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Materials for Healthcare

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 27592

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute for the Study of Nanostructured Materials, ISMN–CNR, Palermo, c/o Department ChiBioFarAm, University of Messina, 98166 Messina, Italy
Interests: materials chemistry; green chemistry; nanotechnology; environmental remediation; advanced materials; functional coating; colloidal nanoparticles; smart and hi-tech textiles; (waste)water treatment; multifunctional hybrid materials and nanocomposites; sensing technologies; bio-based blended polymers; circular economy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystem, National Research Council of Italy, 95121 Catania, Italy
Interests: design and fabrication of Si-based microelectronic and optoelectronic devices; integration of biological molecules in Si to fabricate biosensors; design and characterization of sensing systems for environmental and precision agriculture applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Bergamo viale Marconi, 5 - 24044 Dalmine (BG), Italy
Interests: colloidal chemistry; synthesis and characterization of organic–inorganic hybrid materials; polymer surfaces functionalization; synthesis of nanostructured materials and their applications for the development of sensors with a focus on wellness and healthcare applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on “Materials for Healthcare” offers an attractive forum to present recent results concerning the preparation and characterization of novel materials and their utilization for innovative performance that could be applied in a wide range of health care applications, such as medical diagnostics, protective coatings, telemedicine, as well as home healthcare. It can be considered as an interdisciplinary area, bridging together chemistry, biology, physics, as well as materials science and engineering. A variety of hybrid functional and innovative materials can be included in this research area ranging from chemistry, nanotechnology, pharmaceutical technology, engineering and applied science, to textile chemistry. The final goal is to assemble high-quality contributions on the synthesis, modification, characterization, and application of innovative materials for healthcare. The design of new nanostructured coatings by tuning the composition, structure, and surface properties will be introduced. The relation between these parameters, the physical-chemical characteristics, as well as the permeability, selectivity, reactivity, and durability of these materials will be explored. Novel applications in different fields will also be investigated, presenting innovative integration with electronic devices.

Dr. Maria Rosaria Plutino
Dr. Sebania Libertino
Dr. Giuseppe Rosace
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. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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

  • functional nanomaterials
  • smart systems
  • biosensors
  • drug delivery
  • tissue regeneration
  • molecular imprinted polymers
  • controlled release
  • nanocomposite coating
  • pharmaceuticals
  • biomaterials
  • bactericidal activity

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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9 pages, 2894 KiB  
Article
Multiscale Spectral Analysis on Lysozyme Aqueous Solutions in the Presence of PolyEthyleneGlycol
by Maria Teresa Caccamo and Salvatore Magazù
Molecules 2022, 27(24), 8760; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27248760 - 10 Dec 2022
Viewed by 992
Abstract
Infrared spectroscopy measurements were performed on Lysozyme aqueous solutions also in the presence of PolyEthylene Glycol (PEG 400) as a function of an increasing temperature from T = 27 °C to 90 °C, and, successively in sequence, by decreasing temperatures from T = [...] Read more.
Infrared spectroscopy measurements were performed on Lysozyme aqueous solutions also in the presence of PolyEthylene Glycol (PEG 400) as a function of an increasing temperature from T = 27 °C to 90 °C, and, successively in sequence, by decreasing temperatures from T = 90 °C to 27 °C. Data were analyzed by evaluating the spectral difference with respect to the initial spectrum collected at 27 °C. This procedure allows to quantitatively evaluate the thermal restraint related to the thermal scan from T = 27 °C to 90 °C, as well as to introduce a spectral resilience concerning the entire increasing and decreasing thermal paths which allow to highlight the bioprotectant effectiveness of low molecular weight PEG. In particular, the main purpose of the present work is to highlight the effects of a thermal treatment on a mixture of Lysozyme/water and of Lysozyme/water/PEG 400 during an increasing temperature scan, and then after a successive decreasing temperature scan, in order to highlight the bioprotectant role of PEG 400. On that score, an evaluation of the spectral distances of the registered spectra as a function of increasing and decreasing temperatures has been performed and analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Healthcare)
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11 pages, 2836 KiB  
Article
Stabilization Effects Induced by Trehalose on Creatine Aqueous Solutions Investigated by Infrared Spectroscopy
by Maria Teresa Caccamo and Salvatore Magazù
Molecules 2022, 27(19), 6310; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27196310 - 24 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1319
Abstract
Creatine is a very popular amino acid widely utilized in the sports world due to its functions mainly related to muscle building and increasing performance. The present work investigates the behavior of creatine aqueous solutions and of creatine aqueous in the presence of [...] Read more.
