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Bioengineering, Volume 4, Issue 3 (September 2017)

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Cover Story 3D printing is a process of fabricating 3D objects layer by layer from 3D digital models. 3D [...] Read more.
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Research

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Open AccessArticle Characterization of Chlorhexidine-Loaded Calcium-Hydroxide Microparticles as a Potential Dental Pulp-Capping Material
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 59; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030059
Received: 15 May 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 22 June 2017
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Abstract
This study explores the delivery of novel calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2] microparticles loaded with chlorhexidine (CHX) for potential dental therapeutic and preventive applications. Herein, we introduce a new approach for drug-delivery to deep dentin-surfaces in the form of drug-loaded microparticles. Unloaded Ca(OH)
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This study explores the delivery of novel calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2] microparticles loaded with chlorhexidine (CHX) for potential dental therapeutic and preventive applications. Herein, we introduce a new approach for drug-delivery to deep dentin-surfaces in the form of drug-loaded microparticles. Unloaded Ca(OH)2 [Ca(OH)2/Blank] and CHX-loaded/Ca(OH)2 microparticles were fabricated by aqueous chemical-precipitation technique. The synthesized-microparticles were characterized in vitro for determination of surface-morphology, crystalline-features and thermal-properties examined by energy-dispersive X-ray scanning and transmission electron-microscopy (EDX-SEM/TEM), Fourier-transform infrared-spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning-calorimetry (DSC). Time-related pH changes, initial antibacterial/biofilm-abilities and cytotoxicity of CHX-loaded/Ca(OH)2 microparticles were evaluated. Microparticles were delivered to dentin-surfaces with subsequent SEM examination of treated dentin-substrates. The in vitro and ex vivo CHX-release profiles were characterized. Ca(OH)2/Blank were hexagonal-shaped with highest z-average diameter whereas CHX-inclusion evidenced micro-metric spheres with distinguishable surface “rounded deposits” and a negative-shift in diameter. CHX:Ca(OH)2/50 mg exhibited maximum encapsulation-efficiency with good antibacterial and cytocompatible properties. SEM examination revealed an intact layer of microparticles on exposed dentin-surfaces with retention of spherical shape and smooth texture. Microparticles loaded on dentin-surfaces showed prolonged release of CHX indicating substantial retention on dentin-substrates. This study validated the inherent-applicability of this novel drug-delivery approach to dentin-surfaces using micro-metric CHX-loaded/Ca(OH)2 microparticles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Prospecting for Marine Bacteria for Polyhydroxyalkanoate Production on Low-Cost Substrates
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 60; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030060
Received: 5 May 2017 / Revised: 17 June 2017 / Accepted: 17 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
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Abstract
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are a class of biopolymers with numerous applications, but the high cost of production has prevented their use. To reduce this cost, there is a prospect for strains with a high PHA production and the ability to grow in low-cost by-products.
[...] Read more.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are a class of biopolymers with numerous applications, but the high cost of production has prevented their use. To reduce this cost, there is a prospect for strains with a high PHA production and the ability to grow in low-cost by-products. In this context, the objective of this work was to evaluate marine bacteria capable of producing PHA. Using Nile red, 30 organisms among 155 were identified as PHA producers in the medium containing starch, and 27, 33, 22 and 10 strains were found to be positive in media supplemented with carboxymethyl cellulose, glycerol, glucose and Tween 80, respectively. Among the organisms studied, two isolates, LAMA 677 and LAMA 685, showed strong potential to produce PHA with the use of glycerol as the carbon source, and were selected for further studies. In the experiment used to characterize the growth kinetics, LAMA 677 presented a higher maximum specific growth rate (µmax = 0.087 h−1) than LAMA 685 (µmax = 0.049 h−1). LAMA 677 also reached a D-3-hydroxybutyrate (P(3HB)) content of 78.63% (dry biomass), which was 3.5 times higher than that of LAMA 685. In the assay of the production of P(3HB) from low-cost substrates (seawater and biodiesel waste glycerol), LAMA 677 reached a polymer content of 31.7%, while LAMA 685 reached 53.6%. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that the selected marine strains have the potential to produce PHA, and seawater and waste glycerol may be alternative substrates for the production of this polymer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production)
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Open AccessArticle Insights on Osmotic Tolerance Mechanisms in Escherichia coli Gained from an rpoC Mutation
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 61; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030061
Received: 24 May 2017 / Revised: 22 June 2017 / Accepted: 24 June 2017 / Published: 28 June 2017
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Abstract
An 84 bp in-frame duplication (K370_A396dup) within the rpoC subunit of RNA polymerase was found in two independent mutants selected during an adaptive laboratory evolution experiment under osmotic stress in Escherichia coli, suggesting that this mutation confers improved osmotic tolerance. To determine
[...] Read more.
