Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Polymer Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 February 2024) | Viewed by 20136

Special Issue Editors

Guangxi Key Laboratory of Manufacturing System and Advanced Manufacturing Technology, School of Mechanical Engineering, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
Interests: polymer scaffolds; additive manufacturing; tissue engineering; biomaterials; nanocomposites; functional materials; biological properties; mechanical properties; degradation properties; drug release
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Co-Guest Editor
Guangxi Key Laboratory of Manufacturing System and Advanced Manufacturing Technology, School of Mechanical Engineering, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
Interests: microfluidic and biochips; MEMS (microelectro-mechanical systems); microsensors; micro-nano machining; precision manufacturing; biological manufacturing; biomedical instruments; environmental monitorin
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College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, China
Interests: 3D/4D printing; biofabrication; shape memory; bone scaffold; biomaterials; function materials; polymers; nanocomposites
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Co-Guest Editor
School of Mechanical Engineering, Guangxi University, Nanning, China
Interests: intelligent manufacturing; additive manufacturing; 3D/4D printing; laser manufacturing; biomanufacturing; flexible electronics; bionic robot; intelligent monitoring and control
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I’m honored to accept the invitation of the MDPI Polymers Editorial Office to act as a Guest Editor for a new Special Issue, entitled "Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds" in the journal Polymers.

Polymers and their composites have become the most widely used biomaterials in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, due to their advantages of good biocompatibility, adjustable physical, chemical, and biological properties, good processed performance, etc. Their application area includes tissue engineering scaffolds, wound dressings, vascular stents, nerve guidance conduits, drug release carriers, etc.; Their material form includes scaffold, hydrogel, fiber, microsphere, etc.; Their preparation technology includes traditional preparation process and additive manufacturing technology or their combination.

The aim of this Special Issue is to highlight the research progress on polymers and their composites, especially in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, including but not limited to the following aspects: material and structure design, functionalization, preparation, characterization, performance evaluation, and biomedical application.

We sincerely invite you to submit your paper to this special issue and are looking forward to sharing your outstanding work with peers around the world.

Best wishes!
Dr. Wang Guo
Prof. Dr. Hui You
Dr. Pei Feng
Prof. Dr. Yu Long
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Polymers 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

  • polymer scaffolds
  • additive manufacturing
  • tissue engineering
  • biomaterials
  • nanocomposites
  • functional materials
  • biological properties
  • mechanical properties
  • degradation properties
  • drug release

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 7885 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Development of a Cellulose Acetate and Soy Protein-Based Scaffold for Nerve Regeneration
by Brandon Gutiérrez, María Eugenia González-Quijón, Paulina Martínez-Rodríguez, Josefa Alarcón-Apablaza, Karina Godoy, Diego Pulzatto Cury, María Florencia Lezcano, Daniel Vargas-Chávez and Fernando José Dias
Polymers 2024, 16(2), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16020216 - 12 Jan 2024
Viewed by 914
Abstract
Background: The elaboration of biocompatible nerve guide conduits (NGCs) has been studied in recent years as a treatment for total nerve rupture lesions (axonotmesis). Different natural polymers have been used in these studies, including cellulose associated with soy protein. The purpose of this [...] Read more.
Background: The elaboration of biocompatible nerve guide conduits (NGCs) has been studied in recent years as a treatment for total nerve rupture lesions (axonotmesis). Different natural polymers have been used in these studies, including cellulose associated with soy protein. The purpose of this report was to describe manufacturing NGCs suitable for nerve regeneration using the method of dip coating and evaporation of solvent with cellulose acetate (CA) functionalized with soy protein acid hydrolysate (SPAH). Methods: The manufacturing method and bacterial control precautions for the CA/SPAH NGCs were described. The structure of the NGCs was analyzed under a scanning electron microscope (SEM); porosity was analyzed with a degassing method using a porosimeter. Schwann cell (SCL 4.1/F7) biocompatibility of cell-seeded nerve guide conduits was evaluated with the MTT assay. Results: The method employed allowed an easy elaboration and customization of NGCs, free of bacteria, with pores in the internal surface, and the uniform wall thickness allowed manipulation, which showed flexibility; additionally, the sample was suturable. The NGCs showed initial biocompatibility with Schwann cells, revealing cells adhered to the NGC structure after 5 days. Conclusions: The fabricated CA/SPAH NGCs showed adequate features to be used for peripheral nerve regeneration studies. Future reports are necessary to discuss the ideal concentration of CA and SPAH and the mechanical and physicochemical properties of this biomaterial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds)
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18 pages, 6932 KiB  
Article
Controlling the Architecture of Freeze-Dried Collagen Scaffolds with Ultrasound-Induced Nucleation
by Xinyuan Song, Matthew A. Philpott, Serena M. Best and Ruth E. Cameron
Polymers 2024, 16(2), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16020213 - 11 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1370
Abstract
Collagen is a naturally occurring polymer that can be freeze-dried to create 3D porous scaffold architectures for potential application in tissue engineering. The process comprises the freezing of water in an aqueous slurry followed by sublimation of the ice via a pre-determined temperature–pressure [...] Read more.
