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J. Funct. Biomater., Volume 8, Issue 1 (March 2017)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of JFB in 2016
J. Funct. Biomater. 2017, 8(1), 2; doi:10.3390/jfb8010002
Received: 11 January 2017 / Revised: 11 January 2017 / Accepted: 11 January 2017 / Published: 11 January 2017
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Abstract The editors of Jfb would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2016.[...] Full article

Research

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Open AccessArticle Bioactive Polymeric Materials for Tissue Repair
J. Funct. Biomater. 2017, 8(1), 4; doi:10.3390/jfb8010004
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2017 / Published: 26 January 2017
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Abstract
Bioactive polymeric materials based on calcium phosphates have tremendous appeal for hard tissue repair because of their well-documented biocompatibility. Amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP)-based ones additionally protect against unwanted demineralization and actively support regeneration of hard tissue minerals. Our group has been investigating the
[...] Read more.
Bioactive polymeric materials based on calcium phosphates have tremendous appeal for hard tissue repair because of their well-documented biocompatibility. Amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP)-based ones additionally protect against unwanted demineralization and actively support regeneration of hard tissue minerals. Our group has been investigating the structure/composition/property relationships of ACP polymeric composites for the last two decades. Here, we present ACP’s dispersion in a polymer matrix and the fine-tuning of the resin affects the physicochemical, mechanical, and biological properties of ACP polymeric composites. These studies illustrate how the filler/resin interface and monomer/polymer molecular structure affect the material’s critical properties, such as ion release and mechanical strength. We also present evidence of the remineralization efficacy of ACP composites when exposed to accelerated acidic challenges representative of oral environment conditions. The utility of ACP has recently been extended to include airbrushing as a platform technology for fabrication of nanofiber scaffolds. These studies, focused on assessing the feasibility of incorporating ACP into various polymer fibers, also included the release kinetics of bioactive calcium and phosphate ions from nanofibers and evaluate the biorelevance of the polymeric ACP fiber networks. We also discuss the potential for future integration of the existing ACP scaffolds into therapeutic delivery systems used in the precision medicine field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Journal of Functional Biomaterials: Feature Papers 2016)
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Open AccessArticle The Anti-Inflammatory and Vasodilating Effects of Three Selected Dietary Organic Sulfur Compounds from Allium Species
J. Funct. Biomater. 2017, 8(1), 5; doi:10.3390/jfb8010005
Received: 18 May 2016 / Revised: 21 December 2016 / Accepted: 21 January 2017 / Published: 26 January 2017
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Abstract
The anti-inflammatory and vasodilating effects of three selected dietary organic sulfur compounds (OSC), including diallyl disulfide (DADS), dimethyl disulfide (DMDS), and propyl disulfide (PDS), from Allium species were investigated. In the anti-inflammatory activity assay, the three OSC demonstrated significant inhibition of nitric oxide
[...] Read more.
The anti-inflammatory and vasodilating effects of three selected dietary organic sulfur compounds (OSC), including diallyl disulfide (DADS), dimethyl disulfide (DMDS), and propyl disulfide (PDS), from Allium species were investigated. In the anti-inflammatory activity assay, the three OSC demonstrated significant inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production in LPS-induced RAW 264.7 cells. The expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX-2) in activated RAW 264.7 cells was inhibited by the three OSC, indicating that the three OSC prevented the LPS-induced inflammatory response in RAW 264.7 cells. For the vasodilative assay, the three OSC were ineffective in producing NO in SVEC4-10 cells, but they did enhance prostacyclin (PGI2) production. The expression of COX-2 in SVEC4-10 cells was activated by DADS and DMDS. Pretreatment of SVEC4-10 cells with the three OSC decreased ROS generation in H2O2-induced SVEC4-10 cells. In addition, the three OSC significantly inhibited angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE). The up-regulation of PGI2 production and COX-2 expression by DADS and DMDS and the reduction of ROS generation by DADS, DMDS, and PDS in SVEC4-10 cells contributed to the vasodilative effect of the three OSC. Collectively, these findings suggest that DADS, DMDS, and PDS are potential anti-inflammatory and vasodilative mediators. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Fabrication and Optimal Design of Biodegradable Polymeric Stents for Aneurysms Treatments
