Feature Papers in Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials

A special issue of Bioengineering (ISSN 2306-5354). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 21657

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Department of Innovation Engineering (DII), University of Salento, Via Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Interests: fault detection; sensor technologies; measurement techniques; monitoring and measurement systems; testing and characterization components; systems and monitoring equipment
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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, Via per Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Interests: biomaterials; scaffold; tissue engineering; material characterization; viscoelasticity; hydrogels; green chemistry; natural polymers
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Department of Information Engineering, Electronics and Telecommunications, Sapienza University of Rome, 00184 Rome, Italy
Interests: permittivity measurement; electrical and electronic instrumentation
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, biomedical engineering and biomaterials have fostered enormous scientific interest, with an important impact in terms of technological developments, patents, research activities and, last but not least, discoveries and innovative industrial products.

Tremendous progress has been reached in terms of innovative solutions in the fields of bioengineering, medical diagnosis, biosensors, devices and biomedical instrumentation including design, characterization and application-focused research. In particular, the introduction of the 4.0 paradigm has contributed to an epochal technological transition, including in the field of bioengineering.

On this basis, this feature Special Issue is devoted to innovative applications of advanced experimental tools based on machine learning and AI for medical diagnostics and smart sensing, predictive modelling, individualized surgery and computational modelling of biological systems. In this regard, original research articles, short communications, as well as review-type articles will be welcomed.

Dr. Andrea Cataldo
Dr. Christian Demitri
Dr. Emanuele Piuzzi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • development, design and characterization of biomaterials, biological tissues and bio-systems
  • bioengineering
  • medical diagnosis
  • biosensors, devices, lab-on-chip and organ-on-a-chip, biomedical instrumentation
  • smart sensing and predictive modelling
  • Industry-4.0-ehanced biomedical systems

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 43845 KiB  
Article
3D-Printed Medical-Grade Polycaprolactone (mPCL) Scaffold for the Surgical Treatment of Vaginal Prolapse and Abdominal Hernias
by Mairim Russo Serafini, Alexandra Mowat, Susanah Mustafa, Siamak Saifzadeh, Tara Shabab, Onur Bas, Nicholas O’Rourke, Dietmar W. Hutmacher and Flavia Medeiros Savi
Bioengineering 2023, 10(11), 1242; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10111242 - 24 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1268
Abstract
The expected outcome after a scaffold augmented hernia repair is the regeneration of a tissue composition strong enough to sustain biomechanical function over long periods. It is hypothesised that melt electrowriting (MEW) medical-grade polycaprolactone (mPCL) scaffolds loaded with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) will enhance [...] Read more.
The expected outcome after a scaffold augmented hernia repair is the regeneration of a tissue composition strong enough to sustain biomechanical function over long periods. It is hypothesised that melt electrowriting (MEW) medical-grade polycaprolactone (mPCL) scaffolds loaded with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) will enhance soft tissue regeneration in fascial defects in abdominal and vaginal sheep models. A pre-clinical evaluation of vaginal and abdominal hernia reconstruction using mPCL mesh scaffolds and polypropylene (PP) meshes was undertaken using an ovine model. Each sheep was implanted with both a PP mesh (control group), and a mPCL mesh loaded with PRP (experimental group) in both abdominal and vaginal sites. Mechanical properties of the tissue-mesh complexes were assessed with plunger tests. Tissue responses to the implanted meshes were evaluated via histology, immunohistochemistry and histomorphometry. At 6 months post-surgery, the mPCL mesh was less stiff than the PP mesh, but stiffer than the native tissue, while showing equitable collagen and vascular ingrowth when compared to PP mesh. The results of this pilot study were supportive of mPCL as a safe and effective biodegradable scaffold for hernia and vaginal prolapse repair, hence a full-scale long-term study (over 24–36 months) with an adequate sample size is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials)
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13 pages, 4442 KiB  
Article
Bio-Inspired Fiber Reinforcement for Aortic Valves: Scaffold Production Process and Characterization
by Christian A. Boehm, Christine Donay, Andreas Lubig, Stephan Ruetten, Mahmoud Sesa, Alicia Fernández-Colino, Stefanie Reese and Stefan Jockenhoevel
Bioengineering 2023, 10(9), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10091064 - 09 Sep 2023
Viewed by 940
Abstract
The application of tissue-engineered heart valves in the high-pressure circulatory system is still challenging. One possible solution is the development of biohybrid scaffolds with textile reinforcement to achieve improved mechanical properties. In this article, we present a manufacturing process of bio-inspired fiber reinforcement [...] Read more.