Collagen is a naturally occurring polymer that can be freeze-dried to create 3D porous scaffold architectures for potential application in tissue engineering. The process comprises the freezing of water in an aqueous slurry followed by sublimation of the ice via a pre-determined temperature–pressure regime and these parameters determine the arrangement, shape and size of the ice crystals. However, ice nucleation is a stochastic process, and this has significant and inherent limitations on the ability to control scaffold structures both within and between the fabrication batches. In this paper, we demonstrate that it is possible to overcome the disadvantages of the stochastic process via the use of low-frequency ultrasound (40 kHz) to trigger nucleation, on-demand, in type I insoluble bovine collagen slurries. The application of ultrasound was found to define the nucleation temperature of collagen slurries, precisely tailoring the pore architecture and providing important new structural and mechanistic insights. The parameter space includes reduction in average pore size and narrowing of pore size distributions while maintaining the percolation diameter. A set of core principles are identified that highlight the huge potential of ultrasound to finely tune the scaffold architecture and revolutionise the reproducibility of the scaffold fabrication protocol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds)
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20 pages, 7692 KiB  
Article
Magnesium Hydroxide as a Versatile Nanofiller for 3D-Printed PLA Bone Scaffolds
by Wang Guo, Wenlang Bu, Yufeng Mao, Enyu Wang, Yanjuan Yang, Chao Liu, Feng Guo, Huaming Mai, Hui You and Yu Long
Polymers 2024, 16(2), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16020198 - 9 Jan 2024
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1111
Abstract
Polylactic acid (PLA) has attracted much attention in bone tissue engineering due to its good biocompatibility and processability, but it still faces problems such as a slow degradation rate, acidic degradation product, weak biomineralization ability, and poor cell response, which limits its wider [...] Read more.
Polylactic acid (PLA) has attracted much attention in bone tissue engineering due to its good biocompatibility and processability, but it still faces problems such as a slow degradation rate, acidic degradation product, weak biomineralization ability, and poor cell response, which limits its wider application in developing bone scaffolds. In this study, Mg(OH)2 nanoparticles were employed as a versatile nanofiller for developing PLA/Mg(OH)2 composite bone scaffolds using fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printing technology, and its mechanical, degradation, and biological properties were evaluated. The mechanical tests revealed that a 5 wt% addition of Mg(OH)2 improved the tensile and compressive strengths of the PLA scaffold by 20.50% and 63.97%, respectively. The soaking experiment in phosphate buffered solution (PBS) revealed that the alkaline degradation products of Mg(OH)2 neutralized the acidic degradation products of PLA, thus accelerating the degradation of PLA. The weight loss rate of the PLA/20Mg(OH)2 scaffold (15.40%) was significantly higher than that of PLA (0.15%) on day 28. Meanwhile, the composite scaffolds showed long-term Mg2+ release for more than 28 days. The simulated body fluid (SBF) immersion experiment indicated that Mg(OH)2 promoted the deposition of apatite and improved the biomineralization of PLA scaffolds. The cell culture of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) indicated that adding 5 wt% Mg(OH)2 effectively improved cell responses, including adhesion, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation, due to the release of Mg2+. This study suggests that Mg(OH)2 can simultaneously address various issues related to polymer scaffolds, including degradation, mechanical properties, and cell interaction, having promising applications in tissue engineering. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds)
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25 pages, 6176 KiB  
Article
Mevacor/Poly(vinyl acetate/2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) as Solid Solution: Preparation, Solubility Enhancement and Drug Delivery
by Mohammed Alassaf, Saad Mohammed Alqahtani, Rana Salem Al Khulaifi, Waseem Sharaf Saeed, Faisal S. Alsubaie, Abdelhabib Semlali and Taieb Aouak
Polymers 2023, 15(19), 3927; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15193927 - 28 Sep 2023
Viewed by 812
Abstract
Mevacor/Poly(vinyl acetate-co-2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) drug carrier systems (MVR/VAC-HEMA) containing different Mevacor (MVR) contents were prepared in one pot by free radical copolymerization of vinyl acetate with 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate using an LED lamp light in the presence of camphorquinone as a photoinitiator and Mevacor as [...] Read more.
