BioMed Research International: Biomaterials The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Surface Characteristics and Bioactivity of a Novel Natural HA/Zircon Nanocomposite Coated on Dental Implants Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:45:25 +0000 The surface characteristics of implant which influence the speed and strength of osseointegration include surface chemistry, crystal structure and crystallinity, roughness, strain hardening, and presence of impurities. The aim of this study was to evaluate the bioactivity and roughness of a novel natural hydroxyapatite/zircon (NHA/zircon) nanobiocomposite, coated on 316L stainless steel (SS) soaked in simulated body fluid (SBF). NHA/zircon nanobiocomposite was fabricated with 0 wt.%, 5 wt.%, 10 wt.%, and 15 wt.% of zircon in NHA using ball mill for 20 minutes. The composite mixture was coated on 316L SS using plasma spray method. The results are estimated using the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observation to evaluate surface morphology, X-ray diffraction (XRD) to analyze phase composition, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) technique to evaluate the shape and size of prepared NHA. Surfaces roughness tester was performed to characterize the coated nanocomposite samples. The maximum average (14.54 μm) was found in the NHA 10 wt.% of zircon coating. In addition, crystallinity () was measured by XRD data, which indicated the minimum value ( = 41.1%) for the sample containing 10 wt.% of zircon. Maximum bioactivity occurred in the sample containing 10 wt.% of zircon, which was due to two reasons: first, the maximum roughness and, second, the minimum crystallinity of nanobiocomposite coating. Ebrahim Karamian, Amirsalar Khandan, Mahmood Reza Kalantar Motamedi, and Hesam Mirmohammadi Copyright © 2014 Ebrahim Karamian et al. All rights reserved. Mechanical Stress Stimulates the Osteo/Odontoblastic Differentiation of Human Stem Cells from Apical Papilla via ERK 1/2 and JNK MAPK Pathways Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Background Information. Stem cells from apical papilla (SCAPs) are a potent candidate for the apexogenesis/apexification due to their multiple differentiation capacity. During the orthodontic treatment of developing teeth, SCAPs in vivo are usually subjected to the cyclic stress induced by compression forces. However, it remains unclear whether mechanical stress can affect the proliferation and differentiation of human SCAPs. Results. Human SCAPs were isolated and stimulated by 200 g mechanical stimuli for 30 min and their proliferation and differentiation capacity were evaluated in vitro at different time points. MTT and FCM results demonstrated that cell proliferation was enhanced, while TEM findings showed the morphological and ultrastructural changes in stress-treated SCAPs. ALP activity and mineralization capacity of stress-treated SCAPs were upregulated . In the meantime, higher odontogenic and osteogenic differentiation were found in stress-treated SCAPs by real-time RT-PCR and Western blot, as indicated by the expression of related markers at both mRNA and protein levels. Moreover, the protein expressions of pJNK and pERK MAPK pathways were upregulated. Conclusion. Together, these findings suggest that mechanical stress is an important factor affecting the proliferation and differentiation of SCAPs via the activation of ERK and JNK signaling pathway. Chao Mu, Taohong Lv, Zilu Wang, Shu Ma, Jie Ma, Jin Liu, Jinhua Yu, and Jinquan Mu Copyright © 2014 Chao Mu et al. All rights reserved. Methoxy-Poly(ethylene glycol) Modified Poly(L-lactide) Enhanced Cell Affinity of Human Bone Marrow Stromal Cells by the Upregulation of 1-Cadherin and Delta-2-catenin Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:57:08 +0000 Poly(l-lactide) (PLLA), a versatile biodegradable polymer, is one of the most commonly-used materials for tissue engineering applications. To improve cell affinity for PLLA, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) was used to develop diblock copolymers. Human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs) were cultured on MPEG-b-PLLA copolymer films to determine the effects of modification on the attachment and proliferation of hBMSC. The mRNA expression of 84 human extracellular matrix (ECM) and adhesion molecules was analyzed using RT-qPCR to understand the underlying mechanisms. It was found that MPEG-b-PLLA copolymer films significantly improved cell adhesion, extension, and proliferation. This was found to be related to the significant upregulation of two adhesion genes, CDH1 and CTNND2, which encode 1-cadherin and delta-2-catenin, respectively, two key components for the cadherin-catenin complex. In summary, MPEG-b-PLLA copolymer surfaces improved initial cell adhesion by stimulation of adhesion molecule gene expression. Xueli Mao, Zetao Chen, Junqi Ling, Jingjing Quan, Hui Peng, and Yin Xiao Copyright © 2014 Xueli Mao et al. All rights reserved. Application of Ultrasound on Monitoring the Evolution of the Collagen Fiber Reinforced nHAC/CS Composites In Vivo Mon, 14 Apr 2014 09:03:00 +0000 To date, fiber reinforce scaffolds have been largely applied to repair hard and soft tissues. Meanwhile, monitoring the scaffolds for long periods in vivo is recognized as a crucial issue before its wide use. As a consequence, there is a growing need for noninvasive and convenient methods to analyze the implantation remolding process in situ and in real time. In this paper, diagnostic medical ultrasound was used to monitor the in vivo bone formation and degradation process of the novel mineralized collagen fiber reinforced composite which is synthesized by chitosan (CS), nanohydroxyapatite (nHA), and collagen fiber (Col). To observe the impact of cells on bone remodeling process, the scaffolds were planted into the back of the SD rats with and without rat bone mesenchymal stem cells (rBMSCs). Systematic data of scaffolds in vivo was extracted from ultrasound images. Significant consistency between the data from the ultrasound and DXA could be observed . This indicated that ultrasound may serve as a feasible alternative for noninvasive monitoring the evolution of scaffolds in situ during cell growth. Yan Chen, Yuting Yan, Xiaoming Li, He Li, Huiting Tan, Huajun Li, Yanwen Zhu, Philipp Niemeyer, Matin Yaega, and Bo Yu Copyright © 2014 Yan Chen et al. All rights reserved. Reduction-Triggered Breakable Micelles of Amphiphilic Polyamide Amine-g-Polyethylene Glycol for Methotrexate Delivery Sun, 13 Apr 2014 16:13:19 +0000 Reduction-triggered breakable polymeric micelles incorporated with MTX were prepared using amphiphilic PAA-g-PEG copolymers having S–S bonds in the backbone. The micelles were spherical with diameters less than 70 nm. The micelles could encapsulate the hydrophobic MTX in the hydrophobic core. The drug loading content and drug loading efficiency of the micelles were highly dependent on the copolymer chemical structure, ranging from 2.9 to 7.5% and 31.9 to 82.5%, respectively. Both the drug loading content and drug loading efficiency increased along with more hydrophobic segments in the copolymers. In normal circumstance, these micelles were capable of keeping stable and hold most of the MTX in the core, stabilizing the incorporated MTX through the stacking with the phenyl groups in the backbone of the copolymers. In reductive environments that mimicked the intracellular compartments, the entire MTX payload could be quickly released due to the reduction-triggered breakage of the micelles. These micelles showed good antiproliferative activity against several cancer cell lines, including KB, 4T-1 and HepG2, especially within the low drug concentration scope. Yihang Huang, Jun Liu, Yani Cui, Huanan Li, Yong Sun, Yujiang Fan, and Xingdong Zhang Copyright © 2014 Yihang Huang et al. All rights reserved. Suppressive Effects of D-Glucosamine on the 5-HT Sensitive Nociceptive Units in the Rat Tooth Pulpal Nerve Sun, 13 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000 It is well known that D-glucosamine hydrochloride (DGL) has a variety of biological activities and is regarded as a nutritional supplement effective in improving various disorders, including osteoarthritis and atherosclerosis. Although it has been reported that DGL has a significant pain relief effect in treating osteoarthritis, little is known about the characteristics of the effects of this compound on dental pain. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the applicability of DGL as a medicament to control pulpalgia. Using an in vitro rat mandible-inferior alveolar nerve preparation (jaw-nerve preparation), we evaluated the effects of DGL on 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) sensitive nociceptive responses in the tooth pulpal nerve. 5-HT-induced nociceptive responses were fairly suppressed by direct application of DGL, suggesting that DGL have a pain relief effect on patients with dental pain. Kei Kaida, Hiromi Yamashita, Kazuo Toda, and Yoshihiko Hayashi Copyright © 2014 Kei Kaida et al. All rights reserved. Distinct Characteristics of Mandibular Bone Collagen Relative to Long Bone Collagen: Relevance to Clinical Dentistry Thu, 10 Apr 2014 09:31:29 +0000 Bone undergoes constant remodeling throughout life. The cellular and biochemical mechanisms of bone remodeling vary in a region-specific manner. There are a number of notable differences between the mandible and long bones, including developmental origin, osteogenic potential of mesenchymal stem cells, and the rate of bone turnover. Collagen, the most abundant matrix protein in bone, is responsible for determining the relative strength of particular bones. Posttranslational modifications of collagen, such as intermolecular crosslinking and lysine hydroxylation, are the most essential determinants of bone strength, although the amount of collagen is also important. In comparison to long bones, the mandible has greater collagen content, a lower amount of mature crosslinks, and a lower extent of lysine hydroxylation. The great abundance of immature crosslinks in mandibular collagen suggests that there is a lower rate of cross-link maturation. This means that mandibular collagen is relatively immature and thus more readily undergoes degradation and turnover. The greater rate of remodeling in mandibular collagen likely renders more flexibility to the bone and leaves it more suited to constant exercise. As reviewed here, it is important in clinical dentistry to understand the distinctive features of the bones of the jaw. Takashi Matsuura, Kentaro Tokutomi, Michiko Sasaki, Michitsuna Katafuchi, Emiri Mizumachi, and Hironobu Sato Copyright © 2014 Takashi Matsuura et al. All rights reserved. Outer Electrospun Polycaprolactone Shell Induces Massive Foreign Body Reaction and Impairs Axonal Regeneration through 3D Multichannel Chitosan Nerve Guides Wed, 09 Apr 2014 14:10:24 +0000 We report on the performance of composite nerve grafts with an inner 3D multichannel porous chitosan core and an outer electrospun polycaprolactone shell. The inner chitosan core provided multiple guidance channels for regrowing axons. To analyze the in vivo properties of the bare chitosan cores, we separately implanted them into an epineural sheath. The effects of both graft types on structural and functional regeneration across a 10 mm rat sciatic nerve gap were compared to autologous nerve transplantation (ANT). The mechanical biomaterial properties and the immunological impact of the grafts were assessed with histological techniques before and after transplantation in vivo. Furthermore during a 13-week examination period functional tests and electrophysiological recordings were performed and supplemented by nerve morphometry. The sheathing of the chitosan core with a polycaprolactone shell induced massive foreign body reaction and impairment of nerve regeneration. Although the isolated novel chitosan core did allow regeneration of axons in a similar size distribution as the ANT, the ANT was superior in terms of functional regeneration. We conclude that an outer polycaprolactone shell should not be used for the purpose of bioartificial nerve grafting, while 3D multichannel porous chitosan cores could be candidate scaffolds for structured nerve grafts. Sven Duda, Lutz Dreyer, Peter Behrens, Soenke Wienecke, Tanmay Chakradeo, Birgit Glasmacher, and Kirsten Haastert-Talini Copyright © 2014 Sven Duda et al. All rights reserved. Dried Fruit of the Luffa Sponge as a Source of Chitin for Applications as Skin Substitutes Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:00:03 +0000 LUFFACHITIN obtained from the residue of the sponge-like dried fruit of Luffa aegyptiaca was developed as a weavable skin substitute in this study. A chemical analysis revealed that LUFFACHITIN was composed of a copolymer containing N-acetyl-glucosamine (~40%) as a major monomer with a filamentary structure as demonstrated by both optical and scanning electron microscopy. The pulp-like white residue of the sponge-like dried fruit of Luffa aegyptiaca after treatment was then woven into a thin, porous membrane by filtration and lyophilization as a skin substitute for conducting wound-healing study on rats. The results indicated that the LUFFACHITIN membrane showed significant wound-healing enhancement (25 days to complete healing) compared to cotton gauze (>30 days), but not inferior to that of SACCHACHITIN. Furthermore, the LUFFACHITIN membrane had advantages of having a high yield, better physical properties for fabrication, and a more attractive appearance. Ping-Lun Jiang, Mei-Yin Chien, Ming-Thau Sheu, Yi-You Huang, Meng-Hsun Chen, Ching-Hua Su, and Der-Zen Liu Copyright © 2014 Ping-Lun Jiang et al. All rights reserved. Solubility of Two Resin Composites in Different Mouthrinses Mon, 07 Apr 2014 16:29:59 +0000 Aim. This study aimed to compare the solubility of a universal restorative resin composite (Filtek Z250; FZ250) and a silorane-based resin composite (Filtek Silorane; FS) after immersion in alcohol-containing mouthrinse, alcohol-free mouthrinse, and artificial saliva. Methods. 30 discs (10 mm × 1 mm) were prepared from each material and desiccated until a constant mass was obtained. Specimens were immersed in the test solutions for two days and desiccated again. Solubility was calculated based on the change in weight of each specimen before and after immersion. Data was analyzed using two-way ANOVA and Tukey’s Post Hoc test . Results. Solubility values for both resin composites were the highest in the alcohol-containing mouthrinse. FZ250 showed greater solubility than FS; the difference was only significant in artificial saliva. Conclusion. Both resin-composite materials tested exhibited some degree of solubility in each of the test solutions. The use of an alcohol-free mouthrinse may be preferable for patients with extensive composite restorations. Sezin Ozer, Emine Sen Tunc, Nuray Tuloglu, and Sule Bayrak Copyright © 2014 Sezin Ozer et al. All rights reserved. Biological Safety of Fish (Tilapia) Collagen Mon, 07 Apr 2014 06:53:08 +0000 Marine collagen derived from fish scales, skin, and bone has been widely investigated for application as a scaffold and carrier due to its bioactive properties, including excellent biocompatibility, low antigenicity, and high biodegradability and cell growth potential. Fish type I collagen is an effective material as a biodegradable scaffold or spacer replicating the natural extracellular matrix, which serves to spatially organize cells, providing them with environmental signals and directing site-specific cellular regulation. This study was conducted to confirm the safety of fish (tilapia) atelocollagen for use in clinical application. We performed in vitro and in vivo biological studies of medical materials to investigate the safety of fish collagen. The extract of fish collagen gel was examined to clarify its sterility. All present sterility tests concerning bacteria and viruses (including endotoxin) yielded negative results, and all evaluations of cell toxicity, sensitization, chromosomal aberrations, intracutaneous reactions, acute systemic toxicity, pyrogenic reactions, and hemolysis were negative according to the criteria of the ISO and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan. The present study demonstrated that atelocollagen prepared from tilapia is a promising biomaterial for use as a scaffold in regenerative medicine. Kohei Yamamoto, Kazunari Igawa, Kouji Sugimoto, Yuu Yoshizawa, Kajiro Yanagiguchi, Takeshi Ikeda, Shizuka Yamada, and Yoshihiko Hayashi Copyright © 2014 Kohei Yamamoto et al. All rights reserved. Glycosaminoglycan Monosaccharide Blocks Analysis by Quantum Mechanics, Molecular Dynamics, and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Mon, 07 Apr 2014 06:49:57 +0000 Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) play an important role in many biological processes in the extracellular matrix. In a theoretical approach, structures of monosaccharide building blocks of natural GAGs and their sulfated derivatives were optimized by a B3LYP6311ppdd//B3LYP/6-31+G(d) method. The dependence of the observed