The application of tissue-engineered heart valves in the high-pressure circulatory system is still challenging. One possible solution is the development of biohybrid scaffolds with textile reinforcement to achieve improved mechanical properties. In this article, we present a manufacturing process of bio-inspired fiber reinforcement for an aortic valve scaffold. The reinforcement structure consists of polyvinylidene difluoride monofilament fibers that are biomimetically arranged by a novel winding process. The fibers were embedded and fixated into electrospun polycarbonate urethane on a cylindrical collector. The scaffold was characterized by biaxial tensile strength, bending stiffness, burst pressure and hemodynamically in a mock circulation system. The produced fiber-reinforced scaffold showed adequate acute mechanical and hemodynamic properties. The transvalvular pressure gradient was 3.02 ± 0.26 mmHg with an effective orifice area of 2.12 ± 0.22 cm2. The valves sustained aortic conditions, fulfilling the ISO-5840 standards. The fiber-reinforced scaffold failed in a circumferential direction at a stress of 461.64 ± 58.87 N/m and a strain of 49.43 ± 7.53%. These values were above the levels of tested native heart valve tissue. Overall, we demonstrated a novel manufacturing approach to develop a fiber-reinforced biomimetic scaffold for aortic heart valve tissue engineering. The characterization showed that this approach is promising for an in situ valve replacement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials)
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16 pages, 5679 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Stent Prototypes for the Eustachian Tube in Human Donor Bodies
by Lena Rosenbusch, Robert Schuon, Tamara Wilfling, Philipp Krüger, Kerstin Lebahn, Samuel John, Olga Sahmel, Niels Grabow, Marko Schulze, Andreas Wree, Klaus-Peter Schmitz, Tobias Stein, Thomas Lenarz and Gerrit Paasche
Bioengineering 2023, 10(6), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10060743 - 20 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1027
Abstract
Chronic otitis media is often connected to Eustachian tube dysfunction. As successful treatment cannot be guaranteed with the currently available options, the aim is to develop a stent for the Eustachian tube (ET). Over the course of this development, different prototypes were generated [...] Read more.
Chronic otitis media is often connected to Eustachian tube dysfunction. As successful treatment cannot be guaranteed with the currently available options, the aim is to develop a stent for the Eustachian tube (ET). Over the course of this development, different prototypes were generated and tested in ex vivo experiments. Four different prototypes of an ET stent and one commercially available coronary stent were implanted in the ET of seven human donor bodies. The position of the stents was verified by cone beam CT. The implanted ETs were harvested, embedded in resin and ground at 200 µm steps. Resulting images of the single steps were used to generate 3D models. The 3D models were then evaluated regarding position of the stent in the ET, its diameters, amount of squeezing, orientation of the axes and other parameters. Virtual reconstruction of the implanted ET was successful in all cases and revealed one incorrect stent placement. The cross-section increased for all metal stents in direction from the isthmus towards the pharyngeal orifice of the ET. Depending on the individual design of the metal stents (open or closed design), the shape varied also between different positions along a single stent. In contrast, the cross-section area and shape remained constant along the polymeric prototype. With the current investigation, insight into the behavior of different prototypes of ET stents was gained, which can help in defining the specifications for the intended ET stent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials)
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15 pages, 2573 KiB  
Article
Tailoring the Microarchitectures of 3D Printed Bone-like Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering Applications
by Eleonora Zenobi, Miriam Merco, Federico Mochi, Jacopo Ruspi, Raffaella Pecci, Rodolfo Marchese, Annalisa Convertino, Antonella Lisi, Costantino Del Gaudio and Mario Ledda
Bioengineering 2023, 10(5), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10050567 - 09 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2183
Abstract
Material extrusion (MEX), commonly referred to as fused deposition modeling (FDM) or fused filament fabrication (FFF), is a versatile and cost-effective technique to fabricate suitable scaffolds for tissue engineering. Driven by a computer-aided design input, specific patterns can be easily collected in an [...] Read more.
