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Special Issue "Selected Papers from the 3rd International Congress on Biohydrogels (Biohydrogels 2011)"

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A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 February 2012)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Rolando Barbucci (Website)

Interuniversity Research Centre for Advanced Medical Systems (CRISMA), Viale Matteotti 15, 53034 Colle di Val d'Elsa, Siena, Italy
Phone: 00393286067748
Interests: synthesis of polysaccharide hydrogels; modification of metallic materials
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Roberto Giardino

Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, Codivilla-Putti Research Centre, Via di Barbiano, 1/10, 40136 Bologna, Italy
Interests: in vitro experimental model development; preclinical in vivo experimental models development and related studies; biocompatibility; biomaterials, prosthetic and implants evaluation; regenerative medicine and tissue engineering; biological and synthetic scaffolds; traumatology and orthopaedic pathology
Guest Editor
Dr. Luigi Ambrosio (Website)

Institute of Composite and Biomedical Materials, National Research Council, Piazzale Vincenzo Tecchio, 80 80125 Napoli, Italy
Interests: functional polymers; composite and nano-structures with tailored properties and processing; processing and monitoring technologies; biomaterials and tissue engineering technology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 3rd International Congress on Biohydrogels (Biohydrogels 2011) will be held on 8–12 November 2011, in Florence, Italy.
The conference topics include:

  • Nature and Structure of Hydrogels
  • Renewable Hydrogels
  • Nanogels
  • Stimuli Responsive Hydrogels
  • Stem Cells and Hydrogels
  • Hydrogels and Tissue Engineering
  • Nanoparticles and Hydrogels
  • Mechanism of Drug Release from the Hydrogels

Conference website: http://www.biohydrogels2011.it/.

Prof. Dr. Rolando Barbucci
Prof. Dr. Roberto Giardino
Dr. Luigi Ambrosio
Guest Editors

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Displaying articles 1-8
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Research

