Special Issue "Biomaterials Approaches for Cancer Research"

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A special issue of Journal of Functional Biomaterials (ISSN 2079-4983).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 September 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Sue Anne Chew

Department of Health and Biomedical Sciences, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville, TX 78520, USA
E-Mail
Interests: biomaterials for the study and treatment of cancer and tissue engineering

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the years, the field of biomaterials has emerged as an important tool in the fight against cancer. Biomaterials approaches are applied to improve methods of studying cancer in vitro. Different materials are used to create 3D cell culture systems, which can act as intermediate stages between 2D culture and animal models. Biomaterials are also currently used in the detection and diagnosis of cancer; such diagnostics include the development of biomaterials-based immunoassays, which detect biomarkers and biomaterials to facilitate the delivery of contrast agents for imaging. Furthermore, biomaterials also play an integral role in the advancement of cancer therapies. A wide spectrum of biomaterials are being applied for the targeted and sustained delivery of therapeutic agents. Due to the difficulties and high costs of developing new therapeutics and detection and diagnosis methods, focus should be placed on applying biomaterials that optimize currently available approaches. Biomaterial properties, such as size, shape, charge, surface chemistry, morphology, and physiochemical properties can be easily tailored to tackle specific challenges in cancer. Thus, biomaterials enable useful, innovative approaches for improving the current technologies available for studying, detecting, and treating cancer.

Dr. Sue Anne Chew
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Functional Biomaterials is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


Keywords

  • cancer therapy
  • cancer detection and diagnosis
  • 3d culture systems
  • drug delivery
  • imaging