Material extrusion (MEX), commonly referred to as fused deposition modeling (FDM) or fused filament fabrication (FFF), is a versatile and cost-effective technique to fabricate suitable scaffolds for tissue engineering. Driven by a computer-aided design input, specific patterns can be easily collected in an extremely reproducible and repeatable process. Referring to possible skeletal affections, 3D-printed scaffolds can support tissue regeneration of large bone defects with complex geometries, an open major clinical challenge. In this study, polylactic acid scaffolds were printed resembling trabecular bone microarchitecture in order to deal with morphologically biomimetic features to potentially enhance the biological outcome. Three models with different pore sizes (i.e., 500, 600, and 700 µm) were prepared and evaluated by means of micro-computed tomography. The biological assessment was carried out seeding SAOS-2 cells, a bone-like cell model, on the scaffolds, which showed excellent biocompatibility, bioactivity, and osteoinductivity. The model with larger pores, characterized by improved osteoconductive properties and protein adsorption rate, was further investigated as a potential platform for bone-tissue engineering, evaluating the paracrine activity of human mesenchymal stem cells. The reported findings demonstrate that the designed microarchitecture, better mimicking the natural bone extracellular matrix, favors a greater bioactivity and can be thus regarded as an interesting option for bone-tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials)
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19 pages, 6330 KiB  
Article
Experimental Demonstration of Compact Polymer Mass Transfer Device Manufactured by Additive Manufacturing with Hydrogel Integration to Bio-Mimic the Liver Functions
by Ganesan Narendran, Avdhoot Walunj, A. Mohan Kumar, Praveen Jeyachandran, Nasser S. Awwad, Hala A. Ibrahium, M. R. Gorji and D. Arumuga Perumal
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040416 - 26 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1823
Abstract
In this paper, we designed and demonstrated a stimuli-responsive hydrogel that mimics the mass diffusion function of the liver. We have controlled the release mechanism using temperature and pH variations. Additive manufacturing technology was used to fabricate the device with nylon (PA-12), using [...] Read more.
In this paper, we designed and demonstrated a stimuli-responsive hydrogel that mimics the mass diffusion function of the liver. We have controlled the release mechanism using temperature and pH variations. Additive manufacturing technology was used to fabricate the device with nylon (PA-12), using selective laser sintering (SLS). The device has two compartment sections: the lower section handles the thermal management, and feeds temperature-regulated water into the mass transfer section of the upper compartment. The upper chamber has a two-layered serpentine concentric tube; the inner tube carries the temperature-regulated water to the hydrogel using the given pores. Here, the hydrogel is present in order to facilitate the release of the loaded methylene blue (MB) into the fluid. By adjusting the fluid’s pH, flow rate, and temperature, the deswelling properties of the hydrogel were examined. The weight of the hydrogel was maximum at 10 mL/min and decreased by 25.29% to 10.12 g for the flow rate of 50 mL/min. The cumulative MB release at 30 °C increased to 47% for the lower flow rate of 10 mL/min, and the cumulative release at 40 °C climbed to 55%, which is 44.7% more than at 30 °C. The MB release rates considerably increased when the pH dropped from 12 to 8, showing that the lower pH had a major impact on the release of MB from the hydrogel. Only 19% of the MB was released at pH 12 after 50 min, and after that, the release rate remained nearly constant. At higher fluid temperatures, the hydrogels lost approximately 80% of their water in just 20 min, compared to a loss of 50% of their water at room temperature. The outcomes of this study may contribute to further developments in artificial organ design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials)
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20 pages, 3951 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Blood Rheology and Inlet Boundary Conditions on Realistic Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms under Pulsatile Flow Conditions
by Konstantinos Tzirakis, Yiannis Kamarianakis, Nikolaos Kontopodis and Christos V. Ioannou
Bioengineering 2023, 10(2), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10020272 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1993
Abstract
Background: The effects of non-Newtonian rheology and boundary conditions on various pathophysiologies have been studied quite extensively in the literature. The majority of results present qualitative and/or quantitative conclusions that are not thoroughly assessed from a statistical perspective. Methods: The finite volume method [...] Read more.