An 84 bp in-frame duplication (K370_A396dup) within the rpoC subunit of RNA polymerase was found in two independent mutants selected during an adaptive laboratory evolution experiment under osmotic stress in Escherichia coli, suggesting that this mutation confers improved osmotic tolerance. To determine the role this mutation in rpoC plays in osmotic tolerance, we reconstructed the mutation in BW25113, and found it to confer improved tolerance to hyperosmotic stress. Metabolite analysis, exogenous supplementation assays, and cell membrane damage analysis suggest that the mechanism of improved osmotic tolerance by this rpoC mutation may be related to the higher production of acetic acid and amino acids such as proline, and increased membrane integrity in the presence of NaCl stress in exponential phase cells. Transcriptional analysis led to the findings that the overexpression of methionine related genes metK and mmuP improves osmotic tolerance in BW25113. Furthermore, deletion of a stress related gene bolA was found to confer enhanced osmotic tolerance in BW25113 and MG1655. These findings expand our current understanding of osmotic tolerance in E. coli, and have the potential to expand the utilization of high saline feedstocks and water sources in microbial fermentation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Novel Multifunctional β-N-Acetylhexosaminidase Revealed through Metagenomics of an Oil-Spilled Mangrove
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 62; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030062
Received: 23 May 2017 / Revised: 25 June 2017 / Accepted: 6 July 2017 / Published: 9 July 2017
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Abstract
The use of culture-independent approaches, such as metagenomics, provides complementary access to environmental microbial diversity. Mangrove environments represent a highly complex system with plenty of opportunities for finding singular functions. In this study we performed a functional screening of fosmid libraries obtained from
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The use of culture-independent approaches, such as metagenomics, provides complementary access to environmental microbial diversity. Mangrove environments represent a highly complex system with plenty of opportunities for finding singular functions. In this study we performed a functional screening of fosmid libraries obtained from an oil contaminated mangrove site, with the purpose of identifying clones expressing hydrolytic activities. A novel gene coding for a β-N-acetylhexosaminidase with 355 amino acids and 43KDa was retrieved and characterized. The translated sequence showed only 38% similarity to a β-N-acetylhexosaminidase gene in the genome of Veillonella sp. CAG:933, suggesting that it might constitute a novel enzyme. The enzyme was expressed, purified, and characterized for its enzymatic activity on carboxymethyl cellulose, p-Nitrophenyl-2acetamide-2deoxy-β-d-glucopyranoside, p-Nitrophenyl-2acetamide-2deoxy-β-d-galactopyranoside, and 4-Nitrophenyl β-d-glucopyranoside, presenting β-N-acetylglucosaminidase, β-glucosidase, and β-1,4-endoglucanase activities. The enzyme showed optimum activity at 30 °C and pH 5.5. The characterization of the putative novel β-N-acetylglucosaminidase enzyme reflects similarities to characteristics of the environment explored, which differs from milder conditions environments. This work exemplifies the application of cultivation-independent molecular techniques to the mangrove microbiome for obtaining a novel biotechnological product. Full article
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Open AccessArticle 3D Printing and 3D Bioprinting in Pediatrics
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 63; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030063
Received: 16 June 2017 / Revised: 4 July 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 13 July 2017
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Abstract
Additive manufacturing, commonly referred to as 3D printing, is a technology that builds three-dimensional structures and components layer by layer. Bioprinting is the use of 3D printing technology to fabricate tissue constructs for regenerative medicine from cell-laden bio-inks. 3D printing and bioprinting have
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Additive manufacturing, commonly referred to as 3D printing, is a technology that builds three-dimensional structures and components layer by layer. Bioprinting is the use of 3D printing technology to fabricate tissue constructs for regenerative medicine from cell-laden bio-inks. 3D printing and bioprinting have huge potential in revolutionizing the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. This paper reviews the application of 3D printing and bioprinting in the field of pediatrics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in 3D Printing of Biomaterials)
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Open AccessArticle Estimating Extrinsic Dyes for Fluorometric Online Monitoring of Antibody Aggregation in CHO Fed-Batch Cultivations
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 65; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030065
Received: 24 June 2017 / Revised: 15 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 24 July 2017
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Abstract
Multi-wavelength fluorescence spectroscopy was evaluated in this work as tool for real-time monitoring of antibody aggregation in CHO fed-batch cultivations via partial least square (PLS) modeling. Therefore, we used the extrinsic fluorescence dyes 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonate (ANS), 4,4′-bis-1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonate (Bis-ANS), or Thioflavin T (ThT) as medium
[...] Read more.