J. Funct. Biomater. 2017, 8(1), 8; doi:10.3390/jfb8010008
Received: 23 August 2016 / Revised: 20 December 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 28 February 2017
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Abstract
An aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in the wall of blood vessels, occurring in major arteries of the heart and brain. Biodegradable polymeric stent-assisted coiling is expected to be the ideal treatment of wide-neck complex aneurysms. This paper presents the development of methods
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An aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in the wall of blood vessels, occurring in major arteries of the heart and brain. Biodegradable polymeric stent-assisted coiling is expected to be the ideal treatment of wide-neck complex aneurysms. This paper presents the development of methods to fabricate and optimally design biodegradable polymeric stents for aneurysms treatment. Firstly, a dispensing-based rapid prototyping (DBRP) system was developed to fabricate coil and zigzag structures of biodegradable polymeric stents. Then, compression testing was carried out to characterize the radial deformation of the stents fabricated with the coil or zigzag structure. The results illustrated the stent with a zigzag structure has a stronger radial stiffness than the one with a coil structure. On this basis, the stent with a zigzag structure was chosen for the development of a finite element model for simulating the real compression tests. The result showed the finite element model of biodegradable polymeric stents is acceptable within a range of radial deformation around 20%. Furthermore, the optimization of the zigzag structure was performed with ANSYS DesignXplorer, and the results indicated that the total deformation could be decreased by 35.7% by optimizing the structure parameters, which would represent a significant advance of the radial stiffness of biodegradable polymeric stents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanical Properties of Tissue Engineering Scaffolds)
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Open AccessArticle Induction of Low-Level Hydrogen Peroxide Generation by Unbleached Cotton Nonwovens as Potential Wound Dressing Materials
J. Funct. Biomater. 2017, 8(1), 9; doi:10.3390/jfb8010009
Received: 15 September 2016 / Revised: 18 February 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 6 March 2017
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Abstract
Greige cotton is an intact plant fiber. The cuticle and primary cell wall near the outer surface of the cotton fiber contains pectin, peroxidases, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and trace metals, which are associated with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) generation during
[...] Read more.
Greige cotton is an intact plant fiber. The cuticle and primary cell wall near the outer surface of the cotton fiber contains pectin, peroxidases, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and trace metals, which are associated with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) generation during cotton fiber development. Traditionally, the processing of cotton into gauze involves scouring and bleaching processes that remove the components in the cuticle and primary cell wall. The use of unbleached, greige cotton fibers in dressings, has been relatively unexplored. We have recently determined that greige cotton can generate low levels of H2O2 (5–50 micromolar). Because this may provide advantages for the use of greige cotton-based wound dressings, we have begun to examine this in more detail. Both brown and white cotton varieties were examined in this study. Brown cotton was found to have a relatively higher hydrogen peroxide generation and demonstrated different capacities for H2O2 generation, varying from 1 to 35 micromolar. The H2O2 generation capacities of white and brown nonwoven greige cottons were also examined at different process stages with varying chronology and source parameters, from field to nonwoven fiber. The primary cell wall of nonwoven brown cotton appeared very intact, as observed by transmission electron microscopy, and possessed higher pectin levels. The levels of pectin, SOD, and polyphenolics, correlated with H2O2 generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomaterials for Wound Healing)
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Open AccessArticle Optimization of Polymer-ECM Composite Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering: Effect of Cells and Culture Conditions on Polymeric Nanofiber Mats
J. Funct. Biomater. 2017, 8(1), 1; doi:10.3390/jfb8010001
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 20 December 2016 / Accepted: 6 January 2017 / Published: 11 January 2017
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Abstract
The design of composite tissue scaffolds containing an extracellular matrix (ECM) and synthetic polymer fibers is a new approach to create bioactive scaffolds that can enhance cell function. Currently, studies investigating the effects of ECM-deposition and decellularization on polymer degradation are still lacking,
[...] Read more.
