Publisher: Elsevier   (Total: 3161 journals)

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Showing 1 - 200 of 3161 Journals sorted alphabetically
Academic Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 39, SJR: 1.655, CiteScore: 2)
Academic Radiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26, SJR: 1.015, CiteScore: 2)
Accident Analysis & Prevention     Partially Free   (Followers: 106, SJR: 1.462, CiteScore: 3)
Accounting Forum     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 28, SJR: 0.932, CiteScore: 2)
Accounting, Organizations and Society     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 43, SJR: 1.771, CiteScore: 3)
Achievements in the Life Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Acta Anaesthesiologica Taiwanica     Open Access   (Followers: 6)
Acta Astronautica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 447, SJR: 0.758, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Automatica Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Acta Biomaterialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30, SJR: 1.967, CiteScore: 7)
Acta Colombiana de Cuidado Intensivo     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Acta de Investigación Psicológica     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Acta Ecologica Sinica     Open Access   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.18, CiteScore: 1)
Acta Histochemica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.661, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Materialia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 323, SJR: 3.263, CiteScore: 6)
Acta Mathematica Scientia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.504, CiteScore: 1)
Acta Mechanica Solida Sinica     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.542, CiteScore: 1)
Acta Oecologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 0.834, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Otorrinolaringologica (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription  
Acta Otorrinolaringológica Española     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.307, CiteScore: 0)
Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 1.793, CiteScore: 6)
Acta Psychologica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26, SJR: 1.331, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Sociológica     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Acta Tropica     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.052, CiteScore: 2)
Acta Urológica Portuguesa     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Actas Dermo-Sifiliograficas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.374, CiteScore: 1)
Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Actas Urológicas Españolas     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.344, CiteScore: 1)
Actas Urológicas Españolas (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.19, CiteScore: 0)
Actualites Pharmaceutiques Hospitalieres     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Acupuncture and Related Therapies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8)
Acute Pain     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 2.671, CiteScore: 5)
Ad Hoc Networks     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.53, CiteScore: 4)
Addictive Behaviors     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18, SJR: 1.29, CiteScore: 3)
Addictive Behaviors Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.755, CiteScore: 2)
Additive Manufacturing     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13, SJR: 2.611, CiteScore: 8)
Additives for Polymers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 22)
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 189, SJR: 4.09, CiteScore: 13)
Advanced Engineering Informatics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13, SJR: 1.167, CiteScore: 4)
Advanced Powder Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17, SJR: 0.694, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Accounting     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.277, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Agronomy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17, SJR: 2.384, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Anesthesia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 30, SJR: 0.126, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Antiviral Drug Design     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Applied Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12, SJR: 0.992, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Applied Mechanics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12, SJR: 1.551, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Applied Microbiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 24, SJR: 2.089, CiteScore: 5)
Advances In Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15, SJR: 0.572, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Biological Regulation     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 2.61, CiteScore: 7)
Advances in Botanical Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.686, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Cancer Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 35, SJR: 3.043, CiteScore: 6)
Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9, SJR: 1.453, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Catalysis     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.992, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Cell Aging and Gerontology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Cellular and Molecular Biology of Membranes and Organelles     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Advances in Chemical Engineering     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 29, SJR: 0.156, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Child Development and Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.713, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.316, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Clinical Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 26, SJR: 1.562, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Colloid and Interface Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21, SJR: 1.977, CiteScore: 8)
Advances in Computers     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14, SJR: 0.205, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Dermatology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 16)
Advances in Developmental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Advances in Digestive Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 13)
Advances in DNA Sequence-Specific Agents     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Drug Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 26)
Advances in Ecological Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 45, SJR: 2.524, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Engineering Software     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30, SJR: 1.159, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Experimental Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Advances in Experimental Social Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 52, SJR: 5.39, CiteScore: 8)
Advances in Exploration Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Fluorine Science     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Advances in Food and Nutrition Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 68, SJR: 0.591, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Fuel Cells     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17)
Advances in Genetics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21, SJR: 1.354, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Genome Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 12, SJR: 12.74, CiteScore: 13)
Advances in Geophysics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8, SJR: 1.193, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Heat Transfer     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 26, SJR: 0.368, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Heterocyclic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.749, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Human Factors/Ergonomics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 26)
Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.193, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Immunology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 37, SJR: 4.433, CiteScore: 6)
Advances in Inorganic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 1.163, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Insect Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2, SJR: 1.938, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Integrative Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.176, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Intl. Accounting     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3)
Advances in Life Course Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.682, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Lipobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Advances in Magnetic and Optical Resonance     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Marine Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 21, SJR: 0.88, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Mathematics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17, SJR: 3.027, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9, SJR: 0.694, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Medicinal Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Microbial Physiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.158, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Molecular and Cell Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 26)
Advances in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Advances in Molecular Toxicology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.182, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Nanoporous Materials     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Oncobiology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Organ Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Advances in Organometallic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 18, SJR: 1.875, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Parallel Computing     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.174, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Parasitology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.579, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Pediatrics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 27, SJR: 0.461, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Pharmaceutical Sciences     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 19)
Advances in Pharmacology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 17, SJR: 1.536, CiteScore: 3)
Advances in Physical Organic Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 10, SJR: 0.574, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Phytomedicine     Full-text available via subscription  
Advances in Planar Lipid Bilayers and Liposomes     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.109, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11)
Advances in Plant Pathology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Porous Media     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Advances in Protein Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 19)
Advances in Protein Chemistry and Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20, SJR: 0.791, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Psychology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 69)
Advances in Quantum Chemistry     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.371, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Radiation Oncology     Open Access   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.263, CiteScore: 1)
Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.101, CiteScore: 0)
Advances in Space Biology and Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Advances in Space Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 431, SJR: 0.569, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in Structural Biology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6)
Advances in Surgery     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13, SJR: 0.555, CiteScore: 2)
Advances in the Study of Behavior     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 37, SJR: 2.208, CiteScore: 4)
Advances in Veterinary Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 20)
Advances in Veterinary Science and Comparative Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 15)
Advances in Virus Research     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 2.262, CiteScore: 5)
Advances in Water Resources     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 56, SJR: 1.551, CiteScore: 3)
Aeolian Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.117, CiteScore: 3)
Aerospace Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 395, SJR: 0.796, CiteScore: 3)
AEU - Intl. J. of Electronics and Communications     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.42, CiteScore: 2)
African J. of Emergency Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 0.296, CiteScore: 0)
Ageing Research Reviews     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 3.671, CiteScore: 9)
Aggression and Violent Behavior     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 487, SJR: 1.238, CiteScore: 3)
Agri Gene     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.13, CiteScore: 0)
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 18, SJR: 1.818, CiteScore: 5)
Agricultural Systems     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32, SJR: 1.156, CiteScore: 4)
Agricultural Water Management     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 46, SJR: 1.272, CiteScore: 3)
Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia     Open Access   (Followers: 4)
Agriculture and Natural Resources     Open Access   (Followers: 3)
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 58, SJR: 1.747, CiteScore: 4)
Ain Shams Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.589, CiteScore: 3)
Air Medical J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 8, SJR: 0.26, CiteScore: 0)
AKCE Intl. J. of Graphs and Combinatorics     Open Access   (SJR: 0.19, CiteScore: 0)
Alcohol     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 1.153, CiteScore: 3)
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction     Open Access   (Followers: 12)
Alergologia Polska : Polish J. of Allergology     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Alexandria Engineering J.     Open Access   (Followers: 2, SJR: 0.604, CiteScore: 3)
Alexandria J. of Medicine     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.191, CiteScore: 1)
Algal Research     Partially Free   (Followers: 11, SJR: 1.142, CiteScore: 4)
Alkaloids: Chemical and Biological Perspectives     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Allergologia et Immunopathologia     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.504, CiteScore: 1)
Allergology Intl.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 1.148, CiteScore: 2)
Alpha Omegan     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 3.521, CiteScore: 6)
ALTER - European J. of Disability Research / Revue Européenne de Recherche sur le Handicap     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 11, SJR: 0.201, CiteScore: 1)
Alzheimer's & Dementia     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 55, SJR: 4.66, CiteScore: 10)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.796, CiteScore: 4)
Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions     Open Access   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.108, CiteScore: 3)
Ambulatory Pediatrics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
American Heart J.     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 58, SJR: 3.267, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Cardiology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 67, SJR: 1.93, CiteScore: 3)
American J. of Emergency Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 48, SJR: 0.604, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 13)
American J. of Geriatric Psychiatry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 15, SJR: 1.524, CiteScore: 3)
American J. of Human Genetics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 39, SJR: 7.45, CiteScore: 8)
American J. of Infection Control     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29, SJR: 1.062, CiteScore: 2)
American J. of Kidney Diseases     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 37, SJR: 2.973, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 50)
American J. of Medicine Supplements     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 1.967, CiteScore: 2)
American J. of Obstetrics and Gynecology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 265, SJR: 2.7, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Ophthalmology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 67, SJR: 3.184, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Ophthalmology Case Reports     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.265, CiteScore: 0)
American J. of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 6, SJR: 1.289, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Otolaryngology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.59, CiteScore: 1)
American J. of Pathology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 32, SJR: 2.139, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Preventive Medicine     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 30, SJR: 2.164, CiteScore: 4)
American J. of Surgery     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 39, SJR: 1.141, CiteScore: 2)
American J. of the Medical Sciences     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12, SJR: 0.767, CiteScore: 1)
Ampersand : An Intl. J. of General and Applied Linguistics     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
Anaerobe     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4, SJR: 1.144, CiteScore: 3)
Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 67, SJR: 0.138, CiteScore: 0)
Anaesthesia Critical Care & Pain Medicine     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.411, CiteScore: 1)
Anales de Cirugia Vascular     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
Anales de Pediatría     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.277, CiteScore: 0)
Anales de Pediatría (English Edition)     Full-text available via subscription  
Anales de Pediatría Continuada     Full-text available via subscription  
Analytic Methods in Accident Research     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 6, SJR: 4.849, CiteScore: 10)
Analytica Chimica Acta     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 44, SJR: 1.512, CiteScore: 5)
Analytica Chimica Acta : X     Open Access  
Analytical Biochemistry     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 215, SJR: 0.633, CiteScore: 2)
Analytical Chemistry Research     Open Access   (Followers: 13, SJR: 0.411, CiteScore: 2)
Analytical Spectroscopy Library     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 14)
Anesthésie & Réanimation     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 2)
Anesthesiology Clinics     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 25, SJR: 0.683, CiteScore: 2)
Angiología     Full-text available via subscription   (SJR: 0.121, CiteScore: 0)
Angiologia e Cirurgia Vascular     Open Access   (Followers: 1, SJR: 0.111, CiteScore: 0)
Animal Behaviour     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 237, SJR: 1.58, CiteScore: 3)
Animal Feed Science and Technology     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.937, CiteScore: 2)
Animal Reproduction Science     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7, SJR: 0.704, CiteScore: 2)
Annales d'Endocrinologie     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.451, CiteScore: 1)

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Similar Journals
Journal Cover
Acta Biomaterialia
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.967
Citation Impact (citeScore): 7
Number of Followers: 30  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1742-7061
Published by Elsevier Homepage  [3161 journals]
  • Molecular and skeletal fingerprints of scleractinian coral
           biomineralization: From the sea surface to mesophotic depths
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Assaf Malik, Shai Einbinder, Stephane Martinez, Dan Tchernov, Sivan Haviv, Ricardo Almuly, Paul Zaslansky, Iryna Polishchuk, Boaz Pokroy, Jarosław Stolarski, Tali MassReef-building corals, the major producers of biogenic calcium carbonate, form skeletons in a plethora of morphological forms. Here we studied skeletal modifications of Stylophora pistillata (clade 4) colonies that adapt to different depths with decreasing light availability. They show notable transitions from spherical morphologies (shallow depths, 5 m deep) to flat and branching geometries (at 60 m mesophotic depths). Such changes are typically ascribed to the algal photosymbiont physiological feedback with the coral host. We find specific fine-scale skeletal variability in accretion of structure at shallow- and mesophotic depth morphotypes that suggest underlying genomic regulation of biomineralization pathways of the coral host. To explain this, we conducted comparative morphology-based analyses, including microscopy, electron microscopy and X-ray analysis coupled with a comprehensive transcriptomic analysis of S. pistillata samples originated from Gulf of Eilat in the Red Sea collected along a depth gradient from the sea surface (5 m deep) to mesophotic depths (up to 60 m). Additional samples were experimentally transplanted from 5 m to 60 m and from 60 m to 5 m. Interestingly, both morphologically and functionally, transplanted corals partly adapt by exhibiting typical depth-specific properties. In mesophotic depths, we find that the organic matrix fraction is enriched in the coralla, results corroborated by overrepresentation of biomineralization “tool-kit” structural extracellular genes. These results provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of coral calcification and skeletal adaptation that repeatedly allowed this group to adapt to a range of environments presumably with a rich geological past.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • High Oxygen Preservation Hydrogels to Augment Cell Survival under Hypoxic
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Hong Niu, Chao Li, Ya Guan, Yu Dang, Xiaofei Li, Zhaobo Fan, Jie Shen, Liang Ma, Jianjun GuanCell therapy is a promising approach for ischemic tissue regeneration. However, high death rate of delivered cells under low oxygen condition, and poor cell retention in tissues largely limit the therapeutic efficacy. Using cell carriers with high oxygen preservation has potential to improve cell survival. To increase cell retention, cell carriers that can quickly solidify at 37 °C so as to efficiently immobilize the carriers and cells in the tissues are necessary. Yet there lacks cell carriers with these combined properties. In this work, we have developed a family of high oxygen preservation and fast gelation hydrogels based on N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAAm) copolymers. The hydrogels were synthesized by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization of NIPAAm, acrylate-oligolactide (AOLA), 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA), and methacrylate-poly(ethylene glycol)-perfluorooctane (MAPEGPFC). The hydrogel solutions exhibited sol-gel temperatures around room temperature and were flowable and injectable at 4˚C. They can quickly solidify (≤ 6 s) at 37˚C to form flexible gels. These hydrogels lost 9.4∼29.4% of their mass after incubation in Dulbecco's Phosphate-Buffered Saline (DPBS) for 4 weeks. The hydrogels exhibited a greater oxygen partial pressure than DPBS after being transferred from a 21% O2 condition to a 1% O2 condition. When bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were encapsulated in the hydrogels and cultured under 1% O2, the cells survived and proliferated during the 14-day culture period. In contrast, the cells experienced extensive death in the control hydrogel that had low oxygen preservation capability. The hydrogels possessed excellent biocompatibility. The final degradation products did not provoke cell death even when the concentration was as high as 15 mg/ml, and the hydrogel implantation did not induce substantial inflammation. These hydrogels are promising as cell carriers for cell transplantation into ischemic tissues.Statement of SignificanceStem cell therapy for ischemic tissues experiences low therapeutic efficacy largely due to poor cell survival under low oxygen condition. Using cell carriers with high oxygen preservation capability has potential to improve cell survival. In this work, we have developed a family of hydrogels with this property. These hydrogels promoted the encapsulated stem cell survival and growth under low oxygen condition.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Biofunctionalized chondrogenic shape-memory ternary scaffolds for
           efficient cell-free cartilage regeneration
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Huixia Xuan, Haoran Hu, Congying Geng, Jianchun Song, Yifan Shen, Dong Lei, Qingbao Guan, Shichang Zhao, Zhengwei YouCartilage defect repair remains a great clinical challenge due to the limited self-regeneration capacity of cartilage tissue. Surgical treatment of injured cartilage is rather difficult due to the narrow space in the articular cavity and irregular defect area. Herein, we designed and fabricated chondrogenic and physiological-temperature-triggered shape-memory ternary scaffolds for cell-free cartilage repair, where the poly (glycerol sebacate) (PGS) networks ensured elasticity and shape recovery, crystallized poly (1,3-propylene sebacate) (PPS) acted as switchable phase, and immobilized bioactive kartogenin (KGN) endowed the scaffolds with chondrogenic capacity. The resultant scaffolds exhibited shape-memory properties with shape-memory fixed ratio of 98% and recovered ratio of 97% at 37°C for PPS/PGS/KGN-100, indicating a good potential for minimally invasive implantation. The scaffolds gradually degraded in Dulbecco's phosphate-buffered saline and released KGN up to 12 weeks in vitro. In addition, the scaffolds promoted chondrogenic differentiation while inhibiting osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in a concentration-dependent manner and cartilage regeneration in full-thickness defects of rat femoropatellar groove for 12 weeks. Consequently, the PPS/PGS/KGN-100 scaffolds stimulated the formation of an overlying layer of neocartilage mimicking the characteristic architecture of native articular cartilage even in the absence of exogenous growth factors and seeded cells. This study provides much inspiration for future research on cartilage tissue engineering.Statement of SignificanceThere are two crucial challenges for cartilage defect repair: the lack of self-regeneration capacity of cartilage tissue and difficult scaffold implantation via traditional open surgery due to space-limited joints. Herein, bioactive body-temperature-responsive shape memory scaffolds are designed to simultaneously address the challenges. The scaffolds can be readily implanted by minimally invasive approach and recover by body-temperature of patient. The integration of kartogenin endows scaffolds the bioactivity, leading to the first example of bulk shape-memory scaffolds for cell-free cartilage repair. These characteristics make the scaffolds advantageous for clinical translation. Moreover, our developed material is easy to be functionalized due to the presence of extensive free hydroxyl groups and provides a versatile platform to design diverse functional shape memory biomaterials.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Gelatin content governs hydration induced structural changes in
           silica-gelatin hybrid aerogels – Implications in drug delivery
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Mónika Kéri, Attila Forgács, Vanda Papp, István Bányai, Péter Veres, Adél Len, Zoltán Dudás, István Fábián, József KalmárSilica-gelatin hybrid aerogels of varying gelatin content (from 4wt.% to 24wt.%) can be conveniently impregnated with hydrophobic active agents (e.g. ibuprofen, ketoprofen) in supercritical CO2 and used as drug delivery systems. Contrast variation neutron scattering (SANS) experiments show the molecular level hybridization of the silica and the gelatin components of the aerogel carriers. The active agents are amorphous, and homogeneously dispersed in these porous, hybrid matrices. Importantly, both fast and retarded drug release can be achieved with silica-gelatin hybrid aerogels, and the kinetics of drug release is governed by the gelatin content of the carrier. In this paper, for the first time, a molecular level explanation is given for the strong correlation between the composition and the functionality of a family of aerogel based drug delivery systems. Characterization of the wet aerogels by SANS and by NMR diffusiometry, cryoporometry and relaxometry revealed that the different hydration mechanisms of the aerogels are responsible for the broad spectrum of release kinetics. Low-gelatin (4 – 11wt.%) aerogels retain their open-porous structure in water, thus rapid matrix erosion dictates fast drug release from these carriers. In contrast to this, wet aerogels of high gelatin content (18 – 24wt.%) show well pronounced hydrogel-like characteristics, and a wide gradual transition zone forms in the solid-liquid interface. The extensive swelling of the high-gelatin hybrid backbone results in the collapse of the open porous structure, that limits mass transport towards the release medium, resulting in slower, diffusion controlled drug release.Statement of SignificanceDeveloping new drug delivery systems is a key aspect of pharmaceutical research. Supercritically dried mesoporous aerogels are ideal carriers for small molecular weight drugs due to their open porous structures and large specific surface areas. Hybrid silica-gelatin aerogels can display both fast and retarded drug release properties based on the gelatin contents of their backbones. The structural characterization of the aerogels by SANS and by NMR diffusiometry, cryoporometry and relaxometry revealed that the different hydration mechanisms of the hybrid backbones are responsible for the broad spectrum of release kinetics. The molecular level understanding of the functionality of these hybrid inorganic-biopolymer drug delivery systems facilitates the realization of quality-by-design in this research of the field.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Neutrophil membrane-enveloped nanoparticles for the amelioration of renal
           ischemia-reperfusion injury in mice
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 15 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Zhaohui Liu, Xiangge Liu, Qiang Yang, Lili Yu, Yulin Chang, Min QuIschemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury initiates and exacerbates a series of oxidative and inflammatory events, and causes high morbidity and mortality. Despite the progress made with recent clinical use of anti-malarial drugs, the response rate of I/R injury treatment remains unsatisfactory. Here, we showed a neutrophil membrane-enveloped Coenzyme Q (N-NPCoQ10) nanoparticle strategy for I/R injury treatment. We validated the physicochemical and biological reproducibility of the nanoparticles and tested the protective effects of N-NPCoQ10 in oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion model and renal I/R injury mouse model. N-NPCoQ10 nanoparticles administration exhibited synergistic protective effect against I/R injury, which significantly reduced oxidative damage in vitro and in vivo, inhibited renal cell apoptosis, attenuated inflammatory response in renal I/R injury model, and finally improved renal function of I/R injury mice. The N-NPCoQ10 nanoparticles administration provides an efficient way to deliver anti-oxidant that suppresses oxidative damages and neutralize proinflammatory cytokines during renal I/R injury, which might be a potential strategy for renal acute kidney injury treatment.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • A Free-floating Mucin Layer to Investigate the Effect of the Local
           Microenvironment in Lungs on Mucin-Nanoparticle Interactions