Multi-wavelength fluorescence spectroscopy was evaluated in this work as tool for real-time monitoring of antibody aggregation in CHO fed-batch cultivations via partial least square (PLS) modeling. Therefore, we used the extrinsic fluorescence dyes 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonate (ANS), 4,4′-bis-1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonate (Bis-ANS), or Thioflavin T (ThT) as medium additives. This is a new application area, since these dyes are commonly used for aggregate detection during formulation development. We determined the half maximum inhibitory concentrations of ANS (203 ± 11 µmol·L−1), Bis-ANS (5 ± 0.5 µmol·L−1), and ThT (3 ± 0.2 µmol·L−1), and selected suitable concentrations for this application. The results showed that the emission signals of non-covalent dye antibody aggregate interaction superimposed the fluorescence signals originating from feed medium and cell culture. The fluorescence datasets were subsequently used to build PLS models, and the dye-related elevated fluorescence signals dominated the model calibration. The soft sensors based on ANS and Bis-ANS signals showed high predictability with a low error of prediction (1.7 and 2.3 mg·mL−1 aggregates). In general, the combination of extrinsic dye and used concentration influenced the predictability. Furthermore, the ThT soft sensor indicated that the intrinsic fluorescence of the culture might be sufficient to predict antibody aggregation online. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hybrid Modelling and Multi-Parametric Control of Bioprocesses)
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Open AccessArticle Design of Three-Dimensional Scaffolds with Tunable Matrix Stiffness for Directing Stem Cell Lineage Specification: An In Silico Study
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 66; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030066
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 24 July 2017 / Accepted: 25 July 2017 / Published: 27 July 2017
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Abstract
Tissue engineering is a multi-disciplinary area of research bringing together the fields of engineering and life sciences with the aim of fabricating tissue constructs aiding in the regeneration of damaged tissues and organs. Scaffolds play a key role in tissue engineering, acting as
[...] Read more.
Tissue engineering is a multi-disciplinary area of research bringing together the fields of engineering and life sciences with the aim of fabricating tissue constructs aiding in the regeneration of damaged tissues and organs. Scaffolds play a key role in tissue engineering, acting as the templates for tissue regeneration and guiding the growth of new tissue. The use of stem cells in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine becomes indispensable, especially for applications involving successful long-term restoration of continuously self-renewing tissues, such as skin. The differentiation of stem cells is controlled by a number of cues, of which the nature of the substrate and its innate stiffness plays a vital role in stem cell fate determination. By tuning the substrate stiffness, the differentiation of stem cells can be directed to the desired lineage. Many studies on the effect of substrate stiffness on stem cell differentiation has been reported, but most of those studies are conducted with two-dimensional (2D) substrates. However, the native in vivo tissue microenvironment is three-dimensional (3D) and life science researchers are moving towards 3D cell cultures. Porous 3D scaffolds are widely used by the researchers for 3D cell culture and the properties of such scaffolds affects the cell attachment, proliferation, and differentiation. To this end, the design of porous scaffolds directly influences the stem cell fate determination. There exists a need to have 3D scaffolds with tunable stiffness for directing the differentiation of stem cells into the desired lineage. Given the limited number of biomaterials with all the desired properties, the design of the scaffolds themselves could be used to tune the matrix stiffness. This paper is an in silico study, investigating the effect of various scaffold parameter, namely fiber width, porosity, number of unit cells per layer, number of layers, and material selection, on the matrix stiffness, thereby offering a guideline for design of porous tissue engineering scaffolds with tunable matrix stiffness for directing stem cell lineage specification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Tissue Engineering Scaffolds)
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Open AccessArticle Microfluidic Adaptation of Density-Gradient Centrifugation for Isolation of Particles and Cells
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 67; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030067
Received: 11 July 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 29 July 2017 / Published: 2 August 2017
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Abstract
Density-gradient centrifugation is a label-free approach that has been extensively used for cell separations. Though elegant, this process is time-consuming (>30 min), subjects cells to high levels of stress (>350 g) and relies on user skill to enable fractionation of cells that layer
