Polymer Scaffold for Tissue Engineering Applications

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 11746

Special Issue Editors

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen 518055, China
Interests: mechanical properties; self-healing; biodegradable implant; bone and bones; biomedical hydrogels

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Guest Editor
College of Bioresources Chemical and Materials Engineering, Shaanxi University of Science & Technology, Xi’an 710021, China
Interests: biomass-based hydrogels; shape memory hydrogel; tough hydrogel; structure of hydrogel; physically crosslinked hydrogels

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Polymeric scaffolds have received intense interest in recent years due to their tailorable structure, properties, and biological function for supporting tissue restoration. Scaffolds based on new synthetic strategies or polymers are being developed at a fast pace to fulfill the complex demands of broad medical scenarios. Much effort has been exerted in not only the fabrication of advanced scaffolds but also in studying fundamental issues such as cell–scaffold interaction, long-term biocompatibility and degradability evaluation, and the integration of biofunctions with other medical technologies. This Special Issue aims to collect and share cutting-edge research papers and reviews on the topic of “Polymer Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering Applications”, including: 

  • Biomimetic polymeric scaffolds for specific functions;
  • Conductive polymeric scaffolds and biosensors;
  • Fabrication and modification of polymeric scaffolds for directing cell behaviors;
  • Smart and environmental responsive polymeric scaffolds;
  • Polymeric scaffolds for controlled delivery of bioactive molecules
  • Novel technologies, mechanisms, and applications of polymeric scaffolds in tissue engineering

