, this sample showed no toxicity when human uterine fibroid cells were co-cultured with the copolymer for up to 72 h. This copolymer lost approximately 92% of its mass after 17 hours at 37 °C. Thus, the reported biomaterials offer attractive properties for the design of drug delivery systems where orthogonally triggered mechanisms of therapeutic release in relatively short time periods would be attractive. Full article
Open AccessArticle Computational Study of pH-sensitive Hydrogel-based Microfluidic Flow Controllers
J. Funct. Biomater. 2011, 2(3), 195-212; doi:10.3390/jfb2030195
Received: 13 July 2011 / Revised: 10 August 2011 / Accepted: 22 August 2011 / Published: 25 August 2011
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1525 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This computational study investigates the sensing and actuating behavior of a pH-sensitive hydrogel-based microfluidic flow controller. This hydrogel-based flow controller has inherent advantage in its unique stimuli-sensitive properties, removing the need for an external power supply. The predicted swelling behavior the hydrogel is
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This computational study investigates the sensing and actuating behavior of a pH-sensitive hydrogel-based microfluidic flow controller. This hydrogel-based flow controller has inherent advantage in its unique stimuli-sensitive properties, removing the need for an external power supply. The predicted swelling behavior the hydrogel is validated with steady-state and transient experiments. We then demonstrate how the model is implemented to study the sensing and actuating behavior of hydrogels for different microfluidic flow channel/hydrogel configurations: e.g., for flow in a T-junction with single and multiple hydrogels. In short, the results suggest that the response of the hydrogel-based flow controller is slow. Therefore, two strategies to improve the response rate of the hydrogels are proposed and demonstrated. Finally, we highlight that the model can be extended to include other stimuli-responsive hydrogels such as thermo-, electric-, and glucose-sensitive hydrogels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stimuli Responsive Biomaterials)
Open AccessArticle Self-Assembled Matrix by Umbilical Cord Stem Cells
J. Funct. Biomater. 2011, 2(3), 213-229; doi:10.3390/jfb2030213
Received: 3 August 2011 / Revised: 23 August 2011 / Accepted: 25 August 2011 / Published: 1 September 2011
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1002 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Corneal integrity is critical for vision. Corneal wounds frequently heal with scarring that impairs vision. Recently, human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (cord stem cells) have been investigated for tissue engineering and therapy due to their availability and differentiation potential. In this study,
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Corneal integrity is critical for vision. Corneal wounds frequently heal with scarring that impairs vision. Recently, human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (cord stem cells) have been investigated for tissue engineering and therapy due to their availability and differentiation potential. In this study, we used cord stem cells in a 3-dimensional (3D) stroma-like model to observe extracellular matrix organization, with human corneal fibroblasts acting as a control. For 4 weeks, the cells were stimulated with a stable Vitamin C (VitC) derivative ±TGF-b1. After 4 weeks, the mean thickness of the constructs was ~30 mm; however, cord stem cell constructs had 50% less cells per unit volume, indicating the formation of a dense matrix. We found minimal change in decorin and lumican mRNA, and a significant increase in perlecan mRNA in the presence of TGF-b1. Keratocan on the other hand decreased with TGF-b1 in both cell lineages. With both cell types, the constructs possessed aligned collagen fibrils and associated glycosaminoglycans. Fibril diameters did not change with TGF-b1 stimulation or cell lineage; however, highly sulfated glycosaminoglycans associated with the collagen fibrils significantly increased with TGF-b1. Overall, we have shown that cord stem cells can secrete their own extracellular matrix and promote the deposition and sulfation of various proteoglycans. Furthermore, these cells are at least comparable to commonly used corneal fibroblasts and present an alternative for the 3D in vitro tissue engineered model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomaterials for Wound Healing)
Open AccessArticle The Use of Thermal Techniques for the Characterization and Selection of Natural Biomaterials
J. Funct. Biomater. 2011, 2(3), 230-248; doi:10.3390/jfb2030230
Received: 6 July 2011 / Revised: 30 August 2011 / Accepted: 2 September 2011 / Published: 13 September 2011