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Poly(vinyl alcohol)/gelatin Hydrogels Cultured with HepG2 Cells as a 3D Model of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Morphological Study
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(1), 16-32; doi:10.3390/jfb6010016
Received: 17 November 2014 / Accepted: 5 January 2015 / Published: 13 January 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (5502 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It has been demonstrated that three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models represent fundamental tools for the comprehension of cellular phenomena both for normal and cancerous tissues. Indeed, the microenvironment affects the cellular behavior as well as the response to drugs. In this study, we
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It has been demonstrated that three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models represent fundamental tools for the comprehension of cellular phenomena both for normal and cancerous tissues. Indeed, the microenvironment affects the cellular behavior as well as the response to drugs. In this study, we performed a morphological analysis on a hepatocarcinoma cell line, HepG2, grown for 24 days inside a bioartificial hydrogel composed of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and gelatin (G) to model a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in 3D. Morphological features of PVA/G hydrogels were investigated, resulting to mimic the trabecular structure of liver parenchyma. A histologic analysis comparing the 3D models with HepG2 cell monolayers and tumor specimens was performed. In the 3D setting, HepG2 cells were viable and formed large cellular aggregates showing different morphotypes with zonal distribution. Furthermore, β-actin and α5β1 integrin revealed a morphotype-related expression; in particular, the frontline cells were characterized by a strong immunopositivity on a side border of their membrane, thus suggesting the formation of lamellipodia-like structures apt for migration. Based on these results, we propose PVA/G hydrogels as valuable substrates to develop a long term 3D HCC model that can be used to investigate important aspects of tumor biology related to migration phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomaterials Approaches for Cancer Research)
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Open AccessArticle Silencing Bcl-2 Expression in Epithelial Cancer Cells Using “Smart” Particles
J. Funct. Biomater. 2014, 5(3), 167-182; doi:10.3390/jfb5030167
Received: 24 May 2014 / Revised: 26 July 2014 / Accepted: 28 July 2014 / Published: 16 September 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1607 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Short interfering RNA (siRNA) targeted against anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein proved to knockdown its expression and trigger cancer cell death. We used degradable, pH-sensitive, comb-like [P(EAA-co-BMA)-b-PNASI-g-P(HMA-co-TMAEMA)] polymer to condense anti-Bcl-2 siRNA into “smart” particles, which proved to shuttle their cargo past the endosomal membrane
[...] Read more.
Short interfering RNA (siRNA) targeted against anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein proved to knockdown its expression and trigger cancer cell death. We used degradable, pH-sensitive, comb-like [P(EAA-co-BMA)-b-PNASI-g-P(HMA-co-TMAEMA)] polymer to condense anti-Bcl-2 siRNA into “smart” particles, which proved to shuttle their cargo past the endosomal membrane and into the cytoplasm of HeLa and UM-SCC-17B cancer cells. HeLa and UM-SCC-17B cancer cells were treated with anti-Bcl-2 particles followed by quantifying Bcl-2 mRNA and protein levels using qRT-PCR and western blotting, respectively. “Smart” anti-Bcl-2 particles selectively suppress Bcl-2 mRNA and protein levels in HeLa cells by 50%–60% and 79%–81%, respectively. Similarly, “smart” anti-Bcl-2 particles inhibited Bcl-2 mRNA levels by 30%, 40%, and 20% upon incubation with UM-SCC-17B cancer cells for 48, 72, and 96 h, respectively. Bcl-2 protein expression in UM-SCC-17B cancer cells was inhibited by 30% after treatment for 72 h. Results show that pH-sensitive comb-like polymer complex anti-Bcl-2 siRNA forming “smart” nanoparticles that deliver their cargo into the cytoplasm of HeLa and UM-SCC-17B cancer cells causing Bcl-2 knockdown at the mRNA and protein levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomaterials Approaches for Cancer Research)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Stimuli-Responsive Gold Nanoparticles for Cancer Diagnosis and Therapy
J. Funct. Biomater. 2016, 7(3), 19; doi:10.3390/jfb7030019
Received: 3 May 2016 / Revised: 13 July 2016 / Accepted: 15 July 2016 / Published: 21 July 2016
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Abstract
An emerging concept is that cancers strongly depend on both internal and external signals for growth and invasion. In this review, we will discuss pathological and physical changes in the tumor microenvironment and how these changes can be exploited to design gold nanoparticles
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An emerging concept is that cancers strongly depend on both internal and external signals for growth and invasion. In this review, we will discuss pathological and physical changes in the tumor microenvironment and how these changes can be exploited to design gold nanoparticles for cancer diagnosis and therapy. These intrinsic changes include extracellular and intracellular pH, extracellular matrix enzymes, and glutathione concentration. External stimuli include the application of laser, ultrasound and X-ray. The biology behind these changes and the chemistry behind the responding mechanisms to these changes are reviewed. Examples of recent in vitro and in vivo studies are also presented, and the clinical implications of these findings are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomaterials Approaches for Cancer Research)
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Open AccessReview Modulation of the Tumor Microenvironment for Cancer Treatment: A Biomaterials Approach
J. Funct. Biomater. 2015, 6(1), 81-103; doi:10.3390/jfb6010081
Received: 23 September 2014 / Revised: 7 October 2014 / Accepted: 12 February 2015 / Published: 17 February 2015
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (784 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tumors are complex tissues that consist of stromal cells, such as fibroblasts, immune cells and mesenchymal stem cells, as well as non-cellular components, in addition to neoplastic cells. Increasingly, there is evidence to suggest that these non-neoplastic cell components support cancer initiation, progression
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Tumors are complex tissues that consist of stromal cells, such as fibroblasts, immune cells and mesenchymal stem cells, as well as non-cellular components, in addition to neoplastic cells. Increasingly, there is evidence to suggest that these non-neoplastic cell components support cancer initiation, progression and metastasis and that their ablation or reprogramming can inhibit tumor growth. Our understanding of the activities of different parts of the tumor stroma in advancing cancer has been improved by the use of scaffold and matrix-based 3D systems originally developed for regenerative medicine. Additionally, drug delivery systems made from synthetic and natural biomaterials deliver drugs to kill stromal cells or reprogram the microenvironment for tumor inhibition. In this article, we review the impact of 3D tumor models in increasing our understanding of tumorigenesis. We also discuss how different drug delivery systems aid in the reprogramming of tumor stroma for cancer treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomaterials Approaches for Cancer Research)
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