conformational properties on the applied methodology is described. NMR chemical shifts and proton-proton spin-spin coupling constants were calculated using the GIAO approach and analyzed in terms of the method's accuracy and sensitivity towards the influence of sulfation, O1-methylation, conformations of sugar ring, and ω dihedral angle. The net sulfation of the monosaccharides was found to be correlated with the 1H chemical shifts in the methyl group of the N-acetylated saccharides both theoretically and experimentally. The ω dihedral angle conformation populations of free monosaccharides and monosaccharide blocks within polymeric GAG molecules were calculated by a molecular dynamics approach using the GLYCAM06 force field and compared with the available NMR and quantum mechanical data. Qualitative trends for the impact of sulfation and ring conformation on the chemical shifts and proton-proton spin-spin coupling constants were obtained and discussed in terms of the potential and limitations of the computational methodology used to be complementary to NMR experiments and to assist in experimental data assignment. Sergey A. Samsonov, Stephan Theisgen, Thomas Riemer, Daniel Huster, and M. Teresa Pisabarro Copyright © 2014 Sergey A. Samsonov et al. All rights reserved. The Morphology and Functions of Articular Chondrocytes on a Honeycomb-Patterned Surface Sun, 06 Apr 2014 12:20:46 +0000 The present study investigated the potential of a novel micropatterned substrate for neocartilage formation. Articular chondrocytes were cultured on poly(ɛ-caprolactone) materials whose surfaces were either flat or honeycomb-patterned. The latter was prepared using a novel self-organization technique, while the former, was prepared by spin-coating. The chondrocytes attached and proliferated on both surfaces. On the honeycomb films, chondrocytes were found at the top surface and encased within the 10 μm pores. Meanwhile, chondrocytes on the spin-coated surface flattened out. Accumulation of DNA and keratin sulphate was comparatively higher on the honeycomb films within the first 7 days. At their respective peaks, DNA concentration increased on the honeycomb and flat surfaces by approximately 210% and 400% of their day 1 values, respectively. However, cultures on the flat surface took longer to peak. Extracellular Matrix (ECM) concentrations peaked at 900% and 320% increases for the honeycomb and flat cultures. Type II collagen was upregulated on the honeycomb and flat surfaces by as much as 28% and 25% of their day 1 values, while aggrecan was downregulated with time, by 3.4% and 7.4%. These initial results demonstrate the potential usefulness of honeycomb-based scaffolds during early cultures neocartilage and soft tissue engineering. Joshua O. Eniwumide, Masaru Tanaka, Nobuhiro Nagai, Yuka Morita, Joost de Bruijn, Sadaaki Yamamoto, Shin Onodera, Eiji Kondo, Kazunori Yasuda, and Masatsugu Shimomura Copyright © 2014 Joshua O. Eniwumide et al. All rights reserved. Fabrication and Characteristics of Chitosan Sponge as a Tissue Engineering Scaffold Sun, 06 Apr 2014 11:42:29 +0000 Cells, growth factors, and scaffolds are the three main factors required to create a tissue-engineered construct. After the appearance of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), considerable attention has therefore been focused on nonbovine materials. In this study, we examined the properties of a chitosan porous scaffold. A porous chitosan sponge was prepared by the controlled freezing and lyophilization of different concentrations of chitosan solutions. The materials were examined by scanning electron microscopy, and the porosity, tensile strength, and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) release profiles from chitosan sponge were examined in vitro. The morphology of the chitosan scaffolds presented a typical microporous structure, with the pore size ranging from 50 to 200 μm. The porosity of chitosan scaffolds with different concentrations was approximately 75–85%. A decreasing tendency for porosity was observed as the concentration of the chitosan increased. The relationship between the tensile properties and chitosan concentration indicated that the ultimate tensile strength for the sponge increased with a higher concentration. The in vitro bFGF release study showed that the higher the concentration of chitosan solution became, the longer the releasing time of the bFGF from the chitosan sponge was. Takeshi Ikeda, Kahori Ikeda, Kouhei Yamamoto, Hidetaka Ishizaki, Yuu Yoshizawa, Kajiro Yanagiguchi, Shizuka Yamada, and Yoshihiko Hayashi Copyright © 2014 Takeshi Ikeda et al. All rights reserved. Induction of Reparative Dentin Formation on Exposed Dental Pulp by Dentin Phosphophoryn/Collagen Composite Sun, 06 Apr 2014 09:28:04 +0000 The ultimate goal of vital pulp therapy is to regenerate rapidly dentin possessing an excellent quality using a biocompatible, bioactive agent. Dentin phosphophoryn (DPP), the most abundant noncollagenous polyanionic protein in dentin, cross-linked to atelocollagen fibrils was applied to direct pulp capping in rats. After 1, 2, and 3 weeks, the teeth applied were examined on the induction of reparative dentin formation and the response of pulp tissue, compared to calcium hydroxide-based agent conventionally used. The reparative dentin formation induced by DPP/collagen composite was more rapid than by calcium hydroxide. In the morphometrical analysis, the formation rate of reparative dentin by DPP/collagen composite was approximately the same as that by calcium hydroxide at 3 weeks. Nevertheless, the compactness of reparative dentin formed by DPP/collagen composite was much superior to what resulted from calcium hydroxide. Also, DPP/collagen composite showed high covering ability of exposed pulp. Moreover, DPP/collagen composite led only to slight pulp inflammation at the beginning whereas calcium hydroxide formed necrotic layer adjacent to the material and induced severe inflammation in pulp tissue at 1 week. The present study demonstrates a potential for DPP/collagen composite as a rapid biocompatible inducer for the formation of reparative dentin of excellent quality in rats. Toshiyuki Koike, Mohammad Ali Akbor Polan, Masanobu Izumikawa, and Takashi Saito Copyright © 2014 Toshiyuki Koike et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Ultrasonication on Physical Properties of Mineral Trioxide Aggregate Tue, 01 Apr 2014 16:09:32 +0000 Aim. To evaluate the effect on physical properties of Mineral Trioxide Aggregate (MTA) of using direct hand compaction during placement and when using hand compaction with indirect ultrasonic activation with different application times. Methods. One hundred acrylic canals were obturated in 3 increments with MTA in sample sizes of 10. One group was obturated by hand with an endodontic plugger and the remainder obturated with indirect ultrasonic application, with times ranging from 2 seconds to 18 seconds per increment. Microhardness values, dye penetration depths, and radiographs of the samples were evaluated. Results. As ultrasonic application time per increment increased, microhardness values fell significantly while dye penetration values increased . Microhardness of MTA ultrasonicated for 2 seconds was significantly higher than hand compaction . Most radiographic voids were visible in the hand-compacted group , which also had higher dye penetration depths than the 2-second ultrasonicated samples. Ultrasonication of MTA for 10–18 seconds resulted in significantly more voids than 2–8 seconds of ultrasonication . Conclusion. The use of ultrasonics with MTA improved the compaction and flow of MTA, but excessive ultrasonication adversely affected MTA properties. A time of 2 seconds of ultrasonication per increment presented the best compromise between microhardness values, dye penetration depths, and lack of radiographic voids. Peter Parashos, Amanda Phoon, and Chankhrit Sathorn Copyright © 2014 Peter Parashos et al. All rights reserved. Characterization of Genipin-Modified Dentin Collagen Tue, 25 Mar 2014 11:23:04 +0000 Application of biomodification techniques to dentin can improve its biochemical and biomechanical properties. Several collagen cross-linking agents have been reported to strengthen the mechanical properties of dentin. However, the characteristics of collagen that has undergone agent-induced biomodification are not well understood. The objective of this study was to analyze the effects of a natural cross-linking agent, genipin (GE), on dentin discoloration, collagen stability, and changes in amino acid composition and lysyl oxidase mediated natural collagen cross-links. Dentin collagen obtained from extracted bovine teeth was treated with three different concentrations of GE (0.01%, 0.1%, and 0.5%) for several treatment times (0–24 h). Changes in biochemical properties of NaB3H4-reduced collagen were characterized by amino acid and cross-link analyses. The treatment of dentin collagen with GE resulted in a concentration- and time-dependent pigmentation and stability against bacterial collagenase. The lysyl oxidase-mediated trivalent mature cross-link, pyridinoline, showed no difference among all groups while the major divalent immature cross-link, dehydro-dihydroxylysinonorleucine/its ketoamine in collagen treated with 0.5% GE for 24 h, significantly decreased compared to control (). The newly formed GE-induced cross-links most likely involve lysine and hydroxylysine residues of collagen in a concentration-dependent manner. Some of these cross-links appear to be reducible and stabilized with NaB3H4. Hiroko Nagaoka, Hideaki Nagaoka, Ricardo Walter, Lee W. Boushell, Patricia A. Miguez, Andrew Burton, André V. Ritter, and Mitsuo Yamauchi Copyright © 2014 Hiroko Nagaoka et al. All rights reserved. D-Glucosamine Conjugation Accelerates the Labeling Efficiency of Quantum Dots in Osteoblastic Cells Mon, 24 Mar 2014 08:47:48 +0000 Quantum dots (QDs) are useful imaging tools in the medical and biological fields due to their optical properties, such as a high fluorescence intensity, remarkable resistance to photobleaching, broad absorption spectra, and narrow emission spectra. This is the first study to investigate the uptake of carboxylated QDs conjugated with D-glucosamine (core size: approximately 3 nm, final modified size: 20–30 nm) into cultured osteoblastic cells. The QDs attached to the cell surface and were transported into the cytoplasm within approximately three hours of culture, whose process was clearly demonstrated using specific fluorescent staining of the cell membrane. Although the intranuclear distribution was not observed, a dramatic decrease in the transfer of quantum dots into the cytoplasm was recognized after approximately seven days of culture. Other interesting phenomena include the escape of the quantum dots from lysosomes in the cytoplasm, as confirmed by the merging of both QD fluorescence and specific fluorescent staining of lysosomes in the cytoplasm. These findings suggest that D-glucosamine conjugation enhances proton absorption in acid organelles and promotes the lysosomal escape of QDs. Kazunari Igawa, Ming-Fang Xie, Hideki Ohba, Shizuka Yamada, and Yoshihiko Hayashi Copyright © 2014 Kazunari Igawa et al. All rights reserved. Acute and Subacute Toxicity In Vivo of Thermal-Sprayed Silver Containing Hydroxyapatite Coating in Rat Tibia Thu, 20 Mar 2014 09:45:21 +0000 To reduce the incidence of implant-associated infection, we previously developed a novel coating technology using hydroxyapatite (HA) containing silver (Ag). This study examined in vivo acute and subacute toxicity associated with the Ag-HA coating in rat tibiae. Ten-week-old rats received implantation of HA-, 2% Ag-HA-, or 50% Ag-HA-coated titanium rods. Concentrations of silver in serum, brain, liver, kidneys, and spleen were measured in the acute phase (2–4 days after treatment) and subacute phase (4–12 weeks after treatment). Biochemical and histological examinations of those organs were also performed. Mean serum silver concentration peaked in the acute phase and then gradually decreased. Mean silver concentrations in all examined organs from the 2% Ag-HA coating groups showed no significant differences compared with the HA coating group. No significant differences in mean levels of glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase, glutamic-pyruvic transaminase, lactate dehydrogenase, creatinine, or blood urea nitrogen were seen between the three groups and controls. Histological examinations of all organs revealed no abnormal pathologic findings. No acute or subacute toxicity was seen in vivo for 2% Ag-HA coating or HA coating. Ag-HA coatings on implants may represent biologically safe antibacterial biomaterials and may be of value for reducing surgical-site infections related to implantation. Masatsugu Tsukamoto, Hiroshi Miyamoto, Yoshiki Ando, Iwao Noda, Shuichi Eto, Takayuki Akiyama, Yutaka Yonekura, Motoki Sonohata, and Masaaki Mawatari Copyright © 2014 Masatsugu Tsukamoto et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Prepolymerized Particle Size and Polymerization Kinetics on Volumetric Shrinkage of Dental Modeling Resins Mon, 17 Mar 2014 09:25:35 +0000 Dental modeling resins have been developed for use in areas where highly precise resin structures are needed. The manufacturers claim that these polymethyl methacrylate/methyl methacrylate (PMMA/MMA) resins show little or no shrinkage after polymerization. This study examined the polymerization shrinkage of five dental modeling resins as well as one temporary PMMA/MMA resin (control). The morphology and the particle size of the prepolymerized PMMA powders were investigated by scanning electron microscopy and laser diffraction particle size analysis, respectively. Linear polymerization shrinkage strains of the resins were monitored for 20 minutes using a custom-made linometer, and the final values (at 20 minutes) were converted into volumetric shrinkages. The final volumetric shrinkage values for the modeling resins were statistically similar () or significantly larger () than that of the control resin and were related to the polymerization kinetics () rather than the PMMA bead size (). Therefore, the optimal control of the polymerization kinetics seems to be more important for producing high-precision resin structures rather than the use of dental modeling resins. Tae-Yub Kwon, Jung-Yun Ha, Ju-Na Chun, Jun Sik Son, and Kyo-Han Kim Copyright © 2014 Tae-Yub Kwon et al. All rights reserved. A Proteomic View to Characterize the Effect of Chitosan Nanoparticle to Hepatic Cells: Is Chitosan Nanoparticle an Enhancer of PI3K/AKT1/mTOR Pathway? Sun, 16 Mar 2014 12:37:43 +0000 Chitosan nanoparticle, a biocompatible material, was used as a potential drug delivery system widely. Our current investigation studies were the bioeffects of the chitosan nanoparticle uptake by liver cells. In this experiment, the characterizations of chitosan nanoparticles were measured by transmission electron microscopy and particle size analyzer. The average size of the chitosan nanoparticle was  nm, and the average zeta potential was  mV. Moreover, using proteomic approaches to analyze the differential protein expression patterns resulted from the chitosan nanoparticle uptaken by HepG2 and CCL-13 cells identified several proteins involved in the PI3K/AKT1/mTOR pathway. Our experimental results have demonstrated that the chitosan nanoparticle may involve in the liver cancer cell metastasis and proliferation. Ming-Hui Yang, Shyng-Shiou Yuan, Ying-Fong Huang, Po-Chiao Lin, Chi-Yu Lu, Tze-Wen Chung, and Yu-Chang Tyan Copyright © 2014 Ming-Hui Yang et al. All rights reserved. Anti-CD133 Antibody Immobilized on the Surface of Stents Enhances Endothelialization Mon, 10 Mar 2014 09:47:28 +0000 Drug eluting stents successfully reduce restenosis at the cost of delayed reendothelialization. In recent years, a novel concept to enhance reendothelialization using anti-CD34 antibody coated stents which capture circulating progenitor cells (EPCs) has been developed with conflicting clinical results. CD133 is a glycoprotein expressed on circulating hematopoietic and putative endothelial-regenerating cells and may be superior to CD34 for EPCs capture stents. In the present study, anti-CD133 antibody has been successfully immobilized to the biodegradable polymeric coating material by covalent conjugation. We explore whether anti-CD133 antibody coated stents (CD133 stents) might accelerate reendothelialization in comparison with bare metal stents (BMS) through the superior ability to capture EPCs. The in vitro cell culture results indicate that anti-CD133 antibody functionalized polymer film significantly promotes CD133 positive cells attachment and growth compared with the unfunctionalized polymer film. In the semi-in vivo arteriovenous shunt model CD133 stents demonstrate much quicker specific capturing of EPCs from the blood stream than BMS within 6 hours. In a porcine coronary artery injury model CD133 stents show more effective reendothelialization in short term compared with BMS, while no significant difference in endothelial function recovery was observed between these