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Biomimetics, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The developed modular continuum manipulator consists of an arm and a soft reconfigurable gripper. [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview Targeting Early Dementia: Using Lipid Cubic Phase Nanocarriers to Cross the Blood–Brain Barrier
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 6 March 2018 / Published: 7 March 2018
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Abstract
Over the past decades, a frequent co-morbidity of cerebrovascular pathology and Alzheimer’s disease has been observed. Numerous published studies indicate that the preservation of a healthy cerebrovascular endothelium can be an important therapeutic target. By incorporating the appropriate drug(s) into biomimetic (lipid cubic
[...] Read more.
Over the past decades, a frequent co-morbidity of cerebrovascular pathology and Alzheimer’s disease has been observed. Numerous published studies indicate that the preservation of a healthy cerebrovascular endothelium can be an important therapeutic target. By incorporating the appropriate drug(s) into biomimetic (lipid cubic phase) nanocarriers, one obtains a multitasking combination therapeutic, which targets certain cell surface scavenger receptors, mainly class B type I (i.e., SR-BI), and crosses the blood–brain barrier. This targeting allows for various cell types related to Alzheimer’s to be simultaneously searched out for localized drug treatment in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Nanotechnology)
Open AccessArticle Modular Continuum Manipulator: Analysis and Characterization of Its Basic Module
Received: 18 December 2017 / Revised: 20 January 2018 / Accepted: 2 February 2018 / Published: 14 February 2018
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Abstract
We present the basic module of a modular continuum arm (soft compliant manipulator for broad applications (SIMBA)). SIMBA is a robotic arm with a hybrid structure, namely a combination of rigid and soft components, which makes the arm highly versatile, dexterous, and robust.
[...] Read more.
We present the basic module of a modular continuum arm (soft compliant manipulator for broad applications (SIMBA)). SIMBA is a robotic arm with a hybrid structure, namely a combination of rigid and soft components, which makes the arm highly versatile, dexterous, and robust. These key features are due to the design of its basic module, which is characterized by a three-dimensional workspace with a constant radius around its rotation axis, large and highly repeatable bending, complete rotation, and passive stiffness. We present an extensive analysis and characterization of the basic module of the SIMBA arm in terms of design, fabrication, kinematic model, stiffness, and bending behavior. All the theoretical models presented were validated with empirical results. Our findings show a positional typical error of less than ≈6% in module diameter (highly repeatable) with a passive stiffness of 0.8 N/mm (≈1 kg load). Our aim is to demonstrate that this kind of robotic element can be exploited as an elementary module of a more complex structure, which can be used in any application requiring high directional stiffness but without the need for an active stiffness mechanism, as is the case in daily activities (e.g., door opening, water pouring, obstacle avoidance, and manipulation tasks). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soft Robotics)
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Open AccessCommunication Hepatocyte Aggregate Formation on Chitin-Based Anisotropic Microstructures of Butterfly Wings
Received: 5 December 2017 / Revised: 9 January 2018 / Accepted: 13 January 2018 / Published: 18 January 2018
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Abstract
Scaffold nanotopography plays the most significant role in the mimicry of the in vivo microenvironment of the hepatocytes. Several attempts have been made to develop methods and substrates suited to growing hepatocytes into aggregates. Functional biomaterials, particularly biodegradable polymers, have been used in
[...] Read more.
Scaffold nanotopography plays the most significant role in the mimicry of the in vivo microenvironment of the hepatocytes. Several attempts have been made to develop methods and substrates suited to growing hepatocytes into aggregates. Functional biomaterials, particularly biodegradable polymers, have been used in several studies aimed to develop improved scaffolds with ordered geometry and nanofibrous architecture for tissue engineering. However, there are still some limitation in their fabrication: it is not cost-efficient, is time-consuming, and exhibits some technological complications. The synthetic scaffolds are usually non-biodegradable and can be non-biocompatible compared to the naturally derived biomaterials. Here, we utilized a simple, cost-effective, and green method with two-step chemical treatment to get more selected hydrophilic butterfly wings from Morpho menelaus, Papilio ulysses telegonus, and Ornithoptera croesus lydius as a chitin-based natural scaffolds to growing hepatocyte aggregates. We established a three-dimensional (3D) in vitro model for culture of HepG2 cells and aggregate formation that maintained the hepatocytes function on these natural anisotropic microstructures. Cells cultured on these substrates show higher viability than those cultured on a two-dimensional (2D) culture plate. Methylthiazolyldiphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay results revealed excellent viability of HepG2 cells on P. u. telegonus wings (fibrous area). The results also demonstrated appropriate cell activity, cell retention, and stable and functional expression in terms of albumin secretion and urea synthesis activity compared to the 2D monolayer culture of hepatocytes on the culture dish surface. With a slightly different degree, the other substrates also shown similar results. We anticipate that these natural anisotropic, biodegradable, and biocompatible substrates can maintain long-term hepatic culture as an in vitro 3D model for potential therapeutic applications and regenerative tissue applications. The model presented here provides a feasible alternative to the synthetic scaffolds and is expected to be more reliable for 3D organotypic liver culture models based on such scaffolds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Nanotechnology)
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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Biomimetics in 2017
Received: 12 January 2018 / Revised: 12 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 January 2018 / Published: 15 January 2018
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Abstract
Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Journal maintains high quality standards for its published papers.[...] Full article
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