Creatine is a very popular amino acid widely utilized in the sports world due to its functions mainly related to muscle building and increasing performance. The present work investigates the behavior of creatine aqueous solutions and of creatine aqueous in the presence of trehalose as a function of time changes by means of Infrared spectroscopy. Infrared spectra have been gathered and studied over time for both the full spectrum and the intramolecular OH-stretching region for the two mixtures. This latter region was studied more specifically using a cutting-edge technique called Spectral Distance (SD). From this analysis of the spectral features of the investigated samples, it emerges that trehalose has a significant stabilizing effect on creatine aqueous solutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Healthcare)
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12 pages, 2394 KiB  
Article
Nanomechanical Properties of Articular Cartilage Due to the PRP Injection in Experimental Osteoarthritis in Rabbits
by Mikhail Ihnatouski, Jolanta Pauk, Boris Karev and Dmitrij Karev
Molecules 2020, 25(16), 3734; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25163734 - 15 Aug 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2534
Abstract
The purpose of this study was twofold. Firstly, we proposed a measurement protocol for the atomic force microscopy (AFM) method to determine the nanomechanical properties of articular cartilage in experimental osteoarthritis in rabbits. Then, we verified if mechanical properties can be evaluated with [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was twofold. Firstly, we proposed a measurement protocol for the atomic force microscopy (AFM) method to determine the nanomechanical properties of articular cartilage in experimental osteoarthritis in rabbits. Then, we verified if mechanical properties can be evaluated with AFM shortly after platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection. We hypothesized that the modulus determined by AFM indentation experiments could be utilized as a progressive disease marker during the treatment of osteoarthritis. The rabbits were equally divided into three groups of six: control (group 1); injections of saline (0.5 mL) and 10% surgical talc (Talcum Pharmaceutical®, Minsk, Belarus) were delivered into the right knee under the patella (group 2 and 3); and PRP was injected into the right knee (group 3). In group 2, the arithmetic average of absolute values (Ra) change was a 25% increase; the maximum peak height (Rp) increased by over 102%, while the mean spacing between local peaks (S) increased by 28% (p < 0.05). In group 3, Ra increased by 14% and Rp increased by 32%, while S decreased by 75% (p < 0.05). The Young’s modulus of the surface layers decreased by 18% as a result of induced model of osteoarthritis (IMO) (p < 0.05), and it increased by 9% (p < 0.05) as a result of PRP therapy, which means that the mechanical properties of cartilage were partially recovered. This research demonstrates that Young’s modulus utilized on a nanometer scale has potential to be a progressive disease marker during the treatment of osteoarthritis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Healthcare)
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Review

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19 pages, 2395 KiB  
Review
Application of Electrospun Water-Soluble Synthetic Polymers for Multifunctional Air Filters and Face Masks
by Gerardo Grasso, Daniela Zane, Sabrina Foglia and Roberto Dragone
Molecules 2022, 27(24), 8753; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27248753 - 9 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1454
Abstract
The worsening of air quality is an urgent human health issue of modern society. The outbreak of COVID-19 has made the improvement of air quality even more imperative, both for the general achievement of major health gains and to reduce the critical factors [...] Read more.