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Feng Wan, Mikkel Herzberg, Zheng Huang, Tue Hassenkam, Hanne M. NielsenRespiratory tract mucus represents an important barrier for pulmonary drug delivery. Understanding of mucin-nanoparticle interactions is a prerequisite for rational design of inhalable nanoparticles. In the present study, in order to establish a reliable quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) approach to reveal the effect of the lung microenvironment on the mucin-nanoparticle interactions, we investigated the intrinsic features of the mucin layers immobilized onto sensors via chemical conjugation or physical adsorption by using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and QCM-D. Our results demonstrated that the covalently-grafted mucin layer responded more sensitively than the physically-adsorbed mucin layer to the local microenvironment shifting from PBS (pH 7.35 and ionic strength 30 mM) to PBS (pH 6.25 and ionic strength 150 mM) and resulted in a softer mucin layer with more hydrophobic areas exposed. Furthermore, using the QCM-D approach with the covalently-grafted mucin layer, we demonstrated the significant influence of the local microenvironment on the interaction of mucin with poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid)-based nanoparticles with different surface hydrophilicity. The present work underlines the QCM-D approach with a covalently-grafted mucin layer as a potent tool to elucidate the potential influence of local microenvironment on mucin-nanoparticle interactions.Graphic abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Myofibroblast activation in synthetic fibrous matrices composed of dextran
           vinyl sulfone
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Christopher D. Davidson, Danica Kristen P. Jayco, Daniel L. Matera, Samuel J. DePalma, Harrison L. Hiraki, William Y. Wang, Brendon M. BakerMechanical interactions between fibroblasts and their surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM) guide fundamental behaviors such as spreading, migration, and proliferation that underlie disease pathogenesis. The challenges of studying ECM mechanics in vivo have motivated the development of in vitro models of the fibrous ECM in which fibroblasts reside. Natural materials such as collagen hydrogels bear structural and biochemical resemblance to stromal ECM, but mechanistic studies in these settings are often confounded by cell-mediated material degradation and the lack of structural and mechanical tunability. Here, we established a new material system composed of electrospun dextran vinyl sulfone (DexVS) polymeric fibers. These fibrous matrices exhibit mechanical tunability at both the single fiber (80 – 340 MPa) and bulk matrix (0.77 – 11.03 kPa) level, as well as long-term stability in mechanical properties over a two-week period. Cell adhesion to these matrices can be either user-defined by functionalizing synthetic fibers with thiolated adhesive peptides or methacrylated heparin to sequester cell-derived ECM proteins. We utilized DexVS fibrous matrices to investigate the role of matrix mechanics on the activation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts, a key step of the fibrotic progression. In contrast to previous findings with non-fibrous hydrogel substrates, we find that fibroblasts in soft and deformable matrices exhibit increased spreading, focal adhesion formation, proliferation, and myofibroblast activation as compared to cells on stiffer matrices with equivalent starting architecture.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Bio-inspired human in vitro outer retinal models: Bruch's membrane and its
           cellular interactions
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Ashley R. Murphy, Yen B. Truong, Carmel M. O'Brien, Veronica GlattauerRetinal degenerative disorders, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), are one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide, however, treatments to completely stop the progression of these debilitating conditions are non-existent. Researchers require sophisticated models that can accurately represent the native structure of human retinal tissue to study these disorders. Current in vitro models used to study the retina are limited in their ability to fully recapitulate the structure and function of the retina, Bruch's membrane and the underlying choroid. Recent developments in the field of induced pluripotent stem cell technology has demonstrated the capability of retinal pigment epithelial cells to recapitulate AMD-like pathology. However, such studies utilise unsophisticated, bio-inert membranes to act as Bruch's membrane and support iPSC-derived retinal cells. This review presents a concise summary of the properties and function of the Bruch's membrane-retinal pigment epithelium complex, the initial pathogenic site of AMD as well as the current status for materials and fabrication approaches used to generate in vitro models of this complex tissue. Finally, this review explores required advances in the field of in vitro retinal modelling.Graphical Image, graphical abstract
  • Identification of a calcium phosphoserine coordination network in an
           adhesive organo-apatitic bone cement system
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Fioleda P. Kesseli, Caroline S. Lauer, Ian Baker, Katherine A. Mirica, Douglas W. Van CittersCalcium phosphate-based bone cements have been widely adopted in both orthopedic and dental applications. Phosphoserine (pSer), which has a natural role in biomineralization, has been identified to possess the functionality to react with calcium phosphate phases, such as tetracalcium phosphate (TTCP) and α-tricalcium phosphate (α-TCP), and form a uniquely adhesive cement. This study investigated the chemical composition and phase evolution of a heterogeneous calcium phosphate (56% TTCP and 15% α-TCP) and pSer cement system with respect to pH. The coordination network of calcium phosphoserine monohydrate was discovered as the predominant crystalline phase of this adhesive apatitic cement system. Furthermore, it was determined that pH has a significant effect on the reaction kinetics of the system, whereby a lower pH tends to accelerate the reaction rate and favor products with lower Ca/P ratios. These findings provide a better understanding of the reaction and products of this adhesive organo-ceramic cement, which can be compositionally tuned for broad applications in the orthopedic and dental spaces.Graphical Image, graphical abstract
  • Tumor-targeted nanoplatform for in situ oxygenation-boosted immunogenic
           phototherapy of colorectal cancer
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Huamei He, Lanlan Liu, Ruijing Liang, Haimei Zhou, Hong Pan, Shengping Zhang, Lintao CaiAdvanced colorectal cancer has a high mortality rate since conventional treatments have limited therapeutic effects and poor prognosis with high risks of metastasis and recurrence. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a promising treatment modality for the eradication of colorectal cancer, but its curative efficacy is severely affected by tumor hypoxia. Herein, we developed a core-shell gold nanocage coated with manganese dioxide and hyaluronic acid (AMH) for targeted delivery to colorectal tumors and oxygenation-boosted immunogenic phototherapy in situ. The AMH nanoparticles can generate abundant oxygen from mild acidic/H2O2 medium, which can further enhance the PDT efficacy of AMH itself under near infrared (NIR) irradiation. Meanwhile, AMH-based PDT induced immunogenic cell death (ICD) of tumor cells with damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) release and facilitated the dendritic cells (DCs) maturation to further potentiate the systematic antitumor immunity against advanced tumors. In vivo experiment results exhibited that AMH nanoparticles not only had the ability of targeting tumor but also in situ produced sufficient oxygen to relieve the tumor hypoxia. Furthermore, AMH-mediated oxygen-boosted immunogenic PDT effectively inhibited the tumor growth and recurrence. Thus, this work provides a potent targeted delivery nanoplatform for enhanced immunogenic PDT against advanced cancers.Graphical abstractIn situ oxygen-boosted immunogenic photodynamic therapy (PDT) with AMH nanoparticles was introduced for colorectal tumor elimination. AMH nanoparticles can generate abundant oxygen from mild acidic/H2O2 medium. AMH-based PDT induced immunogenic cell death (ICD) of tumor cells with damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) release and facilitated the dendritic cells (DCs) maturation to further potentiate the systematic antitumor immunity against advanced tumors.Image, graphical abstract
  • Neutrophil-mediated transport is crucial for short-circulating magnetic
           nanoparticles delivery to tumors
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 13 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Victor Naumenko, Aleksey Nikitin, Anastasiia Garanina, Pavel Melnikov, Stepan Vodopyanov, Ksenia Kapitanova, Daria Potashnikova, Daniil Vishnevskiy, Irina Alieva, Artem Ilyasov, Barbara Z. Eletskaya, Maxim Abakumov, Vladimir Chekhonin, Alexander MajougaRecently neutrophil-based nanoparticles (NPs) drug delivery systems have gained considerable attention in cancer therapy. Numerous studies have been conducted to identify optimal NPs parameters for passive tumor targeting, while there is a fundamental dearth of knowledge about the factors governing cell-mediated delivery. Here, using intravital microscopy and magnetic resonance imaging we describe accumulation dynamics of 140 nm magnetic cubes and clusters in murine breast cancer (4T1) and colon cancer (CT26) models. Notwithstanding rapid clearance from the blood flow, NPs readily accumulated in tumors at later time points. Both NPs types were captured mostly by intravascular neutrophils immediately after injection and transmigration of NPs -bound neutrophils through the vessel wall was first shown in real-time. A dramatic drop in NPs accumulation upon Ly6G and Gr1 depletion further confirmed neutrophils role as a biocarrier for targeting tumors. Of note, for shorter circulating NPs a cell-dependent delivery route was more impactful, while the accumulation of longer circulating counterpart was less compromised by neutrophil depletion. Neutrophil-mediated transport was also shown to depend on tumor type being more efficient in neutrophil-rich tumors. Revealing NPs characteristics and host factors influencing the neutrophil-based tumor targeting will help to rationally design drug delivery systems for improved cancer treatment.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Stability and bioactivity of pepCD47 attachment on stainless steel
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 11 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Vaishali V. Inamdar, Emmett Fitzpatrick, Ivan Alferiev, Chandrasekaran Nagaswami, Lynn A. Spruce, Hossein Fazelinia, George Bratinov, Steven H. Seeholzer, Robert J. Levy, Ilia Fishbein, Stanley J. StachelekIn-stent restenosis (ISR) and late stent thrombosis are the major complications associated with the use of metal stents and drug eluting stents respectively. Our lab previously investigated the use of peptide CD47 in improving biocompatibility of bare metal stents in a rat carotid stent model and our results demonstrated a significant reduction in platelet deposition and ISR. However, this study did not characterize the stability of the pepCD47 on metal surfaces post storage, sterilization and deployment. Thus, the objective of the present study was 1) to test the stability of the peptide post - storage, sterilization, exposure to shear and mechanical stress and 2) to begin to expand our current knowledge of pepCD47 coated metal surfaces into the preclinical large animal rabbit model. Our results show that the maximum immobilization density of pepCD47 on metal surfaces is approximately 350 ng/cm2. 100% of the pepCD47 was retained on the metal surface post 24 weeks of storage at 4°C, exposure to physiological shear stress, and mechanical stress of stent expansion. The bioactivity of the pepCD47 was found to be intact post 24 weeks of storage and ethylene oxide sterilization. Finall our ex vivo studies demonstrated that compared to bare metal the rabbit pepCD47 coated surfaces showed - 45% reduced platelet adhesion, a 10-fold decrease in platelet activation, and 93% endothelial cell retention. Thus, our data suggests that pepCD47 coating on metal surfaces is stable and rabbit pepCD47 shows promising preliminary results in preventing thrombosis and not inhibiting the growth of endothelial cells.Statement of significanceBiocompatibility of bare metal stents is a major challenge owing to the significantly high rates of in-stent restenosis. Previously we demonstrated that peptide CD47 functionalization improves the biocompatibility of bare metal stents in rat model. A similar trend was observed in our ex vivo studies where rabbit blood was perfused over the rabbit pepCD47 functionalized surfaces. These results provide valuable proof of concept data for future in vivo rabbit model studies. In addition, we investigated stability of the pepCD47 on metal surface and observed that pepCD47 coating is stable over time and resistant to industrially relevant pragmatic challenges.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Multifunctional carboxymethyl chitosan derivatives-layered double
           hydroxide hybrid nanocomposites for efficient drug delivery to the
           posterior segment of the eye
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Yanyan Wang, Li Zhou, Lei Fang, Feng CaoEfficient ocular drug delivery to the posterior segment of the eye by topical administration is a great challenge to pharmacologists. To explore drug delivery system of organic-inorganic hybrid nanocomposites for the efficient delivery of dexamethasone disodium phosphate (DEXP), a targeted hybrid nanocomposite based on layered double hydroxide (LDH) and functional carboxymethyl chitosan (CMCS) derivatives was designed. A special substrate of peptide transporter-1 (PepT-1) and glutathione was modified on CMCS. CMCS-glutathione-glycylsarcosine (CMCG-GS) and CMCS-glutathione-valyl-valine (CMCG-VV)-LDH hybrid nanocomposites were prepared and structurally confirmed. The in vitro experiments on human conjunctival epithelial cells showed noncytotoxicity (LDH concentration ≤ 100.0 μg/mL) and enhanced permeability for hybrid nanocomposites. Additionally, cellular uptake of the CMCG-GS-DEXP-LDH (10:1) nanocomposite eye drops involved clathrin-mediated endocytosis and PepT-1 mediated actively targeting transport. Results of the in vivo precorneal retention study showed an 8.35-fold, 2.87-fold and 2.58-fold increase of AUC0–6h, Cmax and MRT for CMCG-GS-DEXP-LDH (10:1) hybrid nanocomposite eye drops, respectively, compared to that of the commercial product. Fluorescence imaging of fluorescein isothiocyanate isome (FITC)-loaded LDH hybrid nanocomposites demonstrated that FITC could diffuse into the choroid-retina with the shelter of LDH and CMCG-GS. The presence of a strong fluorescence signal of FITC-conjugated LDH hybrid nanocomposites in the sclera revealed that integral LDH nanocarrier reached the sclera. In the tissue distribution evaluation of rabbit's eyes, DEXP of CMCG-GS-DEXP-LDH (10:1) nanocomposites group retained in the target of the choroid-retina for 3 h with final concentration at 120.04 ng/g. Furthermore, the results of fluorescence imaging and tissue distribution suggested that the intraocular transport pathway for the hybrid nanocomposites is the conjunctival-scleral route. Consequently, the developed hybrid nanocomposites offer a simple and efficient strategy for topically administered drug delivery to the posterior segment of the eye.Statement of SignificanceEfficient ocular drug delivery to the posterior segment of the eye by topical administration is a great challenge to pharmacologists. In this manuscript, hybrid nanocomposite based on layered double hydroxide (LDH) and functional carboxymethyl chitosan (CMCS) derivatives were designed. The multifunctional properties of these hybrid nanocomposites were attributed to active targeting, bioadhesive capacity and penetration enhancement. Visualization of transport routes of fluorescein isothiocyanate-conjugated LDH hybrid nanocomposites demonstrated that the integral LDH nanocarrier reached the sclera through the conjunctival-scleral pathway, and the loaded drug could further diffuse to the retina. The multifunctional CMCS derivatives-LDH hybrid nanocomposites could be applied for the efficient drug delivery to the posterior segment of the eye through noninvasive topical instillation.Graphical abstract(A) Schematic design of the multifunctional carboxymethyl chitosan derivatives-layered double hydroxide hybrid nanocomposites, CMCG-GS -DEXP-LDH. (B) The scheme of drug diffusion routes into the retina for the CMCG-GS-DEXP-LDH hybrid nanocomposite eye drops.Image, graphical abstract
  • Multifunctional Gap-Enhanced Raman Tags for Preoperative and
           Intraoperative Cancer Imaging
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Bowen Shi, Benyan Zhang, Yuqing Zhang, Yuqing Gu, Chao Zheng, Jing Yan, Weibo Chen, Fuhua Yan, Jian Ye, Huan ZhangMulti-modality imaging agents are desirable for tumor diagnosis because they can provide more alternative and reliable information for accurate detection and therapy of diseases than single imaging technique. However, most reported conventional imaging agents have not been found to successfully overcome the disadvantages of traditional diagnoses such as sensitivity, spatial resolution, short half-decay time and complexity. Therefore, exploring a multifunctional nanocomposite with the combination of their individual modality characteristics has great impact on preoperative imaging and intraoperative diagnosis of cancer. In our study, mesoporous silica gadolinium-loaded gap-enhanced Raman tags (Gd-GERTs) specifically for preoperative and intraoperative imaging are designed and their imaging capability and biosafety are examined. They exhibit strong attenuation property for computed X-ray tomography (CT) imaging, high T1 relaxivity for magnetic resonance (MR) imaging capability and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) signal with good dispersity and stability, which presents CT/MR/SERS multi-mode imaging performance of the tumor of mice within a given time. Furthermore, in vivo biodistribution and long-term toxicity studies reveal that the Gd-GERTs have good biocompatibility and bio-safety. Therefore, Gd-GERTs are of great potential as a multifunctional nanoplatform for accurate preoperative CT/MRI diagnosis and intraoperative Raman imaging-guide resection of cancers.Statement of SignificanceRecent advances in molecular imaging technology have provided a myriad of opportunities to prepare various nanomaterials for accurate diagnosis and response evaluation of cancer via different imaging modalities. However, single bioimaging modality is still challenging to overcome the issues such as sensitivity, spatial resolution, imaging speed and complexity for clinicians. In this work, we designed a kind of unique multifunctional nanoprobes with computed X-ray tomography/magnetic resonance/surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (CT/MR/SERS) triple-modal imaging capabilities. Multifunctional nanotags offer the capabilities of preoperative noninvasive CT/MR imaging for identification of tumors as well as intraoperative real-time SERS imaging for guidance of complete resection of tumors. These multifunctional nanoprobes show critical clinical significance on the improvement of tumor diagnosis and therapy.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Sequential-targeting nanocarriers with pH-controlled charge reversal for
           enhanced mitochondria-located photodynamic-immunotherapy of cancer
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Na Peng, Hui Yu, Wenjie Yu, Mian Yang, Hongxiang Chen, Tao Zou, Kai Deng, Shiwen Huang, Yi LiuABSTRACTTargeting delivery of photosensitizers to mitochondria as the most sensitive cellular organelles to reactive oxygen species (ROS) by positively charged polymeric nanocarriers (NCs) is one of the useful methods for efficient photodynamic therapy (PDT). However, the NCs with positively charged mitochondria-targeting moieties are easily cleaned during circulation, restricting their in vivo applications. Herein, to address this issue and enhance in vivo PDT efficacy, we developed a sequential-targeting delivery system consisting of mitochondria-targeting micelles as the core prepared from the cationic amphiphilic copolymer for loading chlorin e6 (Ce6) and a tumor-targeting pH-dependent charge transformational layer as the shell obtained from 2,3-dimethylmaleic anhydride modified Biotin-PEG4000-NH2 (BioPEGDMA) via electrostatic interaction. Concealed by the anionic shell, the as-prepared NCs showed longer retention within the first stage of tumor-targeting. Then, the accumulated NCs conversed to positive charge in tumor extracellular microenvironment (pH ∼ 6.5), which could be more effectively internalized by tumor cells, and the re-exposed triphenylphosphonium (TPP) groups endowed their second-stage targetability to the mitochondria. In vivo experiments revealed that the Ce6-loaded NCs exhibited remarkable tumor inhibition rates of 84.1% and 93.2% on BALB/c nude mice and Kunming mice, respectively, under 660 nm NIR irradiation, and stimulated immune responses with upregulated expression of IFN-γ, TNF-α and CD3+ in tumor tissues, and enhanced activation of CD3+/CD4+, CD3+/CD8+ T lymphocytes and DCs in both tumor tissues and lymph glands. This work provided a new pathway for the development of smart drug delivery system with advanced PDT efficacy.Statement of significanceAlthough the existing targeting delivery of photosensitizers to mitochondria by positively charged nanocarriers (NCs) have efficiently enhanced photodynamic therapy (PDT), their positive charges caused rapid clearance during circulation, which has restricted their in vivo applications. Therefore, we fabricated a novel sequential-targeting NC to solve the problem. The tumor accumulated NCs conversed to positive charge in tumor extracellular microenvironment, and the re-exposed triphenylphosphonium groups initiated second-stage targetability to mitochondria. This system exhibited remarkable tumor inhibition efficiency both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, as we hypothesized, mitochondria-located PDT could promote immune response, resulting in improvement of PDT. The strategy of sequential targeting-based PDT in combination with augmented immune response showed a novel pathway for the development of smart drug delivery system with advanced PDT.Graphical abstractCe6 loaded micelles (TPPM) coated with BioPEGDMA obtained from 2, 3-dimethylmaleic anhydride modified Biotin-PEG4000-NH2 via electrostatic interaction for sequential tumor and mitochondria targeted delivery, generation of ROS under illumination, and stimulated immune responses in tumor cells. Image, graphical abstract
  • Molybdenum – A biodegradable implant material for structural
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Christian Redlich, Peter Quadbeck, Michael Thieme, Bernd KiebackMolybdenum as a potentially new biodegradable material was investigated. Degradation behavior of commercially high purity molybdenum was observed in simulated physiological salt solutions (Kokubo's SBF with/without TRIS-HCl, Cu2+ addition and 0.9 % NaCl solution). Potentiodynamic polarization, immersion mass loss and ion concentration measurements paired with REM/EDX analysis reveal gradual dissolution of molybdenum in the proper order of magnitude for stent application, associated with formation of thin, non-passivating corrosion products. The underlying corrosion mechanism is discussed as well as a comparison to literature data. However, formation of calcium phosphates (CaP) in SBF significantly decreases corrosion rates. In-situ polarization was found to be a potential way for overcoming this problem and simultaneously enhancing corrosion above the benchmark for a degradable stent material.Graphical Image, graphical abstract
  • Newly formed and remodeled human bone exhibits differences in the
           mineralization process
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Andreas Roschger, Wolfgang Wagermaier, Sonja Gamsjaeger, Norbert Hassler, Ingo Schmidt, Stéphane Blouin, Andrea Berzlanovich, Gerlinde M. Gruber, Richard Weinkamer, Paul Roschger, Eleftherios P. Paschalis, Klaus Klaushofer, Peter FratzlDuring human skeletal growth, bone is formed via different processes. Two of them are: new bone formation by depositing bone at the periosteal (outer) surface and bone remodeling corresponding to a local renewal of tissue. Since in remodeling formation is preceded by resorption, we hypothesize that modeling and remodeling could require radically different transport paths for ionic precursors of mineralization. While remodeling may recycle locally resorbed mineral, modeling implies the transport over large distances to the site of bone apposition. Therefore, we searched for potential differences of size, arrangement and chemical composition of mineral particles just below surfaces of modeling and remodeling sites in femur midshaft cross-sections from healthy children. These bone sites were mapped using scanning synchrotron X-ray scattering, Raman microspectroscopy, energy dispersive X-ray analysis and quantitative backscattered electron microscopy.The results show clear differences in mineral particle size and composition between the sites, which cannot be explained by a change in the rate of mineral apposition or accumulation. At periosteal modeling sites, mineral crystals are distinctly larger, display higher crystallinity and exhibit a lower calcium to phosphorus ratio and elevated Na and Mg content. The latter may originate from Mg used for phase stabilization of mineral precursors and therefore indicate different time periods for mineral transport. We conclude that the mineralization process is distinctively different between modeling and remodeling sites due to varying requirements for the transport distance and, therefore, the stability of non-crystalline ionic precursors, resulting in distinct compositions of the deposited mineral phase.Graphical Image, graphical abstract
  • The Role of Calcium Phosphate Surface Structure in Osteogenesis and the
           Mechanism Involved
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 9 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Dongqin Xiao, Jingwei Zhang, Chengdong Zhang, Davide Barbieri, Huipin Yuan, Lorenzo Moroni, Gang FengCalcium phosphate (CaP) ceramics have been widely used for bone regeneration because of their ability to induce osteogenesis. Surface properties, including chemical composition and surface structure, are known to play a crucial role in osteoconduction and osteoinduction. This review systematically analyzes the effects of surface properties, in particular the surface structure, of CaP scaffolds on cell behavior and new bone formation. We also summarize the possible signaling pathways involved in the osteogenic differentiation of bone-related cells when cultured on surfaces with various structures in vitro. The significant immune response initiated by surface structure involved in osteogenic differentiation of cells is also discussed in this review. Taken together, the new biological principle for advanced biomaterials is not only to directly stimulate osteogenic differentiation of bone-related cells but also to modulate the immune response in vivo. Although the reaction mechanism responsible for bone formation induced by CaP surface structure is not clear yet, the insights on surface structure-mediated osteogenic differentiation and osteoimmunomodulation could aid the optimization of CaP-based biomaterials for bone regeneration.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Peptide-Enhanced Tumor Accumulation of Upconversion Nanoparticles for
           Sensitive Upconversion Luminescence/Magnetic Resonance Dual-Mode
           Bioimaging of Colorectal Tumors
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Xinxin Li, Lin Liu, Yu Fu, Hongda Chen, Murad M.A. Abualrejal, Hua Zhang, Zhenxin Wang, Huimao ZhangCurrently, it is still a great challenge to develop tumor targeting nanoparticles with high sensitivity and high resolution for improving the non-invasive detection ability of colorectal cancer (CRC) at an early stage. In this study, NaErF4:Yb@NaGdF4:Yb core@shell upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) were prepared with high upconversion luminescence (UCL) emission in red light region through adjusting the doping ratios of Er and Yb elements in the core. For biomedical applications, the carboxyl-terminated silica shell was introduced to transfer the as-prepared UCNPs from the organic phase to the aqueous phase, and allowed conjugation with peptide ligands derived from the L-SP5 peptide (i.e., L-SP5-H and L-SP5-C), respectively. Due to the tumor-targeting affinity of the PSP motif in the peptide ligands, the as-prepared peptide functionalized UCNPs (UCNP@SiO2-L-SP5-H and UCNP@SiO2-L-SP5-C) can be used as an active tumor targeting contrast agents for UCL/T1-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) dual-mode imaging. Both the in vitro and in vivo experimental results demonstrated that UCNP@SiO2-L-SP5-C has relatively high affinity for the HCT116 CRC subtype. Moreover, UCNP@SiO2-L-SP5-C can visualize ultra-small subcutaneous xenografted HCT116 tumors (c.a. 13 mm3 in volume) by in vivo UCL imaging.Statement of Significance1. High red emission UCNPs were synthesized for tumor-targeting dual-mode bioimaging.2. With tumor-binding affinity peptide, UCNP@SiO2-L-SP5-C shows high HCT116 tumor targeting ability.3. UCNP@SiO2-L-SP5-C successfully achieves sensitive detection of ultrasmall HCT116 tumors.Graphical Image, graphical abstract
  • Additive manufacturing of an elastic poly(ester)urethane for cartilage
           tissue engineering
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Sandra Camarero-Espinosa, Andrea Calore, Arnold Wilbers, Jules Harings, Lorenzo MoroniAlthough a growing knowledge on the field of tissue engineering of articular cartilage exists, reconstruction or in-vitro growth of functional hyaline tissue still represents an unmet challenge. Despite the simplicity of the tissue in terms of cell population and absence of innervation and vascularization, the outstanding mechanical properties of articular cartilage, which are the result of the specificity of its extra cellular matrix (ECM), are difficult to mimic. Most importantly, controlling the differentiation state or phenotype of chondrocytes, which are responsible of the deposition of this specialized ECM, represents a milestone in the regeneration of native articular cartilage. In this study, we fabricated fused deposition modelled (FDM) scaffolds with different pore sizes and architectures from an elastic and biodegradable poly(ester)urethane (PEU) with mechanical properties that can be modulated by design, and that ranged the elasticity of articular cartilage. Cell culture in additive manufactured 3D scaffolds exceeded the chondrogenic potential of the gold-standard pellet culture. In-vitro cell culture studies demonstrated the intrinsic potential of elastic (PEU) to drive the re-differentiation of de-differentiated chondrocytes when cultured in-vitro, in differentiation or basal media, better than pellet cultures. The formation of neo-tissue was assessed as a high deposition of GAGs and fibrillar collagen II, and a high expression of typical chondrogenic markers. Moreover, the collagen II / collagen I ratio commonly used to evaluate the differentiation state of chondrocytes (ratio> 1 being chondrocytes and, ratio < 0 being de-differentiated chondrocytes) was higher than 5.Statement of significanceTissue engineering of articular cartilage requires material scaffolds capable of driving the deposition of a coherent and specific ECM representative of articular cartilage. Materials explored so far account for low mechanical properties (hydrogels), or are too stiff to mimic the elasticity of the native tissue (traditional polyesters). Here, we fabricated 3D fibrous scaffolds via FDM with a biodegradable poly(ester)urethane. The compressive Young`s modulus and elastic limit of the scaffolds can be tuned by designed, mimicking those of the native tissue. The designed scaffolds showed an intrinsic potential to drive the formation of a GAG and collagen II rich ECM, and to drive a stable chondrogenic cell phenotype.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Comparative in vitro study on binary Mg-RE (Sc, Y, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu,
           Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu) alloy systems