Mevacor/Poly(vinyl acetate-co-2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) drug carrier systems (MVR/VAC-HEMA) containing different Mevacor (MVR) contents were prepared in one pot by free radical copolymerization of vinyl acetate with 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate using an LED lamp light in the presence of camphorquinone as a photoinitiator and Mevacor as a drug filler. The prepared material was characterized by FTIR, 1H NMR, DSC, SEM and XRD methods. Different parameters influencing the efficiency in the Mecvacor-water solubility and the drug delivery of this system, such as the swelling capacity of the carrier, the amount of Mevacor loaded and the pH medium have been widely investigated. The results obtained revealed that the Mevacor particles were uniformly dispersed in their molecular state in the copolymer matrix forming a solid solution; the cell toxicity of the virgin poly(vinyl acetate-co-2-hydroxy ethyl methacrylate) (VAC-HEMA) and MVR/VAC-HEMA drug carrier system exhibited no significant effect on their viability when between 0.25 and 2.00 wt% was loaded in these materials; the average swelling capacity of VAC-HEMA material in water was found to be 45.16 wt%, which was practically unaffected by the pH medium and the solubility of MVR deduced from the release process reached more than 22 and 37 times that of the powder dissolved directly in pH 1 and 7 media, respectively. The in vitro MVR release kinetic study revealed that the MVR/VAC-HEMA system containing 0.5 wt% MVR exhibited the best performance in the short gastrointestinal transit (GITT), while that containing 2.0 wt% is for the long transit as they were able to considerably reduce the minimum release of this drug in the stomach (pH1). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds)
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9 pages, 1564 KiB  
Article
Degradation of Poly(ε-caprolactone) Resorbable Multifilament Yarn under Physiological Conditions
by Monica V. Deshpande, Arjunsing Girase and Martin W. King
Polymers 2023, 15(18), 3819; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15183819 - 19 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 926
Abstract
Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) is a hydrophobic, resorbable aliphatic polymer recognized for its low tenacity and extensive elongation at break, making it a popular choice for fabricating biodegradable tissue engineering scaffolds. PCL’s slow degradation rate typically results in a complete resorption period of 2 to [...] Read more.
Poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) is a hydrophobic, resorbable aliphatic polymer recognized for its low tenacity and extensive elongation at break, making it a popular choice for fabricating biodegradable tissue engineering scaffolds. PCL’s slow degradation rate typically results in a complete resorption period of 2 to 3 years. While numerous studies have examined the degradation of PCL in various forms such as films and webs, no study to date has investigated its physiological degradation in multifilament yarn form. In this study, we subjected PCL multifilament yarn samples to physiological conditions in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) maintained at a consistent temperature of 37 ± 2 °C and agitated at 45 rpm for a period of 32 weeks. We retrieved samples at five different intervals to analyze the degradation profile of the multifilament yarn. This allowed us to estimate the complete resorption time and rate under these in vitro conditions. Over the 32-week period, the multifilament yarn’s mass decreased by 4.8%, its elongation at break declined by 42%, the tenacity dropped by 40%, and the peak load at break fell by 46.5%. Based on these findings, we predict that a scaffold structure incorporating PCL multifilament yarn would undergo complete resorption in approximately 14 months under physiological conditions, such as in PBS solution at a pH of approximately 7 and a temperature of 37 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds)
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19 pages, 6206 KiB  
Article
Tuning of Silver Content on the Antibacterial and Biological Properties of Poly(ɛ-caprolactone)/Biphasic Calcium Phosphate 3D-Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering
by Francesca Menotti, Sara Scutera, Bartolomeo Coppola, Fabio Longo, Narcisa Mandras, Lorenza Cavallo, Sara Comini, Rosaria Sparti, Elisa Fiume, Anna Maria Cuffini, Giuliana Banche, Paola Palmero and Valeria Allizond
Polymers 2023, 15(17), 3618; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15173618 - 31 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 996
Abstract
There is a growing interest in tissue engineering, in which biomaterials play a pivotal role in promoting bone regeneration. Furthermore, smart functionalization can provide biomaterials with the additional role of preventing orthopedic infections. Due to the growing microbial resistance to antimicrobials used to [...] Read more.