Dr. Ju Fang
Dr. Huijie Zhang
Guest Editors

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Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 8437 KiB  
Article
Supercritical Impregnation of Mangifera indica Leaves Extracts into Porous Conductive PLGA-PEDOT Scaffolds
by Diego Valor, Ignacio García-Casas, Antonio Montes, Ella Danese, Clara Pereyra and Enrique Martínez de la Ossa
Polymers 2024, 16(1), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16010133 - 30 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1004
Abstract
Plant leaves, such as those from Mangifera indica, represent a potential utilization of waste due to their richness in bioactive compounds. Supercritical CO2 allows these compounds to be incorporated into various matrices by impregnation. Combined with its ability to generate polymeric [...] Read more.
Plant leaves, such as those from Mangifera indica, represent a potential utilization of waste due to their richness in bioactive compounds. Supercritical CO2 allows these compounds to be incorporated into various matrices by impregnation. Combined with its ability to generate polymeric scaffolds, it represents an attractive strategy for the production of biomedical devices. For this purpose, conjugated polymeric scaffolds of biodegradable PLGA (poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)) and PEDOT:PSS (poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)-poly(styrenesulfonate)), generated in situ by foaming, were employed for the supercritical impregnation of ethanolic mango leaves extract (MLE) in tissue engineering as a potential application. The extraction of MLE was performed by Enhanced Solvent Extraction. The effects of pressure (120–300 bar), temperature (35–55 °C), and depressurization rate (1–50 bar/min) on the physical/conductive properties and the impregnation of MLE were studied. The scaffolds have been characterized by liquid displacement, scanning electron microscope, resistance to conductivity techniques, measurements of impregnated load, antioxidant capacity and antimicrobial activity. Porosity values ranging 9–46% and conductivity values between 10−4–10−5 S/cm were obtained. High pressures, low temperatures and rapid depressurization favored the impregnation of bioactive compounds. Scaffolds with remarkable antioxidant activity were obtained (75.2–87.3% oxidation inhibition), demonstrating the ability to inhibit S. aureus bacterial growth (60.1 to 71.4%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Scaffold for Tissue Engineering Applications)
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14 pages, 34051 KiB  
Article
Remote Outcomes with Poly-ε-Caprolactone Aortic Grafts in Rats
by Anna A. Dokuchaeva, Aleksandra B. Mochalova, Tatyana P. Timchenko, Elena V. Kuznetsova, Kseniya S. Podolskaya, Oxana A. Pashkovskaya, Natalya A. Filatova, Andrey A. Vaver and Irina Yu. Zhuravleva
Polymers 2023, 15(21), 4304; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15214304 - 2 Nov 2023
Viewed by 953
Abstract
Poly-ε-caprolactone ((1,7)-polyoxepan-2-one; PCL) is a biodegradable polymer widely used in various fields of bioengineering, but its behavior in long-term studies appears to depend on many conditions, such as application specificity, chemical structure, in vivo test systems, and even environmental conditions in which the [...] Read more.
Poly-ε-caprolactone ((1,7)-polyoxepan-2-one; PCL) is a biodegradable polymer widely used in various fields of bioengineering, but its behavior in long-term studies appears to depend on many conditions, such as application specificity, chemical structure, in vivo test systems, and even environmental conditions in which the construction is exploited in. In this study, we offer an observation of the remote outcomes of PCL tubular grafts for abdominal aorta replacement in an in vivo experiment on a rat model. Adult Wistar rats were implanted with PCL vascular matrices and observed for 180 days. The results of ultrasound diagnostics and X-ray tomography (CBCT) show that the grafts maintained patency for the entire follow-up period without thrombosis, leakage, or interruptions, but different types of tissue reactions were found at this time point. By the day of examination, all the implants revealed a confluent endothelial monolayer covering layers of hyperplastic neointima formed on the luminal surface of the grafts. Foreign body reactions were found in several explants including those without signs of stenosis. Most of the scaffolds showed a pronounced infiltration with fibroblastic cells. All the samples revealed subintimal calcium phosphate deposits. A correlation between chondroid metaplasia in profound cells of neointima and the process of mineralization was supported by immunohistochemical (IHC) staining for S100 proteins and EDS mapping. Microscopy showed that the scaffolds with an intensive inflammatory response or formed fibrotic capsules retain their fibrillar structure even on day 180 after implantation, but matrices infiltrated with viable cells partially save the original fibrillary network. This research highlights the advantages of PCL vascular scaffolds, such as graft permeability, revitalization, and good surgical outcomes. The disadvantages are low biodegradation rates and exceptionally high risks of mineralization and intimal hyperplasia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Scaffold for Tissue Engineering Applications)
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17 pages, 4074 KiB  
Article
PEDOT-Coated PLA Fibers Electrospun from Solutions Incorporating Fe(III)Tosylate in Different Solvents by Vapor-Phase Polymerization for Neural Regeneration
by Laura S. Pires, Diogo S. Melo, João P. Borges and Célia R. Henriques
Polymers 2023, 15(19), 4004; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15194004 - 5 Oct 2023
Viewed by 993
Abstract