two groups within 6-month followup. Jian Li, Dan Li, Feirong Gong, Shaoyan Jiang, Hua Yu, and Yi An Copyright © 2014 Jian Li et al. All rights reserved. Physical Properties of Polyamide-12 versus PMMA Denture Base Material Sun, 09 Mar 2014 08:03:29 +0000 Objectives. Polyamide-12 (PA) is a flexible material suited for denture bases and clasping. This study investigated its potential aging effects with a focus on surface roughness, color stability, and elasticity. Methods. PA specimens (Valplast) of  mm and equally measuring PMMA specimens (Palapress) as control were fabricated. Color changes after storage in air, water, coffee, and red wine were measured using the CIE color specification. Elasticity after thermocycling (1000, 3000, and 7000 cycles,  ) was measured by three-point bending testing. Mean surface roughness (Ra) was determined after storage in the liquids mentioned above and thermocycling . Results. Tukey’s HSD test revealed statistically significant color changes of PA in red wine ( after 12 days, after 12 days) and coffee ( after 36 days) but no color changes in PMMA. Elastic modulus of PA was 845 MPa and not affected by thermocycling (Tukey's HSD test,  ). Dry specimens showed significantly decreased elasticity . Mean surface roughness (PA 0.20 μm, PMMA 0.28 μm) did not change significantly after thermocycling or storage (Mann-Whitney -test,  ). Significance. PA exhibited a higher susceptibility to discoloration than PMMA. Neither surface roughness nor elasticity of PA was altered by artificial aging. Mieszko Wieckiewicz, Volker Opitz, Gert Richter, and Klaus W. Boening Copyright © 2014 Mieszko Wieckiewicz et al. All rights reserved. Osteoblasts Growth Behaviour on Bio-Based Calcium Carbonate Aragonite Nanocrystal Thu, 06 Mar 2014 06:06:50 +0000 Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) nanocrystals derived from cockle shells emerge to present a good concert in bone tissue engineering because of their potential to mimic the composition, structure, and properties of native bone. The aim of this study was to evaluate the biological response of CaCO3 nanocrystals on hFOB 1.19 and MC3T3 E-1 osteoblast cells in vitro. Cell viability and proliferation were assessed by MTT and BrdU assays, and LDH was measured to determine the effect of CaCO3 nanocrystals on cell membrane integrity. Cellular morphology was examined by SEM and fluorescence microscopy. The results showed that CaCO3 nanocrystals had no toxic effects to some extent. Cell proliferation, alkaline phosphatase activity, and protein synthesis were enhanced by the nanocrystals when compared to the control. Cellular interactions were improved, as indicated by SEM and fluorescent microscopy. The production of VEGF and TGF-1 was also affected by the CaCO3 nanocrystals. Therefore, bio-based CaCO3 nanocrystals were shown to stimulate osteoblast differentiation and improve the osteointegration process. Abdullahi Shafiu Kamba and Zuki Abu Bakar Zakaria Copyright © 2014 Abdullahi Shafiu Kamba and Zuki Abu Bakar Zakaria. All rights reserved. Characterization of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube-Reinforced Hydroxyapatite Composites Consolidated by Spark Plasma Sintering Tue, 04 Mar 2014 12:09:07 +0000 Pure HA and 1, 3, 5, and 10 vol% multiwalled carbon nanotube- (MWNT-) reinforced hydroxyapatite (HA) were consolidated using a spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique. The relative density of pure HA increased with increasing sintering temperature, but that of the MWNT/HA composite reached almost full density at 900°C, and then decreased with further increases in sintering temperature. The relative density of the MWNT/HA composites increased with increasing MWNT content due to the excellent thermal conductivity of MWNTs. The grain size of MWNT/HA composites decreased with increasing MWNT content and increased with increasing sintering temperature. Pull-out toughening of the MWNTs of the MWNT/HA composites was observed in the fractured surface, which can be used to predict the improvement of the mechanical properties. On the other hand, the existence of undispersed or agglomerate MWNTs in the MWNT/HA composites accompanied large pores. The formation of large pores increased with increasing sintering temperature and MWNT content. The addition of MWNT in HA increased the hardness and fracture toughness by approximately 3~4 times, despite the presence of large pores produced by un-dispersed MWNTs. This provides strong evidence as to why the MWNTs are good candidates as reinforcements for strengthening the ceramic matrix. The MWNT/HA composites did not decompose during SPS sintering. The MWNT-reinforced HA composites were non-toxic and showed a good cell affinity and morphology in vitro for 1 day. Duk-Yeon Kim, Young-Hwan Han, Jun Hee Lee, Inn-Kyu Kang, Byung-Koog Jang, and Sukyoung Kim Copyright © 2014 Duk-Yeon Kim et al. All rights reserved. Chitooligosaccharide and Its Derivatives: Preparation and Biological Applications Mon, 03 Mar 2014 07:39:53 +0000 Chitin is a natural polysaccharide of major importance. This biopolymer is synthesized by an enormous number of living organisms; considering the amount of chitin produced annually in the world, it is the most abundant polymer after cellulose. The most important derivative of chitin is chitosan, obtained by partial deacetylation of chitin under alkaline conditions or by enzymatic hydrolysis. Chitin and chitosan are known to have important functional activities but poor solubility makes them difficult to use in food and biomedicinal applications. Chitooligosaccharides (COS) are the degraded products of chitosan or chitin prepared by enzymatic or chemical hydrolysis of chitosan. The greater solubility and low viscosity of COS have attracted the interest of many researchers to utilize COS and their derivatives for various biomedical applications. In light of the recent interest in the biomedical applications of chitin, chitosan, and their derivatives, this review focuses on the preparation and biological activities of chitin, chitosan, COS, and their derivatives. Gaurav Lodhi, Yon-Suk Kim, Jin-Woo Hwang, Se-Kwon Kim, You-Jin Jeon, Jae-Young Je, Chang-Bum Ahn, Sang-Ho Moon, Byong-Tae Jeon, and Pyo-Jam Park Copyright © 2014 Gaurav Lodhi et al. All rights reserved. Preparation of Cylinder-Shaped Porous Sponges of Poly(L-lactic acid), Poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid), and Poly(-caprolactone) Thu, 27 Feb 2014 09:16:05 +0000 Design of mechanical skeletons of biodegradable synthetic polymers such as poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA), poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA), and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) is important in the construction of the hybrid scaffolds of biodegradable synthetic polymers and naturally derived polymers such as collagen. In this study, cylinder-shaped PLLA, PLGA, and PCL sponges were prepared by the porogen leaching method using a cylinder model. The effects of polymer type, polymer fraction, cylinder height, pore size, and porosity on the mechanical properties of the cylinder-shape sponges were investigated. SEM observation showed that these cylinder-shaped sponges had evenly distributed bulk pore structures and the wall surfaces were less porous with a smaller pore size than the wall bulk pore structures. The porosity and pore size of the sponges could be controlled by the ratio and size of the porogen materials. The PLGA sponges showed superior mechanical properties than those of the PLLA and PCL sponges. Higher porosity resulted in an inferior mechanical strength. The pore size and sponge height also affected the mechanical properties. The results indicate that cylinder-shaped sponges can be tethered by choosing the appropriate polymers, size and ratio of porogen materials and dimension of sponges based on the purpose of the application. Xiaoming He, Naoki Kawazoe, and Guoping Chen Copyright © 2014 Xiaoming He et al. All rights reserved. Morphological Effects of HA on the Cell Compatibility of Electrospun HA/PLGA Composite Nanofiber Scaffolds Wed, 26 Feb 2014 05:59:58 +0000 Tissue engineering is faced with an uphill challenge to design a platform with appropriate topography and suitable surface chemistry, which could encourage desired cellular activities and guide bone tissue regeneration. To develop such scaffolds, composite nanofiber scaffolds of nHA and sHA with PLGA were fabricated using electrospinning technique. nHA was synthesized using precipitation method, whereas sHA was purchased. The nHA and sHA were suspended in PLGA solution separately and electrospun at optimized electrospinning parameters. The composite nanofiber scaffolds were characterized by FE-SEM, EDX analysis, TEM, XRD analysis, FTIR, and X-ray photoelectron. The potential of the HA/PLGA composite nanofiber as bone scaffolds in terms of their bioactivity and biocompatibility was assessed by culturing the osteoblastic cells onto the composite nanofiber scaffolds. The results from in vitro studies revealed that the nHA/PLGA composite nanofiber scaffolds showed higher cellular adhesion, proliferation, and enhanced osteogenesis performance, along with increased Ca+2 ions release compared to the sHA/PLGA composite nanofiber scaffolds and pristine PLGA nanofiber scaffold. The results show that the structural dependent property of HA might affect its potential as bone scaffold and implantable materials in regenerative medicine and clinical tissue engineering. Adnan Haider, Kailash Chandra Gupta, and Inn-Kyu Kang Copyright © 2014 Adnan Haider et al. All rights reserved. Collagen Scaffolds with Controlled Insulin Release and Controlled Pore Structure for Cartilage Tissue Engineering Tue, 25 Feb 2014 10:38:47 +0000 Controlled and local release of growth factors and nutrients from porous scaffolds is important for maintenance of cell survival, proliferation, and promotion of tissue regeneration. The purpose of the present research was to design a controlled release porous collagen-microbead hybrid scaffold with controlled pore structure capable of releasing insulin for application to cartilage tissue regeneration. Collagen-microbead hybrid scaffold was prepared by hybridization of insulin loaded PLGA microbeads with collagen using a freeze-drying technique. The pore structure of the hybrid scaffold was controlled by using preprepared ice particulates having a diameter range of 150–250 μm. Hybrid scaffold had a controlled pore structure with pore size equivalent to ice particulates and good interconnection. The microbeads showed an even spatial distribution throughout the pore walls. In vitro insulin release profile from the hybrid scaffold exhibited a zero order release kinetics up to a period of 4 weeks without initial burst release. Culture of bovine articular chondrocytes in the hybrid scaffold demonstrated high bioactivity of the released insulin. The hybrid scaffold facilitated cell seeding and spatial cell distribution and promoted cell proliferation. Himansu Sekhar Nanda, Shangwu Chen, Qin Zhang, Naoki Kawazoe, and Guoping Chen Copyright © 2014 Himansu Sekhar Nanda et al. All rights reserved. Carbon Nanotubes Reinforced Composites for Biomedical Applications Mon, 24 Feb 2014 08:37:22 +0000 This review paper reported carbon nanotubes reinforced composites for biomedical applications. Several studies have found enhancement in the mechanical properties of CNTs-based reinforced composites by the addition of CNTs. CNTs reinforced composites have been intensively investigated for many aspects of life, especially being made for biomedical applications. The review introduced fabrication of CNTs reinforced composites (CNTs reinforced metal matrix composites, CNTs reinforced polymer matrix composites, and CNTs reinforced ceramic matrix composites), their mechanical properties, cell experiments in vitro, and biocompatibility tests in vivo. Wei Wang, Yuhe Zhu, Susan Liao, and Jiajia Li Copyright © 2014 Wei Wang et al. All rights reserved. Impact of Core-Forming Segment Structure on Drug Loading in Biodegradable Polymeric Micelles Using PEG-b-Poly(lactide-co-depsipeptide) Block Copolymers Thu, 20 Feb 2014 16:22:47 +0000 We synthesized series of amphiphilic AB-type block copolymers having systematic variation in the core-forming segments using poly(lactide-co-depsipeptide)s as a hydrophobic segment and prepared polymeric micelles using the block copolymers, PEG-b-poly(lactide-co-depsipeptide). We then discussed the relationship between the core-forming segment structure and drug loading efficiency for the polymeric micelles. PEG-b-poly(lactide-co-depsipeptide)s, PEG-b-PLGL containing l-leucine (Leu), and PEG-b-PLGF containing l-phenylalanine (Phe), with similar molecular weights and various mole fractions of depsipeptide units, were synthesized. Polymeric micelles entrapping model drug (fluorescein, FL) were prepared using these copolymers. As a result, PEG-b-poly(lactide-co-depsipeptide) micelles showed higher drug loading compared with PEG-b-PLLA and PEG-b-PDLLA as controls. The drug loading increased with increase in the mole fraction of depsipeptide unit in the hydrophobic segments. The introduction of aliphatic and aromatic depsipeptide units was effective to achieve higher FL loading into the micelles. PEG-b-PLGL micelle showed higher drug loading than PEG-b-PLGF micelle when the amount of FL in feed was high. These results obtained in this study should be useful for strategic design of polymeric micelle-type drug delivery carrier with high drug loading efficiency. Akihiro Takahashi, Yuta Ozaki, Akinori Kuzuya, and Yuichi Ohya Copyright © 2014 Akihiro Takahashi et al. All rights reserved. Fabrication and Characterization of Thermoresponsive Polystyrene Nanofibrous Mats for Cultured Cell Recovery Thu, 20 Feb 2014 06:21:39 +0000 Rapid cell growth and rapid recovery of intact cultured cells are an invaluable technique to maintain the biological functions and viability of cells. To achieve this goal, thermoresponsive polystyrene (PS) nanofibrous mat was fabricated by electrospinning of PS solution, followed by the graft polymerization of thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)(PIPAAm) on PS nanofibrous mats. Image analysis of the PS nanofiber revealed a unimodal distribution pattern with 400 nm average fiber diameter. Graft polymerization of PIPAAm on PS nanofibrous mats was confirmed by spectroscopic methods such as ATR-FTIR, ESCA, and AFM. Human fibroblasts were cultured on four different surfaces, PIPAAm-grafted and ungrafted PS dishes and PIPAAm-grafted and ungrafted PS nanofibrous mats, respectively. Cells on PIPAAm-grafted PS nanofibrous mats were well attached, spread, and proliferated significantly much more than those on other surfaces. Cultured cells were easily detached from the PIPAAm-grafted surfaces by decreasing culture temperature to 20°C, while negligible cells were detached from ungrafted surfaces. Moreover, cells on PIPAAm-grafted PS nanofibrous mats were detached more rapidly than those on PIPAAm-grafted PS dishes. These results suggest that thermoresponsive nanofibrous mats are attractive cell culture substrates which enable rapid cell growth and recovery from the culture surface for application to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Hwan Hee Oh, Young-Gwang Ko, Hiroshi Uyama, Won Ho Park, Donghwan Cho, and Oh Hyeong Kwon Copyright © 2014 Hwan Hee Oh et al. All rights reserved. Targeted Delivery System of Nanobiomaterials in Anticancer Therapy: From Cells to Clinics Wed, 19 Feb 2014 13:42:10 +0000 Targeted delivery systems of nanobiomaterials are necessary to be developed for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Nanobiomaterials can be engineered to recognize cancer-specific receptors at the cellular levels and to deliver anticancer drugs into the diseased sites. In particular, nanobiomaterial-based nanocarriers, so-called nanoplatforms, are the design of the targeted delivery systems such as liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles/micelles, nanoconjugates, norganic materials, carbon-based nanobiomaterials, and bioinspired phage system, which are based on the nanosize of 1–100 nm in diameter. In this review, the design and the application of these nanoplatforms are discussed at the cellular levels as well as in the clinics. We believe that this review can offer recent advances in the targeted delivery systems of nanobiomaterials regarding in vitro and in vivo applications and the translation of nanobiomaterials to nanomedicine in anticancer therapy. Su-Eon Jin, Hyo-Eon Jin, and Soon-Sun Hong Copyright © 2014 Su-Eon Jin et al. All rights reserved. Hydrocolloid-Stabilized Magnetite for Efficient Removal of Radioactive Phosphates Tue, 18 Feb 2014 14:01:07 +0000 Liquid radioactive waste is a common by-product when using radioactive isotopes in research and medicine. Efficient remediation of such liquid waste is crucial for increasing safety during the necessary storage of the material. Herein, we present a novel Gum Karaya stabilized magnetite for the efficient removal of radioactive phosphorus 32P from liquid radioactive waste. This environmentally friendly material is well suited to be used as a nanohydrogel for the removal of liquid waste, which can then be stored in a smaller space and without the risk of the spills inherent to the initial liquid material. The maximum adsorption capacity of the GK/M in this study was found to be 15.68 GBq/g. We present a thorough morphological characterization of the synthesised GK/M, as well as a discussion of the possible phosphorus adsorption mechanisms. Vinod Vellora Thekkae Padil, Michael Rouha, and Miroslav Černík Copyright © 2014 Vinod Vellora Thekkae Padil et al. All rights reserved. Emulsion Electrospinning as an Approach to Fabricate PLGA/Chitosan Nanofibers for Biomedical Applications Thu, 13 Feb 2014 09:17:08 +0000 Novel nanofibers from blends of polylactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) and chitosan have been produced through an emulsion electrospinning process. The spinning solution employed polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) as the emulsifier. PVA was extracted from the electrospun nanofibers, resulting in a final scaffold consisting of a blend of PLGA and chitosan. The fraction of chitosan in the final electrospun mat was adjusted from 0 to 33%. Analyses by scanning and transmission electron microscopy show uniform nanofibers with homogenous distribution of PLGA and chitosan in their cross section. Infrared spectroscopy verifies that electrospun mats contain both PLGA and chitosan. Moreover, contact angle measurements show that the electrospun PLGA/chitosan mats are more hydrophilic than electrospun mats of pure PLGA. Tensile strengths of 4.94 MPa and 4.21 MPa for PLGA/chitosan in dry and wet conditions, respectively, illustrate that the polyblend mats of PLGA/chitosan are strong enough for many biomedical applications. Cell culture studies suggest that PLGA/chitosan nanofibers promote fibroblast attachment and proliferation compared to PLGA membranes. It can be assumed that the nanofibrous composite scaffold of PLGA/chitosan could be potentially used for skin tissue reconstruction. Fatemeh Ajalloueian, Hossein Tavanai, Jöns Hilborn, Olivier Donzel-Gargand, Klaus Leifer, Abeni Wickham, and Ayyoob Arpanaei Copyright © 2014 Fatemeh Ajalloueian et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Dental Methacrylates on Oxygen Consumption and Redox Status of Human Pulp Cells Wed, 12 Feb 2014 13:35:26 +0000 Several studies have already demonstrated that the incomplete polymerization of resin-based dental materials causes the release of monomers which might affect cell metabolism. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of triethylene glycol dimethacrylate, 1,4-butanediol dimethacrylate, urethane dimethacrylate, and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate on (1) cellular energy metabolism, evaluating oxygen consumption rate, glucose consumption, glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity, and lactate production, and (2) cellular redox status, through the evaluation of glutathione concentration and of the activities of enzymes regulating glutathione metabolism. Methods. Human pulp cells were used and oxygen consumption was measured by means of a Clark electrode. Moreover, reactive oxygen species production was quantified. Enzymatic activity and glucose and lactate concentrations were determined through a specific kit. Results. Triethylene glycol dimethacrylate, 1,4-butanediol dimethacrylate, and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate induced a decrease in oxygen consumption rate, an enhancement of glucose consumption, and lactate production, whilst glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase and glutathione reductase activity were not significantly modified. Moreover, the monomers induced an increase of reactive oxygen species production with a consequent increase of superoxide dismutase and catalase enzymatic activities. A depletion of both reduced and total glutathione was also observed. Conclusion. The obtained results indicate that dental monomers might alter energy metabolism and glutathione redox balance in human pulp cells. Giuseppina Nocca, Cinzia Callà, Giuseppe Ettore Martorana, Loredana Cicillini, Sandro Rengo, Alessandro Lupi, Massimo Cordaro, Maria Luisa Gozzo, and Gianrico Spagnuolo Copyright © 2014 Giuseppina Nocca et al. All rights reserved. Comparative Biomechanical and Microstructural Analysis of Native versus Peracetic Acid-Ethanol Treated Cancellous Bone Graft Tue, 11 Feb 2014 16:06:43 +0000 Bone transplantation is frequently used for the treatment of large osseous defects. The availability of autologous bone grafts as the current biological gold standard is limited and there is a risk of donor site morbidity. Allogenic bone grafts are an appealing alternative, but disinfection should be considered to reduce transmission of infection disorders. Peracetic acid-ethanol (PE) treatment has been proven reliable and effective for disinfection of human bone allografts. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of PE treatment on the biomechanical properties and microstructure of cancellous bone grafts (CBG). Forty-eight human CBG cylinders were either treated by PE or frozen at −20°C and subjected to compression testing and histological and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis. The levels of compressive strength, stiffness (Young’s modulus), and fracture energy were significantly decreased upon PE treatment by 54%, 59%, and 36%, respectively. Furthermore, PE-treated CBG demonstrated a 42% increase in ultimate strain. SEM revealed a modified microstructure of CBG with an exposed collagen fiber network after PE treatment. We conclude that the observed reduced compressive strength and reduced stiffness may be beneficial during tissue remodeling thereby explaining the excellent clinical performance of PE-treated CBG. Juliane Rauh, Florian Despang, Jorgen Baas, Cornelia Liebers, Axel Pruss, Michael Gelinsky, Klaus-Peter Günther, and Maik Stiehler Copyright © 2014 Juliane Rauh et al. All rights reserved. D-Glucosamine Promotes Transfection Efficiency during Electroporation Tue, 11 Feb 2014 11:29:37 +0000 D-Glucosamine is a useful medicament in various fields of medicine and dentistry. With respect to stability of the cell membrane, it has been reported that bradykinin-induced nociceptive responses are significantly suppressed by the direct application of D-glucosamine. Electroporation is usually used to effectively introduce foreign genes into tissue culture cells. Buffers for electroporation with or without D-glucosamine are used in experiments of transfection vectors. This is the first study to indirectly observe the stability and protection of the osteoblast membrane against both electric stress and gene uptake (the proton sponge hypothesis: osmotic rupture during endosomes prior to fusion with lysosomes) in electroporation with D-glucosamine application. The transfection efficiency was evaluated as the fluorescence intensity of the transfected green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the cultured cells (osteoblasts; NOS-1 cells). The transfection efficiency increased over 30% in the electroporation samples treated with D-glucosamine-supplemented buffer after one day. The membrane absorption of D-glucosamine is the primary mechanism of membrane stress induced by electric stress. This new function of D-glucosamine is useful and meaningful for developing more effective transformation procedures. Kazunari Igawa, Naoko Ohara, Atsushi Kawakubo, Kouji Sugimoto, Kajiro Yanagiguchi, Takeshi Ikeda, Shizuka Yamada, and Yoshihiko Hayashi Copyright © 2014 Kazunari Igawa et al. All rights reserved. Chitosan Feasibility to Retain Retinal Stem Cell Phenotype and Slow Proliferation for Retinal Transplantation Sun, 02 Feb 2014 09:03:37 +0000 Retinal stem cells (RSCs) are promising in cell replacement strategies for retinal diseases. RSCs can migrate, differentiate, and integrate into retina. However, RSCs transplantation needs an adequate support; chitosan membrane (ChM) could be one, which can carry RSCs with high feasibility to support their integration into retina. RSCs were isolated, evaluated for phenotype, and subsequently grown on sterilized ChM and polystyrene surface for 8 hours, 1, 4, and 11 days for analysing cell adhesion, proliferation, viability, and phenotype. Isolated RSCs expressed GFAP, PKC, isolectin, recoverin, RPE65, PAX-6, cytokeratin 8/18, and nestin proteins. They adhered (28 ± 16%, 8 hours) and proliferated (40 ± 20 cells/field, day 1 and 244 ± 100 cells/field, day 4) significantly low on ChM. However, they maintained similar viability (>95%) and phenotype (cytokeratin 8/18, PAX6, and nestin proteins expression, day 11) on both surfaces (ChM and polystyrene). RSCs did not express alpha-SMA protein on both surfaces. RSCs express proteins belonging to epithelial, glial, and neural cells, confirming that they need further stimulus to reach a final destination of differentiation that could be provided in in vivo condition. ChM does not alternate RSCs behaviour and therefore can be used as a cell carrier so that slow proliferating RSCs can migrate and integrate into retina. Girish K. Srivastava, David Rodriguez-Crespo, Amar K. Singh, Clara Casado-Coterillo, Ivan Fernandez-Bueno, Maria T. Garcia-Gutierrez, Joaquin Coronas, and J. Carlos Pastor Copyright © 2014 Girish K. Srivastava et al. All rights reserved. Enhanced Neural Cell Adhesion and Neurite Outgrowth on Graphene-Based Biomimetic Substrates Thu, 30 Jan 2014 09:30:30 +0000 Neural cell adhesion and neurite outgrowth were examined on graphene-based biomimetic substrates. The biocompatibility of carbon nanomaterials such as graphene and carbon nanotubes (CNTs), that is, single-walled and multiwalled CNTs, against pheochromocytoma-derived PC-12 neural cells was also evaluated by quantifying metabolic activity (with WST-8 assay), intracellular oxidative stress (with ROS assay), and membrane integrity (with LDH assay). Graphene films were grown by using chemical vapor deposition and were then coated onto glass coverslips by using the scooping method. Graphene sheets were patterned on SiO2/Si substrates by using photolithography and were then covered with serum for a neural cell culture. Both types of CNTs induced significant dose-dependent decreases in the viability of PC-12 cells, whereas graphene exerted adverse effects on the neural cells just at over 62.5 ppm. This result implies that graphene and CNTs, even though they were the same carbon-based nanomaterials, show differential influences on neural cells. Furthermore, graphene-coated or graphene-patterned substrates were shown to substantially enhance the adhesion and neurite outgrowth of PC-12 cells. These results suggest that graphene-based substrates as biomimetic cues have good biocompatibility as well as a unique surface property that can enhance the neural cells, which would open up enormous opportunities in neural regeneration and nanomedicine. Suck Won Hong, Jong Ho Lee, Seok Hee Kang, Eun Young Hwang, Yu-Shik Hwang, Mi Hee Lee, Dong-Wook Han, and Jong-Chul Park Copyright © 2014 Suck Won Hong et al. All rights reserved. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy Investigation on the Clinical Lifetime of ProTaper Rotary File System Wed, 29 Jan 2014 13:17:12 +0000 The main objective of the current paper is to show that electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) could be a method for evaluating and predicting of ProTaper rotary file system clinical lifespan. This particular aspect of everyday use of the endodontic files is of great importance in each dental practice and has profound clinical implications. The method used for quantification resides in the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy theory and has in its main focus the characteristics of the surface titanium oxide layer. This electrochemical technique has been adapted successfully to identify the quality of the Ni-Ti files oxide layer. The modification of this protective layer induces changes in corrosion behavior of the alloy modifying the impedance value of the file. In order to assess the method, 14 ProTaper sets utilized on different patients in a dental clinic have been submitted for testing using EIS. The information obtained in regard to the surface oxide layer has offered an indication of use and proves that the said layer evolves with each clinical application. The novelty of this research is related to an electrochemical technique successfully adapted for Ni-Ti file investigation and correlation with surface and clinical aspects. Virgil Penta, Cristian Pirvu, and Ioana Demetrescu Copyright © 2014 Virgil Penta et al. All rights reserved. Specific Intracellular Uptake of Herceptin-Conjugated CdSe/ZnS Quantum Dots into Breast Cancer Cells Thu, 09 Jan 2014 13:28:22 +0000 Herceptin, a typical monoclonal antibody, was immobilized on the surface of CdSe/ZnS core-shell quantum dots (QDs) to enhance their specific interactions with breast cancer cells (SK-BR3). The mean size of the core-shell quantum dots (28 nm), as determined by dynamic light scattering, increased to 86 nm after herceptin immobilization. The in vitro cell culture experiment showed that the keratin forming cancer cells (KB) proliferated well in the presence of herceptin-conjugated QDs (QD-Her, 5 nmol/mL), whereas most of the breast cancer cells (SK-BR3) had died. To clarify the mechanism of cell death, the interaction of SK-BR3 cells with QD-Her was examined by confocal laser scanning microscopy. As a result, the QD-Her bound specifically to the membrane of SK-BR3, which became almost saturated after 6 hours incubation. This suggests that the growth signal of breast cancer cells is inhibited completely by the specific binding of herceptin to the Her-2 receptor of SK-BR3 membrane, resulting in cell death. Seung-Jin Han, Pierson Rathinaraj, Soo-Young Park, Young Kyoo Kim, Joon Hyung Lee, Inn-Kyu Kang, Jong-Sik Moon, and Jeffrey G. Winiarz Copyright © 2014 Seung-Jin Han et al. All rights reserved. The Use of Fiber-Reinforced Scaffolds Cocultured with Schwann Cells and Vascular Endothelial Cells to Repair Rabbit Sciatic Nerve Defect with Vascularization Mon, 30 Dec 2013 16:22:32 +0000 To explore the feasibility of biodegradable fiber-reinforced 3D scaffolds with satisfactory mechanical properties for the repair of long-distance sciatic nerve defect in rabbits and effects of vascularized graft in early stage on the recovery of neurological function, Schwann cells and vascular endothelial cells were cocultured in the fiber-reinforced 3D scaffolds. Experiment group which used prevascularized nerve complex for the repair of sciatic nerve defect and control group which only cultured with Schwann cells were set. The animals in both groups underwent electromyography to show the status of the neurological function recovery at 4, 8, and 16 weeks after the surgery. Sciatic nerve regeneration and myelination were observed under the light microscope and electron microscope. Myelin sheath thickness, axonal diameter, and number of myelinated nerve fiber were quantitatively analyzed using image analysis system. The recovery of foot ulcer, the velocity of nerve conduction, the number of regenerating nerve fiber, and the recovery of ultrastructure were increased in the experimental group than those in the control group. Prevascularized tissue engineered fiber-reinforced 3D scaffolds for the repair of sciatic nerve defects in rabbits can effectively promote the recovery of neurological function. Hongyang Gao, Yang You, Guoping Zhang, Feng Zhao, Ziyi Sha, and Yong Shen Copyright © 2013 Hongyang Gao et al. All rights reserved. Immobilization of Bone Morphogenetic Protein on DOPA- or Dopamine-Treated Titanium Surfaces to Enhance Osseointegration Sat, 28 Dec 2013 19:09:58 +0000 Titanium was treated with 3,4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine (DOPA) or dopamine to immobilize bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP2), a biomolecule. DOPA and dopamine solutions turned into suspensions, and precipitates were produced at high pH. Both treatments produced a brown surface on titanium that was thicker at high pH than low pH. Dopamine produced a thicker layer than DOPA. The hydrophobicity of the surfaces increased after treatment with dopamine independent of pH. Furthermore, there were more amino groups in the layers formed at pH 8.5 than pH 4.5 in both treatments. Dopamine treatment produced more amino groups in the layer than DOPA. BMP2 was immobilized on the treated surfaces via a coupling reaction using carbodiimide. More BMP2 was immobilized on surfaces treated at pH 8.5 than pH 4.5 in both treatments. The immobilized BMP induced specific signal transduction and alkali phosphatase, a differentiation marker. Thus, the present study demonstrates that titanium treated with DOPA or dopamine can become bioactive via the surface immobilization of BMP2, which induces specific signal transduction. Jeonghwa Kang, Seiichi Tada, Takashi Kitajima, Tae Il Son, Toshiro Aigaki, and Yoshihiro Ito Copyright © 2013 Jeonghwa Kang et al. All rights reserved. Biodistribution and Molecular Studies on Orally Administered Nanoparticle-AON Complexes Encapsulated with Alginate Aiming at Inducing Dystrophin Rescue in mdx Mice Thu, 12 Dec 2013 18:06:35 +0000 We have previously demonstrated that intraperitoneal injections of 2′-O-methyl-phosphorothioate (2′OMePS) antisense oligoribonucleotides adsorbed onto a cationic core-shell nanoparticles (NPs), termed ZM2, provoke dystrophin restoration in the muscles of mdx mice. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the oral route as an alternative way of administration for ZM2-antisense oligoribonucleotides complexes. The biodistribution and elimination of nanoparticles were evaluated after single and multiple oral doses of IR-dye conjugated nanoparticles. Labeled nanoparticles were tracked in vivo as well as in tissue cryosections, urines and feces by Odyssey infrared imaging system, and revealed a permanence in the intestine and abdominal lymph nodes for 72 hours to 7 days before being eliminated. We subsequently tested alginate-free and alginate-encapsulated ZM2-antisense oligoribonucleotides (AON) complexes orally administered 2 and 3 times per week, respectively, in mdx mice for a total of 12 weeks. Treatment with alginate ZM2-AON induced a slight dystrophin rescue in diaphragm and intestine smooth muscles, while no dystrophin was detected in alginate-free ZM2-AON treated mice. These data encourage further experiments on oral administration testing of NP and AON complexes, possibly translatable in oligoribonucleotides-mediated molecular therapies. Maria Sofia Falzarano, Chiara Passarelli, Elena Bassi, Marina Fabris, Daniela Perrone, Patrizia Sabatelli, Nadir M. Maraldi, Silvia Donà, Rita Selvatici, Paolo Bonaldo, Katia Sparnacci, Michele Laus, Paola Braghetta, Paola Rimessi, and Alessandra Ferlini Copyright © 2013 Maria Sofia Falzarano et al. All rights reserved. The Application of Fiber-Reinforced Materials in Disc Repair Sun, 08 Dec 2013 13:27:58 +0000 The intervertebral disc degeneration and injury are the most common spinal diseases with tremendous financial and social implications. Regenerative therapies for disc repair are promising treatments. Fiber-reinforced materials (FRMs) are a kind of composites by embedding the fibers into the matrix materials. FRMs can maintain the original properties of the matrix and enhance the mechanical properties. By now, there are still some problems for disc repair such as the unsatisfied static strength and dynamic properties for disc implants. The application of FRMs may resolve these problems to some extent. In this review, six parts such as background of FRMs in tissue repair, the comparison of mechanical properties between natural disc and some typical FRMs, the repair standard and FRMs applications in disc repair, and the possible research directions for FRMs' in the future are stated. Bao-Qing Pei, Hui Li, Gang Zhu, De-Yu Li, Yu-Bo Fan, and Shu-Qin Wu Copyright © 2013 Bao-Qing Pei et al. All rights reserved. Use of Magnetic Folate-Dextran-Retinoic Acid Micelles for Dual Targeting of Doxorubicin in Breast Cancer Thu, 05 Dec 2013 16:03:00 +0000 Amphiphilic copolymer of folate-conjugated dextran/retinoic acid (FA/DEX-RA) was self-assembled into micelles by direct dissolution method. Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (MNPs) coated with oleic acid (OA) were prepared by hydrothermal method and encapsulated within the micelles. Doxorubicin HCl was loaded in the magnetic micelles. The characteristics of the magnetic micelles were determined by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM). The crystalline state of OA-coated MNPs and their heat capacity were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) methods, respectively. The iron content of magnetic micelles was determined using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). Bovine serum albumin (BSA) was used to test the protein binding of magnetic micelles. The cytotoxicity of doxorubicin loaded magnetic micelles was studied on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-468 cells using MTT assay and their quantitative cellular uptake by fluorimetry method. TEM results showed the MNPs in the hydrophobic core of the micelles. TGA results confirmed the presence of OA and FA/DEX-RA copolymer on the surface of MNPs and micelles, respectively. The magnetic micelles showed no significant protein bonding and reduced the IC50 of the drug to about 10 times lower than the free drug. J. Varshosaz, H. Sadeghi-aliabadi, S. Ghasemi, and B. Behdadfar Copyright © 2013 J. Varshosaz et al. All rights reserved. Fabrication of Microfibrous and Nano-/Microfibrous Scaffolds: Melt and Hybrid Electrospinning and Surface Modification of Poly(L-lactic acid) with Plasticizer Thu, 05 Dec 2013 09:18:23 +0000 Biodegradable poly(L-lactic acid) (PLA) fibrous scaffolds were prepared by electrospinning from a PLA melt containing poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) as a plasticizer to obtain thinner fibers. The effects of PEG on the melt electrospinning of PLA were examined in terms of the melt viscosity and fiber diameter. Among the parameters, the content of PEG had a more significant effect on the average fiber diameter and its distribution than those of the spinning temperature. Furthermore, nano-/microfibrous silk fibroin (SF)/PLA and PLA/PLA composite scaffolds were fabricated by hybrid electrospinning, which involved a combination of solution electrospinning and melt electrospinning. The SF/PLA (20/80) scaffolds consisted of a randomly oriented structure of PLA microfibers (average fiber diameter = 8.9 µm) and SF nanofibers (average fiber diameter = 820 nm). The PLA nano-/microfiber (20/80) scaffolds were found to have similar pore parameters to the PLA microfiber scaffolds. The PLA scaffolds were treated with plasma in the presence of either oxygen or ammonia gas to modify the surface of the fibers. This approach of controlling the surface properties and diameter of fibers could be useful in the design and tailoring of novel scaffolds for tissue engineering. Young Il Yoon, Ko Eun Park, Seung Jin Lee, and Won Ho Park Copyright © 2013 Young Il Yoon et al. All rights reserved. Vascularized Bone Tissue Formation Induced by Fiber-Reinforced Scaffolds Cultured with Osteoblasts and Endothelial Cells Wed, 04 Dec 2013 15:04:27 +0000 The repair of the damaged bone tissue caused by damage or bone disease was still a problem. Current strategies including the use of autografts and allografts have the disadvantages, namely, diseases transmission, tissue availability and donor morbidity. Bone tissue engineering has been developed and regarded as a new way of regenerating bone tissues to repair or substitute damaged or diseased ones. The main limitation in engineering in vitro tissues is the lack of a sufficient blood vessel system, the vascularization. In this paper, a new-typed hydroxyapatite/collagen composite scaffold which was reinforced by chitosan fibers and cultured with osteoblasts and endothelial cells was fabricated. General observation, histological observation, detection of the degree of vascularization, and X-ray examination had been done to learn the effect of vascularized bone repair materials on the regeneration of bone. The results show that new vessel and bone formed using implant cultured with osteoblasts and endothelial cells. Nanofiber-reinforced scaffold cultured with osteoblasts and endothelial cells can induce vascularized bone tissue formation. Xinhui Liu, Guoping Zhang, Chuanyong Hou, Hua Wang, Yelin Yang, Guoping Guan, Wei Dong, Hongyang Gao, and Qingling Feng Copyright © 2013 Xinhui Liu et al. All rights reserved. Nano Polymeric Carrier Fabrication Technologies for Advanced Antitumor Therapy Wed, 04 Dec 2013 09:54:35 +0000 Comparing with the traditional therapeutic methods, newly developed cancer therapy based on the nanoparticulates attracted extensively interest due to its unique advantages. However, there are still some drawbacks such as the unfavorable in vivo performance for nanomedicine and undesirable tumor escape from the immunotherapy. While as we know that the in vivo performance strongly depended on the nanocarrier structural properties, thus, the big gap between in vitro and in vivo can be overcome by nanocarrier’s structural tailoring by fine chemical design and microstructural tuning. In addition, this fine nanocarrier’s engineering can also provide practical solution to solve the problems in traditional cancer immunotherapy. In this paper, we review the latest development in nanomedicine, cancer therapy, and nanoimmunotherapy. We then give an explanation why fine nanocanrrie’s engineering with special focus on the unique pathology of tumor microenvironments and properties of immunocells can obviously promote the in vivo performance and improve the therapeutic index of nanoimmunotherapy. Wei Li, Mengxin Zhao, Changhong Ke, Ge Zhang, Li Zhang, Huafei Li, Fulei Zhang, Yun Sun, Jianxin Dai, Hao Wang, and Yajun Guo Copyright © 2013 Wei Li et al. All rights reserved. Synthesis, Characterization, and Acute Oral Toxicity Evaluation of pH-Sensitive Hydrogel Based on MPEG, Poly(ε-caprolactone), and Itaconic Acid Sat, 30 Nov 2013 16:50:56 +0000 A kind of chemically cross-linked pH-sensitive hydrogels based on methoxyl poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(caprolactone)-acryloyl chloride (MPEG-PCL-AC, PECA), poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate (MPEGMA, MEG), N,N-methylenebisacrylamide (BIS), and itaconic acid (IA) were prepared without using any organic solvent by heat-initiated free radical method. The obtained macromonomers and hydrogels were characterized by 1H NMR and FT-IR, respectively. Morphology study of hydrogels was also investigated in this paper, and it showed that the hydrogels had good pH-sensitivity. The acute toxicity test and histopathological study were conducted in BALB/c mice. The results indicated that the maximum tolerance dose of the hydrogel was higher than 10000 mg/kg body weight. No morality or signs of toxicity were observed during the whole 7-day observation period. Compared to the control groups, there were no important adverse effects in the variables of hematology routine test and serum chemistry analysis both in male or female treatment group. Histopathological study also did not show any significant lesions, including heart, liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, intestine, and testis. All the results demonstrated that this hydrogel was nontoxic after gavage. Thus, the hydrogel might be the biocompatible potential candidate for oral drug delivery system. Liwei Tan, Xu Xu, Jia Song, Feng Luo, and Zhiyong Qian Copyright © 2013 Liwei Tan et al. All rights reserved. Carbon Nanotubes: Applications in Pharmacy and Medicine Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:30 +0000 Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are allotropes of carbon, made of graphite and constructed in cylindrical tubes with nanometer in diameter and several millimeters in length. Their impressive structural, mechanical, and electronic properties are due to their small size and mass, their strong mechanical potency, and their high electrical and thermal conductivity. CNTs have been successfully applied in pharmacy and medicine due to their high surface area that is capable of adsorbing or conjugating with a wide variety of therapeutic and diagnostic agents (drugs, genes, vaccines, antibodies, biosensors, etc.). They have been first proven to be an excellent vehicle for drug delivery directly into cells without metabolism by the body. Then other applications of CNTs have been extensively performed not only for drug and gene therapies but also for tissue regeneration, biosensor diagnosis, enantiomer separation of chiral drugs, extraction and analysis of drugs and pollutants. Moreover, CNTs have been recently revealed as a promising antioxidant. This minireview focuses the applications of CNTs in all fields of pharmacy and medicine from therapeutics to analysis and diagnosis as cited above. It also examines the pharmacokinetics, metabolism and toxicity of different forms of CNTs and discusses the perspectives, the advantages and the obstacles of this promising bionanotechnology in the future. Hua He, Lien Ai Pham-Huy, Pierre Dramou, Deli Xiao, Pengli Zuo, and Chuong Pham-Huy Copyright © 2013 Hua He et al. All rights reserved. Characterization and In Vivo Biological Performance of Biosilicate Wed, 25 Sep 2013 11:18:23 +0000 After an introduction showing the growing interest in glasses and glass-ceramics as biomaterials used for bone healing, we describe a new biomaterial named Biosilicate. Biosilicate is the designation of a group of fully crystallized glass-ceramics of the Na2O-CaO-SiO2-P2O5 system. Several in vitro tests have shown that Biosilicate is a very active biomaterial and that the HCA layer is formed in less than 24 hours of exposure to “simulated body fluid” (SBF) solution. Also, in vitro studies with osteoblastic cells have shown that Biosilicate disks supported significantly larger areas of calcified matrix compared to 45S5 Bioglass, indicating that this bioactive glass-ceramic may promote enhancement of in vitro bone-like tissue formation in osteogenic cell cultures. Finally, due to its special characteristics, Biosilicate has also been successfully tested in several in vivo studies. These studies revealed that the material is biocompatible, presents excellent bioactive properties, and is effective to stimulate the deposition of newly formed bone in animal models. All these data highlight the huge potential of Biosilicate to be used in bone regeneration applications. Ana Claudia M. Renno, Paulo Sérgio Bossini, Murilo C. Crovace, Ana Candida M. Rodrigues, Edgar Dutra Zanotto, and Nivaldo Antonio Parizotto Copyright © 2013 Ana Claudia M. Renno et al. All rights reserved. New Guar Biopolymer Silver Nanocomposites for Wound Healing Applications Mon, 23 Sep 2013 08:31:46 +0000 Wound healing is an innate physiological response that helps restore cellular and anatomic continuity of a tissue. Selective biodegradable and biocompatible polymer materials have provided useful scaffolds for wound healing and assisted cellular messaging. In the present study, guar gum, a polymeric galactomannan, was intrinsically modified to a new cationic biopolymer guar gum alkylamine (GGAA) for wound healing applications. Biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles (Agnp) were further impregnated in GGAA for extended evaluations in punch wound models in rodents. SEM studies showed silver nanoparticles well dispersed in the new guar matrix with a particle size of ~18 nm. In wound healing experiments, faster healing and improved cosmetic appearance were observed in the new nanobiomaterial treated group compared to commercially available silver alginate cream. The total protein, DNA, and hydroxyproline contents of the wound tissues were also significantly higher in the treated group as compared with the silver alginate cream (). Silver nanoparticles exerted positive effects because of their antimicrobial properties. The nanobiomaterial was observed to promote wound closure by inducing proliferation and migration of the keratinocytes at the wound site. The derivatized guar gum matrix additionally provided a hydrated surface necessary for cell proliferation. Runa Ghosh Auddy, Md Farooque Abdullah, Suvadra Das, Partha Roy, Sriparna Datta, and Arup Mukherjee Copyright © 2013 Runa Ghosh Auddy et al. All rights reserved. Biomaterials-Based Modulation of the Immune System Sun, 22 Sep 2013 10:40:16 +0000 The immune system is traditionally considered from the perspective of defending against bacterial or viral infections. However, foreign materials like implants can also illicit immune responses. These immune responses are mediated by a large number of molecular signals, including cytokines, antibodies and reactive radical species, and cell types, including macrophages, neutrophils, natural killer cells, T-cells, B-cells, and dendritic cells. Most often, these molecular signals lead to the generation of fibrous encapsulation of the biomaterials, thereby shielding the body from these biomaterials. In this review we will focus on two different types of biomaterials: those that actively modulate the immune response, as seen in antigen delivery vehicles for vaccines, and those that illicit relatively small immune response, which are important for implantable materials. The first serves to actively influence the immune response by co-opting certain immune pathways, while the second tries to mimic the properties of the host in an attempt to remain undetected by the immune system. As these are two very different end points, each type of biomaterial has been studied and developed separately and in recent years, many advances have been made in each respective area, which will be highlighted in this review. Austin B. Gardner, Simon K. C. Lee, Elliot C. Woods, and Abhinav P. Acharya Copyright © 2013 Austin B. Gardner et al. All rights reserved. Biomimetic Mineralization on a Macroporous Cellulose-Based Matrix for Bone Regeneration Thu, 19 Sep 2013 08:22:25 +0000 The aim of this