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Density-gradient centrifugation is a label-free approach that has been extensively used for cell separations. Though elegant, this process is time-consuming (>30 min), subjects cells to high levels of stress (>350 g) and relies on user skill to enable fractionation of cells that layer as a narrow band between the density-gradient medium and platelet-rich plasma. We hypothesized that microfluidic adaptation of this technique could transform this process into a rapid fractionation approach where samples are separated in a continuous fashion while being exposed to lower levels of stress (<100 g) for shorter durations of time (<3 min). To demonstrate proof-of-concept, we designed a microfluidic density-gradient centrifugation device and constructed a setup to introduce samples and medium like Ficoll in a continuous, pump-less fashion where cells and particles can be exposed to centrifugal force and separated via different outlets. Proof-of-concept studies using binary mixtures of low-density polystyrene beads (1.02 g/cm3) and high-density silicon dioxide beads (2.2 g/cm3) with Ficoll–Paque (1.06 g/cm3) show that separation is indeed feasible with >99% separation efficiency suggesting that this approach can be further adapted for separation of cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Micro Separation Technology)
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Open AccessArticle Biosynthesis of Polyhydroxyalkanoate from Steamed Soybean Wastewater by a Recombinant Strain of Pseudomonas sp. 61-3
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 68; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030068
Received: 12 May 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 August 2017 / Published: 8 August 2017
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Abstract
Pseudomonas sp. 61-3 accumulates a blend of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB)] homopolymer and a random copolymer, poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyalkanoate) [P(3HB-co-3HA)], consisting of 3HA units of 4–12 carbon atoms. Pseudomonas sp. 61-3 possesses two types of PHA synthases, PHB synthase (PhbC) and PHA synthases
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Pseudomonas sp. 61-3 accumulates a blend of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) [P(3HB)] homopolymer and a random copolymer, poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyalkanoate) [P(3HB-co-3HA)], consisting of 3HA units of 4–12 carbon atoms. Pseudomonas sp. 61-3 possesses two types of PHA synthases, PHB synthase (PhbC) and PHA synthases (PhaC1 and PhaC2), encoded by the phb and pha loci, respectively. The P(94 mol% 3HB-co-6 mol% 3HA) copolymer synthesized by the recombinant strain of Pseudomonas sp. 61-3 (phbC::tet) harboring additional copies of phaC1 gene is known to have desirable physical properties and to be a flexible material with moderate toughness, similar to low-density polyethylene. In this study, we focused on the production of the P(3HB-co-3HA) copolymer using steamed soybean wastewater, a by-product in brewing miso, which is a traditional Japanese seasoning. The steamed soybean wastewater was spray-dried to produce a powder (SWP) and used as the sole nitrogen source for the synthesis of P(3HB-co-3HA) by the Pseudomonas sp. 61-3 recombinant strain. Hydrolyzed SWP (HSWP) was also used as a carbon and nitrogen source. P(3HB-co-3HA)s with relatively high 3HB fractions could be synthesized by a recombinant strain of Pseudomonas sp. 61-3 (phbC::tet) harboring additional copies of the phaC1 gene in the presence of 2% glucose and 10–20 g/L SWP as the sole nitrogen source, producing a PHA concentration of 1.0–1.4 g/L. When HSWP was added to a nitrogen- and carbon-free medium, the recombinant strain could synthesize PHA without glucose as a carbon source. The recombinant strain accumulated 32 wt% P(3HB-co-3HA) containing 80 mol% 3HB and 20 mol% medium-chain-length 3HA with a PHA concentration of 1.0 g/L when 50 g/L of HSWP was used. The PHA production yield was estimated as 20 mg-PHA/g-HSWP, which equates to approximately 1.0 g-PHA per liter of soybean wastewater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production)
Open AccessArticle Automated Measurement of Patient-Specific Tibial Slopes from MRI
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 69; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030069
Received: 8 May 2017 / Revised: 12 July 2017 / Accepted: 4 August 2017 / Published: 8 August 2017
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Abstract
Background: Multi-planar proximal tibial slopes may be associated with increased likelihood of osteoarthritis and anterior cruciate ligament injury, due in part to their role in checking the anterior-posterior stability of the knee. Established methods suffer repeatability limitations and lack computational efficiency for intuitive
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Background: Multi-planar proximal tibial slopes may be associated with increased likelihood of osteoarthritis and anterior cruciate ligament injury, due in part to their role in checking the anterior-posterior stability of the knee. Established methods suffer repeatability limitations and lack computational efficiency for intuitive clinical adoption. The aims of this study were to develop a novel automated approach and to compare the repeatability and computational efficiency of the approach against previously established methods. Methods: Tibial slope geometries were obtained via MRI and measured using an automated Matlab-based approach. Data were compared for repeatability and evaluated for computational efficiency. Results: Mean lateral tibial slope (LTS) for females (7.2°) was greater than for males (1.66°). Mean LTS in the lateral concavity zone was greater for females (7.8° for females, 4.2° for males). Mean medial tibial slope (MTS) for females was greater (9.3° vs. 4.6°). Along the medial concavity zone, female subjects demonstrated greater MTS. Conclusion: The automated method was more repeatable and computationally efficient than previously identified methods and may aid in the clinical assessment of knee injury risk, inform surgical planning, and implant design efforts. Full article