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Open AccessArticle Polysaccharide-Based Hydrogels: The Key Role of Water in Affecting Mechanical Properties
Polymers 2012, 4(3), 1517-1534; doi:10.3390/polym4031517
Received: 20 July 2012 / Revised: 27 July 2012 / Accepted: 1 August 2012 / Published: 21 August 2012
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (805 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Different hydrogels were prepared starting from natural or semi-synthetic polysaccharides (carboxymethylcellulose, hyaluronic acid and chitosan) which were cross-linked by the addition of a cross-linking agent chosen according to the chemical groups present along the polymer chains. The cross-linking reaction allows for the [...] Read more.
Different hydrogels were prepared starting from natural or semi-synthetic polysaccharides (carboxymethylcellulose, hyaluronic acid and chitosan) which were cross-linked by the addition of a cross-linking agent chosen according to the chemical groups present along the polymer chains. The cross-linking reaction allows for the formation of a three-dimensional network made of covalent bonds between the polymer chains, which is stable under physiological conditions. The presence of a substantial amount of water within the polysaccharide matrices makes such systems unique among hydrophilic gels. Water itself is responsible for some of their peculiar characteristics, one of which is their injectability which makes these hydrogels suitable for using as matrices for mini-invasive surgery and localized therapy. Full article
Open AccessArticle Hybrid Magnetic Hydrogel: A Potential System for Controlled Drug Delivery by Means of Alternating Magnetic Fields
Polymers 2012, 4(2), 1157-1169; doi:10.3390/polym4021157
Received: 28 February 2012 / Revised: 19 April 2012 / Accepted: 25 April 2012 / Published: 3 May 2012
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (1581 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Novel hybrid magnetic hydrogels have demonstrated their influence in several areas, particularly in biomedical science where these innovative materials are showing interesting applications for controlled drug delivery. A hybrid hydrogel with CoFe2O4 nanoparticles (NPs) as cross-linker agents of carboxymethylcellulose [...] Read more.
Novel hybrid magnetic hydrogels have demonstrated their influence in several areas, particularly in biomedical science where these innovative materials are showing interesting applications for controlled drug delivery. A hybrid hydrogel with CoFe2O4 nanoparticles (NPs) as cross-linker agents of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) polymer was obtained with the aim of testing it as a system for controlled drug release. The NPs were functionalized with (3-aminopropyl)-trimethoxysilane (APTMS) in order to introduce-NH2 groups on the surface. Infrared spectroscopy, XPS and electrochemical analysis were performed to quantify the amino coating. The presence of magnetic nanoparticles makes the system suitable for an application with magnetic stimulus. Preliminary studies performed with alternating magnetic fields indicate a release of the drug-like molecules previously loaded in the matrix. Full article
Open AccessArticle Calcite Biohybrids as Microenvironment for Stem Cells
Polymers 2012, 4(2), 1065-1083; doi:10.3390/polym4021065
Received: 20 February 2012 / Revised: 11 April 2012 / Accepted: 12 April 2012 / Published: 23 April 2012
PDF Full-text (1007 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A new type of composite 3D biomaterial that provides extracellular cues that govern the differentiation processes of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been developed. In the present study, we evaluated the chondrogenecity of a biohybrid composed of a calcium carbonate scaffold in [...] Read more.
A new type of composite 3D biomaterial that provides extracellular cues that govern the differentiation processes of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been developed. In the present study, we evaluated the chondrogenecity of a biohybrid composed of a calcium carbonate scaffold in its calcite polymorph and hyaluronic acid (HA). The source of the calcite scaffolding is an exoskeleton of a sea barnacle Tetraclita rifotincta (T. rifotincta), Pilsbry (1916). The combination of a calcium carbonate-based bioactive scaffold with a natural polymeric hydrogel is designed to mimic the organic-mineral composite of developing bone by providing a fine-tuned microenvironment. The results indicate that the calcite-HA interface creates a suitable microenvironment for the chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs, and therefore, the biohybrid may provide a tool for tissue-engineered cartilage. Full article
Open AccessArticle Templated Formation of Hydroxyapatite Nanoparticles from Self-Assembled Nanogels Containing Tricarboxylate Groups
Polymers 2012, 4(2), 1056-1064; doi:10.3390/polym4021056
Received: 27 February 2012 / Revised: 10 April 2012 / Accepted: 11 April 2012 / Published: 20 April 2012
PDF Full-text (554 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nanosized hydroxyapatite (HAp) materials have received much attention in the context of their advanced biomedical applications, including tissue engineering and drug delivery systems. Hybridization of nanosized HAp with organic molecules is a promising approach to facilitate the preparation of HAp nanomaterials. Here, [...] Read more.
Nanosized hydroxyapatite (HAp) materials have received much attention in the context of their advanced biomedical applications, including tissue engineering and drug delivery systems. Hybridization of nanosized HAp with organic molecules is a promising approach to facilitate the preparation of HAp nanomaterials. Here, templated mineralization using self-assembled nanogels modified with tricarboxylate groups was performed to yield the hybrid HAp nanomaterial. In the pH gradient method, the nanogel acted as an excellent template for the formation of well-dispersed HAp particles. Transmission electron microscopy, selected area electron diffraction patterns and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy of these particles revealed that amorphous nanoparticles of amorphous calcium phosphate formed first, followed by transformation to crystalline hydroxyapatite. Full article
Open AccessArticle Multiple Stimuli-Responsive Hydrogels for Metal-Based Drug Therapy