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Jianing Liu, Dong Bian, Yufeng Zheng, Xiao Chu, Yulin Lin, Ming Wang, Zefeng Lin, Mei Li, Yu Zhang, Shaokang GuanCorrect selection of alloying elements is important for developing novel biodegradable magnesium alloys with superior mechanical and biological performances. In contrast to various reports on nutrient elements (Ca, Zn, Sr, etc.) as alloying elements of biomedical magnesium alloys, there is limited information about how to choose the right rare earth elements (REEs) as alloying elements of magnesium. In this work, 16 kinds of REEs were individually added into Mg, including Sc, Y, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Du, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu, to fabricate binary Mg-RE model alloys with different composition points. Under the same working history, comparative studies were undertaken and the impact of each kind of rare earth element on the microstructure, mechanical property, corrosion behavior and biocompatibility of Mg were investigated. The corresponding influence level for the 16 kinds of REEs were ranked. The results showed that the second phases were detected in some Mg-RE alloys, which were mainly composed of Mg12RE. By adding different REEs into Mg with proper contents, the mechanical properties of resulting Mg-RE binary alloys could be adjusted in wide range. The corrosion resistance of Mg-light REE alloys was generally better than Mg-heavy REE alloys. As for biocompatibility, Mg-RE model alloys showed no cytotoxic effect on MC3T3-E1 cells. The hemolysis rates of all experimental Mg-RE model alloys were lower than 5% except for Mg-Lu alloy model. In general, the addition of different REEs into Mg could improve its performance from different aspects. This work provides a better understanding on suitable REEs as alloying elements for magnesium, and the future R&D direction on biomedical Mg-RE alloys was proposed.Statement of SignificanceIn contrast to various reports on nutrient elements (Ca, Zn, Sr, etc.) as alloying elements of biomedical magnesium alloys, until now there is limited information about how to choose the right rare earth elements (REEs) as alloying elements of magnesium. In this work, comparative studies were undertaken by individually adding 16 kinds of REEs, including Sc, Y, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Du, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu, into Mg to fabricate binary Mg-RE model alloys, with different composition points, then the impact of each kind of rare earth element on the microstructure, mechanical property, corrosion behavior and biocompatibility of Mg under the same working history were investigated, and the corresponding influence level for the 16 kinds of REEs were ranked. This work provides a better understanding on suitable REEs as alloying elements for magnesium, and the future R&D direction on biomedical Mg-RE alloys was proposed.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Bioactive materials: In vitro investigation of different mechanisms of
           hydroxyapatite precipitation
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): S. Ferraris, S. Yamaguchi, N. Barbani, M. Cazzola, C. Cristallini, M. Miola, E. Vernè, S. SprianoBioactive materials, able to induce hydroxyapatite precipitation in contact with body fluids, are of great interest for their bone bonding capacity. . The aim of this paper is to compare bioactive materials with different surface features to verify the mechanisms of action and the relationship with kinetics and type of precipitated hydroxyapatite over time. Four different surface treatments for Ti/Ti6Al4V alloy and a bioactive glass were selected and a different mechanism of bioactivity is supposed for each of them. Apart from the conventional techniques (FESEM, XPS and EDX), less common characterizations (zeta potential measurements on solid surfaces and FTIR chemical imaging) were applied. The results suggest that the OH groups on the surface have several effects: the total number of the OH groups mainly affects hydrophilicity of surfaces, while the isoelectric points, surface charge and ions attraction mainly depend on OH acidic/basic strength. Kinetics of hydroxyapatite precipitation is faster when it involves a mechanism of ion exchange while it is slower when it is due to electrostatic effects . The electrostatic effect cooperates with ion exchange and it speeds up kinetics of hydroxyapatite precipitation. Different bioactive surfaces are able to differently induce precipitation of type A and B of hydroxyapatite, as well as different degrees of crystallinity and carbonation.Statement of significanceThe bone is made of a ceramic phase (a specific type of hydroxyapatite), a network of collagen fibers and the biological tissue. A strong bond of an orthopedic or dental implant with the bone is achieved by bioactive materials where precipitation and growth of hydroxyapatite occurs on the implant surface starting from the ions in the physiological fluids. Several bioactive materials are already known and used, but their mechanism of action is not completely known and the type of precipitated hydroxyapatite not fully investigated. In this work, bioactive titanium and bioglass surfaces are compared through conventional and innovative methodologies. Different mechanisms of bioactivity are identified, with different kinetics and the materials are able to induce precipitation of different types of hydroxyapatite, with different degree of crystallinity and carbonation.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Dispersion of ceramic granules within human fractionated adipose tissue to
           enhance endochondral bone formation
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Ru-Lin Huang, Julien Guerrero, Alina Samia Senn, Elisabeth Artemis Kappos, Kai Liu, Qingfeng Li, Denis Dufrane, Dirk J. Schaefer, Ivan Martin, Arnaud ScherberichEngineering of materials consisting of hypertrophic cartilage, as physiological template for de novo bone formation through endochondral ossification (ECO), holds promise as a new class of biological bone substitutes. Here, we assessed the efficiency and reproducibility of bone formation induced by the combination of ceramic granules with fractionated human adipose tissue (“nanofat”), followed by in vitro priming to hypertrophic cartilage. Human nanofat was mixed with different volumetric ratios of ceramic granules (0.2-1 mm) and cultured to sequentially induce proliferation (3 weeks), chondrogenesis (4 weeks), and hypertrophy (2 weeks). The resulting engineered constructs were implanted ectopically in nude mouse. The presence of ceramic granules regulated tissue formation, both in vitro and in vivo. In particular, their dispersion in nanofat at a ratio of 1:16 led to significantly increased cell number and glycosaminoglycan accumulation in vitro, as well as amount and inter-donor reproducibility of bone formation in vivo. Our findings outline a strategy for efficient utilization of nanofat for bone regeneration in an autologous setting, which should now be tested at an orthotopic site.Statement of significanceIn this study, we assessed the efficiency and reproducibility of bone formation by a combination of ceramic granules and fractionated human adipose tissue, also known as nanofat, in vitro primed into hypertrophic cartilage. The resulting engineered cartilaginous constructs, when implanted ectopically in nude mouse, resulted in bone and bone marrow formation, more reproducibly and strongly that nanofat alone. This project evaluates the impact of ceramic granules on the functionality and chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal progenitors inside their native adipose tissue niche and outlines a novel strategy for an efficient application of nanofat for bone regeneration in an autologous setting.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • In vitro measurement of the chemical changes occurring within
           β-tricalcium phosphate bone graft substitutes
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Yassine Maazouz, Iris Rentsch, Bin Lu, Bastien Le Gars Santoni, Nicola Doebelin, Marc BohnerSeveral mechanisms proposed to explain the osteoinductive potential of calcium phosphates involve surface mineralization (“bioactivity”) and mention the occurrence of concentration gradients between the inner and the outer part of the implanted material. Determining the evolution of the local chemical environment occurring inside the pores of an implanted bone graft substitute (BGS) is therefore highly relevant. A quantitative and fast method was developed to measure the chemical changes occurring within the pores of β-Tricalcium Phosphate (β-TCP) granules incubated in a simulated body fluid. A factorial design of experiment was used to test the effect of particle size, specific surface area, microporosity, and purity of the β-TCP granules. Large pH, calcium and phosphate concentration changes were observed inside the BGS and lasted for several days. The kinetics and magnitude of these changes (up to 2 pH units) largely depended on the processing and properties of the granules. Interestingly, processing parameters that increased the kinetics and magnitude of the local chemical changes are parameters considered to favor calcium phosphate osteoinduction, suggesting that the model might be useful to predict the osteoinductive potential of BGSs.Statement of significanceRecent results suggest that in situ mineralization of biomaterials (polymers, ceramics, metals) might be key in their ability to trigger ectopic bone formation. This is the reason why the effect on in situ mineralization of various synthesis parameters of β-tricalcium phosphate granules was studied (size, microporosity, specific surface area, and Ca/P molar ratio). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first article devoted to the chemical changes occurring within the pores of a bone graft substitute. We believe that the manuscript will prove to be highly important in the design and mechanistic understanding of drug-free osteoinductive biomaterials.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Biomineralization pathways in calcifying dinoflagellates: Uptake, storage
           in MgCaP-rich bodies and formation of the shell
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Anne Jantschke, Iddo Pinkas, Andreas Schertel, Lia Addadi, Steve WeinerLittle is known about shell formation of calcareous dinoflagellates, despite the fact that they are one of the major calcifying organisms of the phytoplankton. Here, calcitic cyst formation in two representative members of calcareous dinoflagellates is investigated using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-SEM and cryo-FIB-SEM) in combination with micro-Raman and infrared spectroscopy. Only calcein-AM and not calcein enters these cells, indicating active uptake of calcium and other divalent cations. Multifunctional vacuoles containing crystalline inclusions are observed, and the crystals are identified as anhydrous guanine in the β-form. The same vacuolar enclosures contain dense magnesium-, calcium-, and phosphorous-rich mineral bodies. These bodies are presumably secreted into the outer matrix where calcite forms. Calcite formation occurs via multiple independent nucleation events, and the different crystals grow with preferred orientation into a dense reticular network that forms the mature calcitic shell. We suggest a biomineralization pathway for calcareous dinoflagellates that includes (1) active uptake of calcium through the membranes, (2) deposition of Mg2+- and Ca2+-ions inside disordered MgCaP-rich mineral bodies, (3) secretion of these bodies to the inter-membrane space, and (4) Formation and growth of calcite into a dense reticulate network. This study provides new insights into calcium uptake, storage and transport in calcifying dinoflagellates.Statement of significanceLittle is known about the shell formation of calcareous dinoflagellates, despite the fact that they are one of the major calcifying organisms of the phytoplankton. We used state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-SEM and cryo-FIB-SEM) in combination with micro-Raman spectroscopy to provide new insights into mineral formation in calcifying dinoflagellates.To date, intracellular crystalline calcite was assumed to be involved in calcite shell formation. Surprisingly, we identify these crystalline inclusions as anhydrous guanine suggesting that they are not involved in biomineralization. Instead, a key finding is that MgCaP-rich bodies are probably secreted into the outer matrix where the calcite shell is formed. We suggest that these bodies are an essential part of Ca-uptake, -storage and –transport and propose a new biomineralization model.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Biomimetic anti-inflammatory nano-capsule serves as a cytokine blocker and
           M2 polarization inducer for bone tissue repair
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Chengcheng Yin, Qin Zhao, Wu Li, Zifan Zhao, Jinyang Wang, Tian Deng, Peng Zhang, Kailun Shen, Zubing Li, Yufeng ZhangControlling of pro-inflammation induced by pro-inflammatory cytokines and anti-inflammatory response induced by M2 macrophages is important for osteogenesis in the process of bone tissue repair. Thus, we fabricated biomimetic anti-inflammatory nano-capsule (BANC) that can block cytokines and promote M2 macrophage polarization, presenting a positive role for bone tissue repair. The BANC is a biomimic nanosystem, coated with lipopolysaccharide-treated macrophage cell membranes with cytokine receptors enveloping gold nanocage (AuNC) as “cytokine blocker”, and loaded with resolvin D1 inside into AuNC as “M2 polarization inducer” whose controlled-release could be triggered under near-infrared laser irradiation in sequence, and these chronological events were consistent with the healing process of bone tissue repair. Moreover, in vivo application of femoral bone defects revealed that the BANC composite boron-containing mesoporous bioactive glass scaffolds improved the final effects of bone tissue repair through preventing inflammatory response, promoting M2 polarization in sequence in accord with the in vitro investigation. Hence, cytokine neutralization and M2 macrophage polarization enables the BANC to enhance the bone tissue repair as a biomimetic anti-inflammation effector. Therefore, this study provides potential therapeutic strategies for trauma-mediated or inflammation-related bone defects based on a biomimetic nanomaterial with weakened pro-inflammatory and enhanced anti-inflammatory effects.Statement of significanceCell membrane-mimic nanomaterials have been popular for blocking natural cell responses for some infection diseases, yet their role in biological process of bone repair is unknown. Here, we fabricated Biomimetic Anti-inflammatory Nano-Capsule (BANC), coated with cell membrane with cytokines receptors on the surface which could neutralize the pro-inflammatory cytokine receptor to block activated pro-inflammation, loaded with Resolvin D1 inside which could be controllably released by NIR irradiation to promote M2 macrophage polarization for the following bone formation during the process of bone repair. Administration of BANC as cytokines blocker and M2 polarization inducer to enhance the bone regeneration, thus presenting a promising potential for the treatment of bone repair and regeneration.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Soft liquid metal nanoparticles achieve reduced crystal nucleation and
           ultrarapid rewarming for human bone marrow stromal cell and blood vessel
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Yi Hou, Chennan Lu, Mengjia Dou, Chenglin Zhang, Hao Chang, Jing Liu, Wei RaoHigh warming rates during cryopreservation are crucial and essential for successful vitrification. However, realizing a faster warming rate in low-concentration cryoprotective agents appears to be challenging for conventional warming process through convective heat transfer. Herein, we developed a liquid metal (LM) nanosystem that can act as a spatial source to significantly enhance the warming rates with near-infrared laser irradiation during the warming process. The synthetic Pluronic F127-liquid metal nanoparticles (PLM NPs) displayed multiple performances with uniform particle size, superior photothermal conversion efficiency (52%), repeatable photothermal stability, and low cytotoxicity. Particularly, it is more difficult for the liquid PLM NPs with less surface free energy to form crystal nucleation than other solid NPs such as gold and Fe3O4, which is beneficial for the cooling process during cryopreservation. The viability of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells postcryopreservation reached 78±3%, which is threefold higher than that obtained by the conventional warming method (25±6%). Additionally, the cells postcryopreservation maintained their normal attachment, proliferation, surface marker expression, and intact multilineage differentiation properties. Moreover, the results of mouse tails including blood vessel cryopreservation showed a relatively improved intact structure when using PLM NP rewarming compared with the results of conventional warming. The new LM nanosystem provides a universal platform for cryopreservation that is expected to have potential for widespread applications including bioengineering, cell-based medicine, and clinical translation.Statement of significanceIn this study, we fabricated soft liquid metal nanoparticles with high photothermal conversion efficiency, repeatable photothermal stability, and low cytotoxicity. Particularly, soft liquid metal nanoparticles with less surface free energy and suppression effects of ice formation were first introduced to mediate cryopreservation. Superior ice-crystallization inhibition is achieved as a result of less crystal nucleation and ultrarapid rewarming during the freezing and warming processes of cryopreservation, respectively. Collectively, cryopreservation of human bone marrow stromal cells (HBMSCs) and mouse tails including blood vessels can be successfully performed using this new nanoplatform, showing great potential in the application of soft nanoparticles in cryopreservation.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Red fluorescent AuNDs with conjugation of cholera toxin subunit B (CTB)
           for extended-distance retro-nerve transporting and long-time neural
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Yueqi Zhao, Suraj Maharjan, Yuanqing Sun, Zhe Yang, Enfeng Yang, Nan Zhou, Laijin Lu, Andrew K. Whittaker, Bai Yang, Quan LinA retrograde transportation nerve probe, Au nanodots-cholera toxin B subunit (AuNDs-CTB), are prepared and fully characterized, which emit bright red fluorescence and show high quantum yield (7.2%) and good stability. The fluorescence emitted by the AuNDs is constant across a wide pH range (4–10) and after prolonged UV irradiation (>4 h). Previously, CTB has shown targeting characteristic for nerve cells with high sensitivity and effectiveness. After linking CTB to AuNDs through amidation reactions, AuNDs-CTB are obtained with excellent fluorescence property, nerve target characteristic, and, particularly, neural retrograde transportation feature. The red emission of the AuNDs-CTB is well distinguished from the blue autofluorescence of normal tissues, which provides potential for detection by naked eyes. Further, the fluorescence emission intensity maintains for 10 days in vivo, suggesting great utility for long-time monitoring and sensing of the nerve tissue. Furthermore, the AuNDs-CTB with bright red fluorescence can travel through the peripheral nerve to the spinal cord rapidly by retrograde transportation. The transportation occurs for a long distance (>5 cm) within only 2 days after injection of the AuNDs-CTB into the sciatic nerve. The present study exhibits a novel method for nerve visualization and drug delivery.Statement of significanceAu nanodots (AuNDs) conjugated with cholera toxin subunit B (CTB) have been developed for nerve labeling and neural retro-transporting. The red fluorescence from AuNDs-CTB is stable in vitro (pH 4–10 and 4 h UV irradiation) and in vivo (for a long time, more than 10 days). When injecting AuNDs-CTB into the sciatic nerve located at the midpiece of the thigh, the targeted nerve emits bright red fluorescence under UV light. Furthermore, the nerve can retrograde transport the AuNDs-CTB to the spinal cord for a distance of more than 5 cm just in 2 days. This work exhibits a novel method for nerve visualization by naked eyes and demonstrates the potential for intraoperative navigation.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Dispersion stability and biocompatibility of four ligand-exchanged NaYF4:
           Yb, Er upconversion nanoparticles
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Yinghui Chen, Claudia D'Amario, Alex Gee, Hien T.T. Duong, Olga Shimoni, Stella M. ValenzuelaSurface modification to obtain high dispersion stability and biocompatibility is a key factor for bio-application of upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs). A systematic study of UCNPs modified with four hydrophilic molecules separately, comparing their dispersion stability in biological buffers and cellular biocompatibility is reported here. The results show that carboxyl-functionalized UCNPs (modified by 3,4-dihydrocinnamic acid (DHCA) or poly(monoacryloxyethyl phosphate (MAEP)) with negative surface charge have superior even-distribution in biological buffers compared to amino-functionalized UCNPs (modified by (aminomethyl)phosphonic (AMPA) or (3-Aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTES)) with positive surface charge. Subsequent investigation of cellular interactions revealed high levels of non-targeted cellular uptake of the particles modified with either of the three small molecules (AMPA, APTES, DHCA) and high levels of cytotoxicity when used at high concentrations. The particles were seen to be trapped as particle-aggregates within the cellular cytoplasm, leading to reduced cell viability and cell proliferation, along with dysregulation of the cell cycle as assessed by DNA content measurements. The dramatically reduced proportion of cells in G1 phase and the slightly increased proportion in G2 phase indicates inhibition of M phase, and the appearance of sub-G1 phase reflects cell necrosis. In contrast, MAEP-modified UCNPs are bio-friendly with increased dispersion stability in biological buffers, are non-cytotoxic, with negligible levels of non-specific cellular uptake and no effect on the cell cycle at both low and high concentrations. MAEP-modified UCNPs were further functionalized with streptavidin for intracellular microtubule imaging, and showed clear cytoskeletal structures via their upconversion luminescence.Statement of significanceUpconversion nanoparticles (UCNP) are an exciting potential nanomaterial for bio-applications. Their anti-Stokes luminescence makes them especially attractive to be used as imaging probes and thermal therapeutic reagents. Surface modification is the key to achieving stable and compatible hydrophilic-UCNPs. However, the lack of criteria to assess molecular ligands used for ligand exchange of nanoparticles has hampered the development of surface modification, and further limits UCNP’s bio-application. Herein, we report a systematic comparative study of modified-UCNPs with four distinct hydrophilic molecules, assessing each particles’ colloidal stability in biological buffers and their cellular biocompatibility. The protocol established here can serve as a potential guide for the surface modification of UCNPs in bio-applications.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • A sequential targeting nanoplatform for anaplastic thyroid carcinoma
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Qimeihui Wang, Guoqing Sui, Xiaoli Wu, Dengke Teng, Lingyu Zhu, Shihui Guan, Haitao Ran, Zhigang Wang, Hui WangEffective accumulation of nanoparticles (NPs) in tumor regions is one of the major motivations in nanotechnology research and that the establishment of an efficient targeting nanoplatform for the treatment of malignant tumors is urgently needed for theranostic applications. In this study, we engineered multifunctional sequential targeting NPs for achieving synergistic antiangiogenic photothermal therapy (PTT) and multimodal imaging-guided diagnosis for anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) theranostics. Antibody bevacizumab with an affinity towards vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) on the tumor cell surface was conjugated onto the surface of polymer NPs for VEGF targeting and antiangiogenic therapy. Encapsulated IR825 was employed as a photothermal agent (PTA) with a mitochondrial targeting capability, which further cascades NPs into mitochondria to enhance hyperthermic efficiency in the ablation of tumor cells. Importantly, the combination of bevacizumab and IR825 in a single nanosystem achieved desirable accumulations of NPs and that sequential targeted PTT combined with antiangiogenesis significantly promoted the therapeutic efficiency in eradicating tumors by near-infrared (NIR) laser irradiation. Furthermore, these NPs are extraordinary contrast agents for photoacoustic, ultrasound and fluorescence imaging applications, providing multimodal imaging capabilities for therapeutic monitoring and a precise diagnosis. Therefore, this multifunctional nanoplatform provides a promising theranostic strategy for extremely malignant ATC.Statement of significanceAnaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC), with extremely aggressive behavior, lacks a satisfactory therapeutic method and a comprehensive early diagnostic strategy. Herein, we successfully synthesized a sequential targeting nanoplatform (IR825@Bev-PLGA-PFP NPs) with theranostic function, which specifically binds to VEGF on the tumor cell surface and further cascades into mitochondria to achieve effective accumulation of NPs in the tumor regions. As a result, it solves the urgent demand for ATC detection and therapy. By breaking the limitation of traditional target, such as low efficacy and frequent recurrence as the results of low accumulation, sequential targeting combined with synergistic antiangiogenic PTT completely eradicates tumors without any residual tissue and side effect. Therefore, this strategy paves a solid way for further investigation in the theranostic progressing of ATC.Graphic abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • A systematic comparison of lipopolymers for siRNA delivery to multiple
           breast cancer cell lines: In vitro studies
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Hamidreza Montazeri Aliabadi, Remant Bahadur K.C., Emira Bousoik, Ryley Hall, Ashley Barbarino, Bindu Thapa, Melissa Coyle, Parvin Mahdipoor, Hasan UludağSmall interfering RNA (siRNA) therapy is a promising approach for treatment of a wide range of cancers, including breast cancers that display variable phenotypic features. To explore the general utility of siRNA therapy to control aberrant expression of genes in breast cancer, we conducted a detailed analysis of siRNA delivery and silencing response in vitro in 6 separate breast cancer cell models (MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-231-KRas-CRM, MCF-7, AU565, MDA-MB-435 and MDA-MB-468 cells). Using lipopolymers for siRNA complexation and delivery, we found a large variation in siRNA delivery efficiency depending on the specific lipopolymer used for siRNA complexation and delivery. Some lipopolymers were effective in all cell types used in this study, indicating the possibility of universal carriers for siRNA therapy. The delivery efficiency for effective lipopolymers was not correlated with dextran uptake in the cells tested, which indicated a receptor-mediated internalization for siRNA complexes with lipopolymers, unlike fluid-phase transfer associated with dextran uptake. Consistent with this, specific inhibitors involved in clathrin- and caveolin-mediated endocytosis significantly (>50%) reduced the internalization of siRNA complexes in all cell types. Using JAK2 and STAT3 silencing in MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 cells, a general correlation between the uptake and silencing efficiency at the mRNA level was evident, but it appeared that the choice of the target rather than the cell type was more critical for consistent silencing. We conclude that siRNA therapy with lipopolymers can be undertaken in multiple breast cancer cell phenotypes with similar efficiency, indicating the general applicability of non-viral RNAi in clinical management of molecularly heterogeneous breast cancers.Statement of significanceThe manuscript investigated the efficacy of siRNA carriers across multiple breast cancer cell lines. The lipopolymeric carriers were capable of delivering effective dose of siRNA to a range of breast cancer cells. Despite some differences in uptake efficiency among cell types, the mechanism of delivery was similar, with CME and CvME significantly involved in the internalization of polyplexes, while fluid-phase endocytosis was not significant. Specific target silencing was correlated to delivery efficiency, but we did notice the presence of lipopolymers that achieved high silencing with minimal siRNA delivery. Silencing specific targets in different cell types were more uniformly achieved as compared to targeting different targets in the same cells. Our studies enhance the feasibility of delivering siRNA to different types of breast cancer cells.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Hydrophobic scaffolds of pH-sensitive cationic lipids contribute to
           miscibility with phospholipids and improve the efficiency of delivering
           short interfering RNA by small-sized lipid nanoparticles
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Yusuke Sato, Nana Okabe, Yusuke Note, Kazuki Hashiba, Masatoshi Maeki, Manabu Tokeshi, Hideyoshi HarashimaDespite the fact that small-sized lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are important for improved tissue penetration and efficient drug delivery, their poor stability and intracellular trafficking significantly hinders their use as potent small-sized LNPs. It has been reported that both the diffusion of lipid components from LNPs and the adsorption of proteins on the surface of LNPs are responsible for their decreased potency. To overcome this issue, we focused on the chemical structure of hydrophobic scaffolds of pH-sensitive cationic lipids with various lengths and shapes. LNPs composed of a pH-sensitive cationic lipid with long, linear scaffolds induced gene silencing in a dose-dependent manner, while LNPs with a classical scaffold length (C18) failed. Replacing the helper lipid from cholesterol to egg sphingomyelin (ESM) resulted in the formation of smaller LNPs with a diameter of ~22 nm and enhanced gene silencing activity. Most of the ESMs were located in the outer layer and functioned to stabilize the LNPs. Long, linear scaffolds contributed to immiscibility with phosphocholine-containing lipids including ESM. This contribution was dependent on the scaffold length of pH-sensitive cationic lipids. Although phosphocholine-containing lipids usually inhibit membrane fusion-mediated endosomal escape, long, linear scaffolds contributed to avoiding the inhibitory effect and to enhance the potency of the LNPs. These findings provide useful information needed for the rational design of pH-sensitive cationic lipid structures and the selection of appropriate helper lipids and will facilitate the development of highly potent small-sized LNPs.Statement of significanceDespite the fact that small-sized lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are important for improved tissue penetration and efficient drug delivery, the size reduction-associated decrease in the stability and intracellular trafficking significantly hinders the development of potent small-sized LNPs. Our limited understanding of the mechanism underlying the reduced potency has also hindered the development of more potent small-sized LNPs. The findings of the present study indicate that long and linear hydrophobic scaffolds of pH-sensitive cationic lipids could overcome the loss of efficiency for nucleic acid delivery. In addition, the long hydrophobic scaffolds led to immiscibility with neutral phospholipids, resulting in efficient endosomal escape. These findings provide useful information needed for the rational design of pH-sensitive cationic lipid structures and will facilitate the development of highly potent small-sized LNPs.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Sustained low-dose dexamethasone delivery via a PLGA microsphere-embedded
           agarose implant for enhanced osteochondral repair
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Robert M. Stefani, Andy J. Lee, Andrea R. Tan, Saiti S. Halder, Yizhong Hu, X. Edward Guo, Aaron M. Stoker, Gerard A. Ateshian, Kacey G. Marra, James L. Cook, Clark T. HungArticular cartilage defects are a common source of joint pain and dysfunction. We hypothesized that sustained low-dose dexamethasone (DEX) delivery via an acellular osteochondral implant would have a dual pro-anabolic and anti-catabolic effect, both supporting the functional integrity of adjacent graft and host tissue while also attenuating inflammation caused by iatrogenic injury. An acellular agarose hydrogel carrier with embedded DEX-loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) microspheres (DLMS) was developed to provide sustained release for at least 99 days. The DLMS implant was first evaluated in an in vitro pro-inflammatory model of cartilage degradation. The implant was chondroprotective, as indicated by maintenance of Young's modulus (EY) (p = 0.92) and GAG content (p = 1.0) in the presence of interleukin-1β insult. In a subsequent preliminary in vivo experiment, an osteochondral autograft transfer was performed using a pre-clinical canine model. DLMS implants were press-fit into the autograft donor site and compared to intra-articular DEX injection (INJ) or no DEX (CTL). Functional scores for DLMS animals returned to baseline (p = 0.39), whereas CTL and INJ remained significantly worse at 6 months (p 