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Open AccessArticle In Vitro Evaluation of Glycoengineered RSV-F in the Human Artificial Lymph Node Reactor
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 70; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030070
Received: 1 April 2017 / Revised: 27 July 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 15 August 2017
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Abstract
Subunit vaccines often require adjuvants to elicit sustained immune activity. Here, a method is described to evaluate the efficacy of single vaccine candidates in the preclinical stage based on cytokine and gene expression analysis. As a model, the recombinant human respiratory syncytial virus
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Subunit vaccines often require adjuvants to elicit sustained immune activity. Here, a method is described to evaluate the efficacy of single vaccine candidates in the preclinical stage based on cytokine and gene expression analysis. As a model, the recombinant human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) fusion protein (RSV-F) was produced in CHO cells. For comparison, wild-type and glycoengineered, afucosylated RSV-F were established. Both glycoprotein vaccines were tested in a commercial Human Artificial Lymph Node in vitro model (HuALN®). The analysis of six key cytokines in cell culture supernatants showed well-balanced immune responses for the afucosylated RSV-F, while immune response of wild-type RSV-F was more Th1 accentuated. In particular, stronger and specific secretion of interleukin-4 after each round of re-stimulation underlined higher potency and efficacy of the afucosylated vaccine candidate. Comprehensive gene expression analysis by nCounter gene expression assay confirmed the stronger onset of the immunologic reaction in stimulation experiments with the afucosylated vaccine in comparison to wild-type RSV-F and particularly revealed prominent activation of Th17 related genes, innate immunity, and comprehensive activation of humoral immunity. We, therefore, show that our method is suited to distinguish the potency of two vaccine candidates with minor structural differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recombinant Glycoproteins)
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Open AccessArticle The Molecular Level Characterization of Biodegradable Polymers Originated from Polyethylene Using Non-Oxygenated Polyethylene Wax as a Carbon Source for Polyhydroxyalkanoate Production
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 73; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030073
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
There is an increasing demand for bio-based polymers that are developed from recycled materials. The production of biodegradable polymers can include bio-technological (utilizing microorganisms or enzymes) or chemical synthesis procedures. This report demonstrates the corroboration of the molecular structure of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) obtained
[...] Read more.
There is an increasing demand for bio-based polymers that are developed from recycled materials. The production of biodegradable polymers can include bio-technological (utilizing microorganisms or enzymes) or chemical synthesis procedures. This report demonstrates the corroboration of the molecular structure of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) obtained by the conversion of waste polyethylene (PE) via non-oxygenated PE wax (N-PEW) as an additional carbon source for a bacterial species. The N-PEW, obtained from a PE pyrolysis reaction, has been found to be a beneficial carbon source for PHA production with Cupriavidus necator H16. The production of the N-PEW is an alternative to oxidized polyethylene wax (O-PEW) (that has been used as a carbon source previously) as it is less time consuming to manufacture and offers fewer industrial applications. A range of molecular structural analytical techniques were performed on the PHAs obtained; which included nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS). Our study showed that the PHA formed from N-PEW contained 3-hydroxybutyrate (HB) with 11 mol% of 3-hydroxyvalerate (HV) units. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) Production)
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Open AccessArticle Encapsulation of Oregano (Origanum onites L.) Essential Oil in β-Cyclodextrin (β-CD): Synthesis and Characterization of the Inclusion Complexes
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 74; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030074
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 9 September 2017
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Abstract
The aim of the present work was to study the encapsulation of Origanum onites L. essential oil (oregano EO) in β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) inclusion complexes (ICs), using the co-precipitation method. The formed β-CD–oregano EO ICs were characterized by diverse methods, such as Dynamic Light
[...] Read more.