study is to investigate the biomimetic mineralization on a cellulose-based porous matrix with an improved biological profile. The cellulose matrix was precalcified using three methods: (i) cellulose samples were treated with a solution of calcium chloride and diammonium hydrogen phosphate; (ii) the carboxymethylated cellulose matrix was stored in a saturated calcium hydroxide solution; (iii) the cellulose matrix was mixed with a calcium silicate solution in order to introduce silanol groups and to combine them with calcium ions. All the methods resulted in a mineralization of the cellulose surfaces after immersion in a simulated body fluid solution. Over a period of 14 days, the matrix was completely covered with hydroxyapatite crystals. Hydroxyapatite formation depended on functional groups on the matrix surface as well as on the precalcification method. The largest hydroxyapatite crystals were obtained on the carboxymethylated cellulose matrix treated with calcium hydroxide solution. The porous cellulose matrix was not cytotoxic, allowing the adhesion and proliferation of human osteoblastic cells. Comparatively, improved cell adhesion and growth rate were achieved on the mineralized cellulose matrices. Odeta Petrauskaite, Pedro de Sousa Gomes, Maria Helena Fernandes, Gintaras Juodzbalys, Arturas Stumbras, Julius Maminskas, Jolanta Liesiene, and Marco Cicciù Copyright © 2013 Odeta Petrauskaite et al. All rights reserved. Preliminary Characterization of Genipin-Cross-Linked Silk Sericin/Poly(vinyl alcohol) Films as Two-Dimensional Wound Dressings for the Healing of Superficial Wounds Wed, 11 Sep 2013 09:47:06 +0000 The genipin-cross-linked silk sericin/poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) films were developed aiming to be applied as two-dimensional wound dressings for the treatment of superficial wounds. The effects of genipin cross-linking concentration on the physical and biological properties of the films were investigated. The genipin-cross-linked silk sericin/PVA films showed the increased surface density, tensile strength, and percentage of elongation, but decreased percentage of light transmission, water vapor transmission rate, and water swelling, compared to the non-cross-linked films. This explained that the cross-linking bonds between genipin and silk sericin would reduce the mobility of molecular chains within the films, resulting in the more rigid molecular structure. Silk sericin was released from the genipin-cross-linked films in a sustained manner. In addition, either L929 mouse fibroblast or HaCat keratinocyte cells showed high percentage of viability when cultured on the silk sericin/PVA films cross-linked with 0.075 and 0.1% w/v genipin. The in vivo safety test performed according to ISO 10993-6 confirmed that the genipin-cross-linked silk sericin/PVA films were safe for the medical usages. The efficacy of the films for the treatment of superficial skin wounds will be further investigated in vivo and clinically. The genipin-cross-linked silk sericin/PVA films would be promising choices of two-dimensional wound dressings for the treatment of superficial wounds. Tippawan Siritientong, Juthamas Ratanavaraporn, Teerapol Srichana, and Pornanong Aramwit Copyright © 2013 Tippawan Siritientong et al. All rights reserved. Removal of White Mineral Trioxide Aggregate Cement: A Promising Approach Sun, 08 Sep 2013 16:00:21 +0000 Removal of MTA from dentin by applying 37% hydrochloric acid (HCl) to reduce microhardness and push-out bond strength. Forty dentin slices were filled with WMTA and divided into two groups (). Ten slices remained untreated while others were exposed to either HCl or phosphate buffer saline (PBS) and all samples were subjected to pushout test. The mode of bond failures was determined by SEM analysis. Later, twenty glass tubes were filled with WMTA and divided into two groups (). One side of tube was exposed to HCl or PBS while the other side remained untreated and the microhardness was analyzed by testing machine. HCl showed significantly lower pushout strength and microhardness values (), (). HCl treated samples showed mixed bond failures dominantly, while PBS samples mostly showed adhesive failures. The results of this study can suggest the 37% HCl as an effective solution to aid the removal of MTA from the dentin surfaces. Mohammad Ali Saghiri, Franklin Garcia-Godoy, James L. Gutmann, Nader Sheibani, Armen Asatourian, Mehrdad Lotfi, and Mayam Elyasi Copyright © 2013 Mohammad Ali Saghiri et al. All rights reserved. Biocompatible Bacterial Cellulose-Poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) Nanocomposite Films Thu, 05 Sep 2013 08:18:35 +0000 A series of bacterial cellulose-poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) nanocomposite films was prepared by in situ radical polymerization of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA), using variable amounts of poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) as cross-linker. Thin films were obtained, and their physical, chemical, thermal, and mechanical properties were evaluated. The films showed improved translucency compared to BC and enhanced thermal stability and mechanical performance when compared to poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PHEMA). Finally, BC/PHEMA nanocomposites proved to be nontoxic to human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) and thus are pointed as potential dry dressings for biomedical applications. Andrea G. P. R. Figueiredo, Ana R. P. Figueiredo, Ana Alonso-Varona, Susana C. M. Fernandes, Teodoro Palomares, Eva Rubio-Azpeitia, Ana Barros-Timmons, Armando J. D. Silvestre, Carlos Pascoal Neto, and Carmen S. R. Freire Copyright © 2013 Andrea G. P. R. Figueiredo et al. All rights reserved. Insight into Biological Apatite: Physiochemical Properties and Preparation Approaches Sun, 01 Sep 2013 15:33:51 +0000 Biological apatite is an inorganic calcium phosphate salt in apatite form and nano size with a biological derivation. It is also the main inorganic component of biological hard tissues such as bones and teeth of vertebrates. Consequently, biological apatite has a wide application in dentistry and orthopedics by using as dental fillers and bone substitutes for bone reconstruction and regeneration. Given this, it is of great significance to obtain a comprehensive understanding of its physiochemical and biological properties. However, upon the previous studies, inconsistent and inadequate data of such basic properties as the morphology, crystal size, chemical compositions, and solubility of biological apatite were reported. This may be ascribed to the differences in the source of raw materials that biological apatite are made from, as well as the effect of the preparation approaches. Hence, this paper is to provide some insights rather than a thorough review of the physiochemical properties as well as the advantages and drawbacks of various preparation methods of biological apatite. Quan Liu, Shishu Huang, Jukka Pekka Matinlinna, Zhuofan Chen, and Haobo Pan Copyright © 2013 Quan Liu et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Cyclic Precalcification of Nanotubular TiO2 Layer on the Bioactivity of Titanium Implant Thu, 29 Aug 2013 11:29:37 +0000 The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of cyclic precalcification treatment to impart bioactive properties for titanium implants. Before precalcification, the titanium implants were subjected to blasting using hydroxyapatite (HAp), a resorbable blasting medium (RBM treated), and anodized using an electrolyte containing glycerol, H2O, and NH4F. Precalcification treatment was performed by two different methods, namely, continuous immersion treatment (CIT) and alternate immersion treatment (AIT). In CIT, the RBM treated and anodized titanium implants were immersed in 0.05 M NaH2PO4 solution at 80°C and saturated Ca(OH)2 solution at 100°C for 20 min, whereas during AIT, they were immersed alternatively in both solutions for 1 min for 20 cycles. Anodizing of the titanium implants enables the formation of self-organized TiO2 nanotubes. Cyclic precalcification treatment imparts a better bioactive property and enables an increase in activation level of the titanium implants. The removal torque values of the RBM treated, CIT treated, and AIT treated titanium implants are  Ncm,  Ncm, and  Ncm, respectively. The findings of the study indicate the cyclic precalcification in an effective surface treatment method that would help accelerate osseointegration and impart bioactive property of titanium implants. Il Song Park, Eun Jin Yang, and Tae Sung Bae Copyright © 2013 Il Song Park et al. All rights reserved. Magnesium Coated Bioresorbable Phosphate Glass Fibres: Investigation of the Interface between Fibre and Polyester Matrices Tue, 27 Aug 2013 14:56:46 +0000 Bioresorbable phosphate glass fibre reinforced polyester composites have been investigated as replacement for some traditional metallic orthopaedic implants, such as bone fracture fixation plates. However, composites tested revealed loss of the interfacial integrity after immersion within aqueous media which resulted in rapid loss of mechanical properties. Physical modification of fibres to change fibre surface morphology has been shown to be an effective method to improve fibre and matrix adhesion in composites. In this study, biodegradable magnesium which would gradually degrade to Mg2+ in the human body was deposited via magnetron sputtering onto bioresorbable phosphate glass fibres to obtain roughened fibre surfaces. Fibre surface morphology after coating was observed using scanning electron microscope (SEM). The roughness profile and crystalline texture of the coatings were determined via atomic force microscope (AFM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, respectively. The roughness of the coatings was seen to increase from  nm to  nm. The mechanical properties (tensile strength and modulus) of fibre with coatings decreased with increased magnesium coating thickness. Xiaoling Liu, David M. Grant, Andrew J. Parsons, Lee T. Harper, Chris D. Rudd, and Ifty Ahmed Copyright © 2013 Xiaoling Liu et al. All rights reserved. The Impact of Thermocycling Process on the Dislodgement Force of Different Endodontic Cements Sat, 24 Aug 2013 09:16:32 +0000 To evaluate the effects of thermocycling (500 cycles, 5°C/55°C) on the push-out bond strength of calcium silicate based cements including WMTA, Nano-WMTA, and Bioaggregate to root dentin. Forty-eight dentin slices were prepared and divided into 3 groups () and filled with Angelus WMTA, Nano-WMTA, or Bioaggregate. After incubation, half of the samples were thermocycled while the other half remained untreated. Push-out bond strength was calculated, and the modes of the bond failures were determined by SEM. The highest bond strength was seen in nonthermocycled Nano-WMTA samples and the lowest in thermocycled Bioaggregate samples. The significant differences between nonthermocycled and thermocycled samples were only noticed in WMTA and Nano-WMTA groups (). The mode of failure for thermocycled samples of all three cements was mostly cohesive. Thermocycling process can drastically affect the push-out bond strength of calcium silicate based cements. The intrastructural damages occurred due to the thermal stresses, causing cohesive failures in set materials. Sealing property of endodontic cements which have experienced the thermal stresses can be jeopardized due to occlusal forces happening in furcation cites. Mohammad Ali Saghiri, Armen Asatourian, Franklin Garcia-Godoy, James L. Gutmann, and Nader Sheibani Copyright © 2013 Mohammad Ali Saghiri et al. All rights reserved. Development of Microencapsulation Delivery System for Long-Term Preservation of Probiotics as Biotherapeutics Agent Wed, 21 Aug 2013 12:21:30 +0000 The administration of probiotic bacteria for health benefit has rapidly expanded in recent years, with a global market worth $32.6 billion predicted by 2014. The oral administration of most of the probiotics results in the lack of ability to survive in a high proportion of the harsh conditions of acidity and bile concentration commonly encountered in the gastrointestinal tract of humans. Providing probiotic living cells with a physical barrier against adverse environmental conditions is therefore an approach currently receiving considerable interest. Probiotic encapsulation technology has the potential to protect microorganisms and to deliver them into the gut. However, there are still many challenges to overcome with respect to the microencapsulation process and the conditions prevailing in the gut. This review focuses mainly on the methodological approach of probiotic encapsulation including biomaterials selection and choice of appropriate technology in detailed manner. Himanshu K. Solanki, Dipak D. Pawar, Dushyant A. Shah, Vipul D. Prajapati, Girish K. Jani, Akil M. Mulla, and Prachi M. Thakar Copyright © 2013 Himanshu K. Solanki et al. All rights reserved. Optimization of Sulfide/Sulfite Pretreatment of Lignocellulosic Biomass for Lactic Acid Production Tue, 20 Aug 2013 12:05:09 +0000 Potential of sodium sulfide and sodium sulfite, in the presence of sodium hydroxide was investigated to pretreat the corncob (CC), bagasse (BG), water hyacinth and rice husk (RH) for maximum digestibility. Response Surface Methodology was employed for the optimization of pretreatment factors such as temperature, time and concentration of Na2S and Na2SO3, which had high coefficient of determination () along with low probability value (), indicating the reliable predictability of the model. At optimized conditions, Na2S and Na2SO3 remove up to 97% lignin, from WH and RH, along with removal of hemicellulose (up to 93%) during pretreatment providing maximum cellulose, while in BG and CC; 75.0% and 90.0% reduction in lignin and hemicellulose was observed. Saccharification efficiency of RH, WH, BG and CC after treatment with 1.0% Na2S at 130°C for 2.3–3.0 h was 79.40, 85.93, 87.70, and 88.43%, respectively. WH treated with Na2SO3 showed higher hydrolysis yield (86.34%) as compared to Na2S while other biomass substrates showed 2.0–3.0% less yield with Na2SO3. Resulting sugars were evaluated as substrate for lactic acid production, yielding 26.48, 25.36, 31.73, and 30.31 gL−1 of lactic acid with 76.0, 76.0, 86.0, and 83.0% conversion yield from CC, BG, WH, and RH hydrolyzate, respectively. Muhammad Idrees, Ahmad Adnan, and Fahim Ashraf Qureshi Copyright © 2013 Muhammad Idrees et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of a Thiolated Chitosan Scaffold for Local Delivery of BMP-2 for Osteogenic Differentiation and Ectopic Bone Formation Tue, 20 Aug 2013 08:18:11 +0000 Thiolated chitosan (Thio-CS) is a well-established pharmaceutical excipient for drug delivery. However, its use as a scaffold for bone formation has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of Thio-CS in bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) delivery and bone formation. In vitro study showed that BMP-2 interacted with the Thio-CS and did not affect the swelling behavior. The release kinetics of BMP-2 from the Thio-CS was slightly delayed (70%) within 7 days compared with that from collagen gel (Col-gel, 85%), which is widely used in BMP-2 delivery. The BMP-2 released from Thio-CS increased osteoblastic cell differentiation but did not show any cytotoxicity until 21 days. Analysis of the in vivo ectopic bone formation at 4 weeks of posttransplantation showed that use of Thio-CS for BMP-2 delivery induced more bone formation to a greater extent (1.8 fold) than that of Col-gel. However, bone mineral density in both bones was equivalent, regardless of Thio-CS or Col-gel carrier. Taken together, Thio-CS system might be useful for delivering osteogenic protein BMP-2 and present a promising bone regeneration strategy. In-Ho Bae, Byung-Chul Jeong, Min-Suk Kook, Sun-Hun Kim, and Jeong-Tae Koh Copyright © 2013 In-Ho Bae et al. All rights reserved. HTCC-Modified Nanoclay for Tissue Engineering Applications: A Synergistic Cell Growth and Antibacterial Efficiency Mon, 12 Aug 2013 13:21:17 +0000 This paper deals with the synthesis of a biocompatible chitosan ammonium salt N-(2-hydroxy) propyl-3-trimethylammonium chitosan chloride (HTCC) and using it in montmorillonite ion-exchange process. HTCC-modified montmorillonite (Mt) with different chemical ratios was successfully synthesized, and their characteristics have been verified by XRD and FTIR analyses. Produced samples have been evaluated in terms of antibacterial efficiency and biocompatibility (cell culture test). Antibacterial efficiency of synthesized HTCC/Mt samples has been confirmed against both gram negative bacteria (Escherichia coli) and gram positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus). The results disclosed that the antibacterial efficiency of HTCC-modified montmorillonite was unexpectedly even more than HTCC. This excellent synergistic effect has been referred to entrapping bacteria between the intercalated structures of HTCC-modified montmorillonite. Then HTCC on clay layers can seriously attack and damage the entrapped bacteria. An