Background: The effects of non-Newtonian rheology and boundary conditions on various pathophysiologies have been studied quite extensively in the literature. The majority of results present qualitative and/or quantitative conclusions that are not thoroughly assessed from a statistical perspective. Methods: The finite volume method was employed for the numerical simulation of seven patient-specific abdominal aortic aneurysms. For each case, five rheological models and three inlet velocity boundary conditions were considered. Outlier- and heteroscedasticity-robust ANOVA tests assessed the simultaneous effect of rheological specifications and boundary conditions on fourteen variables that capture important characteristics of vascular flows. Results: The selection of inlet velocity profiles appears as a more critical factor relative to rheological specifications, especially regarding differences in the oscillatory characteristics of computed flows. Response variables that relate to the average tangential force on the wall over the entire cycle do not differ significantly across alternative factor levels, as long as one focuses on non-Newtonian specifications. Conclusions: The two factors, namely blood rheological models and inlet velocity boundary condition, exert additive effects on variables that characterize vascular flows, with negligible interaction effects. Regarding thrombus-prone conditions, the Plug inlet profile offers an advantageous hemodynamic configuration with respect to the other two profiles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials)
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17 pages, 10333 KiB  
Article
Computational Study of Hemodynamic Field of an Occluded Artery Model with Anastomosis
by Panagiotis Parissis, Alexandros Romeos, Athanasios Giannadakis, Alexandros Kalarakis and Michail Peroulis
Bioengineering 2023, 10(2), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10020146 - 21 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1782
Abstract
In this research work, the hemodynamic field of an occluded artery with anastomosis by means of computational simulation has been studied. The main objective of the current study is the investigation of 3D flow field phenomena in the by-pass region and the effect [...] Read more.
In this research work, the hemodynamic field of an occluded artery with anastomosis by means of computational simulation has been studied. The main objective of the current study is the investigation of 3D flow field phenomena in the by-pass region and the effect of the bypass graft to stenosis volume flow ratio on their formation. The anastomosis type was end-to-side with a 45° angle, while stenosis imposed a 75% area blockage of the aorta vessel and the total volume flow was 220 lt/h. The computational study of the flow field was utilized via a laminar flow model and three turbulence models (k—ε RNG, standard k—ω, and k—ω SST). Numerical results were compared qualitatively with experimental visualizations carried out under four different flow conditions, varying according to the flow ratio between the stenosis and the anastomotic graft. Comparison between computational results and experimental visualization findings exhibited a good agreement. Results showed that SST k—ω turbulence models reproduce better visually obtained flow patterns. Furthermore, cross-sectional velocity distributions demonstrated two distinct flow patterns down the bypass graft, depending on the flow ratio. Low values of flow ratio are characterized by fluid rolling up, whereas for high values fluid volume twisting was observed. Finally, areas with low wall shear stresses were mapped, as these are more prone to postoperative degradation of the bypass graft due to the development of subendothelial hyperplasia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials)
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Review

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11 pages, 988 KiB  
Review
Current Knowledge on the Healing of the Extraction Socket: A Narrative Review
by Samuel E. Udeabor, Anja Heselich, Sarah Al-Maawi, Ali F. Alqahtani, Robert Sader and Shahram Ghanaati
Bioengineering 2023, 10(10), 1145; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10101145 - 29 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4165
Abstract
The concept of extraction socket healing has been severally researched and reported over the years, since tooth extraction remains one of the most common procedures performed in the dental clinic. Understanding this healing process is of utmost importance because the outcome has a [...] Read more.