The aim of the present work was to study the encapsulation of Origanum onites L. essential oil (oregano EO) in β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) inclusion complexes (ICs), using the co-precipitation method. The formed β-CD–oregano EO ICs were characterized by diverse methods, such as Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), FT-IR spectroscopy, Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). UV-Vis spectroscopy was used for the determination of the inclusion efficacy and the study of the encapsulated oregano EO release profile. The interactions between host (β-CD) and guest (oregano EO) in the formed ICs were proven by the FT-IR, DSC, TG and NMR analyses. The ICs, which derived from different batches, presented nanoscale size (531.8 ± 7.7 nm and 450.3 ± 11.5 nm, respectively), good size dispersion (0.308 ± 0.062 and 0.484 ± 0.029, respectively) and satisfactory stability in suspension (ζ-potential = −21.5 ± 1.2 mV and −30.7 ± 1.8 mV). Inclusion efficiency reached up to 26%, whereas the oregano EO release from the ICs followed a continuous delivery profile for up to 11 days, based on in vitro experiments. The formed ICs can find diverse applications, such as in the preparation of films for active packaging of food products, in personal care products for the improvement of their properties (e.g., antioxidant, antimicrobial, etc.), as well as in insect repellent products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biocomposite Engineering and Bio-Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Encapsulation of Olive Leaves Extracts in Biodegradable PLA Nanoparticles for Use in Cosmetic Formulation
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 75; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030075
Received: 11 July 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
The aim of the current work was to encapsulate olive leaves extract in biodegradable poly(lactic acid) nanoparticles, characterize the nanoparticles and define the experimental parameters that affect the encapsulation procedure. Moreover, the loaded nanoparticles were incorporated in a cosmetic formulation and the stability
[...] Read more.
The aim of the current work was to encapsulate olive leaves extract in biodegradable poly(lactic acid) nanoparticles, characterize the nanoparticles and define the experimental parameters that affect the encapsulation procedure. Moreover, the loaded nanoparticles were incorporated in a cosmetic formulation and the stability of the formulation was studied for a three-month period of study. Poly(lactic acid) nanoparticles were prepared by the nanoprecipitation method. Characterization of the nanoparticles was performed using a variety of techniques: size, polydispersity index and ζ-potential were measured by Dynamic Light Scattering; morphology was studied using Scanning Electron Microscopy; thermal properties were investigated using Differential Scanning Calorimetry; whereas FT-IR spectroscopy provided a better insight on the encapsulation of the extract. Encapsulation Efficiency was determined indirectly, using UV-Vis spectroscopy. The loaded nanoparticles exhibited anionic ζ-potential, a mean particle size of 246.3 ± 5.3 nm (Pdi: 0.21 ± 0.01) and equal to 49.2%, while olive leaves extract release from the nanoparticles was found to present a burst effect at the first 2 hours. Furthermore, the stability studies of the loaded nanoparticles’ cosmetic formulation showed increased stability compared to the pure extract, in respect to viscosity, pH, organoleptic characteristics, emulsions phases and grid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biocomposite Engineering and Bio-Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Investigating User Identification in Remote Patient Monitoring Devices
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 76; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030076
Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
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Abstract
With the increase in the number of people having a chronic disease, there is an increase in households having more than a single person suffering from the same chronic illness. One problem of monitoring such patients in their own home is that current
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With the increase in the number of people having a chronic disease, there is an increase in households having more than a single person suffering from the same chronic illness. One problem of monitoring such patients in their own home is that current devices have a limitation in the number of people who can use a single device. This study investigates the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) for identification in a multi-user environment. Methods: A mixed-method qualitative and quantitative approach was adopted, including focus groups, observations and a field trial. Data were collected in three phases. In Phase 1, five focus groups were conducted with patients to determine their beliefs, concerns and issues with using identification in remote patient monitoring devices. In Phase 2, participants were given a blood pressure monitor modified to include an NFC reader to enable identification. The modified device was given to patients living as a couple in the same household and both suffering from hypertension. Both patients used the device for a period of two weeks to observe their acceptance of the technology and determine their experience of usage. A total of 40 (20 couples) patients participated in the trial. Non-adherence to the full monitoring regimen was low and was mainly due to usability issues or commitments taking them away from the home and thus unable to take readings. After the trial period participants were invited to discuss their experiences with the technology in a focus group discussion (Phase 3), a total of five focus groups were conducted. Focus group discussions with the patients revealed that most participants liked using the system and were not apprehensive