There is a growing interest in tissue engineering, in which biomaterials play a pivotal role in promoting bone regeneration. Furthermore, smart functionalization can provide biomaterials with the additional role of preventing orthopedic infections. Due to the growing microbial resistance to antimicrobials used to treat those infections, metal ions, such as silver, thanks to their known wide range of bactericidal properties, are believed to be promising additives in developing antibacterial biomaterials. In this work, novel poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL)-based 3D scaffolds have been designed and developed, where the polymer matrix was modified with both silver (Ag), to supply antibacterial behavior, and calcium phosphates (biphasic calcium phosphate, BCP) particles to impart bioactive/bioresorbable properties. The microstructural analysis showed that constructs were characterized by square-shaped macropores, in line with the morphology and size of the templating salts used as pore formers. Degradation tests demonstrated the important role of calcium phosphates in improving PCL hydrophilicity, leading to a higher degradation degree for BCP/PCL composites compared to the neat polymer after 18 days of soaking. The appearance of an inhibition halo around the silver-functionalized PCL scaffolds for assayed microorganisms and a significant (p < 0.05) decrease in both adherent and planktonic bacteria demonstrate the Ag+ release from the 3D constructs. Furthermore, the PCL scaffolds enriched with the lowest silver percentages did not hamper the viability and proliferation of Saos-2 cells. A synergic combination of antimicrobial, osteoproliferative and biodegradable features provided to 3D scaffolds the required potential for bone tissue engineering, beside anti-microbial properties for reduction in prosthetic joints infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds)
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14 pages, 3683 KiB  
Article
Design of Potent and Salt-Insensitive Antimicrobial Branched Peptides
by Janet To, Xiaohong Zhang and James P. Tam
Polymers 2023, 15(17), 3594; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15173594 - 29 Aug 2023
Viewed by 982
Abstract
Dendrimeric and branched peptides are polypeptides formed by diverse types of scaffolds to give them different forms. Previously, we reported a cascade-type, Lys-scaffolded antimicrobial peptide dendrimer D4R tethered with four RLYR tetrapeptides. Antimicrobial D4R is broad-spectrum, salt insensitive, and as potent as the [...] Read more.
Dendrimeric and branched peptides are polypeptides formed by diverse types of scaffolds to give them different forms. Previously, we reported a cascade-type, Lys-scaffolded antimicrobial peptide dendrimer D4R tethered with four RLYR tetrapeptides. Antimicrobial D4R is broad-spectrum, salt insensitive, and as potent as the natural-occurring tachyplesins, displaying minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) < 1 μM. However, the relationships between scaffolds and antimicrobial potency remain undefined. Here, we report the design of four novel types of peptide antimicrobials whose scaffolded backbones are lysine (Lys), iso-Lys, ornithine (Orn), or iso-Orn tethered with RLYR on their α- or sidechain-amines to give ε-, δ-, and their α-branched peptides. When assayed against ten microorganisms, the Lys-scaffolded α- and ε-branched peptides are broadly active, salt insensitive, and as potent as D4R and tachyplesins, whereas the corresponding Orn-scaffolded α- and δ-branched peptides are salt sensitive and much less potent, displaying MICs ranging from 1 to >500 μM. Structure-activity relationship studies suggested that Lys-scaffolds, but not Orn-scaffolds, can support a reverse turn to organize RLYR tetrapeptides as parallel β-strands to form an amphipathic structure with Leu-Tyr as a hydrophobic core. Together, these results provide a structural approach for designing potent and salt-insensitive dendrimeric or branched peptide antimicrobials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds)
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18 pages, 6510 KiB  
Article
Effect of Fe3O4 Nanoparticles Modified by Citric and Oleic Acids on the Physicochemical and Magnetic Properties of Hybrid Electrospun P(VDF-TrFE) Scaffolds
by Vladimir Botvin, Anastasia Fetisova, Yulia Mukhortova, Dmitry Wagner, Sergey Kazantsev, Maria Surmeneva, Andrei Kholkin and Roman Surmenev
Polymers 2023, 15(14), 3135; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15143135 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1490
Abstract
This study considers a fabrication of magnetoactive scaffolds based on a copolymer of vinylidene fluoride and trifluoroethylene (P(VDF-TrFE)) and 5, 10, and 15 wt.% of magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles modified with citric (CA) and oleic (OA) acids by solution electrospinning. [...] Read more.
