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Polymer-Matrix Composites for Tissue Applications

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2021) | Viewed by 4071

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Institute of Materials Engineering, Cracow University of Technology, Cracow, Poland
Interests: materials; polymers; synthesis; biomaterials; biotechnology; material characterization; nanomaterials; nanomaterials synthesis; thin films and nanotechnology; composites, coatings
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Dear Colleagues,

The polymeric materials used in implantology in general exhibit a set of unfavorable mechanical properties, such as mechanical strength, Young's modulus and crack resistance. An improvement of these characteristics is created by composite materials, in which the second phase can impart appropriate mechanical and biological properties. Possibility to produce materials with controlled mechanical properties and biological behavior is provided by polymer composites (biostable and bioresorbable) containing a second phase of bioactive agent in the form of particles or fibers. The use of resorbable matrices leads to a multifunctional implants in which after the fulfillment of biomechanical function (fixation) and after the resorption of the polymer phase and can serve as a scaffold for bone growth.

The polymer matrix is the main component and the framework for polymer composites. The matrix plays the role of excipient and sustains the shape. The microstructure, chemical composition, cross-linking degree, length of chains of polymeric base is important and involve specific physicochemical and mechanical properties of composites.

The segments and chains in the molecules of the polymer matrix may take different special conformations and arrangements to accommodate the passageway for ionic transport in the body.

Composites with addition of bioactive phase exhibit beneficial biological behavior as bioactive particles (originating from the HA, TCP) can act as anchor for bone tissue, which provides good bonding of implants with the living tissue. In case of biostable composites, introduction of particles or fibers into the polymer matrix can change the mechanism of interaction with the biological environment and thus affect the long-term operation of these implants.

Development of the polymer matrix composites is an important step towards creating a new generation of bioactive materials for applications in medicine and dentistry, which can become the basis for development of new implant and dental materials.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

   ● Bioresorbable polymer matrix composites in bone surgery
   ● Biostable polymer matrix composites in bone surgery
   ● Fiber reinforced composites
   ● Natural polymers (polysaccharides, proteins, etc.)
   ● Synthesized polymers (polyesters, polyetheretherketone, etc.)
   ● Chemical degradation of polymers in the body
   ● Stabilization for permanent implant
   ● Polymer degradation mechanism
   ● Kinetics for bioresorbable matrices
   ● Nanomaterials reinforced composites

Dr. Agnieszka Sobczak-Kupiec
Dr. Timothy E.L. Douglas
Guest Editors

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Published Papers (1 paper)

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15 pages, 2448 KiB  
Porous Silk Fibroin/Cellulose Hydrogels for Bone Tissue Engineering via a Novel Combined Process Based on Sequential Regeneration and Porogen Leaching
by Dennis Burger, Marco Beaumont, Thomas Rosenau and Yasushi Tamada
Molecules 2020, 25(21), 5097; - 03 Nov 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 3553
Scaffolds used for bone tissue engineering need to have a variety of features to accommodate bone cells. The scaffold should mimic natural bone, it should have appropriate mechanical strength, support cell differentiation to the osteogenic lineage, and offer adequate porosity to allow vascularization [...] Read more.
Scaffolds used for bone tissue engineering need to have a variety of features to accommodate bone cells. The scaffold should mimic natural bone, it should have appropriate mechanical strength, support cell differentiation to the osteogenic lineage, and offer adequate porosity to allow vascularization and bone in-growth. In this work, we aim at developing a new process to fabricate such materials by creating a porous composite material made of silk fibroin and cellulose as a suitable scaffold of bone tissue engineering. Silk fibroin and cellulose are both dissolved together in N,N-dimethylacetamide/LiCl and molded to a porous structure using NaCl powder. The hydrogels are prepared by a sequential regeneration process: cellulose is solidified by water vapor treatment, while the remaining silk fibroin in the hydrogel is insolubilized by methanol, which leads to a cellulose framework structure embedded in a silk fibroin matrix. Finally, the hydrogels are soaked in water to dissolve the NaCl for making a porous structure. The cellulose composition results in improving the mechanical properties for the hydrogels in comparison to the silk fibroin control material. The pore size and porosity are estimated at around 350 µm and 70%, respectively. The hydrogels support the differentiation of MC3T3 cells to osteoblasts and are expected to be a good scaffold for bone tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer-Matrix Composites for Tissue Applications)
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