towards Healthcare Information Technology (HIT). The participants also had suggestions for improvements that could be made to the modified blood pressure monitor (such as, rechargeable in place batteries, integrate the components, easier to use cuff, and increased sensitivity of the NFC reader) that might improve the overall experience of the proposed technology and its acceptance. Conclusion: The study proposes a new framework, the Senior Patient Technology Acceptance Model (SPTAM) that offers an understanding of the needs of the elderly towards technology use and the factors that influence its acceptance. SPTAM emphasises that involving the patient in the early stages of development can lead to a more user-centred technology and help in identifying any underlying issues at an early stage, thus avoiding adding features which patients do not need. The findings from this empirical research can be used as recommendations to improve current RPM devices, save the NHS costs, inform standardization groups. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Tumor Microenvironment on a Chip: The Progress and Future Perspective
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 64; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030064
Received: 27 May 2017 / Revised: 17 July 2017 / Accepted: 19 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
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Abstract
Tumors develop in intricate microenvironments required for their sustained growth, invasion, and metastasis. The tumor microenvironment plays a critical role in the malignant or drug resistant nature of tumors, becoming a promising therapeutic target. Microengineered physiological systems capable of mimicking tumor environments are
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Tumors develop in intricate microenvironments required for their sustained growth, invasion, and metastasis. The tumor microenvironment plays a critical role in the malignant or drug resistant nature of tumors, becoming a promising therapeutic target. Microengineered physiological systems capable of mimicking tumor environments are one emerging platform that allows for quantitative and reproducible characterization of tumor responses with pathophysiological relevance. This review highlights the recent advancements of engineered tumor microenvironment systems that enable the unprecedented mechanistic examination of cancer progression and metastasis. We discuss the progress and future perspective of these microengineered biomimetic approaches for anticancer drug prescreening applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Organs-on-Chips for In Vitro Disease Models)
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Open AccessReview 3D Bioprinting and In Vitro Cardiovascular Tissue Modeling
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 71; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030071
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 11 August 2017 / Published: 18 August 2017
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Abstract
Numerous microfabrication approaches have been developed to recapitulate morphologically and functionally organized tissue microarchitectures in vitro; however, the technical and operational limitations remain to be overcome. 3D printing technology facilitates the building of a construct containing biomaterials and cells in desired organizations and
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Numerous microfabrication approaches have been developed to recapitulate morphologically and functionally organized tissue microarchitectures in vitro; however, the technical and operational limitations remain to be overcome. 3D printing technology facilitates the building of a construct containing biomaterials and cells in desired organizations and shapes that have physiologically relevant geometry, complexity, and micro-environmental cues. The selection of biomaterials for 3D printing is considered one of the most critical factors to achieve tissue function. It has been reported that some printable biomaterials, having extracellular matrix-like intrinsic microenvironment factors, were capable of regulating stem cell fate and phenotype. In particular, this technology can control the spatial positions of cells, and provide topological, chemical, and complex cues, allowing neovascularization and maturation in the engineered cardiovascular tissues. This review will delineate the state-of-the-art 3D bioprinting techniques in the field of cardiovascular tissue engineering and their applications in translational medicine. In addition, this review will describe 3D printing-based pre-vascularization technologies correlated with implementing blood perfusion throughout the engineered tissue equivalent. The described engineering method may offer a unique approach that results in the physiological mimicry of human cardiovascular tissues to aid in drug development and therapeutic approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Organs-on-Chips for In Vitro Disease Models)
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Open AccessReview Progress in Integrative Biomaterial Systems to Approach Three-Dimensional Cell Mechanotransduction
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 72; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030072
Received: 1 May 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Mechanotransduction between cells and the extracellular matrix regulates major cellular functions in physiological and pathological situations. The effect of mechanical cues on biochemical signaling triggered by cell–matrix and cell–cell interactions on model biomimetic surfaces has been extensively investigated by a combination of fabrication,
