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Nanostructured Materials: Synthesis, Functionalization and Applications in Biomedicine

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 10389

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Research Center, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200050, China
Interests: nanostructured materials; biomaterials; drug delivery; bone defect repair; skin wound healing; bioimaging; anti-tumor
Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Research Center, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200050, China
Interests: hydroxyapatite; nanowires; biocompatible electronic devices; battery

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nanostructured materials are a class of materials whose constituting building units have sizes ranging from 1 to 100 nm in one, two or three dimensions. Over the past several decades, nanostructured materials have drawn extensive attention worldwide due to their unique and attractive properties. The high surface-to-volume ratio, ability for surface functionalization, and other superior properties of nanostructured materials provide promising applications in a variety of fields including nanomedicine. As a result, nanostructured materials have become a popular and rapidly evolving research field, and have demonstrated promising potential in solving various biomedical problems that cannot be addressed via traditional techniques. Various types of inorganic and organic nanostructured materials—including quantum dots, nanoparticles, nanospheres, nanorods, nanowires, nanotubes, nanosheets, mesoporous materials, and nanocomposites—have been synthesized and investigated for applications in various biomedical fields, such as drug delivery, bone defect repair, orthopedic surgery, tooth repair, skin wound healing, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, anti-tumor therapy, biosensing, bioimaging, diagnosis and therapy.

This Special Issue on “Nanostructured Materials: Synthesis, Functionalization and Applications in Biomedicine” aims to gather original interdisciplinary research on the recent progress in nanostructured materials for biomedical applications. This Special Issue focuses on all aspects of research regarding the design strategy, synthesis, characterization, functionalization and biomedical applications of nanostructured materials. It is our great pleasure to invite researchers in the relevant fields to contribute original research manuscripts, including full research papers, short communications, and reviews within the scope of this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Ying-Jie Zhu
Dr. Heng Li
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

  • nanostructured materials
  • biomaterials
  • dental materials
  • biomedicine
  • biomedical applications
  • drug delivery
  • bone defect repair
  • orthopedic surgery
  • skin wound healing
  • anti-tumor
  • biosensing
  • bioimaging
  • diagnosis
  • therapy