  • Oligonucleotide-functionalized hydrogels for sustained release of small
           molecule (aptamer) therapeutics
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Nikunj K. Agrawal, Peter Allen, Young Hye Song, Rebecca A. Wachs, Yan Du, Andrew D. Ellington, Christine E. SchmidtNatural and synthetic hydrogels have been widely investigated as biomaterial scaffolds to promote tissue repair and regeneration. Nevertheless, the scaffold alone is often insufficient to drive new tissue growth, instead requiring continuous delivery of therapeutics, such as proteins or other biomolecules that work in concert with structural support provided by the scaffold. However, because of the high-water content, hydrogels tend to be permeable and cause rapid release of the encapsulated drug, which could lead to serious complications from local overdose and may result in the significant waste of encapsulated therapeutic(s). To this end, we designed an oligonucleotide-functionalized hydrogel that can provide sustained and controlled delivery of therapeutics for up to 4 weeks. To prove this concept, we successfully achieved sustained release (for over 28 days) of model anti-Nogo receptor (anti-NgR) RNA aptamer from oligonucleotide-functionalized hyaluronic acid-based hydrogel by changing the complementarity between the short antisense sequences and the aptamer. Furthermore, the released aptamer successfully blocked neuro-inhibitory effects of myelin-derived inhibitors and promoted neurite outgrowth from rat dorsal root ganglia in vitro. Because antisense sequences can be designed to bind to proteins, peptides, and aptamer, our oligonucleotide-functionalized hydrogel offers a promising therapeutic delivery system to obtain controlled release (both bolus and sustained) of various therapeutics for the treatment of complex diseases and injury models, such as spinal cord injury.Statement of significanceProducing a therapeutic effect often requires the administration of multiple injections with high dosages. This regimen causes discomfort to the patient and raises cost of treatment. Additionally, systemic delivery of therapeutics often results in adverse effects; therefore, local delivery at the site of injury is desirable. Therefore, in this study, we designed an oligonucleotide-functionalized biomaterial platform using ssDNA oligonucleotides (immobile species) as antisense sequences to increase residence time and fine-tune the release of anti-nogo receptor aptamer (mobile species) for spinal cord injury application. Because antisense sequences can be designed to bind proteins, peptides, and aptamer, our hydrogel offers a promising delivery system to obtain controlled release of various therapeutics for the treatment of complex diseases and injury models.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Naturally-occurring bacterial cellulose-hyperbranched cationic
           polysaccharide derivative/MMP-9 siRNA composite dressing for wound healing
           enhancement in diabetic rats
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Na Li, Liqun Yang, Chenglin Pan, Phei Er Saw, Meng Ren, Biyun Lan, Junfeng Wu, Xiaoyi Wang, Tingting Zeng, Liyan Zhou, Li-Ming Zhang, Chuan Yang, Li YansThe anomalous high expression of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) is one important factor that impedes diabetic wound healing. Therefore, inhibition of MMP-9 expression in a diabetic wound could be a feasible method to promote wound healing. In this study, we studied the possibility of self-therapy using wound dressings that contain bacterial cellulose-hyperbranched cationic polysaccharide (BC-HCP) derivatives that encapsulate siRNA (BC-HCP/siMMP-9) and have controlled release properties. Herein, we used four HCPs (Gly-DMAPA, Gly-D4, Amyp-DMAPA, Amyp-D4) as gene carriers. Our results showed that all HCP derivatives were minimally toxic to cells in vitro, while the cationic properties of HCP could be used as a complexation agent for MMP-9 siRNA (siMMP-9). Upon exposure to bacterial cellulose (BC), the BC slowly released HCP/siMMP-9. The released siMMP-9 effectively reduced the gene expression and protein levels of MMP-9 in a human immortalized epithelial cell line (HaCAT) and in diabetic rat wounds. Inhibition of MMP-9 in the wounds of diabetic rats resulted in a significant enhancement of wound healing, suggesting that the BC-HCP/siMMP-9 composite dressing could be used as a safe and effective dressing to promote wound healing in diabetic rats.Statement of significanceIn this work, we evaluated the possibility of using bacterial cellulose-hyperbranched cationic polysaccharide derivatives (BC-HCP) as a self-therapeutic wound dressing with siRNA encapsulated and controlled release properties. Our results showed that the BC-HCP/siMMP-9 composite dressing slowly released HCP/siMMP-9. The released siMMP-9 effectively reduced the gene expression and protein level of MMP-9 in human immortalized epithelial cell line and in the wound of diabetic rats. The BC-HCP/siMMP-9 composite dressing promoted diabetic wound healing by the unique nanostructure of BC and by releasing siMMP-9 for specific MMP-9 inhibition. Therefore, it could be used as a safe and effective dressing to promote wound healing in diabetic rats. This is the first evidence on the study of using BC as a dressing composite by encapsulating HCP/siRNA complexes for efficient RNAi gene silencing for better wound healing in diabetic rats.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Fractional CO2 laser micropatterning of cell-seeded electrospun collagen
           scaffolds enables rete ridge formation in 3D engineered skin
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Britani N. Blackstone, Megan M. Malara, Molly E. Baumann, Kevin L. McFarland, Dorothy M. Supp, Heather M. PowellRete ridges are interdigitations of the epidermis and dermis of the skin that play multiple roles in homeostasis, including enhancing adhesion via increased contact area and acting as niches for epidermal stem cells. These structures, however, are generally absent from engineered skin (ES). To develop ES with rete ridges, human fibroblast-seeded dermal templates were treated with a fractional CO2 laser, creating consistently spaced wells at the surface. Constructs with and without laser treatment were seeded with keratinocytes, cultured for 10 days, and grafted onto athymic mice for four weeks. Rete-ridge like structures were observed in the laser-patterned (ridged) samples at the time of grafting and were maintained in vivo. Ridged grafts displayed improved barrier function over non-lasered (flat) grafts at the time of grafting and 4 weeks post-grafting. Presence of ridges in vivo corresponded with increased keratinocyte proliferation, epidermal area, and basement membrane length. These results suggest that this method can be utilized to develop engineered skin grafts with rete ridges, that the ridge pattern is stable for at least 4 weeks post-grafting, and that the presence of these ridges enhances epidermal proliferation and establishment of barrier function.Statement of significanceRete ridges play a role in epidermal homeostasis, enhance epidermal-dermal adhesion and act as niches for epidermal stem cells. Despite their role in skin function, these structures are not directly engineered into synthetic skin. A new method to rapidly and reproducibly generate rete ridges in engineered skin was developed using fractional CO2 laser ablation. The resulting engineered rete ridges aided in the establishment of epidermal barrier function, basement membrane protein deposition and epidermal regeneration. This new model of engineered skin with rete ridges could be utilized as an in vitro system to study epidermal stem cells, a testbed for pharmaceutical evaluation or translated for clinical use in full-thickness wound repair.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Enhanced structural maturation of human induced pluripotent stem
           cell-derived cardiomyocytes under a controlled microenvironment in a
           microfluidic system
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Tomasz Jan Kolanowski, Mathias Busek, Mario Schubert, Anna Dmitrieva, Björn Binnewerg, Jessie Pöche, Konstanze Fisher, Florian Schmieder, Stefan Grünzner, Sinah Hansen, Andreas Richter, Ali El-Armouche, Frank Sonntag, Kaomei GuanThe lack of a fully developed human cardiac model in vitro hampers the progress of many biomedical research fields including pharmacology, developmental biology, and disease modeling. Currently, available methods may only differentiate human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into immature cardiomyocytes. To achieve cardiomyocyte maturation, appropriate modulation of cellular microenvironment is needed. This study aims to optimize a microfluidic system that enhances maturation of human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs) through cyclic pulsatile hemodynamic forces. Human iPSC-CMs cultured in the microfluidic system show increased alignment and contractility and appear more rod-like shaped with increased cell size and increased sarcomere length when compared to static cultures. Increased complexity and density of the mitochondrial network in iPSC-CMs cultured in the microfluidic system are in line with expression of mitochondrial marker genes MT-CO1 and OPA1. Moreover, the optimized microfluidic system is capable of stably maintaining controlled oxygen levels and inducing hypoxia, revealed by increased expression of HIF1α and EGLN2 as well as changes in contraction parameters in iPSC-CMs. In summary, this microfluidic system boosts the structural maturation of iPSC-CM culture and could serve as an advanced in vitro cardiac model for biomedical research in the future.Statement of SignificanceThe availability of in vitro human cardiomyocytes generated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) opens the possibility to develop human in vitro heart models for disease modeling and drug testing. However, iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes remain structurally and functionally immature, which hinders their application. In this manuscript, we present an optimized and complete microfluidic system that enhances maturation of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes through physiological cyclic pulsatile hemodynamic forces. Furthermore, we improved our microfluidic system by using a closed microfluidic recirculation and oxygen exchangers to achieve and maintain low oxygen in the culture chambers, which is suitable for mimicking the hypoxic condition and studying the pathophysiological mechanisms of human diseases in vitro. In the future, a variety of technologies including 3D tissue engineering could be integrated into our system, which may greatly extend the use of iPSC-derived cardiac models in drug development and disease modeling.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Glycaemic control in diabetic rats treated with islet transplantation
           using plasma combined with hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose hydrogel
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Anaïs Schaschkow, Séverine Sigrist, Carole Mura, Julien Barthes, Nihal Engin Vrana, Elodie Czuba, Florent Lemaire, Romain Neidl, Caroline Dissaux, Anne Lejay, Philippe Lavalle, Catherine Bruant-Rodier, Karim Bouzakri, Michel Pinget, Elisa MaillardIslet transplantation is one of the most efficient cell therapies used in clinics and could treat a large proportion of patients with diabetes. However, it is limited by the high requirement of pancreas necessary to provide the sufficient surviving islet mass in the hepatic tissue and restore normoglycaemia. Reduction in organ procurement requirements could be achieved by extrahepatic transplantation using a biomaterial that enhances islet survival and function. We report a plasma-supplemented hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) hydrogel, engineered specifically using a newly developed technique for intra-omental islet infusion, known as hOMING (h-Omental Matrix Islet filliNG). The HPMC hydrogel delivered islets with better performance than that of the classical intrahepatic infusion. After the validation of the HPMC suitability for islets in vivo and in vitro, plasma supplementation modified the rheological properties of HPMC without affecting its applicability with hOMING. The biomaterial association was proven to be more efficient both in vitro and in vivo, with better islet viability and function than that of the current clinical intrahepatic delivery technique. Indeed, when the islet mass was decreased by 25% or 35%, glycaemia control was observed in the group of plasma-supplemented hydrogels, whereas no regulation was observed in the hepatic group. Plasma gelation, observed immediately post infusion, decreased anoïkis and promoted vascularisation. To conclude, the threshold mass for islet transplantation could be decreased using HPMC-Plasma combined with the hOMING technique. The simplicity of the hOMING technique and the already validated use of its components could facilitate its transfer to clinics.Statement of significanceOne of the major limitations for the broad deployment of current cell therapy for brittle type 1 diabetes is the islets’ destruction during the transplantation process. Retrieved from their natural environment, the islets are grafted into a foreign tissue, which triggers massive cell loss.It is mandatory to provide the islets with an 3D environment specifically designed for promoting isletimplantation to improve cell therapy outcomes. For this aim, we combined HPMC and plasma.HPMC provides suitable rheological properties to the plasma to be injectable and be maintained in the omentum. Afterwards, the plasma polymerises around the graft in vivo, thereby allowing their optimal integration into their transplantation site.As a result, the islet mass required to obtain glycaemic control was reduced by 35%.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Urethra-inspired biomimetic scaffold: A therapeutic strategy to promote
           angiogenesis for urethral regeneration in a rabbit model
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Baoxiu Wang, Xiangguo Lv, Zhe Li, Minghao Zhang, Jingjing Yao, Nan Sheng, Mujun Lu, Huaping Wang, Shiyan ChenLimited angiogenesis and epithelialization make urethral regeneration using conventional tissue-engineered grafts a great challenge. Consequently, inspired from the native urethra, bacterial cellulose (BC) and bladder acellular matrix (BAM) were combined to design a three dimensional (3D) biomimetic scaffold. The developed BC/BAM scaffold was engineered for accelerating urethral regeneration by enhancing angiogenesis and epithelialization. The BC/BAM scaffold reveals the closest mimic of native urethra in terms of the 3D porous nanofibrous structure and component including collagen, glycosaminoglycans, and intrinsic vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In vitro studies showed that the bioinspired BC/BAM scaffold promoted in vitro angiogenesis by facilitating human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) growth, expression of endothelial function related proteins and capillary-like tube formation. Effect of the BC/BAM scaffold on angiogenesis and epithelialization was studied by its implantation in a rabbit urethral defect model for 1 and 3 months. Results demonstrated that the improved blood vessels formation in the urethra-inspired BC/BAM scaffold significantly promoted epithelialization and accelerated urethral regeneration. The urethra-inspired BC/BAM scaffold provides us a new design approach to construct grafts for urethral regeneration.Statement of significanceFindings in urethral regeneration demonstrate that an ideal tissue-engineered urethra should have adequate angiogenesis to support epithelialization for urethral regeneration in vivo. In this study, inspired from the native urethra, a bioinspired bacterial cellulose/bladder acellular matrix (BC/BAM) scaffold was developed to promote angiogenesis and epithelialization. The designed scaffold showed the closest physical structure and component to natural urethra, which is beneficial to angiogenesis and regeneration of urethral epithelium. This is the first time to utilize BC and dissolved BAM to develop biomimetic scaffold in urethral tissue engineering. Our biomimetic strategy on urethra graft design provided enhanced angiogenesis and epithelialization to achieve an accelerated and successful rabbit urethral repair. We believe that our urethra-inspired biomimetic scaffold would provide new insights into the design of urethral tissue engineering grafts.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Functional role of glycosaminoglycans in decellularized lung extracellular
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Franziska E. Uhl, Fuming Zhang, Robert A. Pouliot, Juan J. Uriarte, Sara Rolandsson Enes, Xiaorui Han, Yilan Ouyang, Ke Xia, Gunilla Westergren-Thorsson, Anders Malmström, Oskar Hallgren, Robert J. Linhardt, Daniel J. WeissDespite progress in use of decellularized lung scaffolds in ex vivo lung bioengineering schemes, including use of gels and other materials derived from the scaffolds, the detailed composition and functional role of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteoglycans (PGs) and their glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains remaining in decellularized lungs, is poorly understood. Using a commonly utilized detergent-based decellularization approach in human autopsy lungs resulted in disproportionate losses of GAGs with depletion of chondroitin sulfate/dermatan sulfate (CS/DS)> heparan sulfate (HS)> hyaluronic acid (HA). Specific changes in disaccharide composition of remaining GAGs were observed with disproportionate loss of NS and NS2S for HS groups and of 4S for CS/DS groups. No significant influence of smoking history, sex, time to autopsy, or age was observed in native vs. decellularized lungs. Notably, surface plasmon resonance demonstrated that GAGs remaining in decellularized lungs were unable to bind key matrix-associated growth factors FGF2, HGF, and TGFβ1. Growth of lung epithelial, pulmonary vascular, and stromal cells cultured on the surface of or embedded within gels derived from decellularized human lungs was differentially and combinatorially enhanced by replenishing specific GAGs and FGF2, HGF, and TGFβ1. In summary, lung decellularization results in loss and/or dysfunction of specific GAGs or side chains significantly affecting matrix-associated growth factor binding and lung cell metabolism. GAG and matrix-associated growth factor replenishment thus needs to be incorporated into schemes for investigations utilizing gels and other materials produced from decellularized human lungs.Statement of significanceDespite progress in use of decellularized lung scaffolds in ex vivo lung bioengineering schemes, including use of gels and other materials derived from the scaffolds, the detailed composition and functional role of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteoglycans (PGs) and their glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains remaining in decellularized lungs, is poorly understood. In the current studies, we demonstrate that glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are significantly depleted during decellularization and those that remain are dysfunctional and unable to bind matrix-associated growth factors critical for cell growth and differentiation. Systematically repleting GAGs and matrix-associated growth factors to gels derived from decellularized human lung significantly and differentially affects cell growth. These studies highlight the importance of considering GAGs in decellularized lungs and their derivatives.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Modular design of a tissue engineered pulsatile conduit using human
           induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Jinkyu Park, Christopher W. Anderson, Lorenzo R. Sewanan, Mehmet H. Kural, Yan Huang, Jiesi Luo, Liqiong Gui, Muhammad Riaz, Colleen A. Lopez, Ronald Ng, Subhash K. Das, Juan Wang, Laura Niklason, Stuart G. Campbell, Yibing QyangSingle ventricle heart defects (SVDs) are congenital disorders that result in a variety of complications, including increased ventricular mechanical strain and mixing of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood, leading to heart failure without surgical intervention. Corrective surgery for SVDs are traditionally handled by the Fontan procedure, requiring a vascular conduit for completion. Although effective, current conduits are limited by their inability to aid in pumping blood into the pulmonary circulation. In this report, we propose an innovative and versatile design strategy for a tissue engineered pulsatile conduit (TEPC) to aid circulation through the pulmonary system by producing contractile force. Several design strategies were tested for production of a functional TEPC. Ultimately, we found that porcine extracellular matrix (ECM)-based engineered heart tissue (EHT) composed of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) and primary cardiac fibroblasts (HCF) wrapped around decellularized human umbilical artery (HUA) made an efficacious basal TEPC. Importantly, the TEPCs showed effective electrical and mechanical function. Initial pressure readings from our TEPC in vitro (0.68 mmHg) displayed efficient electrical conductivity enabling them to follow electrical pacing up to a 2 Hz frequency. This work represents a proof of principle study for our current TEPC design strategy. Refinement and optimization of this promising TEPC design will lay the groundwork for testing the construct's therapeutic potential in the future. Together this work represents a progressive step toward developing an improved treatment for SVD patients.Statement of significanceSingle Ventricle Cardiac defects (SVD) are a form of congenital disorder with a morbid prognosis without surgical intervention. These patients are treated through the Fontan procedure which requires vascular conduits to complete. Fontan conduits have been traditionally made from stable or biodegradable materials with no pumping activity. Here, we propose a tissue engineered pulsatile conduit (TEPC) for use in Fontan circulation to alleviate excess strain in SVD patients. In contrast to previous strategies for making a pulsatile Fontan conduit, we employ a modular design strategy that allows for the optimization of each component individually to make a standalone tissue. This work sets the foundation for an in vitro, trainable human induced pluripotent stem cell based TEPC.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Differential expression of genes involved in the acute innate immune
           response to intracortical microelectrodes
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Hillary W. Bedell, Nicholas J Schaub, Jeffrey R. Capadona, Evon S. EreifejHigher order tasks in development for brain-computer interfacing applications require the invasiveness of intracortical microelectrodes. Unfortunately, the resulting inflammatory response contributes to the decline of detectable neural signal. The major components of the neuroinflammatory response to microelectrodes have been well-documented with histological imaging, leading to the identification of broad pathways of interest for its inhibition such as oxidative stress and innate immunity. To understand how to mitigate the neuroinflammatory response, a more precise understanding is required. Advancements in genotyping have led the development of new tools for developing temporal gene expression profiles. Therefore, we have meticulously characterized the gene expression profiles of the neuroinflammatory response to mice implanted with non-functional intracortical probes. A time course of differential acute expression of genes of the innate immune response were compared to naïve sham mice, identifying significant changes following implantation. Differential gene expression analysis revealed 22 genes that could inform future therapeutic targets. Particular emphasis is placed on the largest changes in gene expression occurring 24 h post-implantation, and in genes that are involved in multiple innate immune sets including Itgam, Cd14, and Irak4.Statement of SignificanceCurrent understanding of the cellular response contributing to the failure of intracortical microelectrodes has been limited to the evaluation of cellular presence around the electrode. Minimal research investigating gene expression profiles of these cells has left a knowledge gap identifying their phenotype. This manuscript represents the first robust investigation of the changes in gene expression levels specific to the innate immune response following intracortical microelectrode implantation. To understand the role of the complement system in response to implanted probes, we performed gene expression profiling over acute time points from implanted subjects and compared them to no-surgery controls. This manuscript provides valuable insights into inflammatory mechanisms at the tissue-probe interface, thus having a high impact on those using intracortical microelectrodes to study and treat neurological diseases and injuries.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Degradation behavior, cytotoxicity, hemolysis, and antibacterial
           properties of electro-deposited Zn–Cu metal foams as potential
           biodegradable bone implants
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Xian Tong, Zimu Shi, Linchao Xu, Jixing Lin, Dechuang Zhang, Kun Wang, Yuncang Li, Cuie WenZinc (Zn) alloys have attracted much attention for biomedical applications due to their biodegradability, biocompatibility, and biological functionalities. Zn alloy foams have high potential to be used as regenerative medical implants by virtue of their porous structure, which allows new bone tissue ingrowth, their low elastic modulus approximating that of natural bone, and their biodegradation, which eliminates the need for follow-up surgery to remove the implants after bone tissue healing. In this context, a biodegradable Zn–Cu foam was fabricated by electrochemical deposition on a foamed Cu template and given a subsequent diffusion heat treatment. The microstructure, mechanical properties, degradation behavior, toxicity, hemolysis percentages, and antibacterial effects of the Zn–Cu foams were assessed for biomedical applications. The Zn–Cu foams exhibited a yield strength of ~12.1 MPa, a plateau strength of 16.8 MPa, and a strain over 50% under compression tests. The corrosion rate of the Zn–Cu foams measured by electrochemical polarization testing was 0.18 mm/y. The Zn–Cu foams showed good blood compatibility with a hemolysis percentage of less than 5%. Cytotoxicity assessment indicated that a 100% concentration of the Zn–Cu foam extract showed clear cytotoxicity against MC3T3-E1 osteoblast cells, but a 12.5% concentration of the extract showed> 90% cell viability. Moreover, the Zn–Cu foams showed good antibacterial effects.Statement of significanceThis work reportsa biodegradable Zn–Cu foam with high mechanical strength and ductility, suitable degradation rate, good antibacterial capacity, and good hemolysis property and biocompatibility. The Zn–Cu foam exhibited a yield strength of ~12.1 MPa, a plateau strength of 16.8 MPa, and a strain over 50% under compression tests. The corrosion rate of the Zn–Cu foam measured by electrochemical polarization testing was 0.18 mm/y in Hanks’ Solutions. The Zn–Cu foam showed good blood compatibility with a hemolysis percentage of less than 5%. Cytotoxicity assessment indicated that a 12.5% concentration of the foam extract showed> 90% cell viability. Moreover, the Zn–Cu foam showed good antibacterial effects against S. aureus.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Deconstructing tissue engineered trachea: Assessing the role of synthetic
           scaffolds, segmental replacement and cell seeding on graft performance
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Sayali Dharmadhikari, Lumei Liu, Kimberly Shontz, Matthew Wiet, Audrey White, Andrew Goins, Himani Akula, Jed Johnson, Susan D. Reynolds, Christopher K. Breuer, Tendy ChiangThe ideal construct for tracheal replacement remains elusive in the management of long segment airway defects. Tissue engineered tracheal grafts (TETG) have been limited by the development of graft stenosis or collapse, infection, or lack of an epithelial lining. We applied a mouse model of orthotopic airway surgery to assess the impact of three critical barriers encountered in clinical applications: the scaffold, the extent of intervention, and the impact of cell seeding and characterized their impact on graft performance. First, synthetic tracheal scaffolds electrospun from polyethylene terephthalate / polyurethane (PET/PU) were orthotopically implanted in anterior tracheal defects of C57BL/6 mice. Scaffolds demonstrated complete coverage with ciliated respiratory epithelium by 2 weeks. Epithelial migration was accompanied by macrophage infiltration which persisted at long term (>6 weeks) time points. We then assessed the impact of segmental tracheal implantation using syngeneic trachea as a surrogate for the ideal tracheal replacement. Graft recovery involved local upregulation of epithelial progenitor populations and there was no evidence of graft stenosis or necrosis. Implantation of electrospun synthetic tracheal scaffold for segmental replacement resulted in respiratory distress and required euthanasia at an early time point. There was limited epithelial coverage of the scaffold with and without seeded bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells (BM-MNCs). We conclude that synthetic scaffolds support re-epithelialization in orthotopic patch implantation, syngeneic graft integration occurs with focal repair mechanisms, however epithelialization in segmental synthetic scaffolds is limited and is not influenced by cell seeding.Statement of significanceThe life-threatening nature of long-segment tracheal defects has led to clinical use of tissue engineered tracheal grafts in the last decade for cases of compassionate use. However, the ideal tracheal reconstruction using tissue-engineered tracheal grafts (TETG) has not been clarified. We addressed the core challenges in tissue engineered tracheal replacement (re-epithelialization and graft patency) by defining the role of cell seeding with autologous bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells, the mechanism of respiratory epithelialization and proliferation, and the role of the inflammatory immune response in regeneration. This research will facilitate comprehensive understanding of cellular regeneration and neotissue formation on TETG, which will permit targeted therapies for accelerating re-epithelialization and attenuating stenosis in tissue engineered airway replacement.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Protein adsorption measurements on low fouling and ultralow fouling
           surfaces: A critical comparison of surface characterization techniques
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Mohammadhasan Hedayati, David Faulón Marruecos, Diego Krapf, Joel L. Kaar, Matt J. KipperUltralow protein fouling behavior is a common target for new high-performance materials. Ultralow fouling is often defined based on the amount of irreversibly adsorbed protein (< 5 ng cm−2) measured by a surface ensemble averaging method. However, protein adsorption at solid interfaces is a dynamic process involving multiple steps, which may include adsorption, desorption, and irreversible protein denaturation. In order to better optimize the performance of antifouling surfaces, it is imperative to fully understand how proteins interact with surfaces, including kinetics of adsorption and desorption, conformation, stability, and amount of adsorbed proteins. Defining ultralow fouling surfaces based on a measurement at or near the limit of detection of a surface-averaged measurement may not capture all of this behavior. Single-molecule microscopy techniques can resolve individual protein-surface interactions with high temporal and spatial resolution. This information can be used to tune the properties of surfaces to better resist protein adsorption. In this work, we demonstrate how combining surface plasmon resonance, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and single-molecule localization microscopy provides a more complete picture of protein adsorption on low fouling and ultralow fouling polyelectrolyte multilayer and polymer brush surfaces, over different regimes of protein concentration. In this case, comparing the surfaces using surface plasmon resonance alone is insufficient to rank their resistance to protein adsorption. Our results suggest a revision of the accepted definition of ultralow fouling surfaces is timely: with the advent of time-resolved studies of protein adsorption kinetics at the single-molecule level, it is neither necessary nor sufficient to rely on a surface averaging techniques to qualify ultralow fouling surfaces. Since protein adsorption is a dynamic process, understanding how surface properties affect the kinetics of protein adsorption will enable the design of future generations of advanced antifouling materials.Statement of significanceThe design of ultralow fouling surfaces is often optimized based on a single surface-averaging technique measuring the amount of irreversibly adsorbed protein. This work provides a critical comparison of alternative techniques for evaluating protein adsorption on low fouling and ultralow fouling surfaces, and demonstrates how additional information about the dynamics of protein-surface interactions at the interface can be obtained by application of single-molecule microscopy. This approach could be used to better elucidate mechanisms of protein resistance and design principles for advanced ultralow fouling materials.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Integration of polarized spatial frequency domain imaging (pSFDI) with a