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Mechanotransduction between cells and the extracellular matrix regulates major cellular functions in physiological and pathological situations. The effect of mechanical cues on biochemical signaling triggered by cell–matrix and cell–cell interactions on model biomimetic surfaces has been extensively investigated by a combination of fabrication, biophysical, and biological methods. To simulate the in vivo physiological microenvironment in vitro, three dimensional (3D) microstructures with tailored bio-functionality have been fabricated on substrates of various materials. However, less attention has been paid to the design of 3D biomaterial systems with geometric variances, such as the possession of precise micro-features and/or bio-sensing elements for probing the mechanical responses of cells to the external microenvironment. Such precisely engineered 3D model experimental platforms pave the way for studying the mechanotransduction of multicellular aggregates under controlled geometric and mechanical parameters. Concurrently with the progress in 3D biomaterial fabrication, cell traction force microscopy (CTFM) developed in the field of cell biophysics has emerged as a highly sensitive technique for probing the mechanical stresses exerted by cells onto the opposing deformable surface. In the current work, we first review the recent advances in the fabrication of 3D micropatterned biomaterials which enable the seamless integration with experimental cell mechanics in a controlled 3D microenvironment. Then, we discuss the role of collective cell–cell interactions in the mechanotransduction of engineered tissue equivalents determined by such integrative biomaterial systems under simulated physiological conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biocomposite Engineering and Bio-Applications)
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Open AccessReview Microdevice Platform for In Vitro Nervous System and Its Disease Model
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 77; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030077
Received: 7 June 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
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Abstract
The development of precise microdevices can be applied to the reconstruction of in vitro human microenvironmental systems with biomimetic physiological conditions that have highly tunable spatial and temporal features. Organ-on-a-chip can emulate human physiological functions, particularly at the organ level, as well as
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The development of precise microdevices can be applied to the reconstruction of in vitro human microenvironmental systems with biomimetic physiological conditions that have highly tunable spatial and temporal features. Organ-on-a-chip can emulate human physiological functions, particularly at the organ level, as well as its specific roles in the body. Due to the complexity of the structure of the central nervous system and its intercellular interaction, there remains an urgent need for the development of human brain or nervous system models. Thus, various microdevice models have been proposed to mimic actual human brain physiology, which can be categorized as nervous system-on-a-chip. Nervous system-on-a-chip platforms can prove to be promising technologies, through the application of their biomimetic features to the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases. This article reviews the microdevices for nervous system-on-a-chip platform incorporated with neurobiology and microtechnology, including microfluidic designs that are biomimetic to the entire nervous system. The emulation of both neurodegenerative disorders and neural stem cell behavior patterns in micro-platforms is also provided, which can be used as a basis to construct nervous system-on-a-chip. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Organs-on-Chips for In Vitro Disease Models)
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Open AccessReview Development of Antibody–Drug Conjugates Using DDS and Molecular Imaging
Bioengineering 2017, 4(3), 78; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4030078
Received: 30 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 17 September 2017
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Abstract
Antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), as a next generation of antibody therapeutics, is a combination of an antibody and a drug connected via a specialized linker. ADC has four action steps: systemic circulation, the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, penetration within the tumor tissue,
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Antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), as a next generation of antibody therapeutics, is a combination of an antibody and a drug connected via a specialized linker. ADC has four action steps: systemic circulation, the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, penetration within the tumor tissue, and action on cells, such as through drug delivery system (DDS) drugs. An antibody with a size of about 10 nm has the same capacity for passive targeting as some DDS carriers, depending on the EPR effect. In addition, some antibodies are capable of active targeting. A linker is stable in the bloodstream but should release drugs efficiently in the tumor cells or their microenvironment. Thus, the linker technology is actually a typical controlled release technology in DDS. Here, we focused on molecular imaging. Fluorescent and positron emission tomography (PET) imaging is useful for the visualization and evaluation of antibody delivery in terms of passive and active targeting in the systemic circulation and in tumors. To evaluate the controlled release of the ADC in the targeted area, a mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) with a mass microscope, to visualize the drug released from ADC, was used. As a result, we succeeded in confirming the significant anti-tumor activity of anti-fibrin, or anti-tissue factor-ADC, in preclinical settings by using DDS and molecular imaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Drug Delivery Systems and Devices)
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