The design of composite tissue scaffolds containing an extracellular matrix (ECM) and synthetic polymer fibers is a new approach to create bioactive scaffolds that can enhance cell function. Currently, studies investigating the effects of ECM-deposition and decellularization on polymer degradation are still lacking, as are data on optimizing the stability of the ECM-containing composite scaffolds during prolonged cell culture. In this study, we develop fibrous scaffolds using three polymer compositions, representing slow (E0000), medium (E0500), and fast (E1000) degrading materials, to investigate the stability, degradation, and mechanics of the scaffolds during ECM deposition and decellularization, and during the complete cellularization-decell-recell cycle. We report data on percent molecular weight (% Mw) retention of polymeric fiber mats, changes in scaffold stiffness, ECM deposition, and the presence of fibronectin after decellularization. We concluded that the fast degrading E1000 (Mw retention ≤ 50% after 28 days) was not sufficiently stable to allow scaffold handling after 28 days in culture, while the slow degradation of E0000 (Mw retention ≥ 80% in 28 days) did not allow deposited ECM to replace the polymer support. The scaffolds made from medium degrading E0500 (Mw retention about 60% at 28 days) allowed the gradual replacement of the polymer network with cell-derived ECM while maintaining the polymer network support. Thus, polymers with an intermediate rate of degradation, maintaining good scaffold handling properties after 28 days in culture, seem best suited for creating ECM-polymer composite scaffolds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Atomic Force Microscopy: A Powerful Tool to Address Scaffold Design in Tissue Engineering
J. Funct. Biomater. 2017, 8(1), 7; doi:10.3390/jfb8010007
Received: 4 November 2016 / Revised: 7 February 2017 / Accepted: 8 February 2017 / Published: 13 February 2017
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Abstract
Functional polymers currently represent a basic component of a large range of biological and biomedical applications including molecular release, tissue engineering, bio-sensing and medical imaging. Advancements in these fields are driven by the use of a wide set of biodegradable polymers with controlled
[...] Read more.
Functional polymers currently represent a basic component of a large range of biological and biomedical applications including molecular release, tissue engineering, bio-sensing and medical imaging. Advancements in these fields are driven by the use of a wide set of biodegradable polymers with controlled physical and bio-interactive properties. In this context, microscopy techniques such as Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) are emerging as fundamental tools to deeply investigate morphology and structural properties at micro and sub-micrometric scale, in order to evaluate the in time relationship between physicochemical properties of biomaterials and biological response. In particular, AFM is not only a mere tool for screening surface topography, but may offer a significant contribution to understand surface and interface properties, thus concurring to the optimization of biomaterials performance, processes, physical and chemical properties at the micro and nanoscale. This is possible by capitalizing the recent discoveries in nanotechnologies applied to soft matter such as atomic force spectroscopy to measure surface forces through force curves. By tip-sample local interactions, several information can be collected such as elasticity, viscoelasticity, surface charge densities and wettability. This paper overviews recent developments in AFM technology and imaging techniques by remarking differences in operational modes, the implementation of advanced tools and their current application in biomaterials science, in terms of characterization of polymeric devices in different forms (i.e., fibres, films or particles). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Journal of Functional Biomaterials: Feature Papers 2016)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Aloe Vera for Tissue Engineering Applications
J. Funct. Biomater. 2017, 8(1), 6; doi:10.3390/jfb8010006
Received: 29 August 2016 / Revised: 5 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 14 February 2017
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Abstract
Aloe vera, also referred as Aloe barbadensis Miller, is a succulent plant widely used for biomedical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications. Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years. However, recent significant advances have been made in the development of aloe vera for
[...] Read more.