Therapeutic solutions for injuries in the peripheral nervous system are limited and not existing in the case of the central nervous system. The electrical stimulation of cells through a cell-supporting conductive scaffold may contribute to new therapeutic solutions for nerve regeneration. In this [...] Read more.
Therapeutic solutions for injuries in the peripheral nervous system are limited and not existing in the case of the central nervous system. The electrical stimulation of cells through a cell-supporting conductive scaffold may contribute to new therapeutic solutions for nerve regeneration. In this work, biocompatible Polylactic acid (PLA) fibrous scaffolds incorporating Fe(III)Tosylate (FeTos) were produced by electrospinning a mixture of PLA/FeTos solutions towards a rotating cylinder, inducing fiber alignment. Fibers were coated with the conductive polymer Poly(3,4 ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) formed by vapor-phase polymerization of EDOT at 70 °C for 2 h. Different solvents (ETH, DMF and THF) were used as FeTos solvents to investigate the impact on the scaffold’s conductivity. Scaffold conductivity was estimated to be as high as 1.50 × 10−1 S/cm when FeTos was dissolved in DMF. In vitro tests were performed to evaluate possible scaffold cytotoxicity, following ISO 10993-5, revealing no cytotoxic effects. Differentiation and growth of cells from the neural cell line SH-SY5Y seeded on the scaffolds were also assessed, with neuritic extensions observed in cells differentiated in neurons with retinoic acid. These extensions tended to follow the preferential alignment of the scaffold fibers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Scaffold for Tissue Engineering Applications)
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20 pages, 4369 KiB  
Article
Virtual Design of 3D-Printed Bone Tissue Engineered Scaffold Shape Using Mechanobiological Modeling: Relationship of Scaffold Pore Architecture to Bone Tissue Formation
by Adel Alshammari, Fahad Alabdah, Weiguang Wang and Glen Cooper
Polymers 2023, 15(19), 3918; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15193918 - 28 Sep 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1596
Abstract
Large bone defects are clinically challenging, with up to 15% of these requiring surgical intervention due to non-union. Bone grafts (autographs or allografts) can be used but they have many limitations, meaning that polymer-based bone tissue engineered scaffolds (tissue engineering) are a more [...] Read more.
Large bone defects are clinically challenging, with up to 15% of these requiring surgical intervention due to non-union. Bone grafts (autographs or allografts) can be used but they have many limitations, meaning that polymer-based bone tissue engineered scaffolds (tissue engineering) are a more promising solution. Clinical translation of scaffolds is still limited but this could be improved by exploring the whole design space using virtual tools such as mechanobiological modeling. In tissue engineering, a significant research effort has been expended on materials and manufacturing but relatively little has been focused on shape. Most scaffolds use regular pore architecture throughout, leaving custom or irregular pore architecture designs unexplored. The aim of this paper is to introduce a virtual design environment for scaffold development and to illustrate its potential by exploring the relationship of pore architecture to bone tissue formation. A virtual design framework has been created utilizing a mechanical stress finite element (FE) model coupled with a cell behavior agent-based model to investigate the mechanobiological relationships of scaffold shape and bone tissue formation. A case study showed that modifying pore architecture from regular to irregular enabled between 17 and 33% more bone formation within the 4–16-week time periods analyzed. This work shows that shape, specifically pore architecture, is as important as other design parameters such as material and manufacturing for improving the function of bone tissue scaffold implants. It is recommended that future research be conducted to both optimize irregular pore architectures and to explore the potential extension of the concept of shape modification beyond mechanical stress to look at other factors present in the body. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Scaffold for Tissue Engineering Applications)
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18 pages, 3027 KiB  
Article
Bacterial Inhibition and Osteogenic Potentials of Sr/Zn Co-Doped Nano-Hydroxyapatite-PLGA Composite Scaffold for Bone Tissue Engineering Applications
by Mozan Hassan, Abbas Khaleel, Sherif Mohamed Karam, Ali Hassan Al-Marzouqi, Ihtesham ur Rehman and Sahar Mohsin
Polymers 2023, 15(6), 1370; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15061370 - 9 Mar 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2267
Abstract
Bacterial infection associated with bone grafts is one of the major challenges that can lead to implant failure. Treatment of these infections is a costly endeavor; therefore, an ideal bone scaffold should merge both biocompatibility and antibacterial activity. Antibiotic-impregnated scaffolds may prevent bacterial [...] Read more.