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 1058 KiB  
Article
Luminescent Alendronic Acid-Conjugated Micellar Nanostructures for Potential Application in the Bone-Targeted Delivery of Cholecalciferol
by Federica Rizzi, Annamaria Panniello, Roberto Comparelli, Ilaria Arduino, Elisabetta Fanizza, Rosa Maria Iacobazzi, Maria Grazia Perrone, Marinella Striccoli, Maria Lucia Curri, Antonio Scilimati, Nunzio Denora and Nicoletta Depalo
Molecules 2024, 29(10), 2367; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29102367 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 149
Abstract
Vitamin D, an essential micronutrient crucial for skeletal integrity and various non-skeletal physiological functions, exhibits limited bioavailability and stability in vivo. This study is focused on the development of polyethylene glycol (PEG)-grafted phospholipid micellar nanostructures co-encapsulating vitamin D3 and conjugated with alendronic acid, [...] Read more.
Vitamin D, an essential micronutrient crucial for skeletal integrity and various non-skeletal physiological functions, exhibits limited bioavailability and stability in vivo. This study is focused on the development of polyethylene glycol (PEG)-grafted phospholipid micellar nanostructures co-encapsulating vitamin D3 and conjugated with alendronic acid, aimed at active bone targeting. Furthermore, these nanostructures are rendered optically traceable in the UV–visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum via the simultaneous encapsulation of vitamin D3 with carbon dots, a newly emerging class of fluorescents, biocompatible nanoparticles characterized by their resistance to photobleaching and environmental friendliness, which hold promise for future in vitro bioimaging studies. A systematic investigation is conducted to optimize experimental parameters for the preparation of micellar nanostructures with an average hydrodynamic diameter below 200 nm, ensuring colloidal stability in physiological media while preserving the optical luminescent properties of the encapsulated carbon dots. Comprehensive chemical-physical characterization of these micellar nanostructures is performed employing optical and morphological techniques. Furthermore, their binding affinity for the principal inorganic constituent of bone tissue is assessed through a binding assay with hydroxyapatite nanoparticles, indicating significant potential for active bone-targeting. These formulated nanostructures hold promise for novel therapeutic interventions to address skeletal-related complications in cancer affected patients in the future. Full article
17 pages, 4032 KiB  
Article
Pioglitazone Phases and Metabolic Effects in Nanoparticle-Treated Cells Analyzed via Rapid Visualization of FLIM Images
by Biagio Todaro, Luca Pesce, Francesco Cardarelli and Stefano Luin
Molecules 2024, 29(9), 2137; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29092137 - 4 May 2024
Viewed by 1139
Abstract
Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) has proven to be a useful method for analyzing various aspects of material science and biology, like the supramolecular organization of (slightly) fluorescent compounds or the metabolic activity in non-labeled cells; in particular, FLIM phasor analysis (phasor-FLIM) has [...] Read more.
Fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) has proven to be a useful method for analyzing various aspects of material science and biology, like the supramolecular organization of (slightly) fluorescent compounds or the metabolic activity in non-labeled cells; in particular, FLIM phasor analysis (phasor-FLIM) has the potential for an intuitive representation of complex fluorescence decays and therefore of the analyzed properties. Here we present and make available tools to fully exploit this potential, in particular by coding via hue, saturation, and intensity the phasor positions and their weights both in the phasor plot and in the microscope image. We apply these tools to analyze FLIM data acquired via two-photon microscopy to visualize: (i) different phases of the drug pioglitazone (PGZ) in solutions and/or crystals, (ii) the position in the phasor plot of non-labelled poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles (NPs), and (iii) the effect of PGZ or PGZ-containing NPs on the metabolism of insulinoma (INS-1 E) model cells. PGZ is recognized for its efficacy in addressing insulin resistance and hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus, and polymeric nanoparticles offer versatile platforms for drug delivery due to their biocompatibility and controlled release kinetics. This study lays the foundation for a better understanding via phasor-FLIM of the organization and effects of drugs, in particular, PGZ, within NPs, aiming at better control of encapsulation and pharmacokinetics, and potentially at novel anti-diabetics theragnostic nanotools. Full article
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18 pages, 6131 KiB  
Article
A Rapid Self−Assembling Peptide Hydrogel for Delivery of TFF3 to Promote Gastric Mucosal Injury Repair