This study considers a fabrication of magnetoactive scaffolds based on a copolymer of vinylidene fluoride and trifluoroethylene (P(VDF-TrFE)) and 5, 10, and 15 wt.% of magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles modified with citric (CA) and oleic (OA) acids by solution electrospinning. The synthesized Fe3O4-CA and Fe3O4-OA nanoparticles are similar in particle size and phase composition, but differ in zeta potential values and magnetic properties. Pure P(VDF-TrFE) scaffolds as well as composites with Fe3O4-CA and Fe3O4-OA nanoparticles demonstrate beads-free 1 μm fibers. According to scanning electron (SEM) and transmission electron (TEM) microscopy, fabricated P(VDF-TrFE) scaffolds filled with CA-modified Fe3O4 nanoparticles have a more homogeneous distribution of magnetic filler due to both the high stabilization ability of CA molecules and the affinity of Fe3O4-CA nanoparticles to the solvent used and P(VDF-TrFE) functional groups. The phase composition of pure and composite scaffolds includes a predominant piezoelectric β-phase, and a γ-phase, to a lesser extent. When adding Fe3O4-CA and Fe3O4-OA nanoparticles, there was no significant decrease in the degree of crystallinity of the P(VDF-TrFE), which, on the contrary, increased up to 76% in the case of composite scaffolds loaded with 15 wt.% of the magnetic fillers. Magnetic properties, mainly saturation magnetization (Ms), are in a good agreement with the content of Fe3O4 nanoparticles and show, among the known magnetoactive PVDF or P(VDF-TrFE) scaffolds, the highest Ms value, equal to 10.0 emu/g in the case of P(VDF-TrFE) composite with 15 wt.% of Fe3O4-CA nanoparticles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds)
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17 pages, 5260 KiB  
Article
The Reliability of PCL/Anti-VEGF Electrospun Scaffolds to Support Limbal Stem Cells for Corneal Repair
by Emilija Zdraveva, Tamara Dolenec, Mirna Tominac Trcin, Emi Govorčin Bajsić, Tamara Holjevac Grgurić, Antoneta Tomljenović, Iva Dekaris, Josip Jelić and Budimir Mijovic
Polymers 2023, 15(12), 2663; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15122663 - 13 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1175
Abstract
Since only few reported studies propose anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) delivery through electrospun scaffolds, this study greatly contributes to the potential prevention of patient’s vision loss, as it explores electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) coated with anti-VEGF for the blockage of abnormal cornea vascularization. [...] Read more.
Since only few reported studies propose anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) delivery through electrospun scaffolds, this study greatly contributes to the potential prevention of patient’s vision loss, as it explores electrospun polycaprolactone (PCL) coated with anti-VEGF for the blockage of abnormal cornea vascularization. In terms of physicochemical properties, the biological component increased the PCL scaffold fiber diameter (by ~24%) and pore area (by ~82%), while ut slightly reduced its total porosity as the anti-VEGF solution filled the voids of the microfibrous structure. The addition of the anti-VEGF increased the scaffold stiffness almost three-fold at both strains of 5 and 10%, as well as its biodegradation rate (~36% after 60 days) with a sustained release profile after Day 4 of phosphate buffered saline incubation. In terms of scaffold application function, the PCL/Anti-VEGF scaffold proved to be more favorable for the adhesion of cultured limbal stem cells (LSCs); this was confirmed by the SEM images, where the cells showed flat and elongated conformations. Further support of the LSC growth and proliferation was confirmed by the identified p63 and CK3 markers after cell staining. These results demonstrate the advantageous effect of the surface-adsorbed anti-VEGF to stop vision loss and help damaged corneal tissue repair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds)
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15 pages, 4382 KiB  
Article
Gelatin/Na2Ti3O7 Nanocomposite Scaffolds: Mechanical Properties and Characterization for Tissue Engineering Applications
by Rittichai Sangkatip, Kaona Jongwuttanaruk and Wipoo Sriseubsai
Polymers 2023, 15(10), 2322; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15102322 - 16 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1089
Abstract
Materials and manufacturing technologies are necessary for tissue engineering and developing temporary artificial extracellular matrices. In this study, scaffolds were fabricated from freshly synthesized titanate (Na2Ti3O7) and its precursor titanium dioxide and their properties were investigated. The [...] Read more.