Bacterial infection associated with bone grafts is one of the major challenges that can lead to implant failure. Treatment of these infections is a costly endeavor; therefore, an ideal bone scaffold should merge both biocompatibility and antibacterial activity. Antibiotic-impregnated scaffolds may prevent bacterial colonization but exacerbate the global antibiotic resistance problem. Recent approaches combined scaffolds with metal ions that have antimicrobial properties. In our study, a unique strontium/zinc (Sr/Zn) co-doped nanohydroxyapatite (nHAp) and Poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) -(PLGA) composite scaffold was fabricated using a chemical precipitation method with different ratios of Sr/Zn ions (1%, 2.5%, and 4%). The scaffolds’ antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus were evaluated by counting bacterial colony-forming unit (CFU) numbers after direct contact with the scaffolds. The results showed a dose-dependent reduction in CFU numbers as the Zn concentration increased, with 4% Zn showing the best antibacterial properties of all the Zn-containing scaffolds. PLGA incorporation in Sr/Zn-nHAp did not affect the Zn antibacterial activity and the 4% Sr/Zn-nHAp-PLGA scaffold showed a 99.7% bacterial growth inhibition. MTT (3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) cell viability assay showed that Sr/Zn co-doping supported osteoblast cell proliferation with no apparent cytotoxicity and the highest doping percentage in the 4% Sr/Zn-nHAp-PLGA was found to be ideal for cell growth. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate the potential for a 4% Sr/Zn-nHAp-PLGA scaffold with enhanced antibacterial activity and cytocompatibility as a suitable candidate for bone regeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Scaffold for Tissue Engineering Applications)
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22 pages, 41022 KiB  
Article
Biocompatibility Study of Hydrogel Biopolymer Scaffold with Encapsulated Mesenchymal Stem Cells
by Marfa N. Egorikhina, Lidia B. Timofeeva, Daria D. Linkova, Yulia P. Rubtsova, Marina L. Bugrova, Irina N. Charykova, Maxim G. Ryabkov, Irina I. Kobyakova, Ekaterina A. Farafontova and Diana Y. Aleynik
Polymers 2023, 15(6), 1337; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15061337 - 7 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2038
Abstract
One of the key and actively developing areas of regenerative medicine is tissue-engineering. There is no doubt that the use of tissue-engineering products can have a significant impact on the efficiency of repair of damaged tissues and organs. However, before being used in [...] Read more.
One of the key and actively developing areas of regenerative medicine is tissue-engineering. There is no doubt that the use of tissue-engineering products can have a significant impact on the efficiency of repair of damaged tissues and organs. However, before being used in clinical practice, tissue-engineering products require thorough preclinical studies to confirm their safety and efficacy, both with in vitro models and in experimental animals. This paper presents preclinical studies of a tissue-engineered construct, based on a hydrogel biopolymer scaffold carrier (consisting of blood plasma cryoprecipitate and collagen) with encapsulated mesenchymal stem cells, to evaluate its biocompatibility in vivo. The results were analyzed using histomorphology and transmission electron microscopy. It was shown that when implanted into animal (rat) tissues, the implants were completely replaced by connective tissue components. We also confirmed that no acute inflammation occurred in response to the scaffold implantation. The observed processes of cell recruitment to the scaffold from the surrounding tissues, the active formation of collagen fibers and the absence of acute inflammation testified that the regeneration process was ongoing in the implantation area. Thus, the presented tissue-engineered construct shows promise for becoming an effective tool for regenerative medicine in the future and may be used, in particular, to repair soft tissues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Scaffold for Tissue Engineering Applications)
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21 pages, 6148 KiB  
Article
Interactive Effects of Copper-Doped Urological Implants with Tissue in the Urinary Tract for the Inhibition of Cell Adhesion and Encrustation in the Animal Model Rat
by Wolfgang Kram, Henrike Rebl, Julia E. de la Cruz, Antonia Haag, Jürgen Renner, Thomas Epting, Armin Springer, Federico Soria, Marion Wienecke and Oliver W. Hakenberg
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3324; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163324 - 16 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1870
Abstract
The insertion of a ureteral stent provides acute care by restoring urine flow and alleviating urinary retention or dysfunction. The problems of encrustation, bacterial colonization and biofilm formation become increasingly important when ureteral stents are left in place for a longer period of [...] Read more.
The insertion of a ureteral stent provides acute care by restoring urine flow and alleviating urinary retention or dysfunction. The problems of encrustation, bacterial colonization and biofilm formation become increasingly important when ureteral stents are left in place for a longer period of time. One way to reduce encrustation and bacterial adherence is to modify the stent surface with a diamond-like carbon coating, in combination with copper doping. The biocompatibilities of the Elastollan® base material and the a-C:H/Cu-mulitilayer coating were tested in synthetic urine. The copper content in bladder tissue was determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy and in blood and in urine by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Encrustations on the materials were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. A therapeutic window for copper ions of 0.5–1.0 mM was determined to kill bacteria without affecting human urothelial cells. In the rat animal model, it was found that copper release did not reach toxic concentrations in the affecting tissue of the urinary tract or in the blood. The encrustation behavior of the surfaces showed that the roughness of the amorphous carbon layer with the copper doping is probably the causal factor for the higher encrustation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymer Scaffold for Tissue Engineering Applications)
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