           biaxial mechanical testing system for quantification of load-dependent
           collagen architecture in soft collagenous tissues
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Samuel V. Jett, Luke T. Hudson, Ryan Baumwart, Bradley N. Bohnstedt, Arshid Mir, Harold M. Burkhart, Gerhard A. Holzapfel, Yi Wu, Chung-Hao LeeCollagen fiber networks provide the structural strength of tissues, such as tendons, skin and arteries. Quantifying the fiber architecture in response to mechanical loads is essential towards a better understanding of the tissue-level mechanical behaviors, especially in assessing disease-driven functional changes. To enable novel investigations into these load-dependent fiber structures, a polarized spatial frequency domain imaging (pSFDI) device was developed and, for the first time, integrated with a biaxial mechanical testing system. The integrated instrument is capable of a wide-field quantification of the fiber orientation and the degree of optical anisotropy (DOA), representing the local degree of fiber alignment. The opto-mechanical instrument''s performance was assessed through uniaxial loading on tendon tissues with known collagen fiber microstructures. Our results revealed that the bulk fiber orientation angle of the tendon tissue changed minimally with loading (median ± 0.5*IQR of 52.7° ± 3.3° and 51.9° ± 3.3° under 0 and 3% longitudinal strains, respectively), whereas on a micro-scale, the fibers became better aligned with the direction of loading: the DOA (mean ± SD) increased from 0.149 ± 0.032 to 0.198 ± 0.056 under 0 and 3% longitudinal strains, respectively, p 
  • A new framework for characterization of poroelastic materials using
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Mohammad Hadi Esteki, Ali Akbar Alemrajabi, Chloe M. Hall, Graham K. Sheridan, Mojtaba Azadi, Emad MoeendarbaryTo characterize a poroelastic material, typically an indenter is pressed onto the surface of the material with a ramp of a finite approach velocity followed by a hold where the indenter displacement is kept constant. This leads to deformation of the porous matrix, pressurization of the interstitial fluid and relaxation due to redistribution of fluid through the pores. In most studies the poroelastic properties, including elastic modulus, Poisson ratio and poroelastic diffusion coefficient, are extracted by assuming an instantaneous step indentation. However, exerting step like indentation is not experimentally possible and usually a ramp indentation with a finite approach velocity is applied. Moreover, the poroelastic relaxation time highly depends on the approach velocity in addition to the poroelastic diffusion coefficient and the contact area. Here, we extensively studied the effect of indentation velocity using finite element simulations which has enabled the formulation of a new framework based on a master curve that incorporates the finite rise time. To verify our novel framework, the poroelastic properties of two types of hydrogels were extracted experimentally using indentation tests at both macro and micro scales. Our new framework that is based on consideration of finite approach velocity is experimentally easy to implement and provides a more accurate estimation of poroelastic properties.Statement of significanceHydrogels, tissues and living cells are constituted of a sponge-like porous elastic matrix bathed in an interstitial fluid. It has been shown that these materials behave according to the theory of ‘poroelasticity’ when mechanically stimulated in a way similar to that experienced in organs within the body. In this theory, the rate at which the fluid-filled sponge can be deformed is limited by how fast interstitial fluid can redistribute within the sponge in response to deformation. Here, we simulated indentation experiments at different rates and formulated a new framework that inherently captures the effects of stimulation speed on the mechanical response of poroelastic materials. We validated our framework by conducting experiments at different length-scales on agarose and polyacrylamide hydrogels.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Characterization of chemoelastic effects in arteries using digital volume
           correlation and optical coherence tomography
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Víctor A. Acosta Santamaría, María Flechas García, Jérôme Molimard, Stéphane AvrilUnderstanding stress-strain relationships in arteries is important for fundamental investigations in mechanobiology. Here we demonstrate the essential role of chemoelasticity in determining the mechanical properties of arterial tissues. Stepwise stress-relaxation uniaxial tensile tests were carried out on samples of porcine thoracic aortas immersed in a hyperosmotic solution. The tissue deformations were tracked using optical coherence tomography (OCT) during the tensile tests and digital volume correlation (DVC) was used to obtain measurements of depth-resolved strains across the whole thickness of the tested aortas. The hyperosmotic solution exacerbated chemoelastic effects, and we were able to measure different manifestations of these chemoelastic effects: swelling of the media inducing a modification of its optical properties, and existence of a transverse tensile strain. For the first time ever to our best knowledge, 3D strains induced by chemoelastic effects in soft tissues were quantified thanks to the OCT-DVC method. Without doubt, chemoelasticity plays an essential role in arterial mechanobiology in vivo and future work should focus on characterizing chemoelastic effects in arterial walls under physiological and disease conditions.Statement of significanceChemoelasticity, coupling osmotic phenomena and mechanical stresses, is essential in soft tissue mechanobiology. For the first time ever, we measure and analyze 3D strain fields induced by these chemoelastic effects thanks to the unique combination of OCT imaging and digital volume correlation.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Capturing instructive cues of tissue microenvironment by silica
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Sze Wing Tang, Wai Yuen, Ishdeep Kaur, Stella W. Pang, Nicolas H. Voelcker, Yun Wah LamCells in tissues are enveloped by an instructive niche made of the extracellular matrix. These instructive niches contain three general types of information: topographical, biochemical and mechanical. While the combined effects of these three factors are widely studied, the functions of each individual one has not been systematically characterised, because it is impossible to alter a single factor in a tissue microenvironment without simultaneously affecting the other two. Silica BioReplication (SBR) is a process that converts biological samples into silica, faithfully preserving the original topography at the nano-scale. We explored the use of this technique to generate inorganic replicas of intact mammalian tissues, including tendon, cartilage, skeletal muscle and spinal cord. Scanning electron and atomic force microscopy showed that the resulting replicas accurately preserved the three-dimensional ultrastructure of each tissue, while all biochemical components were eradicated by calcination. Such properties allowed the uncoupling the topographical information of a tissue microenvironment from its biochemical and mechanical components. Here, we showed that human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) cultured on the replicas of different tissues displayed vastly different morphology and focal adhesions, suggesting that the topography of the tissue microenvironment captured by SBR could profoundly affect MSC biology. MSC cultured on tendon replica elongated and expressed tenocytes marker, while MSC on the spinal cord replica developed into spheroids that resembled neurospheres, in morphology and in the expression of neurosphere markers, and could be further differentiated into neuron-like cells. This study reveals the significance of topographical cues in a cell niche, as tissue-specific topography was sufficient in initiating and directing differentiation of MSC, despite the absence of any biochemical signals. SBR is a convenient and versatile method for capturing this topographical information, facilitating the functional characterisation of cell niches.Statement of significanceVarious studies have shown that three major factors, topographical, biochemical and mechanical, in a tissue microenvironment (TME) are essential for cellular homeostasis and functions. Current experimental models are too simplistic to represent the complexity of the TME, hindering the detailed understanding of its functions. In particular, the importance each factor in a tissue microenvironment have not been individually characterised, because it is challenging to alter one of these factors without simultaneously affecting the other two. Silica bioreplication (SBR) is a process that converts biological samples into silica replicas with high structural fidelity. SBR is a convenient and versatile method for capturing this topographical information on to a biologically inert material, allowing the functional characterisation of the architecture of a TME.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • A detailed mechanical and microstructural analysis of ovine tricuspid
           valve leaflets
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): William D. Meador, Mrudang Mathur, Gabriella P. Sugerman, Tomasz Jazwiec, Marcin Malinowski, Matthew R. Bersi, Tomasz A. Timek, Manuel K. RauschThe tricuspid valve ensures unidirectional blood flow from the right atrium to the right ventricle. The three tricuspid leaflets operate within a dynamic stress environment of shear, bending, tensile, and compressive forces, which is cyclically repeated nearly three billion times in a lifetime. Ostensibly, the microstructural and mechanical properties of the tricuspid leaflets have mechanobiologically evolved to optimally support their function under those forces. Yet, how the tricuspid leaflet microstructure determines its mechanical properties and whether this relationship differs between the three leaflets is unknown. Here we perform a microstructural and mechanical analysis in matched ovine tricuspid leaflet samples. We found that the microstructure and mechanical properties vary among the three tricuspid leaflets in sheep. Specifically, we found that tricuspid leaflet composition, collagen orientation, and valve cell nuclear morphology are spatially heterogeneous and vary across leaflet type. Furthermore, under biaxial tension, the leaflets’ mechanical behaviors exhibited unequal degrees of mechanical anisotropy. Most importantly, we found that the septal leaflet was stiffer in the radial direction and not the circumferential direction as with the other two leaflets. The differences we observed in leaflet microstructure coincide with the varying biaxial mechanics among leaflets. Our results demonstrate the structure-function relationship for each leaflet in the tricuspid valve. We anticipate our results to be vital toward developing more accurate, leaflet-specific tricuspid valve computational models. Furthermore, our results may be clinically important, informing differential surgical treatments of the tricuspid valve leaflets. Finally, the identified structure-function relationships may provide insight into the homeostatic and remodeling potential of valvular cells in altered mechanical environments, such as in diseased or repaired tricuspid valves.Statement of significanceOur work is significant as we investigated the structure-function relationship of ovine tricuspid valve leaflets. This is important as tricuspid valves fail frequently and our current approach to repairing them is suboptimal. Specifically, we related the distribution of structural and cellular elements, such as collagen, glycosaminoglycans, and cell nuclei, to each leaflet’s mechanical properties. We found that leaflets have different structures and that their mechanics differ. This may, in the future, inform leaflet-specific treatment strategies and help optimize surgical outcomes.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • Biomechanical and microstructural characterisation of the porcine stomach
           wall: Location- and layer-dependent investigations
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Melanie Bauer, Enrique Morales-Orcajo, Lisa Klemm, Robert Seydewitz, Victoria Fiebach, Tobias Siebert, Markus BölThe mechanical properties of the stomach wall help to explain its function of storing, mixing, and emptying in health and disease. However, much remains unknown about its mechanical properties, especially regarding regional heterogeneities and wall microstructure. Consequently, the present study aimed to assess regional differences in the mechanical properties and microstructure of the stomach wall. In general, the stomach wall and the different tissue layers exhibited a nonlinear stress-stretch relationship. Regional differences were found in the mechanical response and the microstructure. The highest stresses of the entire stomach wall in longitudinal direction were found in the corpus (201.5 kPa), where food is ground followed by the antrum (73.1 kPa) and the fundus (26.6 kPa). In contrast, the maximum stresses in circumferential direction were 39.7 kPa, 26.2 kPa, and 15.7 kPa for the antrum, fundus, and corpus, respectively. Independent of the fibre orientation and with respect to the biaxial loading direction, partially clear anisotropic responses were detected in the intact wall and the muscular layer. In contrast, the innermost mucosal layer featured isotropic mechanical characteristics. Pronounced layers of circumferential and longitudinal muscle fibres were found in the fundus only, whereas corpus and antrum contained almost exclusively circumferential orientated muscle fibres. This specific stomach structure mirrors functional differences in the fundus as well as corpus and antrum. Within this study, the load transfer mechanisms, connected with these wavy layers but also in total with the stomach wall’s microstructure, are discussed.Statement of significanceThis article examines for the first time the layer-specific mechanical and histological properties of the stomach wall attending to the location of the sample. Moreover, both mechanical behaviour and microstructure were explicitly match identifying the heterogeneous characteristics of the stomach. On the one hand, the results of this study contribute to the understanding of stomach mechanics and thus to their functional understanding of stomach motility. On the other hand, they are relevant to the fields of constitutive formulation of stomach tissue, whole stomach mechanics, and stomach-derived scaffolds i.e., tissue-engineering grafts.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • Interfacial toughening effect of suture structures
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Zengqian Liu, Zhefeng Zhang, Robert O. RitchieSuture interfaces are one of the most common architectural designs in natural material-systems and are critical for ensuring multiple functionalities by providing flexibility while maintaining connectivity. Despite intensive studies on the mechanical role of suture structures, there is still a lack of understanding on the fracture mechanics of suture interfaces in terms of their interactions with impinging cracks. Here we reveal an interfacial toughening effect of suture structures by means of “excluding” cracks away from interfaces based on a dimensionless micro-mechanical model for single-leveled and hierarchical suture interfaces with triangular-shaped suture teeth. The effective stress-intensity driving forces for crack deflection along, versus penetration through, an interface at first impingement and on subsequent kinking are formulated and compared with the corresponding resistances. Quantitative criteria are established for discerning the cracking modes and fracture resistance of suture interfaces with their dependences on sutural tooth sharpness and interfacial toughness clarified. Additionally, the effects of structural hierarchy are elucidated through a consideration of hierarchical suture interfaces with fractal-like geometries. This study may offer guidance for designing bioinspired suture structures, especially for toughening materials where interfaces are a key weakness.Statement of significanceSuture interfaces are one of the most common architectural material designs in biological systems, and are found in a wide range of species including armadillo osteoderms, boxfish armor, pangolin scales and insect cuticles. They are designed to provide flexibility while maintaining connectivity. Despite many studies on the mechanical role of suture structures, there is still little understanding of their role in terms of interactions with impinging cracks. Here we reveal an interfacial toughening effect of suture structures by means of “excluding” cracks away from interfaces based on a dimensionless micro-mechanical model for single-leveled and hierarchical suture interfaces with triangular-shaped suture teeth. Quantitative criteria are established for discerning the cracking mode and fracture resistance of the interfaces with their dependences on sutural tooth sharpness and interfacial toughness clarified.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Peptide science: A “rule model” for new generations of
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Hannah R. Reese, Calvin C. Shanahan, Caroline Proulx, Stefano MenegattiPeptides have been heavily investigated for their biocompatible and bioactive properties. Though a wide array of functionalities can be introduced by varying the amino acid sequence or by structural constraints, properties such as proteolytic stability, catalytic activity, and phase behavior in solution are difficult or impossible to impart upon naturally occurring α-L-peptides. To this end, sequence-controlled peptidomimetics exhibit new folds, morphologies, and chemical modifications that create new structures and functions. The study of these new classes of polymers, especially α-peptoids, has been highly influenced by the analysis, computational, and design techniques developed for peptides. This review examines techniques to determine primary, secondary, and tertiary structure of peptides, and how they have been adapted to investigate peptoid structure. Computational models developed for peptides have been modified to predict the morphologies of peptoids and have increased in accuracy in recent years. The combination of in vitro and in silico techniques have led to secondary and tertiary structure design principles that mirror those for peptides. We then examine several important developments in peptoid applications inspired by peptides such as pharmaceuticals, catalysis, and protein-binding. A brief survey of alternative backbone structures and research investigating these peptidomimetics shows how the advancement of peptide and peptoid science has influenced the growth of numerous fields of study. As peptide, peptoid, and other peptidomimetic studies continue to advance, we will expect to see higher throughput structural analyses, greater computational accuracy and functionality, and wider application space that can improve human health, solve environmental challenges, and meet industrial needs.Statement of significanceMany historical, chemical, and functional relations draw a thread connecting peptides to their recent cognates, the “peptidomimetics”. This review presents a comprehensive survey of this field by highlighting the width and relevance of these familial connections. In the first section, we examine the experimental and computational techniques originally developed for peptides and their morphing into a broader analytical and predictive toolbox. The second section presents an excursus of the structures and properties of prominent peptidomimetics, and how the expansion of the chemical and structural diversity has returned new exciting properties. The third section presents an overview of technological applications and new families of peptidomimetics. As the field grows, new compounds emerge with clear potential in medicine and advanced manufacturing.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • Targeting strategies for superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles in
           cancer therapy
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Defu Zhi, Ting Yang, Jian Yang, Shuang Fu, Shubiao ZhangAmong various nanoparticles, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) have been increasingly studied for their excellent superparamagnetism, magnetic heating properties, and enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The conjugation of SPIONs with drugs to obtain delivery nanosystems has several advantages including magnetic targeted functionalization, in vivo imaging, magnetic thermotherapy, and combined delivery of anticancer agents. To further increase the targeting efficiency of drugs through a delivery nanosystem based on SPIONs, additional targeting moieties including transferrin, antibodies, aptamers, hyaluronic acid, folate, and targeting peptides are coated onto the surface of SPIONs. Therefore, this review summarizes the latest progresses in the conjugation of targeting molecules and drug delivery nanosystems based on SPIONs, especially focusing on their performances to develop efficient targeted drug delivery systems for tumor therapy.Statement of significanceSome magnetic nanoparticle-based nanocarriers loaded with drugs were evaluated in patients and did not produce convincing results, leading to termination of clinical development in phase II/III. An alternative strategy for drug delivery systems based on SPIONs is the conjugation of these systems with targeting segments such as transferrin, antibodies, aptamers, hyaluronic acid, folate, and targeting peptides. These targeting moieties can be recognized by specific integrin/receptors that are overexpressed specifically on the tumor cell surface, resulting in minimizing dosage and reducing off-target effects. This review focuses on magnetic nanoparticle-based nonviral drug delivery systems with targeting moieties to deliver anticancer drugs, with an aim to provide suggestions on the development of SPIONs through discussion.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • The use of bioactive matrices in regenerative therapies for traumatic
           brain injury
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Hui X. Tan, Mark P. Del Borgo, Marie-Isabel Aguilar, John S. Forsythe, Juliet M. Taylor, Peter J. CrackFunctional deficits due to neuronal loss are a common theme across multiple neuropathologies, including traumatic brain injury (TBI). Apart from mitigating cell death, another approach to treating brain injuries involves re-establishing the neural circuitry at the lesion site by utilizing exogeneous and/or endogenous stem cells to achieve functional recovery. While there has been limited success, the emergence of new bioactive matrices that promote neural repair introduces new perspectives on the development of regenerative therapies for TBI. This review briefly discusses current development on cell-based therapies and the use of bioactive matrices, hydrogels in particular, when incorporated in regenerative therapies. Desirable characteristics of bioactive matrices that have been shown to augment neural repair in TBI models were identified and further discussed. Understanding the relative outcomes of newly developed biomaterials implanted in vivo can better guide the development of biomaterials as a therapeutic strategy, for biomaterial-based cellular therapies are still in their nascent stages. Nonetheless, the value of bioactive matrices as a treatment for acute brain injuries should be appreciated and further developed.Statement of significanceCell-based therapies have received attention as an alternative therapeutic strategy to improve clinical outcome post-traumatic brain injury but have achieved limited success. Whilst the incorporation of newly developed biomaterials in regenerative therapies has shown promise in augmenting neural repair, studies have revealed new hurdles which must be overcome to improve their therapeutic efficacy. This review discusses the recent development of cell-based therapies with a specific focus on the use of bioactive matrices in the form of hydrogels, to complement cell transplantation within the injured brain. Moreover, this review consolidates in vivo animal studies that demonstrate relative functional outcome upon the implantation of different biomaterials to highlight their desirable traits to guide their development for regenerative therapies in traumatic brain injury.Graphical Image, graphical abstract
  • Mechanical, corrosion, and biocompatibility properties of Mg-Zr-Sr-Sc
           alloys for biodegradable implant applications
    • Abstract: Publication date: 15 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 102Author(s): Khurram Munir, Jixing Lin, Cuie Wen, Paul F.A. Wright, Yuncang LiMagnesium (Mg) and its alloys are considered promising biodegradable implant materials because of their strength and natural degradation in the human body. However, the high corrosion rate of pure Mg in the physiological environment leads to rapid degradation before adequate bone healing. This mismatch between bone healing and the degradation of Mg implants supports the development of new Mg alloys with the addition of other suitable alloying elements in order to achieve simultaneously high corrosion resistance and desirable mechanical properties. This study systematically investigates the microstructure, mechanical properties, corrosion behavior, and biocompatibility of Mg-based alloys with the addition of different concentrations of scandium (Sc), i.e., Mg-0.6Zr-0.5Sr-xSc (x = 0.5, 1, 2, 3 wt.%). Results indicated that high concentration of Sc in strontium (Sr)-containing Mg alloys can alter their microstructures by suppressing the intermetallic phases along the grain boundaries and improve the corrosion resistance by forming chemically stable Sc oxide layers on the surfaces of the Mg alloys. Cytotoxicity assessment revealed that the Sc containing Mg alloys did not significantly alter the viability of human osteoblast-like SaOS2 cells. This study highlights the advantages of using Sc as an alloying element to simultaneously tune Mg alloys with higher strength and slower degradation.Statement of significanceRare earth elements such as scandium (Sc) with both a high solid-solubility and strong affinity towards oxygen can improve the mechanical and corrosion properties of magnesium (Mg) alloys. However, the feasibility of Sc-containing Mg alloys as biodegradable implant materials is scarcely reported. This study investigates the effects of different Sc concentrations on the mechanical, corrosion, and biocompatibility properties of Mg-Zr-Sr-Sc alloys. Our findings indicated that the addition of Sc significantly improves the mechanical and corrosion properties of Mg-Zr-Sr alloys. Moreover, in vitro cytotoxicity assessment of the Mg-Zr-Sr-Sc alloys did not show any adverse effects on the viability of osteoblast-like cells.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Neither cortical nor trabecular: An unusual type of bone in the
           heavy-load-bearing lower pharyngeal jaw of the black drum (Pogonias
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Efrat Ziv, Joshua Milgram, Jonathan Davis, Ana Soares, Fabian Wilde, Paul Zaslansky, Ron ShaharDurophagous fish consume a diet based primarily on hard-shelled animals, mainly mollusks. In order to successfully perform this task, they are equipped with an extra set of jaws located in their throat called pharyngeal jaws.Here we present the results of a study of the structure of the bony material of the exceptionally powerful lower pharyngeal jaws (LPJs) of the black drum Pogonias cromis which generate the highest biting forces documented in bony fishes. In particular, we studied the two long and slender struts that support the entire dental plate and teeth of the LPJ, in order to determine how this structure withstands the huge stresses it encounters repetitively and for long periods of time.We describe the hierarchical structure of the struts of lower pharyngeal jaw of P. cromis at a wide range of length scales, and show how it is adapted to successfully achieve its high mechanical performance. In particular, we show that the bone material of the strut is neither cortical nor cancellous, and although it is highly porous, its complex and layered three-dimensional arrangement of thick lamellae sheets, which are inter-connected by thin plates, is perfectly tailored to withstand extremely large but directionally-consistent forces.Statement of significanceThe diet of some fish consists of hard food, like mollusks and shells. In order to accomplish the task of cracking this type of food, they have an extra set of bony jaws located in their throat, called pharyngeal jaws. Here we describe the hierarchical structural elements of these jaws which allow them to withstand huge forces repeatedly over long periods of time. Surprisingly, the structure is very porous, but its architectural design is superbly adapted to handle consistently-oriented forces. This structural motif defines a new bony material which is neither cortical nor cancellous.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • The geometrical structure of interfaces in dental enamel: A FIB-STEM
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Jasmin Koldehoff, Michael V. Swain, Gerold A. SchneiderIn this study a high resolution structural analysis revealed that enamel prisms are surrounded by an interface that is discontinuous with frequent mineral to mineral contact separated by gaps. This contact manifests either by crystallites bridging the boundary between prismatic and interprismatic enamel or continuous crystallites curving and bridging the interprismatic enamel to the prisms. The geometrical resolution of this TEM investigation of the interfaces is ≤ 2 nm as a basis for micromechanical models. Within this resolution, contrary to existing structural descriptions of dental enamel structure in materials science literature, here the crystallites themselves are shown to be either in direct contact with each other, sometimes even fusing together, or are separated by gaps. Image analysis revealed that on average only 57 ± 15% of the interface consists of points of no contact between crystallites. This work reveals structural features of dental enamel that contribute important understanding to both the architecture and mechanical properties of this biological material. A new structural model is proposed and the implications for the mechanical properties of dental enamel are discussed.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Revealing the molecular origins of fibrin's elastomeric properties by in
           situ X-ray scattering
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 7 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Bart E. Vos, Cristina Martinez-Torres, Federica Burla, John W. Weisel, Gijsje H. KoenderinkFibrin is an elastomeric protein forming highly extensible fiber networks that provide the scaffold of blood clots. Here we reveal the molecular mechanisms that explain the large extensibility of fibrin networks by performing in situ small angle X-ray scattering measurements while applying a shear deformation. We simultaneously measure shear-induced alignment of the fibers and changes in their axially ordered molecular packing structure. We show that fibrin networks exhibit distinct structural responses that set in consecutively as the shear strain is increased. They exhibit an entropic response at small strains (25% strain) and finally changes in the fiber packing structure at high strain (>100%). Stretching reduces the fiber packing order and slightly increases the axial periodicity, indicative of molecular unfolding. However, the axial periodicity changes only by 0.7%, much less than the 80% length increase of the fibers, suggesting that fiber elongation mainly stems from uncoiling of the natively disordered αC-peptide linkers that laterally bond the molecules. Upon removal of the load, the network structure returns to the original isotropic state, but the fiber structure becomes more ordered and adopts a smaller packing periodicity compared to the original state. We conclude that the hierarchical packing structure of fibrin fibers, with built-in disorder, makes the fibers extensible and allows for mechanical annealing. Our results provide a basis for interpreting the molecular basis of haemostatic and thrombotic disorders associated with clotting and provide inspiration to design resilient bio-mimicking materials.Significance statementFibrin provides structural integrity to blood clots and is also widely used as a scaffold for tissue engineering. To fulfill its biological functions, fibrin networks have to be simultaneously compliant like skin and resilient against rupture. In this paper, we unravel the structural origin underlying this remarkable mechanical behavior. To this end, we performed in situ measurements of fibrin structure across multiple length scales by combining X-ray scattering with shear rheology. Our findings show that fibrin sustains large strains by undergoing a sequence of structural changes on different scales with increasing strain levels. This demonstrates aspects of an important biomaterial's structure and its mechanical function, and serves as an example in the design of biomimicking materials.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Vascularization of self-assembled peptide scaffolds for spinal cord injury