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (589 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper we explore the ability of thermal analysis to check elastin and collagen integrity in different biomaterial applications. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) has been used to analyze the first and second order transitions of the biological macromolecules in the hydrated and
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In this paper we explore the ability of thermal analysis to check elastin and collagen integrity in different biomaterial applications. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) has been used to analyze the first and second order transitions of the biological macromolecules in the hydrated and dehydrated state. First, we report the characterization of control cardiovascular tissues such as pericardium, aortic wall and valvular leaflet. Their thermal properties are compared to pure elastin and pure collagen. Second, we present results obtained on two collagen rich tissues: pericardia with different chemical treatments and collagen with physical treatments. Finally, more complex cardiovascular tissues composed of elastin and collagen are analyzed and the effect of detergent treatment on the physical structure of collagen and elastin is brought to the fore. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle A Review of Gene Delivery and Stem Cell Based Therapies for Regenerating Inner Ear Hair Cells
J. Funct. Biomater. 2011, 2(3), 249-270; doi:10.3390/jfb2030249
Received: 10 August 2011 / Revised: 31 August 2011 / Accepted: 5 September 2011 / Published: 13 September 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (334 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sensory neural hearing loss and vestibular dysfunction have become the most common forms of sensory defects, affecting millions of people worldwide. Developing effective therapies to restore hearing loss is challenging, owing to the limited regenerative capacity of the inner ear hair cells. With
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Sensory neural hearing loss and vestibular dysfunction have become the most common forms of sensory defects, affecting millions of people worldwide. Developing effective therapies to restore hearing loss is challenging, owing to the limited regenerative capacity of the inner ear hair cells. With recent advances in understanding the developmental biology of mammalian and non-mammalian hair cells a variety of strategies have emerged to restore lost hair cells are being developed. Two predominant strategies have developed to restore hair cells: transfer of genes responsible for hair cell genesis and replacement of missing cells via transfer of stem cells. In this review article, we evaluate the use of several genes involved in hair cell regeneration, the advantages and disadvantages of the different viral vectors employed in inner ear gene delivery and the insights gained from the use of embryonic, adult and induced pluripotent stem cells in generating inner ear hair cells. Understanding the role of genes, vectors and stem cells in therapeutic strategies led us to explore potential solutions to overcome the limitations associated with their use in hair cell regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Organs and Biomaterials)
Open AccessArticle Bioactive Polymeric Composites for Tooth Mineral Regeneration: Physicochemical and Cellular Aspects
J. Funct. Biomater. 2011, 2(3), 271-307; doi:10.3390/jfb2030271
Received: 4 August 2011 / Revised: 31 August 2011 / Accepted: 7 September 2011 / Published: 14 September 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1513 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Our studies of amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP)-based dental materials are focused on the design of bioactive, non-degradable, biocompatible, polymeric composites derived from acrylic monomer systems and ACP by photochemical or chemically activated polymerization. Their intended uses include remineralizing bases/liners, orthodontic adhesives and/or endodontic
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Our studies of amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP)-based dental materials are focused on the design of bioactive, non-degradable, biocompatible, polymeric composites derived from acrylic monomer systems and ACP by photochemical or chemically activated polymerization. Their intended uses include remineralizing bases/liners, orthodontic adhesives and/or endodontic sealers. The bioactivity of these materials originates from the propensity of ACP, once exposed to oral fluids, to release Ca and PO4 ions (building blocks of tooth and bone mineral) in a sustained manner while spontaneously converting to thermodynamically stable apatite. As a result of ACP’s bioactivity, local Ca- and PO4-enriched environments are created with supersaturation conditions favorable for the regeneration of tooth mineral lost to decay or wear. Besides its applicative purpose, our research also seeks to expand the fundamental knowledge base of structure-composition-property relationships existing in these complex systems and identify the mechanisms