The concept of extraction socket healing has been severally researched and reported over the years, since tooth extraction remains one of the most common procedures performed in the dental clinic. Understanding this healing process is of utmost importance because the outcome has a direct bearing on future prosthetic rehabilitation and, by extension, on patients’ esthetics and masticatory function, among others. This mini review, therefore, summarized the current knowledge on the different stages of socket healing, including the biologic and clinical events that occur following tooth extraction up until the complete closure of the socket. Additionally, the modeling of the alveolar bone/process post extraction, and the resultant dimensional changes that, altogether, shape the bone, were reviewed and documented. The effects of various socket preservation interventions to mitigate these dimensional changes, and therefore preserve the alveolar process in a condition suitable for future prosthetic rehabilitation, were highlighted. Finally, a review of some of the factors that influence the entire process was also carried out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials)
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13 pages, 611 KiB  
Review
Three-Dimensional Bioprinting of Human Organs and Tissues: Bioethical and Medico-Legal Implications Examined through a Scoping Review
by Giovanna Ricci, Filippo Gibelli and Ascanio Sirignano
Bioengineering 2023, 10(9), 1052; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10091052 - 07 Sep 2023
Viewed by 2016
Abstract
Three-dimensional bioprinting is a rapidly evolving technology that holds the promise of addressing the increasing demand for organs, tissues, and personalized medicine. By employing computer-aided design and manufacturing processes, 3D bioprinting allows for the precise deposition of living cells, biomaterials, and biochemicals to [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional bioprinting is a rapidly evolving technology that holds the promise of addressing the increasing demand for organs, tissues, and personalized medicine. By employing computer-aided design and manufacturing processes, 3D bioprinting allows for the precise deposition of living cells, biomaterials, and biochemicals to create functional human tissues and organs. The potential applications of this technology are vast, including drug testing and development, disease modeling, regenerative medicine, and ultimately, organ transplantation. However, as with any groundbreaking technology, 3D bioprinting presents several ethical, legal, and regulatory concerns that warrant careful consideration. As the technology progresses towards clinical applications, it is essential to address these challenges and establish appropriate frameworks to guide the responsible development of 3D bioprinting. This article, utilizing the Arksey and O’Malley scoping review model, is designed to scrutinize the bioethical implications, legal and regulatory challenges, and medico-legal issues that are intertwined with this rapidly evolving technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials)
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Other

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14 pages, 520 KiB  
Perspective
Uncovering the Correlation between COVID-19 and Neurodegenerative Processes: Toward a New Approach Based on EEG Entropic Analysis
by Andrea Cataldo, Sabatina Criscuolo, Egidio De Benedetto, Antonio Masciullo, Marisa Pesola and Raissa Schiavoni
Bioengineering 2023, 10(4), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10040435 - 29 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3485
Abstract
COVID-19 is an ongoing global pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. Although it primarily attacks the respiratory tract, inflammation can also affect the central nervous system (CNS), leading to chemo-sensory deficits such as anosmia and serious cognitive [...] Read more.
COVID-19 is an ongoing global pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. Although it primarily attacks the respiratory tract, inflammation can also affect the central nervous system (CNS), leading to chemo-sensory deficits such as anosmia and serious cognitive problems. Recent studies have shown a connection between COVID-19 and neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In fact, AD appears to exhibit neurological mechanisms of protein interactions similar to those that occur during COVID-19. Starting from these considerations, this perspective paper outlines a new approach based on the analysis of the complexity of brain signals to identify and quantify common features between COVID-19 and neurodegenerative disorders. Considering the relation between olfactory deficits, AD, and COVID-19, we present an experimental design involving olfactory tasks using multiscale fuzzy entropy (MFE) for electroencephalographic (EEG) signal analysis. Additionally, we present the open challenges and future perspectives. More specifically, the challenges are related to the lack of clinical standards regarding EEG signal entropy and public data that can be exploited in the experimental phase. Furthermore, the integration of EEG analysis with machine learning still requires further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Biomedical Engineering and Biomaterials)
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