The worsening of air quality is an urgent human health issue of modern society. The outbreak of COVID-19 has made the improvement of air quality even more imperative, both for the general achievement of major health gains and to reduce the critical factors in the transmission of airborne diseases. Thus, the development of solutions for the filtration of airborne pollutants is pivotal. Electrospinning has gained wide attention as an effective fabrication technique for preparing ultrafine fibers which are specifically tailored for air filtration. Nevertheless, the utilization of harmful organic solvents is the major barrier for the large-scale applicability of electrospinning. The use of water-soluble synthetic polymers has attracted increasing attention as a ‘green’ solution in electrospinning. We reported an overview of the last five years of the scientific literature on the use of water-soluble synthetic polymers for the fabrication of multifunctional air filters layers. Most of recent studies have focused on polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). Various modifications of electrospun polymers have been also described. The use of water-soluble synthetic polymers can contribute to the scalability of electrospinning and pave the way to innovative applications. Further studies will be required to fully harness the potentiality of these ‘greener’ electrospinning processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Healthcare)
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41 pages, 9233 KiB  
Review
A Review of Stimuli-Responsive Smart Materials for Wearable Technology in Healthcare: Retrospective, Perspective, and Prospective
by Valentina Trovato, Silvia Sfameni, Giulia Rando, Giuseppe Rosace, Sebania Libertino, Ada Ferri and Maria Rosaria Plutino
Molecules 2022, 27(17), 5709; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27175709 - 5 Sep 2022
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 5450
Abstract
In recent years thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), the demand for the development of miniaturized and wearable sensors has skyrocketed. Among them, novel sensors for wearable medical devices are mostly needed. The aim of this review is to summarize the advancements [...] Read more.
In recent years thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), the demand for the development of miniaturized and wearable sensors has skyrocketed. Among them, novel sensors for wearable medical devices are mostly needed. The aim of this review is to summarize the advancements in this field from current points of view, focusing on sensors embedded into textile fabrics. Indeed, they are portable, lightweight, and the best candidates for monitoring biometric parameters. The possibility of integrating chemical sensors into textiles has opened new markets in smart clothing. Many examples of these systems are represented by color-changing materials due to their capability of altering optical properties, including absorption, reflectance, and scattering, in response to different external stimuli (temperature, humidity, pH, or chemicals). With the goal of smart health monitoring, nanosized sol–gel precursors, bringing coupling agents into their chemical structure, were used to modify halochromic dyestuffs, both minimizing leaching from the treated surfaces and increasing photostability for the development of stimuli-responsive sensors. The literature about the sensing properties of functionalized halochromic azo dyestuffs applied to textile fabrics is reviewed to understand their potential for achieving remote monitoring of health parameters. Finally, challenges and future perspectives are discussed to envisage the developed strategies for the next generation of functionalized halochromic dyestuffs with biocompatible and real-time stimuli-responsive capabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Healthcare)
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30 pages, 5199 KiB  
Review
Functional Nanohybrids and Nanocomposites Development for the Removal of Environmental Pollutants and Bioremediation
by Giulia Rando, Silvia Sfameni, Maurilio Galletta, Dario Drommi, Simone Cappello and Maria Rosaria Plutino
Molecules 2022, 27(15), 4856; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27154856 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 3530
Abstract
World population growth, with the consequent consumption of primary resources and production of waste, is progressively and seriously increasing the impact of anthropic activities on the environment and ecosystems. Environmental pollution deriving from anthropogenic activities is nowadays a serious problem that afflicts our [...] Read more.