that govern filler/polymer and composite/tooth interfacial phenomena. In addition to an extensive physicochemical evaluation, we also assess the leachability of the unreacted monomers and in vitro cellular responses to these types of dental materials. The systematic physicochemical and cellular assessments presented in this study typically provide model materials suitable for further animal and/or clinical testing. In addition to their potential dental clinical value, these studies suggest the future development of calcium phosphate-based biomaterials based on composite materials derived from biodegradable polymers and ACP, and designed primarily for general bone tissue regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomaterials for Bone Substitutes)

Review

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Open AccessReview Micro- and Nanoengineering Approaches to Control Stem Cell-Biomaterial Interactions
J. Funct. Biomater. 2011, 2(3), 88-106; doi:10.3390/jfb2030088
Received: 24 May 2011 / Revised: 11 June 2011 / Accepted: 21 June 2011 / Published: 24 June 2011
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (739 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As our population ages, there is a greater need for a suitable supply of engineered tissues to address a range of debilitating ailments. Stem cell based therapies are envisioned to meet this emerging need. Despite significant progress in controlling stem cell differentiation, it
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As our population ages, there is a greater need for a suitable supply of engineered tissues to address a range of debilitating ailments. Stem cell based therapies are envisioned to meet this emerging need. Despite significant progress in controlling stem cell differentiation, it is still difficult to engineer human tissue constructs for transplantation. Recent advances in micro- and nanofabrication techniques have enabled the design of more biomimetic biomaterials that may be used to direct the fate of stem cells. These biomaterials could have a significant impact on the next generation of stem cell based therapies. Here, we highlight the recent progress made by micro- and nanoengineering techniques in the biomaterials field in the context of directing stem cell differentiation. Particular attention is given to the effect of surface topography, chemistry, mechanics and micro- and nanopatterns on the differentiation of embryonic, mesenchymal and neural stem cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cells and Biomaterials)
Open AccessReview Controlled Positioning of Cells in Biomaterials—Approaches Towards 3D Tissue Printing
J. Funct. Biomater. 2011, 2(3), 119-154; doi:10.3390/jfb2030119
Received: 26 May 2011 / Revised: 29 June 2011 / Accepted: 12 July 2011 / Published: 4 August 2011
Cited by 46 | PDF Full-text (677 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Current tissue engineering techniques have various drawbacks: they often incorporate uncontrolled and imprecise scaffold geometries, whereas the current conventional cell seeding techniques result mostly in random cell placement rather than uniform cell distribution. For the successful reconstruction of deficient tissue, new material engineering
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Current tissue engineering techniques have various drawbacks: they often incorporate uncontrolled and imprecise scaffold geometries, whereas the current conventional cell seeding techniques result mostly in random cell placement rather than uniform cell distribution. For the successful reconstruction of deficient tissue, new material engineering approaches have to be considered to overcome current limitations. An emerging method to produce complex biological products including cells or extracellular matrices in a controlled manner is a process called bioprinting or biofabrication, which effectively uses principles of rapid prototyping combined with cell-loaded biomaterials, typically hydrogels. 3D tissue printing is an approach to manufacture functional tissue layer-by-layer that could be transplanted in vivo after production. This method is especially advantageous for stem cells since a controlled environment can be created to influence cell growth and differentiation. Using printed tissue for biotechnological and pharmacological needs like in vitro drug-testing may lead to a revolution in the pharmaceutical industry since animal models could be partially replaced by biofabricated tissues mimicking human physiology and pathology. This would not only be a major advancement concerning rising ethical issues but would also have a measureable impact on economical aspects in this industry of today, where animal studies are very labor-intensive and therefore costly. In this review, current controlled material and cell positioning techniques are introduced highlighting approaches towards 3D tissue printing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cells and Biomaterials)

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