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Kiet A. Tran, Paul P. Partyk, Ying Jin, Julien Bouyer, Itzhak Fischer, Peter A. GalieThe disruption of the blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) following spinal cord injury contributes to inflammation and glial scarring that inhibits axon growth and diminishes the effectiveness of conduits transplanted to the injury site to promote this growth. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether scaffolds containing microvessels that exhibit BSCB integrity reduce inflammation and scar formation at the injury site and lead to increased axon growth. For these studies, a self-assembling peptide scaffold, RADA-16I, is used due to its established permissiveness to axon growth and ability to support vascularization. Immunocytochemistry and permeability transport assays verify the formation of tight-junction containing microvessels within the scaffold. Peptide scaffolds seeded with different concentrations of microvascular cells are then injected into a spinal contusion injury in rats to evaluate how microvessels affect axon growth and neurovascular interaction. The effect of the vascularized scaffold on inflammation and scar formation is evaluated by quantifying histological sections stained with ED-1 and GFAP, respectively. Our results indicate that the peptide scaffolds containing microvessels reduce inflammation and glial scar formation and increase the density of axons growing into the injury/transplant site. These results demonstrate the potential benefit of scaffold vascularization to treat spinal cord injury.Statement of SignificanceThis study evaluates the benefit of transplanting microvascular cells within a self-assembling peptide scaffold, RADA-16I, that has shown promise for facilitating regeneration in the central nervous system in previous studies. Our results indicate that vasculature featuring tight junctions that give rise to the blood-spinal cord barrier can be formed within the peptide scaffold both in vitro and in a rat model of a subacute contusion spinal cord injury. Histological analysis indicates that the presence of the microvessels encourages axon infiltration into the site of injury and reduces the area of astrocyte activation and inflammation. Overall, these results demonstrate the potential of vascularizing scaffolds for the repair of spinal cord injury.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Thiolated Bone and Tendon Tissue Particles Covalently Bound in Hydrogels
           for In Vivo Calvarial Bone Regeneration
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Jakob M. Townsend, Goksel Sali, Hannah B. Homburg, Nina T. Cassidy, Megan E. Sanders, Kar-Ming Fung, Brian T. Andrews, Randolph J. Nudo, Bradley N. Bohnstedt, Michael S. DetamoreBone regeneration of large cranial defects, potentially including traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatment, presents a major problem with non-crosslinking, clinically available products due to material migration outside the defect. Commercial products such as bone cements are permanent and thus not conducive to bone regeneration, and typical commercial bioactive materials for bone regeneration do not crosslink. Our previous work demonstrated that non-crosslinking materials may be prone to material migration following surgical placement, and the current study attempted to address these problems by introducing a new hydrogel system where tissue particles are themselves the crosslinker. Specifically, a pentenoate-modified hyaluronic acid (PHA) polymer was covalently linked to thiolated tissue particles of demineralized bone matrix (TDBM) or devitalized tendon (TDVT), thereby forming an interconnected hydrogel matrix for calvarial bone regeneration. All hydrogel precursor solutions exhibited sufficient yield stress for surgical placement and an adequate compressive modulus post-crosslinking. Critical-size calvarial defects were filled with a 4% PHA hydrogel containing 10 or 20% TDBM or TDVT, with the clinical product DBXࣨ being employed as the standard of care control for the in vivo study. At 12 weeks, micro-computed tomography analysis demonstrated similar bone regeneration among the experimental groups, TDBM and TDVT, and the standard of care control DBXࣨ. The group with 10% TDBM was therefore identified as an attractive material for potential calvarial defect repair, as it additionally exhibited a sufficient initial recovery after shearing (i.e.,>80% recovery). Future studies will focus on applying a hydrogel in a rat model for treatment of TBI.Statement of SignificanceNon-crosslinking materials may be prone to material migration from a calvarial bone defect following surgical placement, which is problematic for materials intended for bone regeneration. Unfortunately, typical crosslinking materials such as bone cements are permanent and thus not conducive to bone regeneration, and typical bioactive materials for bone regeneration such as tissue matrix are not crosslinked in commercial products. The current study addressed these problems by introducing a new biomaterial where tissue particles are themselves the crosslinker in a hydrogel system. The current study successfully demonstrated a new material based on pentenoate-modified hyaluronic acid with thiolated demineralized bone matrix that is capable of rapid crosslinking, with desirable paste-like rheology of the precursor material for surgical placement, and with bone regeneration comparable to a commercially available standard-of-care product. Such a material may hold promise for a single-surgery treatment of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) following hemicraniectomy.Graphical Image, graphical abstract
  • Nanostructured Degradable Macroporous Hydrogel Scaffolds with Controllable
           Internal Morphologies via Reactive Electrospinning
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Fei Xu, Ian Gough, Jonathan Dorogin, Heather Sheardown, Todd HoareCreating micro/nanostructured hydrogels with tunable morphologies under cell-friendly processing conditions would enable rational engineering of hydrogel scaffolds for targeted biomedical applications. Herein, an all-aqueous single-step reactive electrospinning method is applied to prepare hydrogel networks with controlled morphologies on both the nanoscale and the microscale. Hydrazide and aldehyde-functionalized poly(oligo ethylene glycol methacrylate) (POEGMA) are co-spun from a double barrel syringe together with poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) as an electrospinning aid. By varying the concentrations and molecular weights of PEO and/or POEGMA, various morphologies from pure fibers to beaded fibers to bead network morphologies with tunable bead sizes can be fabricated, all of which remain monolithically stable in water due to the dynamic covalent crosslinks formed within the gel structure. The rates and magnitudes of swelling, degradation, and mechanics of the resulting scaffolds can be tuned by independently controlling gel morphologies on the nanoscale (i.e. crosslink density within the gel) and the microscale (i.e. the network structure formed), with an atypical independence of swelling relative to the mechanics and degradation rate observed. Furthermore, the internal morphology of the networks is demonstrated to systematically alter both the cell responses within the scaffolds and the rate of protein release from the scaffolds, with small fibers showing optimal cell proliferation, bead networks exhibiting the slowest protein release kinetics and very high maintained cell viabilities post-electrospinning, and beaded fibers showing intermediate properties.Statement of SignificanceControlling the internal structure of hydrogels is critical to successfully applying hydrogels in biomedical applications such as tissue engineering or cell/drug delivery. However, current techniques to fabricate hydrogel scaffolds typically require additives or gelation processes that are poorly compatible with cells and/or require multi-step processes. In this paper, we describe the fabrication of hydrogel scaffolds with tunable feature sizes (from nanometer to micrometer scale) and structures (from all fibers to bead/fibre mixtures to a new “bead network” morphology) using a reactive electrospinning strategy leveraging dynamic hydrazone crosslinking. We show single-step cell/protein loading and systematic control over cell proliferation and protein release kinetics by systematically manipulating the scaffold morphologies and feature sizes, allowing facile customization of scaffold properties for targeted applications.Graphical A one-step, solvent-free reactive electrospinning technique was used to prepare nanostructured hydrogel scaffolds with controlled morphologies ranging from nanofibers to beaded fibers to beaded networks by tuning the in situ-gelation properties of the precursor polymers. The resulting structured scaffolds can be designed to have tunable water contents, mechanics, degradation times, cell responses, and protein release kinetics while maintaining the bulk integrity of the scaffold.Image, graphical abstract
  • Structural changes in lipid mesophases due to intercalation of dendritic
           polymer nanoparticles: Swollen lamellae, suppressed curvature, and
           augmented structural disorder
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Laura J. Fox, Lauren Matthews, Holly Stockdale, Supakit Pichai, Tim Snow, Robert M. Richardson, Wuge H. BriscoeUnderstanding interactions between nanoparticles and model membranes is relevant to functional nano-composites and the fundamentals of nanotoxicity. In this study, the effect of polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers as model nanoparticles (NP) on the mesophase behaviour of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (POPE) has been investigated using high-pressure small-angle X-ray scattering (HP-SAXS). The pressure-temperature (p−T) diagrams for POPE mesophases in excess water were obtained in the absence and presence of G2 and G4 polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers (29 Å and 45 Å in diameter, respectively) at varying NP-lipid number ratio (ν = 0.0002-0.02) over the pressure range p = 1-3000 bar and temperature range T = 20–80°C. The p−T phase diagram of POPE exhibited the Lβ, Lα and HII phases. Complete analysis of the phase diagrams, including the relative area pervaded by different phases, phase transition temperatures (Tt) and pressures (pt), the lattice parameters (d-spacing), the pressure-dependence of d-spacing (Δd/Δp), and the structural ordering in the mesophase as gauged by the Scherrer coherence length (L) permitted insights into the size- and concentration-dependent interactions between the dendrimers and the model membrane system. The addition of dendrimers changed the phase transition pressure and temperature and resulted in the emergence of highly swollen lamellar phases, dubbed Lβ-den and Lα-den. G4 PAMAM dendrimers at the highest concentration ν = 0.02 suppressed the formation of the HII phase within the temperature range studied, whereas the addition of G2 PAMAM dendrimers at the same concentration promoted an extended mixed lamellar region in which Lα and Lβ phases coexisted.Statement of SignificanceUsing high pressure small angle X-ray scattering in the pressure range 1 – 3000 bar and temperature range 20 – 60 °C, we have studied interactions between PAMAM dendrimers (as model nanoparticles) and POPE lipid mesophases (as model membranes). We report the pressure-temperature phase diagrams for the dendrimer-lipid mesophases for the first time. We find that the dendrimers alter the phase transition temperatures (Tt) and pressures (pt), the lattice parameters (d-spacing), and the structural order in the mesophase. We interpret these unprecedented results in terms of the fluidity of the lipid membranes and the interactions between the dendrimers and the membranes. Our findings are of fundamental relevance to the field of nanotoxicity and functional nanomaterials that integrate nanoparticles and organized lipid structures.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Construction of a Core-shell Microneedle System to Achieve Targeted
           Co-delivery of Checkpoint Inhibitors for Melanoma Immunotherapy
    • Abstract: Publication date: Available online 3 January 2020Source: Acta BiomaterialiaAuthor(s): Peipei Yang, Chao Lu, Wanbing Qin, Minglong Chen, Guilan Quan, Hu Liu, Lili Wang, Xuequn Bai, Xin Pan, Chuanbin WuSynergistic anti-tumor effect of anti-PD-1/L1 antibody (aPD-1/aPD-L1) and 1-methyl-D,L-tryptophan (1-MT) in melanoma has been well demonstrated, while efficient topical delivery systems are still largely unexplored. Here, a highly drug-concentrated hybrid core-shell microneedle (CSMN) system for co-delivery of checkpoint inhibitors was developed. Based on the specific drug-matrix interaction, the system concentrated aPD-L1 in the tips of microneedles through electrostatic interactions, and increased the amount of 1-MT loaded in CSMN by preventing its premature crystallization using PVA, the material used to prepare CSMN core. The prepared CSMN exhibited high transdermal delivery efficiency and long topical retention time of aPD-L1 for 2 days. Drug-loaded CSMN achieved better anti-tumor efficacy than the intra-tumor injection group at the same dose, which was likely because the former recruited more T lymphocytes to the tumor site. These findings suggested that this CSMN system was a promising local delivery system of both aPD-L1 and 1-MT for melanoma immunotherapy, and its unique core-shell structure could be readily adapted as a modular platform for various diseases, where combination therapy of both biomacromolecular drugs and other small-molecular agents were required.Statement of significanceIn the present study, a core-shell microneedle (CSMN) system was constructed to achieve targeted co-delivery of checkpoint inhibitors to melanoma, while preventing significant systemic exposure. To overcome the drawback of insufficient drug loading of microneedles and effectively encapsulate two drugs simultaneously, microneedles were divided into two independent functional areas, a charged shell and a hydrophilic core and encapsulated drugs based on respective drug-matrix interaction. The charged shell prepared by chitosan could concentrate aPD-L1 in the tips of microneedles through electrostatic interactions. The core prepared by PVA successfully increased the amount of 1-MT loaded in microneedles by preventing its premature crystallization. The prepared CSMN exhibited high transdermal delivery efficiency and better anti-tumor efficacy than intra-tumor injection at the same dose.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • A method to visually observe the degradation-diffusion-reconstruction
           behavior of hydroxyapatite in the bone repair process
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Xiaoyuan Li, Baojin Ma, Jianhua Li, Lingling Shang, Hong Liu, Shaohua GeNanostructured hydroxyapatite (HAp) has been applied widely as a scaffold material for bone tissue engineering for its good osteoinduction and biodegradability. However, the degradation process and the distribution of degraded HAp within the bone-defect cavity is still not clear. To visually study the behavior of HAp in bone repair process, a membrane of HAp/terbium (Tb)-HAp nanowires (NWs) was prepared with a concentric circle structure (CCS), of which the inner circle and the outer ring were constructed with Tb-HAp and HAp NWs, respectively. HAp/Tb-HAp CCS membrane possessed good osteogenic capacity and efficient fluorescence in the center for visualization. The in vitro experimental results proved that the Tb-HAp and HAp NWs membranes both presented high cytocompatibility and adequate efficiency to induce osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow stem cells (BMSCs). HAp/Tb-HAp CCS membranes were then implanted into a rat calvarial bone-defect model to study the behavior of HAp in bone repair process in vivo by tracking the fluorescence distribution. The results showed that the fluorescence of Tb-HAp diffused gradually from the inner circle to the outer ring, which suggested that the HAp was first degraded, and then the degraded product was diffused and finally reconstructed. Further, the histological results proved that the doping of Tb did not impair the promotive effect of HAp on bone repair process. Therefore, this study provided a visual method to observe the degradation-diffusion-reconstruction behavior of HAp nanomaterials in bone repair process.Statement of significanceThe study of dynamic degradation process of implanted hydroxyapatite (HAp) materials in bone-defect cavity is of great significance to bone tissue engineering applications. Here, we designed a HAp/Tb-HAp nanowires (NWs) membrane with concentric circle structure (CCS) to visibly observe the behavior of HAp during bone repair process. HAp/Tb-HAp CCS membrane possessed both osteoinduction ability and fluorescence property. Calvarial bone-defect repair experiments in vivo showed that the fluorescence of Tb-HAp diffused gradually from inner circle to outer ring, which suggested that HAp was first degraded, then diffused and finally reconstructed. Therefore, this invention provides not only a visible method to observe the degradation-diffusion-reconstruction behavior of HAp-based biomaterials, but also a basic understanding of the dynamic change of HAp-based biomaterials.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Co-culture of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived retinal pigment
           epithelial cells and endothelial cells on double collagen-coated honeycomb
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Maria Teresa Calejo, Jaakko Saari, Hanna Vuorenpää, Elina Vuorimaa-Laukkanen, Pasi Kallio, Katriina Aalto-Setälä, Susanna Miettinen, Heli Skottman, Minna Kellomäki, Kati Juuti-UusitaloIn vitro cell culture models representing the physiological and pathological features of the outer retina are urgently needed. Artificial tissue replacements for patients suffering from degenerative retinal diseases are similarly in great demand. Here, we developed a co-culture system based solely on the use of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived cells. For the first time, hiPSC-derived retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and endothelial cells (EC) were cultured on opposite sides of porous polylactide substrates prepared by breath figures (BF), where both surfaces had been collagen-coated by Langmuir–Schaefer (LS) technology. Small modifications of casting conditions during material preparation allowed the production of free-standing materials with distinct porosity, wettability and ion diffusion capacity. Complete pore coverage was achieved by the collagen coating procedure, resulting in a detectable nanoscale topography. Primary retinal endothelial cells (ACBRI181) and umbilical cord vein endothelial cells (hUVEC) were utilised as EC references. Mono-cultures of all ECs were prepared for comparison. All tested materials supported cell attachment and growth. In mono-culture, properties of the materials had a major effect on the growth of all ECs. In co-culture, the presence of hiPSC-RPE affected the primary ECs more significantly than hiPSC-EC. In consistency, hiPSC-RPE were also less affected by hiPSC-EC than by the primary ECs. Finally, our results show that the modulation of the porosity of the materials can promote or prevent EC migration.In short, we showed that the behaviour of the cells is highly dependent on the three main variables of the study: the presence of a second cell type in co-culture, the source of endothelial cells and the biomaterial properties. The combination of BF and LS methodologies is a powerful strategy to develop thin but stable materials enabling cell growth and modulation of cell-cell contact.Statement of significanceArtificial blood-retinal barriers (BRB), mimicking the interface at the back of the eye, are urgently needed as physiological and disease models, and for tissue transplantation targeting patients suffering from degenerative retinal diseases. Here, we developed a new co-culture model based on thin, biodegradable porous films, coated on both sides with collagen, one of the main components of the natural BRB, and cultivated endothelial and retinal pigment epithelial cells on opposite sides of the films, forming a three-layer structure. Importantly, our hiPSC-EC and hiPSC-RPE co-culture model is the first to exclusively use human induced pluripotent stem cells as cell source, which have been widely regarded as an practical candidate for therapeutic applications in regenerative medicine.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Porous chitosan adhesives with L-DOPA for enhanced photochemical tissue
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Herleen Ruprai, Anu Shanu, Damia Mawad, James M. Hook, Kristopher Kilian, Laurel George, Richard Wuhrer, Jessica Houang, Simon Myers, Antonio LautoL-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) is a naturally occurring catechol that is known to increase the adhesive strength of various materials used for tissue repair. With the aim of fortifying a porous and erodible chitosan-based adhesive film, L-DOPA was incorporated in its fabrication for stronger photochemical tissue bonding (PTB), a repair technique that uses light and a photosensitiser to promote tissue adhesion. The results showed that L-DOPA did indeed increase the tissue bonding strength of the films when photoactivated by a green LED, with a maximum strength recorded of approximately 30 kPa, 1.4 times higher than in its absence. The addition of L-DOPA also did not appreciably change the swelling, mechanical and erodible properties of the film. This study showed that strong, porous and erodible adhesive films for PTB made from biocompatible materials can be obtained through a simple inclusion of a natural additive such as L-DOPA, which was simply mixed with chitosan without any chemical modifications. In vitro studies using human fibroblasts showed no negative effect on cell proliferation indicating that these films are biocompatible. The films are convenient for various surgical applications as they can provide strong tissue support and a microporous environment for cellular infusion without the use of sutures.Statement of significanceTissue adhesives are not as strong as sutures on wounds under stress. Our group has previously demonstrated that strong sutureless tissue repair can be realised with chitosan-based adhesive films that photochemically bond to tissue when irradiated with green light. The advantage of this technique is that films are easier to handle than glues and sutures, and their crosslinking reactions can be controlled with light. However, these films are not optimal for high-tension tissue regenerative applications because of their non-porous structure, which cannot facilitate cell and nutrient exchange at the wound site. The present study resolves this issue, as we obtained a strong and porous photoactivated chitosan-based adhesive film, by simply using freeze drying and adding L-DOPA.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • A prevascularized nerve conduit based on a stem cell sheet effectively
           promotes the repair of transected spinal cord injury
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Zengjie Fan, Xiaozhu Liao, Yu Tian, Xie xuzhuzi, Yingying NieSpinal cord injury (SCI) can result in severe loss of motor and sensory function caused by ischemia and hypoxia, which are the key limiting factors of SCI rehabilitation. Vascularization is considered an effective way to resolve the issues of ischemia and hypoxia. In this regard, we first fabricated prevascularized nerve conduits (PNC) based on the prevascularized stem cell sheet and evaluated their repair effects by implanting them into transected SCI rats. A better healing effect was presented in the PNC group than in the control group and the nonprevascularized nerve conduit (NPNC) group as shown in H&E staining and the Basso, Beattie, Bresnahan (BBB) Locomotor Rating Scale assessment. In addition, the expression of β-III tubulin (Tuj-1) in the PNC group was higher than that in the control group and the NPNC group because of the introduction of MSCs. Conversely, the expression of the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in both experimental groups was lower than that in the control group because of the inhibitory effect of MSCs on glial scar formation. Taken together, the introduction of prevascularization into the neuron conduit was an effective solution for improving the condition of ischemia and hypoxia, inhibiting glial scar formation, and promoting the healing of SCI, which implied that the PNC may be a potential alternative material to biomaterials for SCI rehabilitation.Statement of significance1. Prevascularized stem cell sheet was first used to repair spinal cord injury (SCI).2. Prevascularized stem cell sheet use can effectively resolve the challenges faced during SCI, including ischemia and hypoxia and the limited regenerative ability of the remained neurons.3. Prevascularized stem cell sheet was found to accelerate the healing of SCI as compared to those in the control group and the pure stem cell sheet group.4. The introduction of stem cells can effectively inhibit the formation of a glial scar.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Evaluation of biomimetic hyaluronic-based hydrogels with enhanced
           endogenous cell recruitment and cartilage matrix formation
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): M.L. Vainieri, A. Lolli, N. Kops, D. D'Atri, D. Eglin, A. Yayon, M. Alini, S. Grad, K. Sivasubramaniyan, G.J.V.M. van OschBiomaterials play a pivotal role in cell-free cartilage repair approaches, where cells must migrate through the scaffold, fill the defect, and then proliferate and differentiate facilitating tissue remodeling. Here we used multiple assays to test the influence of chemokines and growth factors on cell migration and cartilage repair in two different hyaluronan (HA)-based hydrogels. We first investigated bone marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (BMSC) migration in vitro, in response to different concentrations of platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB), chemokine ligand 5 (CCL5/RANTES) and stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1), using a 3D spheroid-based assay. PDGF-BB was selected as most favourable chemotactic agent, and MSC migration was assessed in the context of physical impediment to cell recruitment by testing Fibrin-HA and HA-Tyramine hydrogels of different cross-linking densities. Supplementation of PDGF-BB stimulated progressive migration of MSC through the gels over time. We then investigated in situ cell migration into the hydrogels with and without PDGF-BB, using a cartilage-bone explant model implanted subcutaneously in athymic mice. In vivo studies show that when placed into an osteochondral defect, both hydrogels supported endogenous cell infiltration and provided an amenable microenvironment for cartilage production. These processes were best supported in Fibrin-HA hydrogel in the absence of PDGF-BB. This study used an advanced preclinical testing platform to select an appropriate microenvironment provided by implanted hydrogels, demonstrating that HA-based hydrogels can promote the initial and critical step of endogenous cell recruitment and circumvent some of the clinical challenges in cartilage tissue repair.Statement of significanceThe challenge of articular cartilage repair arises from its complex structure and architecture, which confers the unique mechanical behavior of the extracellular matrix. The aim of our research is to identify biomaterials for implants that can support migration of endogenous stem and progenitor cell populations from cartilage and bone tissue, in order to permanently replace damaged cartilage with the original hyaline structure.Here, we present an in vitro 3D spheroid-based migration assay and an osteochondral defect model, which provide the opportunity to assess biomaterials and biomolecules, and to get stronger experimental evidence of the not well-characterized dynamic process of endogenous cells colonization in an osteochondral defect. Furthermore, the delicate step of early cell migration into biomaterials towards functional tissue engineering is reproduced. These tests can be used for pre-clinical testing of newly developed material designs in the field of scaffold engineering.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • In vitro evaluation of Pt-coated electrospun nanofibers for endovascular
           coil embolization
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Min-Woo Kim, Seongpil An, Hyunjun Seok, Hyunchul Jung, Dong-Hyuk Park, Alexander L. Yarin, Sam S. YoonRecently, endovascular coil embolization has been introduced to treat intracranial aneurysms because it has lower morbidity and mortality than surgical clipping. The endovascular coils prevent the extravasation of blood by decreasing the permeability of an aneurysm flow governed by Darcy's law. Here, we developed and explored Pt-coated micro-ropes for potential use as endovascular coils. Electrospinning with subsequent electroplating were employed to fabricate Pt-coated nanofibers, which were tightly twisted to form micro-ropes. The compatibility of Pt micro-ropes with commercial delivery catheters was verified and their performance was experimentally explored in an in vitro experimental model. The developed Pt-coated micro-ropes demonstrated feasibility as efficient and low-cost endovascular coils.Statement of SignificanceThe use of Platinum (Pt)-coated polymer nanofibers to prevent blood extravasation has been demonstrated. These Pt nanofibers were installed within a microfluidic channel, and the resulting reduced permeability was evaluated using a fluid similar to blood. Based on the obtained results, these newly developed nanofibers are expected to decrease the operation cost for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), owing their reduced size and low material cost. Overall, the use of this new material should reduce the operational risk associated with the multiple steps required to place the Pt coils at the SAH site. The compatibility of Pt micro-ropes with commercial delivery catheters was verified and their performance was experimentally explored in an in vitro experimental model. The developed Pt-coated micro-ropes demonstrated feasibility as efficient and low-cost endovascular coils.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Nasolacrimal stent with shape memory as an advanced alternative to
           silicone products
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Ju Young Park, Jung Bok Lee, Woo Beom Shin, Mi-Lan Kang, Yong Cheol Shin, Deok Hyeon Son, Se Won Yi, Jeong-Kee Yoon, Ji Young Kim, JaeSang Ko, Chang-Soo Kim, Jin Sook Yoon, Hak-Joon SungEpiphora is the overflow of tears typically caused by obstruction or occlusion of the nasolacrimal duct. More attention is required to address this global health issue owing to the increase in air pollution. Implantation of a silicone stent is the preferred treatment for epiphora; however, introducing a silicone stent into a narrow duct with complex geometry is challenging as it requires guidance by a sharp metal needle. Additionally, silicone can cause adverse reactions such as biofilm formation and tear flow resistance due to its extreme hydrophobicity. To overcome these problems, in this study we developed a new type of biocompatible shape memory polymer (SMP) stent with elasticity capacity for self-expansion. First, SMPs in the form of x%poly(ε-caprolactone)-co–y%poly(glycidyl methacrylate) (x%PCL–y%PGMA) were synthesized via ring opening polymerization by varying the molar ratio of PCL (x%) and PGMA (y%). Second, the shape memory and mechanical properties were tuned by controlling the crosslinking degree and concentration of x%PCL–y%PGMA solution to produce a test type of SMP stent. Lastly, this 94%PCL–06%PGMA stent exhibited more standout critical functions in a series of in vitro and in vivo experiments such as a cell growth-supporting level of biocompatibility with nasal epithelial cells without significant inflammatory responses, better resistance to biofilm formation, and more efficient capacity to drain tear than the silicone control. Overall, 94%PCL–06%PGMA can be suggested as a superior alternative to the currently used materials for nasolacrimal stents.Statement of significanceSilicone intubation (stenting) has been widely used to treat nasolacrimal duct obstruction, however, it can cause adverse clinical effects such as bacterial infection; presents procedural challenges because of the curved nasolacrimal duct structure; and shows poor drainage efficiency stemming from the highly hydrophobic nature of silicone. In this work, we describe an innovative shape memory polymer (SMP) as a superior alternative to conventional silicone-based materials for nasolacrimal duct intubation. We demonstrate the clear advantages of the SMP over conventional silicone, including a much higher drainage capacity and superior resistance to bacterial infection.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Injectable, self-healable zwitterionic cryogels with sustained microRNA -