extraordinary biocompatibility, cell attachment, and cell growth even more than tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS) have been recorded in the case of this novel kind of modified clay. Due to existing concerns about serious and chronic infections after implant placement, this natural-based bioactive and antibacterial modified clay can be used in electrospun nanofibers and other polymeric implants with promising mechanical properties for tissue engineering applications. Majid Aliabadi, Roya Dastjerdi, and Kourosh Kabiri Copyright © 2013 Majid Aliabadi et al. All rights reserved. Effect of Boron Addition on the Thermal, Degradation, and Cytocompatibility Properties of Phosphate-Based Glasses Wed, 07 Aug 2013 12:47:23 +0000 In this study eight different phosphate-based glass compositions were prepared by melt-quenching: four in the (P2O5)45-(CaO)16--(MgO)24- system and four in the system (P2O5)50-(CaO)16--(MgO)24-, where and 10 mol%. The effect of B2O3 addition on the thermal properties, density, molar volume, dissolution rates, and cytocompatibility were studied for both glass systems. Addition of B2O3 increased the glass transition (), crystallisation (), melting (), Liquidus () and dilatometric softening () temperature and molar volume (). The thermal expansion coefficient (α) and density () were seen to decrease. An assessment of the thermal stability of the glasses was made in terms of their processing window (crystallisation onset, minus glass transition temperature, ), and an increase in the processing window was observed with increasing B2O3 content. Degradation studies of the glasses revealed that the rates decreased with increasing B2O3 content and a decrease in degradation rates was also observed as the P2O5 content reduced from 50 to 45 mol%. MG63 osteoblast-like cells cultured in direct contact with the glass samples for 14 days revealed comparative data to the positive control for the cell metabolic activity, proliferation, ALP activity, and morphology for glasses containing up to 5 mol% of B2O3. Nusrat Sharmin, Muhammad S. Hasan, Andrew J. Parsons, David Furniss, Colin A. Scotchford, Ifty Ahmed, and Chris D. Rudd Copyright © 2013 Nusrat Sharmin et al. All rights reserved. In Vitro and In Vivo Investigation of the Potential of Amorphous Microporous Silica as a Protein Delivery Vehicle Wed, 07 Aug 2013 11:52:45 +0000 Delivering growth factors (GFs) at bone/implant interface needs to be optimized to achieve faster osseointegration. Amorphous microporous silica (AMS) has a potential to be used as a carrier and delivery platform for GFs. In this work, adsorption (loading) and release (delivery) mechanism of a model protein, bovine serum albumin (BSA), from AMS was investigated in vitro as well as in vivo. In general, strong BSA adsorption to AMS was observed. The interaction was stronger at lower pH owing to favorable electrostatic interaction. In vitro evaluation of BSA release revealed a peculiar release profile, involving a burst release followed by a 6 h period without appreciable BSA release and a further slower release later. Experimental data supporting this observation are discussed. Apart from understanding protein/biomaterial (BSA/AMS) interaction, determination of in vivo protein release is an essential aspect of the evaluation of a protein delivery system. In this regard micropositron emission tomography (μ-PET) was used in an exploratory experiment to determine in vivo BSA release profile from AMS. Results suggest stronger in vivo retention of BSA when adsorbed on AMS. This study highlights the possible use of AMS as a controlled protein delivery platform which may facilitate osseointegration. Amol Chaudhari, Lieve Vanmellaert, Matthias Bauwens, Peter Vermaelen, Christophe M. Deroose, Ignace Naert, Marcio Vivan Cardoso, Johan A. Martens, and Joke Duyck Copyright © 2013 Amol Chaudhari et al. All rights reserved. Simulated Microgravity Combined with Polyglycolic Acid Scaffold Culture Conditions Improves the Function of Pancreatic Islets Tue, 06 Aug 2013 08:10:14 +0000 The in vitro culture of pancreatic islets reduces their immunogenicity and prolongs their availability for transplantation. Both simulated microgravity (sMG) and a polyglycolic acid scaffold (PGA) are believed to confer advantages to cell culture. Here, we evaluated the effects of sMG combined with a PGA on the viability, insulin-producing activity and morphological alterations of pancreatic islets. Under PGA-sMG conditions, the purity of the islets was ≥85%, and the islets had a higher survival rate and an increased ability to secrete insulin compared with islets cultured alone in the static, sMG, or PGA conditions. In addition, morphological analysis under scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed that the PGA-sMG treatment preserved the integral structure of the islets and facilitated islet adhesion to the scaffolds. These results suggest that PGA-sMG coculture has the potential to improve the viability and function of islets in vitro and provides a promising method for islet transplantation. Yimin Song, Zheng Wei, Chun Song, Shanshan Xie, Jinfa Feng, Jiehou Fan, Zengling Zhang, and Yubo Shi Copyright © 2013 Yimin Song et al. All rights reserved. Bleomycin Loaded Magnetite Nanoparticles Functionalized by Polyacrylic Acid as a New Antitumoral Drug Delivery System Mon, 05 Aug 2013 08:39:35 +0000 Objective. To prepare, characterize, and analyze the release behavior of bleomycin-loaded magnetite nanoparticles (BLM-MNPs) coated with polyacrylic acid (PAA) as a new drug delivery system that can be specifically distributed in the tumor site. Methods. BLM-MNPs coated with PAA were prepared using a solvothermal approach. The particles were characterized using scanning electron microscope (SEM), vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The loading and release behaviors of BLM-MNPs were examined by a mathematical formula and in vitro release profile at pH 7.5. Results. The sphere Fe3O4 nanoparticles with the size of approximately 30 nm exhibit a saturation magnetization of 87 emu/g. The noncoordinated carboxylate groups of PAA confer on the good dispersibility in the aqueous solution and lead to a good loading efficiency of BLM reaching 50% or higher. Approximately 98% of immobilized BLM could be released within 24 h, of which 22.4% was released in the first hour and then the remaining was released slowly and quantitatively in the next 23 hours. Conclusion. BLM-MNPs were prepared and characterized successfully. The particles show high saturation magnetization, high drug loading capacity, and favorable release property, which could contribute to the specific delivery and controllable release of BLM, and the BLM-MNPs could be a potential candidate for the development of treating solid tumors. Yue Xu, Yi Lin, Lin Zhuang, Jiong Lin, Jiahong Lv, Qin Huang, and Jiadong Sun Copyright © 2013 Yue Xu et al. All rights reserved. The Influence of No-Primer Adhesives and Anchor Pylons Bracket Bases on Shear Bond Strength of Orthodontic Brackets Sun, 04 Aug 2013 10:54:28 +0000 Objective. The aim of this study was to compare the shear bond strength (SBS) and adhesive remnant index (ARI) scores of no-primer adhesives tested with two different bracket bases. Materials and Methods. 120 bovine permanent mandibular incisors were divided into 6 groups of 20 specimens. Two brackets (ODP) with different bracket bases (anchor pylons and 80-gauge mesh) were bonded to the teeth using a conventional adhesive (Transbond XT) and two different no-primer adhesive (Ortho Cem; Heliosit) systems. Groups were tested using an instron universal testing machine. SBS values were recorded. ARI scores were measured. SEM microphotographs were taken to evaluate the pattern of bracket bases. Statistical analysis was performed. ANOVA and Tukey tests were carried out for SBS values, whereas a chi-squared test was applied for ARI scores. Results. Highest bond strength values were reported with Transbond XT (with both pad designs), Ortho Cem bonded on anchor pylons and Heliosit on 80-gauge mesh. A higher frequency of ARI score of “3” was reported for Transbond XT groups. Other groups showed a higher frequency of ARI score “2” and “1.” Conclusion. Transbond XT showed the highest shear bond strength values with both pad designs. Andrea Scribante, Maria Francesca Sfondrini, Danilo Fraticelli, Paola Daina, Alessandra Tamagnone, and Paola Gandini Copyright © 2013 Andrea Scribante et al. All rights reserved. Apatite Formation: Why It May Not Work as Planned, and How to Conclusively Identify Apatite Compounds Mon, 29 Jul 2013 15:01:07 +0000 Calcium phosphate apatites are inorganic compounds encountered in many different mineralized tissues. Bone mineral, for example, is constituted of nanocrystalline nonstoichiometric apatite, and the production of “analogs” through a variety of methods is frequently reported. In another context, the ability of solid surfaces to favor the nucleation and growth of “bone-like” apatite upon immersion in supersaturated fluids such as SFB is commonly used as one evaluation index of the “bioactivity” of such surfaces. Yet, the compounds or deposits obtained are not always thoroughly characterized, and their apatitic nature is sometimes not firmly assessed by appropriate physicochemical analyses. Of particular importance are the “actual” conditions in which the precipitation takes place. The precipitation of a white solid does not automatically indicate the formation of a “bone-like carbonate apatite layer” as is sometimes too hastily concluded: “all that glitters is not gold.” The identification of an apatite phase should be carefully demonstrated by appropriate characterization, preferably using complementary techniques. This review considers the fundamentals of calcium phosphate apatite characterization discussing several techniques: electron microscopy/EDX, XRD, FTIR/Raman spectroscopies, chemical analyses, and solid state NMR. It also underlines frequent problems that should be kept in mind when making “bone-like apatites.” Christophe Drouet Copyright © 2013 Christophe Drouet. All rights reserved. Cytotoxicity Testing of Temporary Luting Cements with Two- and Three-Dimensional Cultures of Bovine Dental Pulp-Derived Cells Sun, 28 Jul 2013 08:43:27 +0000 This study evaluated the cytotoxicity of eugenol-containing and eugenol-free temporary luting cements. For cytotoxicity testing, bovine pulp-derived cells transfected with Simian virus 40 Large T antigen were exposed to extracts of eugenol-containing (Rely X Temp E) and eugenol-free (Provicol, PreVISION CEM, and Rely X Temp NE) temporary luting cements for 24 h. The cytotoxicity of the same materials was also evaluated in a dentin barrier test device using three-dimensional cell cultures of bovine pulp-derived cells. The results of the cytotoxicity studies with two-dimensional cultures of bovine dental pulp-derived cells revealed that cell survival with the extracts of Rely X Temp E, Provicol, PreVISION CEM, and Rely X Temp NE was 89.1%, 84.9%, 92.3%, and 66.8%, respectively. Rely X Temp NE and Provicol showed cytotoxic effects on bovine dental pulp-derived cells (). The results of the dentin barrier test revealed that cell survival with the above-mentioned temporary cement was 101.5%, 91.9%, 93.5%, and 90.6%, respectively. None of the temporary luting cements significantly reduced cell survival compared with the negative control in the dentin barrier test (). Biologically active materials released from temporary luting cements may not influence the dentine-pulp complex if the residual dentine layer is at least 0.5 mm thick. Hayriye Esra Ülker, Mustafa Ülker, Hasan Önder Gümüş, Muhammet Yalçın, and Abdulkadir Şengün Copyright © 2013 Hayriye Esra Ülker et al. All rights reserved. Ethanol Postpolymerization Treatment for Improving the Biocompatibility of Acrylic Reline Resins Thu, 18 Jul 2013 10:22:10 +0000 Objective. To evaluate the effect of postpolymerization treatment based on ethanol-aqueous solutions on the residual monomer (RM) content, flexural strength, microhardness, and cytotoxicity of hard chairside reline resins (Kooliner, Ufi Gel Hard). Methods. After polymerization, specimens were immersed in water, 20%, 50%, or 70% ethanol solutions at 23°C or 55°C for 10 minutes. Controls were left untreated. HPLC was used for the determination of RM content. Specimens were submitted to Vickers microhardness and 3-point loading flexural strength tests. Cytotoxicity of resin eluates was determined on human fibroblasts by assessing cellular mitochondrial function and lactate dehydrogenase release. Results. Higher concentrations of ethanol promoted lower RM content at 55°C in both materials. The mechanical properties were maintained after 50% and 20% ethanol treatments in Kooliner and Ufi Gel Hard, respectively. Specimens submitted to those treatments showed significant reduction on cytotoxicity compared to immersion in hot water, the treatment of choice in the recent literature. Significance. Immersion of relined dentures in specific ethanol solutions at 55°C for 10 minutes can be considered an effective postpolymerization treatment contributing to increase materials biocompatibility. The proposed protocol is expeditious and easy to achieve with simple equipment in a dental office. Cristina B. Neves, Luís P. Lopes, Helena F. Ferrão, Joana P. Miranda, Matilde F. Castro, and Ana F. Bettencourt Copyright © 2013 Cristina B. Neves et al. All rights reserved. Mechanical Strength and Biocompatibility of Ultrafine-Grained Commercial Purity Titanium Tue, 02 Jul 2013 08:55:50 +0000 The effect of grain refinement of commercial purity titanium by equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) on its mechanical performance and bone tissue regeneration is reported. In vivo studies conducted on New Zealand white rabbits did not show an enhancement of biocompatibility of ECAP-modified titanium found earlier by in vitro testing. However, the observed combination of outstanding mechanical properties achieved by ECAP without a loss of biocompatibility suggests that this is a very promising processing route to bioimplant manufacturing. The study thus supports the expectation that commercial purity titanium modified by ECAP can be seen as an excellent candidate material for bone implants suitable for replacing conventional titanium alloy implants. Yuri Estrin, Hyoun-Ee Kim, Rimma Lapovok, Hoi Pang Ng, and Ji-Hoon Jo Copyright © 2013 Yuri Estrin et al. All rights reserved. Microwave-Assisted Surface Modification of Metallocene Polyethylene for Improving Blood Compatibility Wed, 12 Jun 2013 15:13:16 +0000 A wide number of polymers are being used for various medical applications. In this work, microwave-assisted surface modification of metallocene polyethylene (mPE) was studied. FTIR analysis showed no significant changes in the chemical groups after treatment. Contact angle analysis revealed a decrease in contact angle of the treated samples insinuating increasing hydrophilicity and better biocompatibility. Qualitative analysis of treated samples using scanning electron microscope (SEM) depicted increasing surface roughness and holes formation further corroborating the results. Coagulation assays performed for estimating prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) showed an increase in the clotting time which further confirmed the improved blood compatibility of the microwave-treated surfaces. Further, the extent of hemolysis in the treated sample was lower than the untreated one. Hence, microwave-assisted surface modification of mPE resulted in enhanced blood compatibility. Improved blood compatibility of mPE may be exploited for fabrication of artificial vascular prostheses, implants, and various blood contacting devices. Hemanth Mohandas, Gunalan Sivakumar, Palaniappan Kasi, Saravana Kumar Jaganathan, and Eko Supriyanto Copyright © 2013 Hemanth Mohandas et al. All rights reserved. Biaxial Flexural Strength of High-Viscosity Glass-Ionomer Cements Heat-Cured with an LED Lamp during Setting Wed, 12 Jun 2013 13:30:50 +0000 Adding heat to glass ionomers during setting might improve mechanical properties. The aim was to compare the biaxial flexural strength (BFS) between and within four glass ionomers, by time of exposure to a high-intensity LED light-curing unit. Materials and methods. Samples of Fuji 9 Gold Label, Ketac Molar Easymix, ChemFil Rock, and the EQUIA system were divided into three treatment groups (): without heating (Group 1), heated with LED lamp of 1400 mW/cm2 for 30 s while setting (Group 2), and heated with LED lamp of 1400 mW/cm2 for 60 s while setting (Group 3). Samples were stored for 48 hours in distilled water at 37°C until tested. BFS was tested, using a universal testing machine at a crosshead speed of 1 mm/min. Data were analyzed, using ANOVA test with the Bonferroni correction (). Heating the glass-ionomer cements with an LED curing light of 1400 mW/cm2 during setting for 30 s increased the BFS value of all GICs. No statistically significant difference in mean BFS scores was found between the EQUIA system and ChemFil Rock at 30 s and 60 s. The mean BFS value was statistically