by Jialei Chen, Jing Luo, Di Su, Na Lu, Jiawei Zhao and Zhongli Luo
Molecules 2024, 29(9), 1944; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29091944 - 24 Apr 2024
Viewed by 444
Abstract
Self-assembled peptide-based nanobiomaterials exhibit promising prospects for drug delivery applications owing to their commendable biocompatibility and biodegradability, facile tissue uptake and utilization, and minimal or negligible unexpected toxicity. TFF3 is an active peptide autonomously secreted by gastric mucosal cells, possessing multiple biological functions. [...] Read more.
Self-assembled peptide-based nanobiomaterials exhibit promising prospects for drug delivery applications owing to their commendable biocompatibility and biodegradability, facile tissue uptake and utilization, and minimal or negligible unexpected toxicity. TFF3 is an active peptide autonomously secreted by gastric mucosal cells, possessing multiple biological functions. It acts on the surface of the gastric mucosa, facilitating the repair process of gastric mucosal damage. However, when used as a drug, TFF3 faces significant challenges, including short retention time in the gastric mucosal cavity and deactivation due to degradation by stomach acid. In response to this challenge, we developed a self−assembled short peptide hydrogel, Rqdl10, designed as a delivery vehicle for TFF3. Our investigation encompasses an assessment of its properties, biocompatibility, controlled release of TFF3, and the mechanism underlying the promotion of gastric mucosal injury repair. Congo red/aniline blue staining revealed that Rqdl10 promptly self-assembled in PBS, forming hydrogels. Circular dichroism spectra indicated the presence of a stable β-sheet secondary structure in the Rqdl10 hydrogel. Cryo-scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy observations demonstrated that the Rqdl10 formed vesicle-like structures in the PBS, which were interconnected to construct a three-dimensional nanostructure. Moreover, the Rqdl10 hydrogel exhibited outstanding biocompatibility and could sustainably and slowly release TFF3. The utilization of the Rqdl10 hydrogel as a carrier for TFF3 substantially augmented its proliferative and migratory capabilities, while concurrently bolstering its anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic attributes following gastric mucosal injury. Our findings underscore the immense potential of the self-assembled peptide hydrogel Rqdl10 for biomedical applications, promising significant contributions to healthcare science. Full article
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19 pages, 6964 KiB  
Article
Synergistic Effects of AgNPs and Biochar: A Potential Combination for Combating Lung Cancer and Pathogenic Bacteria
by Maha N. Abu Hajleh, Muhamad Al-limoun, Amjad Al-Tarawneh, Tahani J. Hijazin, Moath Alqaraleh, Khaled Khleifat, Osama Y. Al-Madanat, Yaseen Al Qaisi, Ahmad AlSarayreh, Ali Al-Samydai, Haitham Qaralleh and Emad A. S. Al-Dujaili
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4757; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124757 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1553
Abstract
The synthesis of reliable biological nanomaterials is a crucial area of study in nanotechnology. In this study, Emericella dentata was employed for the biosynthesis of AgNPs, which were then combined with synthesized biochar, a porous structure created through biomass pyrolysis. The synergistic effects [...] Read more.
The synthesis of reliable biological nanomaterials is a crucial area of study in nanotechnology. In this study, Emericella dentata was employed for the biosynthesis of AgNPs, which were then combined with synthesized biochar, a porous structure created through biomass pyrolysis. The synergistic effects of AgNPs and biochar were evaluated through the assessment of pro-inflammatory cytokines, anti-apoptotic gene expression, and antibacterial activity. Solid biosynthesized AgNPs were evaluated by XRD and SEM, with SEM images revealing that most of the AgNPs ranged from 10 to 80 nm, with over 70% being less than 40 nm. FTIR analysis indicated the presence of stabilizing and reducing functional groups in the AgNPs. The nanoemulsion’s zeta potential, hydrodynamic diameter, and particle distribution index were found to be −19.6 mV, 37.62 nm, and 0.231, respectively. Biochar, on the other hand, did not have any antibacterial effects on the tested bacterial species. However, when combined with AgNPs, its antibacterial efficacy against all bacterial species was significantly enhanced. Furthermore, the combined material significantly reduced the expression of anti-apoptotic genes and pro-inflammatory cytokines compared to individual treatments. This study suggests that low-dose AgNPs coupled with biochar could be a more effective method to combat lung cancer epithelial cells and pathogenic bacteria compared to either substance alone. Full article
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Review