Materials and manufacturing technologies are necessary for tissue engineering and developing temporary artificial extracellular matrices. In this study, scaffolds were fabricated from freshly synthesized titanate (Na2Ti3O7) and its precursor titanium dioxide and their properties were investigated. The scaffolds with improved properties were then mixed with gelatin to form a scaffold material using the freeze-drying technique. To determine the optimal composition for the compression test of the nanocomposite scaffold, a mixture design with three factors of gelatin, titanate, and deionized water was used. Then, the scaffold microstructures were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to determine the porosity of the nanocomposite scaffolds. The scaffolds were fabricated as a nanocomposite and determined their compressive modulus values. The results showed that the porosity of the gelatin/Na2Ti3O7 nanocomposite scaffolds ranged from 67% to 85%. When the mixing ratio was 100:0, the degree of swelling was 22.98%. The highest swelling ratio of 85.43% was obtained when the freeze-drying technique was applied to the mixture of gelatin and Na2Ti3O7 with a mixing ratio of 80:20. The specimens formed (gelatin:titanate = 80:20) exhibited a compressive modulus of 30.57 kPa. The sample with a composition of 15.10% gelatin, 2% Na2Ti3O7, and 82.9% DI water, processed by the mixture design technique, showed the highest yield of 30.57 kPa in the compression test. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds)
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17 pages, 4073 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Evaluation of Biphasic Calcium Phosphate Scaffolds Derived from Cuttlefish Bone Coated with Poly(ester urea) for Bone Tissue Regeneration
by Patrícia Pereira, Ana S. Neto, Ana S. Rodrigues, Inês Barros, Catarina Miranda, João Ramalho-Santos, Luís Pereira de Almeida, José M. F. Ferreira, Jorge F. J. Coelho and Ana C. Fonseca
Polymers 2023, 15(10), 2256; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15102256 - 10 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1926
Abstract
This study investigates the osteogenic differentiation of umbilical-cord-derived human mesenchymal stromal cells (hUC-MSCs) on biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) scaffolds derived from cuttlefish bone doped with metal ions and coated with polymers. First, the in vitro cytocompatibility of the undoped and ion-doped (Sr2+ [...] Read more.
This study investigates the osteogenic differentiation of umbilical-cord-derived human mesenchymal stromal cells (hUC-MSCs) on biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) scaffolds derived from cuttlefish bone doped with metal ions and coated with polymers. First, the in vitro cytocompatibility of the undoped and ion-doped (Sr2+, Mg2+ and/or Zn2+) BCP scaffolds was evaluated for 72 h using Live/Dead staining and viability assays. From these tests, the most promising composition was found to be the BCP scaffold doped with strontium (Sr2+), magnesium (Mg2+) and zinc (Zn2+) (BCP-6Sr2Mg2Zn). Then, samples from the BCP-6Sr2Mg2Zn were coated with poly(ԑ-caprolactone) (PCL) or poly(ester urea) (PEU). The results showed that hUC-MSCs can differentiate into osteoblasts, and hUC-MSCs seeded on the PEU-coated scaffolds proliferated well, adhered to the scaffold surfaces, and enhanced their differentiation capabilities without negative effects on cell proliferation under in vitro conditions. Overall, these results suggest that PEU-coated scaffolds are an alternative to PCL for use in bone regeneration, providing a suitable environment to maximally induce osteogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds)
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22 pages, 10373 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in 3D Printing of Polymers for Application in Prosthodontics
by Mariya Dimitrova, Angelina Vlahova, Yavor Kalachev, Stefan Zlatev, Rada Kazakova and Saverio Capodiferro
Polymers 2023, 15(23), 4525; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15234525 - 24 Nov 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1920
Abstract
Contemporary mass media frequently depict 3D printing as a technology with widespread utilization in the creation of dental prosthetics. This paper endeavors to provide an evidence-based assessment of the current scope of 3D printing’s integration within dental laboratories and practices. Its primary objective [...] Read more.