Aloe vera, also referred as Aloe barbadensis Miller, is a succulent plant widely used for biomedical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications. Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years. However, recent significant advances have been made in the development of aloe vera for tissue engineering applications. Aloe vera has received considerable attention in tissue engineering due to its biodegradability, biocompatibility, and low toxicity properties. Aloe vera has been reported to have many biologically active components. The bioactive components of aloe vera have effective antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-modulatory effects that promote both tissue regeneration and growth. The aloe vera plant, its bioactive components, extraction and processing, and tissue engineering prospects are reviewed in this article. The use of aloe vera as tissue engineering scaffolds, gels, and films is discussed, with a special focus on electrospun nanofibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Journal of Functional Biomaterials: Feature Papers 2016)
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Open AccessReview Minimizing Skin Scarring through Biomaterial Design
J. Funct. Biomater. 2017, 8(1), 3; doi:10.3390/jfb8010003
Received: 16 November 2016 / Revised: 3 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 January 2017 / Published: 21 January 2017
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Abstract
Wound healing continues to be a major burden to patients, though research in the field has expanded significantly. Due to an aging population and increasing comorbid conditions, the cost of chronic wounds is expected to increase for patients and the U.S. healthcare system
[...] Read more.
Wound healing continues to be a major burden to patients, though research in the field has expanded significantly. Due to an aging population and increasing comorbid conditions, the cost of chronic wounds is expected to increase for patients and the U.S. healthcare system alike. With this knowledge, the number of engineered products to facilitate wound healing has also increased dramatically, with some already in clinical use. In this review, the major biomaterials used to facilitate skin wound healing will be examined, with particular attention allocated to the science behind their development. Experimental therapies will also be evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomaterials for Wound Healing)
Open AccessReview Overview of Potential Clinical Applications of Hemoglobin Vesicles (HbV) as Artificial Red Cells, Evidenced by Preclinical Studies of the Academic Research Consortium
J. Funct. Biomater. 2017, 8(1), 10; doi:10.3390/jfb8010010
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (746 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hemoglobin (Hb) is the most abundant protein in whole blood. This fact implies that the oxygen binding and releasing function of Hb is the most vital for sustaining life. All Hb is compartmentalized in red blood cells (RBCs) with corpuscular Hb concentration of
[...] Read more.
Hemoglobin (Hb) is the most abundant protein in whole blood. This fact implies that the oxygen binding and releasing function of Hb is the most vital for sustaining life. All Hb is compartmentalized in red blood cells (RBCs) with corpuscular Hb concentration of about 35 g/dL, covered with a thin biomembrane. In spite of its abundance, Hb sometimes shows toxicity once it is leaked from RBCs. The shielding effect of the RBC membrane is physiologically important. Based on this structural importance, we have studied artificial red cells (Hb vesicles, HbV) as artificial oxygen carriers, which encapsulate a purified and concentrated Hb solution in phospholipid vesicles, mimicking the cellular structure of RBCs. Our academic research consortium has clarified the safety and efficacy of this HbV, aiming at clinical applications. Because of some superior characteristics to those of RBCs, HbV has the potential for use not only as a transfusion alternative but also for oxygen and carbon monoxide therapeutics, perfusate for transplant organs, and photosensitizer. In this review paper, such potential applications are summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blood Substitutes: Evolution and Future Applications)
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Open AccessReview Comparison of the Pharmacokinetic Properties of Hemoglobin-Based Oxygen Carriers
J. Funct. Biomater. 2017, 8(1), 11; doi:10.3390/jfb8010011
Received: 11 January 2017 / Revised: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 18 March 2017
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Abstract
Hemoglobin (Hb) is an ideal material for use in the development of an oxygen carrier in view of its innate biological properties. However, the vascular retention of free Hb is too short to permit a full therapeutic effect because Hb is rapidly cleared
[...] Read more.
Hemoglobin (Hb) is an ideal material for use in the development of an oxygen carrier in view of its innate biological properties. However, the vascular retention of free Hb is too short to permit a full therapeutic effect because Hb is rapidly cleared from the kidney via glomerular filtration or from the liver via the haptogloblin-CD 163 pathway when free Hb is administered in the blood circulation. Attempts have been made to develop alternate acellular and cellular types of Hb based oxygen carriers (HBOCs), in which Hb is processed via various routes in order to regulate its pharmacokinetic properties. These HBOCs have been demonstrated to have superior pharmacokinetic properties including a longer half-life than the Hb molecule in preclinical and clinical trials. The present review summarizes and compares the pharmacokinetic properties of acellular and cellular type HBOCs that have been developed through different approaches, such as polymerization, PEGylation, cross-linking, and encapsulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blood Substitutes: Evolution and Future Applications)
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