Polymers 2012, 4(2), 964-985; doi:10.3390/polym4020964
Received: 31 January 2012 / Revised: 15 March 2012 / Accepted: 20 March 2012 / Published: 27 March 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (432 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A series of homopolymeric and copolymeric hydrogels containing the N-isopropylacrylamide and vinyl monomers with α-amino acid (L-valine and L-phenylalanine) residues have been synthesized and their swelling properties were evaluated under different external stimulations. The hydrogels, obtained with different cross-linking agents (EBA [...] Read more.
A series of homopolymeric and copolymeric hydrogels containing the N-isopropylacrylamide and vinyl monomers with α-amino acid (L-valine and L-phenylalanine) residues have been synthesized and their swelling properties were evaluated under different external stimulations. The hydrogels, obtained with different cross-linking agents (EBA and PEG-DA), have shown unique properties such as biocompatibility in addition to the stimuli-responsive characters. These ‘smart’ hydrogels exhibit single or multiple stimuli-responsiveness which could be used in biomedical applications, including controlled drug delivery. This article focuses on recent developments dealing with the delivery of metal-based drug (cisplatin, lithium) from the stimuli-responsive hydrogels proposed as platforms for cancer and bipolar disorder therapies. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Hydrogel-Based Platforms for the Regeneration of Osteochondral Tissue and Intervertebral Disc
Polymers 2012, 4(3), 1590-1612; doi:10.3390/polym4031590
Received: 16 April 2012 / Revised: 19 July 2012 / Accepted: 6 September 2012 / Published: 14 September 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (699 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hydrogels currently represent a powerful solution to promote the regeneration of soft and hard tissues. Primarily, they assure efficient bio-molecular interactions with cells, also regulating their basic functions, guiding the spatially and temporally complex multi-cellular processes of tissue formation, and ultimately facilitating [...] Read more.
Hydrogels currently represent a powerful solution to promote the regeneration of soft and hard tissues. Primarily, they assure efficient bio-molecular interactions with cells, also regulating their basic functions, guiding the spatially and temporally complex multi-cellular processes of tissue formation, and ultimately facilitating the restoration of structure and function of damaged or dysfunctional tissues. In order to overcome basic drawbacks of traditional synthesized hydrogels, many recent strategies have been implemented to realize multi-component hydrogels based on natural and/or synthetic materials with tailored chemistries and different degradation kinetics. Here, a critical review of main strategies has been proposed based on the use of hydrogels-based devices for the regeneration of complex tissues, i.e., osteo-chondral tissues and intervertebral disc. Full article
Open AccessReview The Interactions between Blood and Polymeric Nanoparticles Depend on the Nature and Structure of the Hydrogel Covering the Surface
Polymers 2012, 4(2), 986-996; doi:10.3390/polym4020986
Received: 28 February 2012 / Revised: 30 March 2012 / Accepted: 1 April 2012 / Published: 13 April 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (292 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Polymeric surfaces in contact with blood in vivo are foreign bodies and are quickly isolated from blood by the non-specific defense systems. Nanoparticles (NP) used as drug carriers are normally quickly taken up by phagocytes and sequestered in liver and spleen to [...] Read more.
Polymeric surfaces in contact with blood in vivo are foreign bodies and are quickly isolated from blood by the non-specific defense systems. Nanoparticles (NP) used as drug carriers are normally quickly taken up by phagocytes and sequestered in liver and spleen to which they can deliver drugs. Long-circulating and/or low complement activating core-shell NPs can be obtained from PEO/PEG amphiphilic copolymers forming brush or loops on the surface. Core-shell NPs can also be obtained from polysaccharidic graft or block amphiphilic copolymers. Complement activation by the NPs and protein adsorption both depend on the structure, nature and molecular weight of the polysaccharide chains composing the shell. NPs showing low complement activation can be obtained if the polysaccharide on the surface is long and in a brush configuration. Fragile molecules such as hemoglobin or siRNA can be loaded and protected by appropriate brush shells without modifying the low complement activation properties. Full article
Open AccessReview Hydrogels from Biopolymer Hybrid for Biomedical, Food, and Functional Food Applications
Polymers 2012, 4(2), 997-1011; doi:10.3390/polym4020997
Received: 1 March 2012 / Revised: 27 March 2012 / Accepted: 29 March 2012 / Published: 13 April 2012
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (635 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hybrid hydrogels from biopolymers have been applied for various indications across a wide range of biomedical, pharmaceutical, and functional food industries. In particular, hybrid hydrogels synthesized from two biopolymers have attracted increasing attention. The inclusion of a second biopolymer strengthens the stability [...] Read more.
Hybrid hydrogels from biopolymers have been applied for various indications across a wide range of biomedical, pharmaceutical, and functional food industries. In particular, hybrid hydrogels synthesized from two biopolymers have attracted increasing attention. The inclusion of a second biopolymer strengthens the stability of resultant hydrogels and enriches its functionalities by bringing in new functional groups or optimizing the micro-environmental conditions for certain biological and biochemical processes. This article presents approaches that have been used by our groups to synthesize biopolymer hybrid hydrogels for effective uses for immunotherapy, tissue regeneration, food and functional food applications. The research has achieved some challenging results, such as stabilizing physical structure, increasing mucoadhesiveness, and the creation of an artificial extracellular matrix to aid in guiding tissue differentiation. Full article

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