Contemporary mass media frequently depict 3D printing as a technology with widespread utilization in the creation of dental prosthetics. This paper endeavors to provide an evidence-based assessment of the current scope of 3D printing’s integration within dental laboratories and practices. Its primary objective is to offer a systematic evaluation of the existing applications of 3D-printing technology within the realm of dental prosthetic restorations. Furthermore, this article delves into potential prospects, while also critically examining the sustained relevance of conventional dental laboratory services and manufacturing procedures. The central focus of this article is to expound upon the extent to which 3D printing is presently harnessed for crafting dental prosthetic appliances. By presenting verifiable data and factual insights, this article aspires to elucidate the actual implementation of 3D printing in prosthetic dentistry and its seamless integration into dental practices. The aim of this narrative review is twofold: firstly, to provide an informed and unbiased evaluation of the role that 3D printing currently plays within dental laboratories and practices; and secondly, to instigate contemplation on the transformative potential of this technology, both in terms of its contemporary impact and its future implications, while maintaining a balanced consideration of traditional dental approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds)
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17 pages, 1231 KiB  
Review
Bioadhesive and Injectable Hydrogels and Their Correlation with Mesenchymal Stem Cells Differentiation for Cartilage Repair: A Mini-Review
by Ján Kováč, Petra Priščáková, Helena Gbelcová, Abolfazl Heydari and Stanislav Žiaran
Polymers 2023, 15(21), 4228; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15214228 - 26 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1512
Abstract
Injectable bioadhesive hydrogels, known for their capacity to carry substances and adaptability in processing, offer great potential across various biomedical applications. They are especially promising in minimally invasive stem cell-based therapies for treating cartilage damage. This approach harnesses readily available mesenchymal stem cells [...] Read more.
Injectable bioadhesive hydrogels, known for their capacity to carry substances and adaptability in processing, offer great potential across various biomedical applications. They are especially promising in minimally invasive stem cell-based therapies for treating cartilage damage. This approach harnesses readily available mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to differentiate into chondrocytes for cartilage regeneration. In this review, we investigate the relationship between bioadhesion and MSC differentiation. We summarize the fundamental principles of bioadhesion and discuss recent trends in bioadhesive hydrogels. Furthermore, we highlight their specific applications in conjunction with stem cells, particularly in the context of cartilage repair. The review also encompasses a discussion on testing methods for bioadhesive hydrogels and direct techniques for differentiating MSCs into hyaline cartilage chondrocytes. These approaches are explored within both clinical and laboratory settings, including the use of genetic tools. While this review offers valuable insights into the interconnected aspects of these topics, it underscores the need for further research to fully grasp the complexities of their relationship. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds)
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17 pages, 962 KiB  
Systematic Review
Hydrogel-Based Biomaterial as a Scaffold for Gingival Regeneration: A Systematic Review of In Vitro Studies
by Dimas Ilham Hutomo, Lisa Amir, Dewi Fatma Suniarti, Endang Winiati Bachtiar and Yuniarti Soeroso
Polymers 2023, 15(12), 2591; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15122591 - 6 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1976
Abstract
Background: Hydrogel is considered a promising scaffold biomaterial for gingival regeneration. In vitro experiments were carried out to test new potential biomaterials for future clinical practice. The systematic review of such in vitro studies could synthesize evidence of the characteristics of the developing [...] Read more.
Background: Hydrogel is considered a promising scaffold biomaterial for gingival regeneration. In vitro experiments were carried out to test new potential biomaterials for future clinical practice. The systematic review of such in vitro studies could synthesize evidence of the characteristics of the developing biomaterials. This systematic review aimed to identify and synthesize in vitro studies that assessed the hydrogel scaffold for gingival regeneration. Methods: Data on experimental studies on the physical and biological properties of hydrogel were synthesized. A systematic review of the PubMed, Embase, ScienceDirect, and Scopus databases was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting System for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) 2020 statement guidelines. In total, 12 original articles on the physical and biological properties of hydrogels for gingival regeneration, published in the last 10 years, were identified. Results: One study only performed physical property analyses, two studies only performed biological property analyses, and nine studies performed both physical and biological property analyses. The incorporation of various natural polymers such as collagen, chitosan, and hyaluronic acids improved the biomaterial characteristics. The use of synthetic polymers faced some drawbacks in their physical and biological properties. Peptides, such as growth factors and arginine–glycine–aspartic acid (RGD), can be used to enhance cell adhesion and migration. Based on the available primary studies, all studies successfully present the potential of hydrogel characteristics in vitro and highlight the essential biomaterial properties for future periodontal regenerative treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development and Application of Polymer Scaffolds)
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