           cerium oxide nanoparticle release promote accelerated wound healing
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Gulsu Sener, Sarah A. Hilton, Matthew J. Osmond, Carlos Zgheib, Jake P. Newsom, Lindel Dewberry, Sushant Singh, Tamil S. Sakthivel, Sudipta Seal, Kenneth W. Liechty, Melissa D. KrebsDiabetics are prone to chronic wounds that have slower healing, and methods of accelerating the wound closure and to ensure protection from infections are critically needed. MicroRNA-146a gets dysregulated in diabetic wounds and injection of this microRNA combined with reactive oxygen species-scavenging cerium oxide nanoparticles (CNPs) can reduce inflammation and improve wound healing; however, a better delivery method than intradermal injections is needed. Here we demonstrate a biomaterial system of zwitterionic cryogels (gels formed below freezing temperatures) laden with CNP-miR146a that are topically applicable, injectable, self-healable, and provide sustained release of the therapeutic molecules. These cryogels are comprised of CBMA or SBMA and HEMA, and do not contain chemical crosslinkers. Properties of the gels can be manipulated by changing monomer type and ratio. These materials have demonstrated efficacy and viability in vivo with a diabetic mouse wound healing model. Overall, these materials have a high potential for application in wound treatments due to their ease of production, antifouling characteristics, durability, topical application, and sustained release mechanics.Statement of significanceThis work presents the development of zwitterionic cryogels with unique physical properties including injectability and self-healing, that also offer highly sustained release of nanoparticles over time to improve wound healing in a diabetic mouse model. The nanoparticles are made of cerium oxide, which is known to scavenge reactive oxygen species and reduce oxidative stress, and these particles have been further tagged with a microRNA146a that has been shown to reduce inflammation. Zwitterionic materials are known for their superior antifouling properties and good biocompatibility and ability to incorporate bioactive factors. Given these properties, the use of these materials as wound healing dressings would be exciting, yet to date it has been difficult to prolong the release of bioactive factors from them due to their hydrophilicity. Previously we developed zwitterionic cyrogels with very sustained protein release over time, but those materials were quite brittle and difficult to handle. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that by removing the crosslinker molecule from our reaction and polymerizing gels under cryo-conditions, we are able to form zwitterionic cryogels that are injectable, self-healing, and with sustained release profiles. The sustained release of miRNA146a-tagged cerium oxide nanoparticles from these gels is demonstrated to speed up diabetic wound healing time and significantly reduce inflammation.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • In situ miRNA delivery from a hydrogel promotes osteogenesis of
           encapsulated mesenchymal stromal cells
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): J. Carthew, I. Donderwinkel, S. Shrestha, V.X. Truong, J.S. Forsythe, J.E. FrithHydrogels are attractive candidates for use in tissue-engineering and the encapsulation and subsequent differentiation of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) is a strategy that holds great promise for the repair and regeneration of bone and cartilage. However, MSCs are well-known for their sensitivity to mechanical cues, particularly substrate stiffness, and so the inherent softness of hydrogels is poorly matched to the mechanical cues that drive efficient osteogenesis. One approach to overcome this limitation is to harness mechanotransductive signalling pathways and override the signals cells receive from their environment. Previous reports demonstrate that mechanosensitive miRNAs, miR-100–5p and miR-143–3p can enhance MSC osteogenesis, using a complex multi-step procedure to transfect, encapsulate and differentiate the cells.In this study, we develop and characterise a facile system for in situ transfection of MSCs encapsulated within a light-crosslinkable gelatin-PEG hydrogel. Comparing the influence of different transfection agents and hydrogel compositions, we show that particle size, charge, and hydrogel mechanical properties all influence the diffusion of embedded transfection agent complexes. By incorporating both MSCs and transfection agents into the hydrogels we demonstrate successful in situ transfection of encapsulated MSCs. Comparing the efficacy of pre- and in situ transfection of miR-100–5p/miR-143–3p on the osteogenic capacity of hydrogel-encapsulated MSCs, our data demonstrates superior mineralisation and osteogenic gene expression following in situ transfections. Overall, we demonstrate a simple, one-pot system for in situ transfection of miRNAs to enhance MSC osteogenic potential and thus demonstrates significant promise to improve the efficiency of MSC differentiation in hydrogels for bone tissue-engineering applications.Statement of significanceMesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are sensitive to cues from their surrounding microenvironment. Osteogenesis is enhanced in MSCs grown on stiffer substrates, but this is limited when using hydrogels for bone tissue-engineering. Modulating pro-osteogenic genes with mechanosensitive microRNAs (miRNAs) represents a potential tool to overcome this challenge. Here we report a hydrogel platform to deliver miRNAs to encapsulated MSCs. We characterise effects of hydrogel composition and transfection agent type on their mobility and transfection efficiency, demonstrating successful in situ transfection of MSCs and showing that miRNAs can significantly enhance osteogenic mineral deposition and marker gene expression. This system was simpler and more effective than conventional 2D transfection prior to encapsulation and therefore holds promise to improve MSC differentiation in bone tissue-engineering.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Biomaterial-mediated reprogramming of monocytes via microparticle
           phagocytosis for sustained modulation of macrophage phenotype
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Kathryn L. Wofford, Bhavani S. Singh, D. Kacy Cullen, Kara L. SpillerMonocyte-derived macrophages orchestrate tissue regeneration by homing to sites of injury, phagocytosing pathological debris, and stimulating other cell types to repair the tissue. Accordingly, monocytes have been investigated as a translational and potent source for cell therapy, but their utility has been hampered by their rapid acquisition of a pro-inflammatory phenotype in response to the inflammatory injury microenvironment. To overcome this problem, we designed a cell therapy strategy where monocytes are exogenously reprogrammed by intracellularly loading the cells with biodegradable microparticles containing an anti-inflammatory drug in order to modulate and maintain an anti-inflammatory phenotype over time. To test this concept, poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid microparticles were loaded with the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone (Dex) and administered to primary human monocytes for four hours to facilitate phagocytic uptake. After removal of non-phagocytosed microparticles, microparticle-loaded monocytes differentiated into macrophages and stored the microparticles intracellularly for several weeks in vitro, releasing drug into the extracellular environment over time. Cells loaded with intracellular Dex microparticles showed decreased expression and secretion of inflammatory factors even in the presence of pro-inflammatory stimuli up to 7 days after microparticle uptake compared to untreated cells or cells loaded with blank microparticles, without interfering with phagocytosis of tissue debris. This study represents a new strategy for long-term maintenance of anti-inflammatory macrophage phenotype using a translational monocyte-based cell therapy strategy without the use of genetic modification. Because of the ubiquitous nature of monocyte-derived macrophage involvement in pathology and regeneration, this strategy holds potential as a treatment for a vast number of diseases and disorders.Statement of significanceWe report a unique and translational strategy to overcome the challenges associated with monocyte- and macrophage-based cell therapies, in which the cells rapidly take on inflammatory phenotypes when administered to sites of injury. By intracellularly loading monocytes with drug-loaded microparticles prior to administration via phagocytosis, we were able to inhibit inflammation while preserving functional behaviors of human primary macrophages derived from those monocytes up to seven days later. To our knowledge, this study represents the first report of reprogramming macrophages to an anti-inflammatory phenotype without the use of genetic modification.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Interplay between degradability and integrin signaling on mesenchymal stem
           cell function within poly(ethylene glycol) based microporous annealed
           particle hydrogels
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Shangjing Xin, Carl A. Gregory, Daniel L. AlgeMicroporous annealed particle (MAP) hydrogels are promising materials for delivering therapeutic cells. It has previously been shown that spreading and mechanosensing activation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) incorporated in these materials can be modulated by tuning the modulus of the microgel particle building blocks. However, the effects of degradability and functionalization with different integrin-binding peptides on cellular responses has not been explored. In this work, RGDS functionalized and enzymatically degradable poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) microgels were annealed into MAP hydrogels via thiol-ene click chemistry and photopolymerization. During cell-mediated degradation, the microgel surfaces were remodeled to wrinkles or ridges, but the scaffold integrity was maintained. Moreover, cell spreading, proliferation, and secretion of extracellular matrix proteins were significantly enhanced in faster matrix metalloproteinase degrading (KCGPQGIWGQCK) MAP hydrogels compared to non-degradable controls after 8 days of culture. We subsequently evaluated paracrine activity by hMSCs seeded in the MAP hydrogels functionalized with either RGDS or c(RRETAWA), which is specific for α5β1 integrins, and evaluated the interplay between degradability and integrin-mediated signaling. Importantly, c(RRETAWA) functionalization upregulated secretion of bone morphogenetic protein-2 overall and on a per cell basis, but this effect was critically dependent on microgel degradability. In contrast, RGDS functionalization led to higher overall vascular endothelial growth factor secretion in degradable scaffolds due to the high cell number. These results demonstrate that integrin-binding peptides can modulate hMSC behavior in PEG-based MAP hydrogels, but the results strongly depend on the susceptibility of the microgel building blocks to cell-mediated matrix remodeling. This relationship should be considered in future studies aiming to further develop these materials for stem cell delivery and tissue engineering applications.Statement of significanceMicroporous annealed particle (MAP) hydrogels are attracting increasing interest for tissue repair and regeneration and have shown superior results compared to conventional hydrogels in multiple applications. Here, we studied the impact of MAP hydrogel degradability and functionalization with different integrin-binding peptides on human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) that were incorporated during particle annealing. Degradability was found to improve cell growth, spreading, and extracellular matrix production regardless of the integrin-binding peptide. Moreover, in degradable MAP hydrogels the integrin-binding peptide c(RRETAWA) was found to increase osteogenic protein expression by hMSCs compared to RGDS-functionalized MAP hydrogels. These results have important implications for the development of a MAP hydrogel-based hMSC delivery system for bone tissue engineering.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Local environment-dependent kinetics of ester hydrolysis revealed by
           direct 1H NMR measurement of degrading hydrogels
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Chi Ming Laurence Lau, Ghodsiehsadat Jahanmir, Ying ChauWe have demonstrated the use of a simple 1H NMR spectrometry-based method to directly measure the pseudo first-order hydrolytic cleavage rate constant (kobs) of methacrylate-derived ester crosslinkers in hydrogels composed of PEG, dextran, carboxymethyl dextran (CM-dextran) and hyaluronic acid (HA). Using this technique, we systematically examined how the local environment in the hydrogel influenced the rate of ester hydrolysis. Within the formulations being studied, the esters in the crosslinked polymer network (gel state) degraded 1.8 times faster than esters of similar chemistry in soluble polymers (solution state). Furthermore, the value of kobs was independent of the polymer concentration or the hydrogel network structure, although these parameters affected the swelling profiles in response to the hydrolytic degradation. On the other hand, the presence of the negatively charged carboxylate groups in the polymer chains decreased kobs in gel state, while only minimally affecting kobs in solution state. Hydrogels composed of negatively charged polymers (HA and CM-dextran) had a kobs about 30% smaller than hydrogels composed of neutral polymers (dextran and PEG). The reported method provides a reliable tool to resolve conflicting views about hydrogel degradation, and to guide the rational design of degradable hydrogel.Statement of significanceDegradable hydrogels are widely used in biological applications. A common degradation mechanism of the crosslinked polymer is by hydrolytic cleavage. However, the hydrogel micro-milieu do affect the behavior of the hydrolysable bonds, for example esters. There have been several conflicting speculations on how hydrogel composition would affect the macroscopic degradation behavior. In this report, we simply, but innovatively applied ordinary 1H NMR spectrometry-based method to probe the rate of ester cleavage in the native hydrogel milieu. We tried to answer whether these parameters will have direct influence on ester cleavage, or have indirect effect on the overall network disintegration behavior. This study provides quantitative evidences to assist theoretical modeling and to guide rational formulation design.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Evaluation of a polyurethane-reinforced hydrogel patch in a rat right
           ventricle wall replacement model
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Ze-Wei Tao, Siliang Wu, Elizabeth M Cosgriff-Hernandez, Jeffrey G JacotCongenital heart defects affect about 1% births in the United States. Many of the defects are treated with surgically implanted patches made from inactive materials or fixed pericardium that do not grow with the patients, leading to an increased risk of arrhythmia, sudden cardiac death, and heart failure. This study investigated an angiogenic poly(ethylene glycol) fibrin-based hydrogel reinforced with an electrospun biodegradable poly(ether ester urethane) urea (BPUR) mesh layer that was designed to encourage cell invasion, angiogenesis, and regenerative remodeling in the repair of an artificial defect created onto the rat right ventricle wall. Electrocardiogram signals were analyzed, heart function was measured, and fibrosis, macrophage infiltration, muscularization, vascularization, and defect size were evaluated at 4- and 8-weeks post-surgery. Compared with rats with fixed pericardium patches, rats with BPUR-reinforced hydrogel patches had fewer arrhythmias and greater right ventricular ejection fraction and cardiac output, as well as greater left ventricular ejection fraction, fractional shorting, stroke work and cardiac output. Histology and immunofluorescence staining showed less fibrosis and less patch material remaining in rats with BPUR-reinforced hydrogel patches at 4- and 8-weeks. Rats with BPUR-reinforced hydrogel patches also had a greater volume of granular tissue, a greater volume of muscularized tissue, more blood vessels, and a greater number of leukocytes, pan-macrophages, and M2 macrophages at 8 weeks. Overall, this study demonstrated that the engineered BPUR-reinforced hydrogel patch initiated greater regenerative vascular and muscular remodeling with a limited fibrotic response, resulting in fewer incidences of arrhythmia and improved heart function compared with fixed pericardium patches when applied to heal the defects created on the rat right ventricle wall.Statement of significanceThe study tested a polyurethane-reinforced hydrogel patch in a rat right ventricle wall replacement model. Compared with fixed pericardium patches, these reinforced hydrogel patches initiated greater regenerative vascular and muscular remodeling with a reduced fibrotic response, resulting in fewer incidences of arrhythmia and improved heart function at 4- and 8-weeks post surgery. Overall, the new BPUR-reinforced hydrogel patches resulted in better heart function when replacing contractile myocardium than fixed pericardium patches.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Spatially patterned microribbon-based hydrogels induce zonally-organized
           cartilage regeneration by stem cells in 3D
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Courtney Gegg, Fan YangRegenerating cartilage with biomimetic zonal organization, which is critical for tissue function, remains a great challenge. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of spatially-patterned, multi-compositional, macroporous, extracellular matrix-based microribbon (µRB) µRB scaffolds to regenerate cartilage with biochemical, mechanical, and morphological zonal organization by mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) compared to conventional multi-layer nanoporous hydrogels. MSCs were seeded in either trilayer microribbon (µRB) or hydrogel (HG) scaffolds that were composed of layered biomaterial compositions that had been chosen for their ability to differentiate MSCs into chondrocytes with zonal properties. To mimic the aligned collagen morphology in the superficial layer of native cartilage, an additional experimental group added MSC-laden aligned µRBs to the surface of the superficial layer of a µRB trilayer. Tuning µRB alignment and compositions in different zones led to zonal-specific responses of MSCs to create neocartilage with zonal biochemical, morphological, and mechanical properties, while trilayer HGs led to minimal cartilaginous deposition overall. Trilayer µRBs created neocartilage exhibiting significant increases in compressive modulus (up to 456 kPa) and> 4-fold increase in sGAG production from superficial to deep zones. Aligned gelatin µRBs in the superficial zone further enhanced biomimetic mimicry of the produced neocartilage by leading to robust collagen deposition and superficial zone protein production.Statement of significanceRegenerating cartilage with zonal organization using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) remains a great challenge. We developed a spatially-patterned, gradient, macroporous, trilayer microribbon (µRB) scaffold that we used to engineer MSC-based neocartilage with zonal trends that match native cartilage in many aspects, including collagen, sGAG, superficial zone protein, and compressive moduli. This is in direct contrast to conventional trilayer nanoporous hydrogels which led to minimal cartilage deposition and weak mechanical properties. It took only 21 days for MSC-seeded trilayer µRB scaffolds to reach cartilage-mimicking compressive moduli without requiring high cell seeding density, which has never been reported before. While this paper focuses on cartilage zonal organization, gradient µRB scaffolds can be used to repair other tissue interfaces such as osteochondral defects.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Improving cell distribution on 3D additive manufactured scaffolds through
           engineered seeding media density and viscosity
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Maria Cámara-Torres, Ravi Sinha, Carlos Mota, Lorenzo MoroniIn order to ensure the long-term in vitro and in vivo functionality of cell-seeded 3D scaffolds, an effective and reliable method to control cell seeding efficiency and distribution is crucial. Static seeding on 3D additive manufactured scaffolds made of synthetic polymers still remains challenging, as it often results in poor cell attachment, high cell sedimentation and non-uniform cell distribution, due to gravity and to the intrinsic macroporosity and surface chemical properties of the scaffolds. In this study, the biocompatible macromolecules dextran and Ficoll (Ficoll-Paque) were used for the first time as temporary supplements to alter the viscosity and density of the seeding media, respectively, and improve the static seeding output. The addition of these macromolecules drastically reduced the cell sedimentation velocities, allowing for homogeneous cell attachment to the scaffold filaments. Both dextran and Ficoll-Paque -based seeding methods supported human mesenchymal stromal cells viability and osteogenic differentiation post-seeding. Interestingly, the improved cell distribution led to increased matrix production and mineralization compared to scaffolds seeded by conventional static method. These results suggest a simple and universal method for an efficient seeding of 3D additive manufactured scaffolds, independent of their material and geometrical properties, and applicable for bone and various other tissue regeneration.Statement of significanceAdditive manufacturing has emerged as one of the desired technologies to fabricate complex and patient-specific 3D scaffolds for bone regeneration. Along with the technology, new synthetic polymeric materials have been developed to meet processability requirements, as well as the mechanical properties and biocompatibility necessary for the application. Yet, there is still lack of methodology for a universal cell seeding method applicable to all additive manufactured 3D scaffolds regardless of their characteristics. We believe that our simple and reliable method, which is based on adjusting the cell settling velocity to aid cell attachment, could potentially help to maximize the efficiency, and therefore, functionality of cell-seeded constructs. This is of great importance when aiming for both in vitro and future clinical applications.Graphical Image, graphical abstract
  • Integration of biochemical and topographic cues for the formation and
           spatial distribution of invadosomes in nasopharyngeal epithelial cells
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): C.M. Tsang, Z.Y. Liu, W. Zhang, C. You, G.E. Jones, S.W. Tsao, S.W. PangInvadosomes are invasive protrusions generated by cells which can secrete matrix metalloproteinases for focal digestion of extracellular matrix. They also aid invasive cancer cells in their transmigration through vascular endothelium. However, how the physical and chemical cues in a three-dimensional (3D) system signal the spatial localization of invadosomes remains largely unknown. Here we study the topographic guidance of invadosome formation in invasive nasopharyngeal cells under the stimulation of an inflammatory cytokine, TGF-β1, using engineered gratings with different width and depth. We first report that TGF-β1 can act as an external signal to upregulate the formation of invadosomes with a random distribution on a plane 2D surface. When the cells were seeded on parallel 3D gratings of 5 µm width and 1 µm depth, most of the invadosomes aligned to the edges of the gratings, indicating a topographic cue to the control of invadosome localization. While the number of invadosomes per cell were not upregulated when the cells were seeded on 3D topography, guidance of invadosomes localization to edges is correlated with cell migration directionality on 1 µm deep gratings. Invadosomes preferentially form at edges when the cells move at a lower speed and are guided along narrow gratings. The invadosomes forming at 3D edges also have a longer half-life than those forming on a plane surface. These data suggest that there are integrated biochemical and 3D geometric cues underlying the spatial regulation of invasive structures so as to elicit efficient invasion or metastasis of cells.Statement of significanceNasopharyngeal cells were integrated with the biological cues and matrix topography to govern the activity and spatial distribution of invadosomes. The biochemical induction of invadosome formation by TGF-β1 in nasopharyngeal cells was observed. When the cells were seeded on parallel 3D gratings, most of the invadosomes aligned to the edges of the gratings due to topographical induced invadosome localization. While the number of invadosomes per cell were not upregulated, guidance of invadosomes localization to edges is correlated with cell migration directionality on 1 µm deep gratings. Invadosomes preferentially form at edges with a higher stability when the cells are guided along narrow gratings. The integrated biochemical and 3D geometric cues could elicit efficient invasion or metastasis of cells.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Modulation of the mechanosensing of mesenchymal stem cells by
           laser-induced patterning for the acceleration of tissue reconstruction
           through the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway activation
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Jieni Fu, Xiangmei Liu, Lei Tan, Zhenduo Cui, Yanqin Liang, Zhaoyang Li, Shengli Zhu, Yufeng Zheng, Kelvin Wai Kwok Yeung, Paul K Chu, Shuilin WuGrowing evidence suggests that the physical microenvironment can guide cell fate. However, cells sense cues from the adjacent physical microenvironment over a limited distance. In the present study, murine mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and murine preosteoblastic cells (MC3T3-E1) behaviors are regulated by the cell–material interface using ordered-micro and disordered-nano patterned structures on Ti implants. The optimal bone formation structure is a stable wave (horizontal direction: ridge, 2.7 µm; grooves, 5.3 µm; and vertical direction: distance, 700 µm) with the appropriate density of nano-branches (6.0 per µm2). The repeated waves provide cells with directional guidance, and the disordered branches influence cell geometry by providing different spacing and density nanostructure. And micro-nano patterned structure can provide biophysical cues to direct cell phenotype development, including cell size, shape, and orientation, to influence cellular processes including survival, growth, and differentiation. Thus, the overlaid isotropic and anisotropic cues, ordered-micro and disordered-nano patterned structures, could transfer further and alter cell shape and induce nuclear orientation by activating Wnt/β-catenin signaling to promote integrin α5, integrin β1, cadherin 2, Runx2, Opn, and Ocn. That canonical Wnt signaling inhibitor dickkopf1 further demonstrates osteogenic differentiation induced by ordered-micro and disordered-nano patterned structures, which is related to Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Our findings show the role of ordered microstructures and disordered nanostructures in modulating stem cell differentiation with potential medical applications.Statement of significanceIt remains a challenge to modify poor osteogenic and osteoconductive properties of titanium alloy bases on the inherent poverty of titanium. We demonstrate that ordered microtopography and disordered nano topography pattern structure could lead to osteogenic differentiation in vitro and bone regeneration in vivo. Furthermore, the pattern structure is created through selective laser melting and alkali heat. And the structure only takes advantage of titanium itself and does not bring in active film, such as hydroxyapatite. On the other hand, we find that cell shape and orientation show angle-orientation tendency due to the polarity, which involves with mechanical signal created via patterned structure. Meanwhile, the Wnt/Ca2+ signaling pathway is activated.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Multi-directional cellular alignment in 3D guided by
           electrohydrodynamically-printed microlattices
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Mao Mao, Jiankang He, Zhi Li, Kang Han, Dichen LiRecapitulating aligned cellular architectures of native tissues in vitro is important to engineer artificial tissue analogs with desired biological functions. Here a novel strategy is presented to direct three-dimensional (3D) cellular alignment by embedding cell/collagen hydrogel into the predefined electrohydrodynamically-printed microlattices. The cell/collagen hydrogel, originally filled within the printed microlattices uniformly, was found to gradually develop into densely-populated and highly-aligned bands along the longitudinal direction of the printed microlattices. The cellular alignment was highly dependent on the height, spacing and orientation of the microlattices. The presented method was applicable to multiple cell types including primary cardiomyocytes and the gaps formed between the aligned bands and the lateral walls of the microlattice facilitated the subsequent seeding and rapid alignment of other cell types which enables to engineer anisotropic multicellular tissue constructs. The engineered cardiac patches expressed mature cardiomyocyte-specific phenotypes and exhibited synchronous contractive activities. Multilayer cellular alignment with varied orientation in 3D collagen hydrogel was successfully achieved by using electrohydrodynamically-printed microlattices with layer-specific orientations. This exploration offers a promising way to engineer complex 3D tissue constructs with predefined cellular alignments.Statement of significanceFabrication of biomimetic highly-aligned complex cellular architectures has a great significance to recapitulate the unique mechanical and physiological functions of the engineered tissues (e.g., heart tissue, neuron, muscle). Here, we introduced a novel strategy to direct 3D cellular alignment by embedding cell/collagen hydrogel into the predefined electrohydrodynamically-printed microlattices without any external stimuli. The microscopical study of the dynamic alignment process of cells and collagen fibers contributed to exploring the mechanism of autonomous formation of highly-aligned cellular bands. Multilayer cellular alignment with varied orientation in 3D collagen hydrogel was successfully achieved by using the microlattices with layer-specific orientations, which showed a promising way to engineer complex 3D tissue constructs with predefined cellular alignments.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Two-staged time-dependent materials for the prevention of implant-related