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32 pages, 3046 KiB  
Review
Advancements in Nanosystems for Ocular Drug Delivery: A Focus on Pediatric Retinoblastoma
by Kevin Y. Wu, Xingao C. Wang, Maude Anderson and Simon D. Tran
Molecules 2024, 29(10), 2263; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29102263 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 362
Abstract
The eye’s complex anatomical structures present formidable barriers to effective drug delivery across a range of ocular diseases, from anterior to posterior segment pathologies. Emerging as a promising solution to these challenges, nanotechnology-based platforms—including but not limited to liposomes, dendrimers, and micelles—have shown [...] Read more.
The eye’s complex anatomical structures present formidable barriers to effective drug delivery across a range of ocular diseases, from anterior to posterior segment pathologies. Emerging as a promising solution to these challenges, nanotechnology-based platforms—including but not limited to liposomes, dendrimers, and micelles—have shown the potential to revolutionize ophthalmic therapeutics. These nanocarriers enhance drug bioavailability, increase residence time in targeted ocular tissues, and offer precise, localized delivery, minimizing systemic side effects. Focusing on pediatric ophthalmology, particularly on retinoblastoma, this review delves into the recent advancements in functionalized nanosystems for drug delivery. Covering the literature from 2017 to 2023, it comprehensively examines these nanocarriers’ potential impact on transforming the treatment landscape for retinoblastoma. The review highlights the critical role of these platforms in overcoming the unique pediatric eye barriers, thus enhancing treatment efficacy. It underscores the necessity for ongoing research to realize the full clinical potential of these innovative drug delivery systems in pediatric ophthalmology. Full article
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23 pages, 7526 KiB  
Review
Calcium Phosphate-Based Nanomaterials: Preparation, Multifunction, and Application for Bone Tissue Engineering
by Xin Chen, Huizhang Li, Yinhua Ma and Yingying Jiang
Molecules 2023, 28(12), 4790; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28124790 - 15 Jun 2023
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2840
Abstract
Calcium phosphate is the main inorganic component of bone. Calcium phosphate-based biomaterials have demonstrated great potential in bone tissue engineering due to their superior biocompatibility, pH-responsive degradability, excellent osteoinductivity, and similar components to bone. Calcium phosphate nanomaterials have gained more and more attention [...] Read more.
Calcium phosphate is the main inorganic component of bone. Calcium phosphate-based biomaterials have demonstrated great potential in bone tissue engineering due to their superior biocompatibility, pH-responsive degradability, excellent osteoinductivity, and similar components to bone. Calcium phosphate nanomaterials have gained more and more attention for their enhanced bioactivity and better integration with host tissues. Additionally, they can also be easily functionalized with metal ions, bioactive molecules/proteins, as well as therapeutic drugs; thus, calcium phosphate-based biomaterials have been widely used in many other fields, such as drug delivery, cancer therapy, and as nanoprobes in bioimaging. Thus, the preparation methods of calcium phosphate nanomaterials were systematically reviewed, and the multifunction strategies of calcium phosphate-based biomaterials have also been comprehensively summarized. Finally, the applications and perspectives of functionalized calcium phosphate biomaterials in bone tissue engineering, including bone defect repair, bone regeneration, and drug delivery, were illustrated and discussed by presenting typical examples. Full article
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24 pages, 5834 KiB  
Review
Cell Membrane Biomimetic Nanoparticles with Potential in Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease
by Xinyu Zhong, Yue Na, Shun Yin, Chang Yan, Jinlian Gu, Ning Zhang and Fang Geng
Molecules 2023, 28(5), 2336; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28052336 - 3 Mar 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2994
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is to blame for about 60% of dementia cases worldwide. The blood–brain barrier (BBB) prevents many medications for AD from having clinical therapeutic effects that can be used to treat the affected area. Many researchers have turned their attention to [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is to blame for about 60% of dementia cases worldwide. The blood–brain barrier (BBB) prevents many medications for AD from having clinical therapeutic effects that can be used to treat the affected area. Many researchers have turned their attention to cell membrane biomimetic nanoparticles (NPs) to solve this situation. Among them, NPs can extend the half-life of drugs in the body as the “core” of the wrapped drug, and the cell membrane acts as the “shell” of the wrapped NPs to functionalize the NPs, which can further improve the delivery efficiency of nano-drug delivery systems. Researchers are learning that cell membrane biomimetic NPs can circumvent the BBB’s restriction, prevent harm to the body’s immune system, extend the period that NPs spend in circulation, and have good biocompatibility and cytotoxicity, which increases efficacy of drug release. This review summarized the detailed production process and features of core NPs and further introduced the extraction methods of cell membrane and fusion methods of cell membrane biomimetic NPs. In addition, the targeting peptides for modifying biomimetic NPs to target the BBB to demonstrate the broad prospects of cell membrane biomimetic NPs drug delivery systems were summarized. Full article
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