significantly higher for the EQUIA system and ChemFil Rock than for Fuji 9 Gold Label and Ketac Molar Easymix at all exposure times. Gustavo Fabián Molina, Ricardo Juan Cabral, Ignacio Mazzola, Laura Brain Lascano, and Jo E. Frencken Copyright © 2013 Gustavo Fabián Molina et al. All rights reserved. Poly(lactic-co-glycolic) Acid/Nanohydroxyapatite Scaffold Containing Chitosan Microspheres with Adrenomedullin Delivery for Modulation Activity of Osteoblasts and Vascular Endothelial Cells Tue, 11 Jun 2013 11:46:37 +0000 Adrenomedullin (ADM) is a bioactive regulatory peptide that affects migration and proliferation of diverse cell types, including endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, and osteoblast-like cells. This study investigated the effects of sustained release of ADM on the modulation activity of osteoblasts and vascular endothelial cells in vitro. Chitosan microspheres (CMs) were developed for ADM delivery. Poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid and nano-hydroxyapatite were used to prepare scaffolds containing microspheres with ADM. The CMs showed rough surface morphology and high porosity, and they were well-distributed. The scaffolds exhibited relatively uniform pore sizes with interconnected pores. The addition of CMs improved the mechanical properties of the scaffolds without affecting their high porosity. In vitro degradation tests indicated that the addition of CMs increased the water absorption of the scaffolds and inhibited pH decline of phosphate-buffered saline medium. The expression levels of osteogenic-related and angiogenic-related genes were determined in MG63 cells and in human umbilical vein endothelial cells cultured on the scaffolds, respectively. The expression levels of osteogenic-related and angiogenic-related proteins were also detected by western blot analysis. Their expression levels in cells were improved on the ADM delivery scaffolds at a certain time point. The in vitro evaluation suggests that the microsphere-scaffold system is suitable as a model for bone tissue engineering. Lin Wang, Chunyan Li, Yingxin Chen, Shujun Dong, Xuesi Chen, and Yanmin Zhou Copyright © 2013 Lin Wang et al. All rights reserved. Biosorption of Zinc from Aqueous Solution Using Chemically Treated Rice Husk Tue, 11 Jun 2013 11:38:15 +0000 In this study, adsorption of zinc onto the adsorbent (untreated rice husk and NaOH-treated rice husk) was examined. During the removal process, batch technique was used, and the effects of pH and contact time were investigated. Langmuir isotherm was applied in order to determine the efficiency of NaOH-treated rice husk used as an adsorbent. The zinc adsorption was fast, and equilibrium was attained within 30 min. The maximum removal ratios of zinc for untreated rice husk and NaOH-treated rice husk after 1.5 h were 52.3% and 95.2%, respectively, with initial zinc concentration of 25 mg/L and optimum pH of 4.0. Data obtained from batch adsorption experiments fitted well with the Langmuir isotherm model. Maximum adsorption capacity of zinc onto untreated rice husk and NaOH-treated rice husk was 12.41 mg/g, and 20.08 mg/g respectively, at adsorbent dosage of 1 g/L at 25°C. The nature of functional groups (i.e., amino, carboxyl, and hydroxyl) and metal ion interactions was examined by the FT-IR technique. It was concluded that the NaOH-treated rice husk had stronger adsorption capacity for Zn2+ compared with the untreated rice husk. The NaOH-treated rice husk is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly adsorbent for Zn2+ removal from aqueous solutions. Ying Zhang, Ru Zheng, Jiaying Zhao, Yingchao Zhang, Po-keung Wong, and Fang Ma Copyright © 2013 Ying Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Study of the Behavior of a Bell-Shaped Colonic Self-Expandable NiTi Stent under Peristaltic Movements Thu, 06 Jun 2013 11:05:08 +0000 Managing bowel obstruction produced by colon cancer requires an emergency intervention to patients usually in poor conditions, and it requires creating an intestinal stoma in most cases. Regardless of that the tumor may be resectable, a two-stage surgery is mandatory. To avoid these disadvantages, endoscopic placement of self-expanding stents has been introduced more than 10 years ago, as an alternative to relieve colonic obstruction. It can be used as a bridge to elective single-stage surgery avoiding a stoma or as a definitive palliative solution in patients with irresectable tumor or poor estimated survival. Stents must be capable of exerting an adequate radial pressure on the stenosed wall, keeping in mind that stent must not move or be crushed, guaranteeing an adequate lumen when affected by peristaltic waves. A finite element simulation of bell-shaped nitinol stent functionality has been done. Catheter introduction, releasing at position, and the effect of peristaltic wave were simulated. To check the reliability of the simulation, a clinical experimentation with porcine specimens was carried out. The stent presented a good deployment and flexibility. Stent behavior was excellent, expanding from the very narrow lumen corresponding to the maximum peristaltic pressure to the complete recovery of operative lumen when the pressure disappears. Sergio Puértolas, Eduardo Bajador, José A. Puértolas, Enrique López, Elena Ibarz, Luis Gracia, and Antonio Herrera Copyright © 2013 Sergio Puértolas et al. All rights reserved. Bioactive Surface Modification of Hydroxyapatite Wed, 05 Jun 2013 15:27:30 +0000 The purpose of this study was to establish an acid-etching procedure for altering the Ca/P ratio of the nanostructured surface of hydroxyapatite (HAP) by using surface chemical and morphological analyses (XPS, XRD, SEM, surface roughness, and wettability) and to evaluate the in vitro response of osteoblast-like cells (MC3T3-E1 cells) to the modified surfaces. This study utilized HAP and HAP treated with 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, or 60% phosphoric acid solution for 10 minutes at 25°C, followed by rinsing 3 times with ultrapure water. The 30% phosphoric acid etching process that provided a Ca/P ratio of 1.50, without destruction of the grain boundary of HAP, was selected as a surface-modification procedure. Additionally, HAP treated by the 30% phosphoric acid etching process was stored under dry conditions at 25°C for 12 hours, and the Ca/P ratio approximated to 1.00 accidentally. The initial adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation (alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and relative mRNA level for ALP) of MC3T3-E1 cells on the modified surfaces were significantly promoted ( and 0.01). These findings show that the 30% phosphoric acid etching process for the nanostructured HAP surface can alter the Ca/P ratio effectively and may accelerate the initial adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation of MC3T3-E1 cells. Yasuhiko Abe, Yohei Okazaki, Kyou Hiasa, Keisuke Yasuda, Keisuke Nogami, Wataru Mizumachi, and Isao Hirata Copyright © 2013 Yasuhiko Abe et al. All rights reserved. Shear Bond Strength of Orthodontic Brackets and Disinclusion Buttons: Effect of Water and Saliva Contamination Wed, 15 May 2013 15:34:43 +0000 Purpose. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of water and saliva contamination on the shear bond strength and failure site of orthodontic brackets and lingual buttons. Materials and Methods. 120 bovine permanent mandibular incisors were randomly divided into 6 groups of 20 specimens each. Both orthodontic brackets and disinclusion buttons were tested under three different enamel surface conditions: (a) dry, (b) water contamination, and (c) saliva contamination. Brackets and buttons were bonded to the teeth and subsequently tested using a Instron universal testing machine. Shear bond strength values and adhesive failure rate were recorded. Statistical analysis was performed using ANOVA and Tukey tests (strength values) and Chi squared test (ARI Scores). Results. Noncontaminated enamel surfaces showed the highest bond strengths for both brackets and buttons. Under water and saliva contamination orthodontic brackets groups showed significantly lower shear strengths than disinclusion buttons groups. Significant differences in debond locations were found among the groups under the various enamel surface conditions. Conclusions. Water and saliva contamination of enamel during the bonding procedure lowers bond strength values, more with orthodontic brackets than with disinclusion buttons. Maria Francesca Sfondrini, Danilo Fraticelli, Paola Gandini, and Andrea Scribante Copyright © 2013 Maria Francesca Sfondrini et al. All rights reserved. Enhanced Hemostatic Performance of Tranexamic Acid-Loaded Chitosan/Alginate Composite Microparticles Mon, 05 Nov 2012 14:53:05 +0000 Novel microparticles based on chitosan and sodium alginate were prepared using emulsification and cross-linking technologies. The spherical microparticles had a porous surface and a diameter of  m. In simulated body fluid, these microparticles quickly swelled but gradually degraded. The results of the MTT assay revealed that a slight inhibition of cell proliferation was observed on day 2 and then gradually decreased afterward. No cell morphology changes were observed. By loading tranexamic acid, the hemostatic performance of the microparticles was obviously improved. Using fast-acting styptic powder (Flashclot) as the control, the hemostatic efficiency was investigated in rabbits using a liver transection bleeding model. It was found that both Flashclot and the microparticles achieved hemostasis in  min and  min, respectively; however, the tranexamic acid-loaded microparticles stopped the bleeding in  min (). Additionally, Flashclot resulted in heat injury to the experimental livers, while the microparticles did not. Thus, with their biodegradability, safety, and superior hemostatic efficiency, tranexamic acid-loaded microparticles might be a promising new powdered hemostatic agent with a wide range of potential applications. Donghong Li, Pengxi Li, Jiatao Zang, and Jiancang Liu Copyright © 2012 Donghong Li et al. All rights reserved. The Role of TLR and Chemokine in Wear Particle-Induced Aseptic Loosening Sun, 21 Oct 2012 08:27:02 +0000 Wear particle-induced periprosthetic osteolysis remains the principal cause of aseptic loosening of orthopaedic implants. Monocytes/macrophages phagocytose wear particles and release cytokines that induce inflammatory response. This response promotes osteoclast differentiation and osteolysis. The precise mechanisms by which wear particles are recognized and induce the accumulation of inflammatory cells in the periprosthetic tissue have not been fully elucidated. Recent studies have shown that toll-like receptors (TLRs) contribute to the cellular interaction with wear particles. Wear particles are recognized by monocytes/macrophages through TLRs coupled with the adaptor protein MyD88. After the initial interaction, wear particles induce both local and systemic migration of monocytes/macrophages to the periprosthetic region. The cellular migration is mediated through chemokines including interleukin-8, macrophage chemotactic protein-1, and macrophage inhibitory protein-1 in the periprosthetic tissues. Interfering with chemokine-receptor axis can inhibit cellular migration and inflammatory response. This paper highlights recent advances in TLR, and chemokine participated in the pathogenesis of aseptic loosening. A comprehensive understanding of the recognition and migration mechanism is critical to the development of measures that prevent wear particle-induced aseptic loosening of orthopaedic implants. Qiaoli Gu, Qin Shi, and Huilin Yang Copyright © 2012 Qiaoli Gu et al. All rights reserved. Comparison of Acute Recoil between Bioabsorbable Poly-L-lactic Acid XINSORB Stent and Metallic Stent in Porcine Model Wed, 03 Oct 2012 08:15:36 +0000 Objective. To investigate acute recoil of bioabsorbable poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) stent. Background. As newly developed coronary stent, bioabsorbable PLLA stent still encountered concern of acute stent recoil. Methods. Sixteen minipigs were enrolled in our study. Eight PLLA XINSORB stents (Weite Biotechnology Co., Ltd., China) and eight metallic stents (EXCEL, Jiwei Co., Ltd. China) were implanted into coronary arteries. Upon quantitative coronary angiography analysis, acute absolute recoil was defined as the difference between mean diameter of inflated balloon (X) and mean lumen diameter of stent immediately after deployment (Y), while acute percent recoil was defined as (X−Y)/X and expressed as a percentage. Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) was performed immediately after implantation and 24 hours later to compare cross-sectional area (CSA) between two groups and detect stent malapposition or collapse. Results. Acute absolute recoil in XINSORB and EXCEL was  mm and − mm respectively (). Acute percent recoil in XINSORB and EXCEL was % and −%, respectively (). CSA of XINSORB was similar to that of EXCEL immediately after implantation, so was CSA of XINSORB at 24-hours followup. Within XINSORB group, no difference existed between CSA after implantation and CSA at 24-hours followup. No sign of acute stent malapposition was detected by IVUS. Conclusions. The acute stent recoil of XINSORB is similar to that of EXCEL. No acute stent malapposition or collapse appeared in both kinds of stent. This preclinical study was designed to provide preliminary data for future studies of long-term efficacy and safety of XINSORB stent. Yizhe Wu, Li Shen, Qibing Wang, Lei Ge, Jian Xie, Xi Hu, Aijun Sun, Juying Qian, and Junbo Ge Copyright © 2012 Yizhe Wu et al. All rights reserved. Animal Experimental Study of the Fully Biodegradable Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Occluder Tue, 02 Oct 2012 13:14:16 +0000 This study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility, safety, biocompatibility, and degradation features of a fully biodegradable occluder for closure of atrial septal defect (ASD) in an acute canine model. The ASD was created in 20 healthy mongrel dogs by the brockenbrough needle, and the fully biodegradable occluders were implanted by self-made delivery system. The success rate and complications were observed. Acute ASD models were successfully created in 18 dogs, and 16 occluders were successfully implanted in the ASD models. Animals were sacrificed at different times after procedure. The cardiac gross anatomy showed that all occluders were stable in the interatrial septum, no vegetation or thrombus formation was observed on the surface of all occluders. They were embedded into endogenous host tissue gradually at 12-week follow-up. Different periods of pathological observations suggested that the occluders degraded gradually over about 24 weeks and essentially became an integral part of the septum. Transcatheter closure of ASD in acute canine model using the fully biodegradable ASD occluder has the potential of a high successful rate of technique, excellent biocompatibility, and fewer complications with adequate, immediate, and short-term results. Yu-feng Zhu, Xin-miao Huang, Jiang Cao, Jian-qiang Hu, Yuan Bai, Hai-bing Jiang, Zhao-feng Li, Ying Chen, Wei Wang, Yong-wen Qin, and Xian-xian Zhao Copyright © 2012 Yu-feng Zhu et al. All rights reserved. Bioengineering of Improved Biomaterials Coatings for Extracorporeal Circulation Requires Extended Observation of Blood-Biomaterial Interaction under Flow Thu, 31 Jan 2008 00:00:00 +0000 Extended use of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) systems is often hampered by thrombus formation and infection. Part of these problems relates to imperfect hemocompatibility of the CPB circuitry. The engineering of biomaterial surfaces with genuine long-term hemocompatibility is essentially virgin territory in biomaterials science. For example, most experiments with the well-known Chandler loop model, for evaluation of blood-biomaterial interactions under flow, have been described for a maximum duration of 2 hours only. This study reports a systematic evaluation of two commercial CPB tubings, each with a hemocompatible coating, and one uncoated control. The experiments comprised (i) testing over 5 hours under flow, with human whole blood from 4 different donors; (ii) measurement of essential blood parameters of hemocompatibility; (iii) analysis of the luminal surfaces by scanning electron microscopy and thrombin generation time measurements. The dataset indicated differences in hemocompatibility of the tubings. Furthermore, it appeared that discrimination between biomaterial coatings can be made only after several hours of blood-biomaterial contact. Platelet counting, myeloperoxidase quantification, and scanning electron microscopy proved to be the most useful methods. These findings are believed to be relevant with respect to the bioengineering of extracorporeal devices that should function in contact with blood for extended time. Kris N. J. Stevens, Yvette B. J. Aldenhoff, Frederik H. van der Veen, Jos G. Maessen, and Leo H. Koole Copyright © 2007 Kris N. J. Stevens et al. All rights reserved.