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Wen Zhou, Xian Peng, Yue Ma, Yao Hu, Yao Wu, Fang Lan, Michael D. Weir, Mingyun Li, Biao Ren, Thomas W. Oates, Hockin H.K. Xu, Xuedong Zhou, Lei ChengInfection is a main cause of implant failure. Early implant-related infections often occur in the first 4 weeks post-operation. Inhibiting bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation at the early stage and promoting subsequent implant osseointegration are important for implant success. Our previous studies demonstrated that dimethylaminododecyl methacrylate (DMADDM) provided dental materials with antibacterial effects. In the present study, DMADDM and hydroxyapatite (HA) are loaded on to the titanium (Ti) surface via poly dopamine (PDA) self-polymerization. This local DMADDM-delivery Ti is referred as Ti-PHD. Here we report the two-staged capability of Ti-PHD: (1) in the first stage, releasing DMADDM during the high-infection-risk initial period post-implantation for 4 weeks; (2) then in the second stage, enhancing osteogenesis and promoting osseointegration. Ti-PHD has a porous surface with higher average roughness and greater hydrophilicity than pure Ti. Its biocompatibility is verified in vitro and in vivo. During the first 4 weeks of release, both DMADDM remaining on Ti surface and DMADDM released into the soaking medium greatly reduced the adherence and growth of pathogens. This is further confirmed by the prevention of bone destruction in a rat osteomyelitis model. After releasing DMADDM for 4 weeks, Ti-PHD promotes osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) and new bone formation around the implants in vivo. This article represents the first report on the two-staged, time-dependent antibacterial and osteogenesis effects of Ti-PHD, demonstrating its potential for clinical applications to inhibit implant-associated infections.Statement of SignificanceThe present study develops a two-staged time-dependent system for local dimethylaminododecyl methacrylate (DMADDM) delivery via Ti implant (referred to as Ti-PHD). DMADDM and hydroxyapatite (HA) are loaded on to the Ti surface with poly dopamine (PDA). Ti-PHD can release DMADDM during the high-risk period of infection in the first stage, and then promote osseointegration and new bone formation in the second stage. This bioactive and therapeutic Ti is promising to inhibit infections and enhance implant success.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Towards multi-dynamic mechano-biological optimization of 3D-printed
           scaffolds to foster bone regeneration
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Camille Metz, Georg N. Duda, Sara ChecaSubstantial tissue loss, such as in large bone defects, represents a clinical challenge for which regenerative therapies and tissue engineering strategies aim at offering treatment alternatives to conventional replacement approaches by metallic implants. 3D printing technologies provide endless opportunities to shape scaffold structures that could support endogenous regeneration. However, it remains unclear which of the numerous parameters at hand eventually enhance tissue regeneration. In the last decades, a significant effort has been made in the development of computer tools to optimize scaffold designs. Here, we aim at giving a more comprehensive overview summarizing current computer optimization framework technologies. We confront these with the most recent advances in scaffold mechano-biological optimization, discuss their limitations and provide suggestions for future development. We conclude that the field needs to move forward to not only optimize scaffolds to avoid implant failures but to improve their mechano-biological behaviour: providing an initial stimulus for fast tissue organisation and healing and accounting for remodelling, scaffold degradation and consecutive filling with host tissue. So far, modelling approaches fall short in including the various scales of tissue dynamics. With this review, we wish to stimulate a move towards multi-dynamic mechano-biological optimization of 3D-printed scaffolds.Statement of significanceLarge bone defects represent a clinical challenge for which tissue engineering strategies aim at offering alternatives to conventional treatment strategies. 3D printing technologies provide endless opportunities to shape scaffold structures that could support endogenous regeneration. However, it remains unclear which of the numerous parameters at hand eventually enhance tissue regeneration. In the last decades, a significant effort has been made in the development of computer tools to optimize scaffold designs. This review summarizes current computer optimization frameworks and most recent advances in mechano-biological optimization of bone scaffolds to better stimulate bone regeneration. We wish to stimulate a move towards multi-dynamic mechano-biological optimization of 3D-printed scaffolds.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Three-dimensional differentiation of human pluripotent stem cell-derived
           neural precursor cells using tailored porous polymer scaffolds
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Ashley R. Murphy, John M. Haynes, Andrew L. Laslett, Neil R. Cameron, Carmel M. O'BrienThis study investigates the utility of a tailored poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate-crosslinked porous polymeric tissue engineering scaffold, with mechanical properties specifically optimised to be comparable to that of mammalian brain tissue for 3D human neural cell culture. Results obtained here demonstrate the attachment, proliferation and terminal differentiation of both human induced pluripotent stem cell- and embryonic stem cell-derived neural precursor cells (hPSC-NPCs) throughout the interconnected porous network within laminin-coated scaffolds. Phenotypic data and functional analyses are presented demonstrating that this material supports terminal in vitro neural differentiation of hPSC-NPCs to a mixed population of viable neuronal and glial cells for periods of up to 49 days. This is evidenced by the upregulation of TUBB3, MAP2, SYP and GFAP gene expression, as well as the presence of the proteins βIII-TUBULIN, NEUN, MAP2 and GFAP. Functional maturity of neural cells following 49 days 3D differentiation culture was tested via measurement of intracellular calcium. These analyses revealed spontaneously active, synchronous and rhythmic calcium flux, as well as response to the neurotransmitter glutamate. This tailored construct has potential application as an improved in vitro human neurogenesis model with utility in platform drug discovery programs.Statement of significanceThe interconnected porosity of polyHIPE scaffolds exhibits the ability to support three-dimensional neural cell network formation due to limited resistance to cellular migration and re-organisation. The previously developed scaffold material displays mechanical properties similar to that of the mammalian brain. This research also employs the utility of pluripotent stem cell-derived neural cells which are of greater clinical relevance than primary neural cell lines. This scaffold material has future potential in better mimicking three-dimensional neural networks found in the human brain and may result in improved in vitro models for disease modelling and drug screening applications.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Polymeric and inorganic nanoscopical antimicrobial fillers in dentistry
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Pooyan Makvandi, Jun Ting Gu, Ehsan Nazarzadeh Zare, Behnaz Ashtari, Arash Moeini, Franklin R. Tay, Li-na NiuFailure of dental treatments is mainly due to the biofilm accumulated on the dental materials. Many investigations have been conducted on the advancements of antimicrobial dental materials. Polymeric and inorganic nanoscopical agents are capable of inhibiting microorganism proliferation. Applying them as fillers in dental materials can achieve enhanced microbicidal ability. The present review provides a broad overview on the state-of-the-art research in the field of antimicrobial fillers which have been adopted for incorporation into dental materials over the last 5 years. The antibacterial agents and applications are described, with the aim of providing information for future investigations.Statement of significanceMicrobial infection is the primary cause of dental treatment failure. The present review provides an overview on the state-of-art in the field of antimicrobial nanoscopical or polymeric fillers that have been applied in dental materials. Trends in the biotechnological development of these antimicrobial fillers over the last 5 years are reviewed to provide a backdrop for further advancement in this field of research.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Tumor microenvironment targeted nanotherapeutics for cancer therapy and
           diagnosis: A review
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Shreya Thakkar, Dilip Sharma, Kiran Kalia, Rakesh K. TekadeRecent findings suggest that the cellular and extracellular materials surrounding the cancerous cells from an atypical tumor microenvironment (TM) play a pivotal role in the process of tumor initiation and progression. TM comprises an intricate system involving diverse cell types including endothelial cells, pericytes, smooth muscle cells, fibroblasts, various inflammatory cells, dendritic cells, and cancer stem cells (CSCs). The TM-forming cells dynamically interact with the cancerous cells through various signaling mechanisms and pathways. The existence of this dynamic cellular communication is responsible for creating an environment suitable for sustaining a reasonably high cellular proliferation. Presently, researchers are showing interest to use these TM conditions to mediate effective targeting measures for cancer therapy. The use of nanotherapeutics-based combination therapy; stimuli-responsive nanotherapeutics targeting acidic pH, hypoxic environment; and nanoparticle-induced hyperthermia are some of the approaches that are under intense investigation for cancer therapy. This review discusses TM and its role in cancer progression and crosstalk understanding, opportunities, and epigenetic modifications involved therein to materialize the capability of nanotherapeutics to target cancer by availing TM.Statement of SignificanceThis article presents various recent reports, proof-of-concept studies, patents, and clinical trials on the concept of tumor microenvironment for mediating the cancer-specific delivery of nanotechnology-based systems bearing anticancer drug and diagnostics. We highlight the potential of tumor microenvironment; its role in disease progression, opportunities, challenges, and allied treatment strategies for effective cancer therapy by conceptual understanding of tumor microenvironment and epigenetic modifications involved. Specifically, nanoparticle-based approaches to target various processes related to tumor microenvironment (pH responsive, hypoxic environment responsive, targeting of specific cells involved in tumor microenvironment, etc.) are dealt in detail.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • Four-dimensional bioprinting: Current developments and applications in
           bone tissue engineering
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Zhuqing Wan, Ping Zhang, Yunsong Liu, Longwei Lv, Yongsheng ZhouFour-dimensional (4D) bioprinting, in which the concept of time is integrated with three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting as the fourth dimension, has currently emerged as the next-generation solution of tissue engineering as it presents the possibility of constructing complex, functional structures. 4D bioprinting can be used to fabricate dynamic 3D-patterned biological architectures that will change their shapes under various stimuli by employing stimuli-responsive materials. The functional transformation and maturation of printed cell-laden constructs over time are also regarded as 4D bioprinting, providing unprecedented potential for bone tissue engineering. The shape memory properties of printed structures cater to the need for personalized bone defect repair and the functional maturation procedures promote the osteogenic differentiation of stem cells. In this review, we introduce the application of different stimuli-responsive biomaterials in tissue engineering and a series of 4D bioprinting strategies based on functional transformation of printed structures. Furthermore, we discuss the application of 4D bioprinting in bone tissue engineering, as well as the current challenges and future perspectives.Statements of significanceIn this review, we have demonstrated the 4D bioprinting technologies, which integrate the concept of time within the traditional 3D bioprinting technology as the fourth dimension and facilitate the fabrications of complex, functional biological architectures. These 4D bioprinting structures could go through shape or functional transformation over time via using different stimuli-responsive biomaterials and a series of 4D bioprinting strategies. Moreover, by summarizing potential applications of 4D bioprinting in the field of bone tissue engineering, these emerging technologies could fulfill unaddressed medical requirements. The further discussions about future challenges and perspectives will give us more inspirations about widespread applications of this emerging technology for tissue engineering in biomedical field.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • In situ bioprinting – Bioprinting from benchside to
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Satnam Singh, Deepak Choudhury, Fang Yu, Vladimir Mironov, May Win NaingBioprinting technologies have been advancing at the convergence of automation, digitalization, and new tissue engineering (TE) approaches. In situ bioprinting may be favored during certain situations when compared with the conventional in vitro bioprinting when de novo tissues are to be printed directly on the intended anatomical location in the living body. To date, few attempts have been made to fabricate in situ tissues, which can be safely arrested and immobilized while printing in preclinical living models. In this review, we have explained the need and utility for in situ bioprinting with regard to the conventional bioprinting approach. The two main in situ bioprinting approaches, namely, robotic arm and handheld approaches, have been defined and differentiated. The various studies involving in situ fabrication of skin, bone, and cartilage tissues have been elucidated. Finally, we have also discussed the advantages, challenges, and the prospects in the field of in situ bioprinting modalities in line with parallel technological advancements.Statement of SignificanceIn situ bioprinting may be favored during certain situations when compared with the conventional in vitro bioprinting when tissues are to be fabricated or repaired directly on the intended anatomical location in the living body, using the body as a bioreactor. However, the technology requires a lot more improvement to fabricate complex tissues in situ, which could eventually be possible through the multi-disciplinary innovations in tissue engineering. This review explains the need and utility and current approaches by handheld and robotic modes for in situ bioprinting. The latest studies involving in situ fabrication of skin, bone, and cartilage tissues have been elucidated. The review also covers the background studies, advantages, technical and ethical challenges, and possible suggestions for future improvements.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • 3D printing of electrically conductive hydrogels for tissue engineering
           and biosensors – A review
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Thomas Distler, Aldo R. BoccacciniElectrically conductive biomaterials are gaining increasing interest owing to their potential to be used in smart, biosensoric and functional tissue-engineered scaffolds and implants. In combination with 3D printing technology, this class of materials might be one of the most advanced approaches towards future medical implants regarding potential functionalities and design possibilities. Conductive hydrogels themselves have been researched for potential sensoric and tissue engineering applications for more than a decade, while the 3D printing of such functional materials is still under early exploration. This review aims to provide a short insight into the most recent developments of 3D printable and electrically conductive hydrogels. It also provides a summary of the last few years of research in this field, with key scope on 3D printing for biomedical applications. The final literature search was conducted in May 2019, with the specific keywords ‘3D’, ‘printing’, ‘conductive’, ‘hydrogel’, ‘biocompatible’ and combinations of the latter, using advanced search in the databases Scopus®, Web of Science® (Web of Knowledge®) and Google Scholar®. A total of 491 results were gained, while 19 recent publications were identified with the above-mentioned criteria and keywords, which are the studies finally discussed in the paper. The key results have been summarised, and the remaining challenges in the field and the scope for future research activities have been discussed.Statement of SignificanceHydrogels are among the most frequently used biomaterials in tissue engineering (TE). A new class of hydrogels, namely, electrically conductive hydrogels (ECHs), has been introduced in recent years. Although ECHs have been comprehensively reviewed in the literature, the combination of ECHs with 3D printing technology has emerged only recently, representing a promising key development toward the fabrication of functional 3D TE constructs. In this review, we cover for the first time the state of the art in the field of 3D printing of ECHs. Previous advances are presented, reviewing the 3D printing technologies utilised, spatial resolution and electrical conductivity values achieved, in addition to discussing the obtained mechanical properties and emerging applications of these materials.Graphical abstractGraphical abstract for this article
  • Corrigendum to “Additively manufactured functionally graded
           biodegradable porous iron” [Acta Biomaterialia 96 (2019) 646–661]
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Y. Li, H. Jahr, P. Pavanram, F.S.L. Bobbert, U. Paggi, X.-Y. Zhang, B. Pouran, M.A. Leeflang, H. Weinans, J. Zhou, A.A. Zadpoor
  • Analysis of the bone ultrastructure around biodegradable Mg–xGd implants
           using small angle X-ray scattering and X-ray diffraction
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Berit Zeller-Plumhoff, Carina Malich, Diana Krüger, Graeme Campbell, Björn Wiese, Silvia Galli, Ann Wennerberg, Regine Willumeit-Römer, D.C. Florian WielandMagnesium alloys are increasingly researched as temporary biodegradable metal implants in bone applications due to their mechanical properties which are more similar to bone than conventional implant metals and the fact that Magnesium occurs naturally within the body. However, the degradation processes in vivo and in particular the interaction of the bone with the degrading material need to be further investigated. In this study we are presenting the first quantitative comparison of the bone ultrastructure formed at the interface of biodegradable Mg–5Gd and Mg–10Gd implants and titanium and PEEK implants after 4, 8 and 12 weeks healing time using two-dimensional small angle X-ray scattering and X-ray diffraction. Differences in mineralization, orientation and thickness of the hydroxyapatite are assessed. We find statistically significant (p 
  • Hypoxia influences the effects of magnesium degradation products on the
           interactions between endothelial and mesenchymal stem cells
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Lei Xu, Regine Willumeit-Römer, Bérengère Luthringer-FeyerabendBiodegradable materials like well-documented Magnesium (Mg) are promising for their biocompatibility and tissue regeneration. Since Mg degradation is reported to be oxygen related, the effects of Mg were hypothesised to be influenced by oxygen. As two vital components of bone marrow, endothelial cells (EC) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), their interactions represent high scientific interest for tissue engineering and biodegradable Mg application. Human umbilical cord perivascular (HUCPV) and umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) were selected as sources of MSC and EC, respectively. Two types of coculture models were established to represent different phases of MSC-EC interaction: (i) where cells were physically separated thanks to a transwell and (ii) where cells were allowed to have heterotypic cellular contacts. Cell migration, gene, cytokines, and proliferation were investigated in HUCPV-HUVEC coculture using DNA, flow cytometry, wound healing assay, semi-quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Mg degradation products increased HUCPV migration in transwell under hypoxia. Oxygen tension changed the gene regulation of migratory, angiogenetic or osteogenic regulators. Under contacting coculture and hypoxia, Mg degradation products remarkably increased cytokines (e.g., c-c motif chemokine ligand 2 and vascular endothelial growth factor) and MSC mineralisation. Mg degradation products decreased and increased the MSC proliferation in transwell and in heterotypic-contact coculture, respectively. In summary, this study indicates the roles of low oxygen and heterotypic contact to effects of Mg materials facilitating HUVEC and HUCPV.Statement of significance•Based on the formerly reported monoculture of endothelial cells, mesenchymal stem cell and endothelial cell as two vital components of bone marrow were cocultured and investigated in magnesium degradation products.•The effects of hypoxia and normoxia were compared to shed light on the significance of local environmental oxygen on magnesium biomaterial-based tissue regeneration.•Besides the beneficial effects of magnesium degradation products, the results of two coculture models suggest MSC-EC heterotypic contact can play as promising “downstream approach” for tissue engineering or cell therapy.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Additively manufactured biodegradable porous zinc
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Y. Li, P. Pavanram, J. Zhou, K. Lietaert, P. Taheri, W. Li, H. San, M.A. Leeflang, J.M.C. Mol, H. Jahr, A.A. ZadpoorAdditively manufacturing (AM) opens up the possibility for biodegradable metals to possess uniquely combined characteristics that are desired for bone substitution, including bone-mimicking mechanical properties, topologically ordered porous structure, pore interconnectivity and biodegradability. Zinc is considered to be one of the promising biomaterials with respect to biodegradation rate and biocompatibility. However, no information regarding the biodegradability and biocompatibility of topologically ordered AM porous zinc is yet available. Here, we applied powder bed fusion to fabricate porous zinc with a topologically ordered diamond structure. An integrative study was conducted on the static and dynamic biodegradation behavior (in vitro, up to 4 weeks), evolution of mechanical properties with increasing immersion time, electrochemical performance, and biocompatibility of the AM porous zinc. The specimens lost 7.8% of their weight after 4 weeks of dynamic immersion in a revised simulated body fluid. The mechanisms of biodegradation were site-dependent and differed from the top of the specimens to the bottom. During the whole in vitro immersion time of 4 weeks, the elastic modulus values of the AM porous zinc (E = 700–1000 MPa) even increased and remained within the scope of those of cancellous bone. Indirect cytotoxicity revealed good cellular activity up to 72 h according to ISO 10,993–5 and -12. Live-dead staining confirmed good viability of MG-63 cells cultured on the surface of the AM porous zinc. These important findings could open up unprecedented opportunities for the development of multifunctional bone substituting materials that will enable reconstruction and regeneration of critical-size load-bearing bone defects.Statement of significanceNo information regarding the biodegradability and biocompatibility of topologically ordered AM porous zinc is available. We applied selective laser melting to fabricate topologically ordered porous zinc and conducted a comprehensive study on the biodegradation behavior, electrochemical performance, time-dependent mechanical properties, and biocompatibility of the scaffolds. The specimens lost 7.8% of their weight after4 weeks dynamic biodegradation while their mechanical properties surprisingly increased after 4 weeks. Indirect cytotoxicity revealed good cellular activity up to 72 h. Intimate contact between MG-63 cells and the scaffolds was also observed. These important findings could open up unprecedented opportunities for the development of multifunctional bone substituting materials that mimic bone properties and enable full regeneration of critical-size load-bearing bony defects.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Inflammatory response to magnesium-based biodegradable implant materials
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): M.D. Costantino, A. Schuster, H. Helmholz, A. Meyer-Rachner, R. Willumeit-Römer, B.J.C. Luthringer-FeyerabendBiodegradability and mechanical properties of magnesium alloys are attractive for orthopaedic and cardiovascular applications. In order to study their cytotoxicity usually bone cells are used. However, after implantation, diverse and versatile cells are recruited and interact. Among the first ones coming into play are cells of the immune system, which are responsible for the inflammatory reaction. Macrophages play a central role in the inflammatory process due to the production of cytokines involved in the tissue healing but also in the possible failure of the implants. In order to evaluate the in vitro influence of the degradation products of magnesium-based alloys on cytokine release, the extracts of pure magnesium and two magnesium alloys (with gadolinium and silver as alloying elements) were examined in an inflammatory in vitro model. Human promonocytic cells (U937 cells) were differentiated into macrophages and further cultured with magnesium-based extracts for 1 and 3 days (simulating early and late inflammatory reaction phases), either at 37 °C or at 39 °C (mimicking normal and inflammatory conditions, respectively). All extracts exhibit very good cytocompatibility on differentiated macrophages. Results suggest that M1 and even more M2 profiles of macrophage were stimulated by the extracts of Mg. Furthermore, Mg–10Gd and Mg–2Ag extracts introduced a nuancing effect by rather inhibiting macrophage M1 profile. Magnesium-based biomaterials could thus induce a faster inflammation resolution while improving tissue repair.Statement of SignificanceMacrophage are the key-cells during inflammation and can influence the fate of tissue healing and implant performance. Magnesium-based implants are biodegradable and bioactive. Here we selected an in vitro system to model early and late inflammation and effect of pyrexia (37 °C versus 39 °C). We showed the beneficial and nuancing effects of magnesium (Mg) and the selected alloying elements (silver (Ag) and gadolinium (Gd)) on the macrophage polarisation. Mg extracts exacerbated simultaneously the macrophage M1 and M2 profiles while Mg–2Ag and Mg–10Gd rather inhibited the M1 differentiation. Furthermore, 39 °C exhibited protective effect by either decreasing cytokine production or promoting anti-inflammatory ones, with or without extracts. Mg-based biomaterials could thus induce a faster inflammation resolution while improving tissue repair.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Wear particles induce a new macrophage phenotype with the potential to
           accelerate material corrosion within total hip replacement interfaces
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Divya Rani Bijukumar, Shruti Salunkhe, Guoxing Zheng, Mark Barba, Deborah J. Hall, Robin Pourzal, Mathew T. MathewEvidence that macrophages can play a role in accelerating corrosion in CoCrMo alloy in total hip replacement (THR) interfaces leads to questions regarding the underlying cellular mechanisms and immunological responses. Hence, we evaluated the role of macrophages in corrosion processes using the cell culture supernatant from different conditions and the effect of wear particles on macrophage dynamics. Monocytes were exposed to CoCrMo wear particles and their effect on macrophage differentiation was investigated by comparisons with M1 and M2 macrophage differentiation. Corrosion associated macrophages (MCA macrophages) exhibited upregulation of TNF-α, iNOS, STAT-6, and PPARG and down-regulation of CD86 and ARG, when compared to M1 and M2 macrophages. MCA cells also secreted higher levels of IL-8, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, and IL-12p70 than M1 macrophages and/or M2 macrophages. Our findings revealed variation in macrophage phenotype (MCA) induced by CoCrMo wear particles in generating a chemical environment that induces cell-accelerated corrosion of CoCrMo alloy at THR modular interfaces.Statement of SignificanceFretting wear and corrosion within the implant's modular taper junction are prominent causes of implant failure, as they promote the release of corrosion products and subsequent development of adverse local tissue reactions. Being a multifactorial process, several in vitro models have been developed to recreate the in vivo corrosion process, often summarized as mechanically-assisted crevice corrosion. Considering the excellent corrosion properties of CoCrMo alloy, the severity of chemically-generated damage observed at the modular interface has been surprising and poorly understood. The aim of the current study is to provide a better understanding of macrophages and their plasticity at the THR taper interface when they encounter wear debris from CoCrMo alloy. This is a preliminary study along the path towards determining the mechanism(s) of CAC.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Local intragranular misorientation accelerates corrosion in biodegradable
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Wenhui Wang, Hongliu Wu, Yu Sun, Jun Yan, Lei Zhang, Shaoxiang Zhang, Jiahua Ni, Yang Song, Xiaonong ZhangMg-based implants are used in biomedical applications predominantly because of their degradable property. In this paper, the effect of local misorientations (intragranular misorientation) on the corrosion behavior of high-purity Mg (HPM) was systematically investigated according to microstructure characterization and corrosion measurements. The results showed that local misorientation introduced into grains by deformation could result in corrosion around the grain boundary (GB), which ultimately reduces the corrosion resistance of HPM. After removing the local misorientation by annealing, the corrosion around GB could be eliminated. This work is expected to inspire better control over the degradation behaviors of biomedical Mg through microstructure design to be used for various biomedical applications.Statement of significance1. Fine grains, fine grains with large local misorientation, and coarse grains could be obtained, respectively, in high-purity Mg by sequential hot rolling, compression deformation, and annealing treatments.2. Large local misorientation introduced into grains could lead to corrosion around the grain boundary and ultimately reduce corrosion resistance.3. In the absence of local misorientation, refining grain size could improve the corrosion resistance of Mg.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
  • Ruthenium oxide based microelectrode arrays for in vitro and in vivo
           neural recording and stimulation
    • Abstract: Publication date: 1 January 2020Source: Acta Biomaterialia, Volume 101Author(s): Rahul Atmaramani, Bitan Chakraborty, Rashed T. Rihani, Joshua Usoro, Audrey Hammack, Justin Abbott, Patrick Nnoromele, Bryan J. Black, Joseph J. Pancrazio, Stuart F. CoganWe have characterized the in vitro and in vivo extracellular neural recording and stimulation properties of ruthenium oxide (RuOx) based microelectrodes. Cytotoxicity and functional neurotoxicity assays were carried out to confirm the in vitro biocompatibility of RuOx. Material extract assays, in accordance to ISO protocol “10993-5: Biological evaluation of medical devices”, revealed no significant effect on neuronal cell viability or the functional activity of cortical networks. In vitro microelectrode arrays (MEAs), with indium tin oxide (ITO) sites modified with sputtered iridium oxide (IrOx) and RuOx in a single array, were developed for a direct comparison of electrochemical and recording performance of RuOx to ITO and IrOx deposited microelectrode sites. The impedance of the RuOx-coated electrodes measured by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was notably lower than that of ITO electrodes, resulting in robust extracellular recordings from cortical networks in vitro. We found comparable signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) for RuOx and IrOx, both significantly higher than the SNR for ITO. RuOx-based MEAs were also fabricated and implanted in the rat motor cortex to demonstrate manufacturability of the RuOx processing and acute recording capabilities in vivo. We observed single-unit extracellular action potentials with a SNR>22, representing a first step for neurophysiological recordings in vivo with RuOx based microelectrodes.Statement of significanceA critical challenge in neural interface technology is the development of microelectrodes that have recording and electrical stimulation capabilities suitable for bidirectional communication between the external electronic device and the nervous system. The present study explores the feasibility and functional capabilities of ruthenium oxide microelectrodes as a neural interface. Significant improvement in electrochemical properties and neuronal recordings are reported when compared to commercially available indium tin oxide and was similar to that of iridium oxide electrodes. The data demonstrate the potential for future development of chronic neural interfaces using ruthenium oxide based microelectrodes for recording and stimulation.Graphical abstractImage, graphical abstract
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