World population growth, with the consequent consumption of primary resources and production of waste, is progressively and seriously increasing the impact of anthropic activities on the environment and ecosystems. Environmental pollution deriving from anthropogenic activities is nowadays a serious problem that afflicts our planet and that cannot be neglected. In this regard, one of the most challenging tasks of the 21st century is to develop new eco-friendly, sustainable and economically-sound technologies to remediate the environment from pollutants. Nanotechnologies and new performing nanomaterials, thanks to their unique features, such as high surface area (surface/volume ratio), catalytic capacity, reactivity and easy functionalization to chemically modulate their properties, represent potential for the development of sustainable, advanced and innovative products/techniques for environmental (bio)remediation. This review discusses the most recent innovations of environmental recovery strategies of polluted areas based on different nanocomposites and nanohybrids with some examples of their use in combination with bioremediation techniques. In particular, attention is focused on eco-friendly and regenerable nano-solutions and their safe-by-design properties to support the latest research and innovation on sustainable strategies in the field of environmental (bio)remediation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Healthcare)
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40 pages, 4090 KiB  
Review
Synthesis, Chemical–Physical Characterization, and Biomedical Applications of Functional Gold Nanoparticles: A Review
by Ileana Ielo, Giulia Rando, Fausta Giacobello, Silvia Sfameni, Angela Castellano, Maurilio Galletta, Dario Drommi, Giuseppe Rosace and Maria Rosaria Plutino
Molecules 2021, 26(19), 5823; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26195823 - 26 Sep 2021
Cited by 61 | Viewed by 6326
Abstract
Relevant properties of gold nanoparticles, such as stability and biocompatibility, together with their peculiar optical and electronic behavior, make them excellent candidates for medical and biological applications. This review describes the different approaches to the synthesis, surface modification, and characterization of gold nanoparticles [...] Read more.
Relevant properties of gold nanoparticles, such as stability and biocompatibility, together with their peculiar optical and electronic behavior, make them excellent candidates for medical and biological applications. This review describes the different approaches to the synthesis, surface modification, and characterization of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) related to increasing their stability and available features useful for employment as drug delivery systems or in hyperthermia and photothermal therapy. The synthetic methods reported span from the well-known Turkevich synthesis, reduction with NaBH4 with or without citrate, seeding growth, ascorbic acid-based, green synthesis, and Brust–Schiffrin methods. Furthermore, the nanosized functionalization of the AuNP surface brought about the formation of self-assembled monolayers through the employment of polymer coatings as capping agents covalently bonded to the nanoparticles. The most common chemical–physical characterization techniques to determine the size, shape and surface coverage of AuNPs are described underlining the structure–activity correlation in the frame of their applications in the biomedical and biotechnology sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Healthcare)
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17 pages, 7788 KiB  
Review
The Different Facets of Triclocarban: A Review
by Domenico Iacopetta, Alessia Catalano, Jessica Ceramella, Carmela Saturnino, Lara Salvagno, Ileana Ielo, Dario Drommi, Elisabetta Scali, Maria Rosaria Plutino, Giuseppe Rosace and Maria Stefania Sinicropi
Molecules 2021, 26(9), 2811; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26092811 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 47 | Viewed by 4327
Abstract
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, it was discovered that the substitution on aromatic rings of hydrogen atoms with chlorine yielded a novel chemistry of antimicrobials. However, within a few years, many of these compounds and formulations showed adverse effects, including human [...] Read more.
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, it was discovered that the substitution on aromatic rings of hydrogen atoms with chlorine yielded a novel chemistry of antimicrobials. However, within a few years, many of these compounds and formulations showed adverse effects, including human toxicity, ecotoxicity, and unwanted environmental persistence and bioaccumulation, quickly leading to regulatory bans and phase-outs. Among these, the triclocarban, a polychlorinated aromatic antimicrobial agent, was employed as a major ingredient of toys, clothing, food packaging materials, food industry floors, medical supplies, and especially of personal care products, such as soaps, toothpaste, and shampoo. Triclocarban has been widely used for over 50 years, but only recently some concerns were raised about its endocrine disruptive properties. In September 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned its use in over-the-counter hand and body washes because of its toxicity. The withdrawal of triclocarban has prompted the efforts to search for new antimicrobial compounds and several analogues of triclocarban have also been studied. In this review, an examination of different facets of triclocarban and its analogues will be analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Healthcare)
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