Journal: ACS biomaterials science & engineering
Bacterial adhesion to stainless steel 316L (SS316L), which is an alloy typically used in many medical devices and food processing equipment, can cause serious infections along with substantial healthcare costs. This work demonstrates that nanotextured SS316L surfaces produced by electrochemical etching effectively inhibit bacterial adhesion of both Gram-negative Escherichia coli and Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus, but exhibit cytocompatibility and no toxicity toward mammalian cells in vitro. Additionally, the electrochemical surface modification on SS316L results in formation of superior passive layer at the surface, improving corrosion resistance. The nanotextured SS316L offers significant potential for medical applications based on the surface structure-induced reduction of bacterial adhesion without use of antibiotic or chemical modifications while providing cytocompatibility and corrosion resistance in physiological conditions.
Tricalcium phosphate (TCP) ceramics are used as bone void fillers because of their bioactivity and resorbability, while their performance in bone regeneration and material resorption vary with their physical properties (e.g., the dimension of the crystal grain). Herein, three TCP ceramic bone substitutes (TCP-S, TCP-M, and TCP-L) with gradient crystal grain size (0.77 ± 0.21 μm for TCP-S, 1.21 ± 0.35 μm for TCP-M and 4.87 ± 1.90 μm for TCP-L), were evaluated in a well-established rabbit lateral condylar defect model (validated with sham) with respect to bone formation and material resorption up to 26 weeks. Surface structure-dependent bone regeneration was clearly shown after 4 weeks implantation with TCP-S having most mineralized bone (20.2 ± 3.4%), followed by TCP-M (14.0 ± 3.5%), sham (8.1 ± 4.2%), and TCP-L (6.6 ± 2.6%). Afterward, the amount of mineralized bone was similar in all the three groups, but bone marrow and material resorption varied. After 26 weeks, TCP-S induced most bone tissue formation (mineralized bone + bone marrow) (61.6 ± 7.8%) and underwent most material resorption (80.1 ± 9.0%), followed by TCP-M (42.9 ± 5.2% and 61.4 ± 8.0% respectively), TCP-L (28.3 ± 5.5% and 45.6 ± 9.7% respectively), and sham (25.7 ± 4.2%). Given the fact that the three ceramics are chemically identical, the results indicate that the surface structure (especially, the crystal grain size) of TCP ceramics can greatly tune their bone regeneration potential and the material resorption in rabbit condyle defect model, with the submicron surface structured TCP ceramic performing the best.
In addition to a multitude of genetic and biochemical alterations, abnormal morphological, structural, and mechanical changes in cells and their extracellular environment are key features of tumor invasion and metastasis. Furthermore, it is now evident that mechanical cues alongside biochemical signals contribute to critical steps of cancer initiation, progression, and spread. Despite its importance, it is very challenging to study mechanics of different steps of metastasis in the clinic or even in animal models. While considerable progress has been made in developing advanced in vitro models for studying genetic and biological aspects of cancer, less attention has been paid to models that can capture both biological and mechanical factors realistically. This is mainly due to lack of appropriate models and measurement tools. After introducing the central role of mechanics in cancer metastasis, we provide an outlook on the emergence of novel in vitro assays and their combination with advanced measurement technologies to probe and recapitulate mechanics in conditions more relevant to the metastatic disease.
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) is a multifunctional growth factor that has pleiotropic effects in different tissues and organs. In particular, FGF-2 has a special role in angiogenesis, an important process in development, wound healing, cell survival, and differentiation. Therefore, incorporating biological agents like FGF-2 within therapeutic biomaterials is a potential strategy to create angiogenic bioactivity for the repair of damaged tissue caused by trauma or complications that arise from age and/or disease. However, the use of growth factors as therapeutic agents can be costly and does not always bring about efficient tissue repair due to rapid clearance from the targeted site. An alternative would be a stable supramolecular nanostructure with the capacity to activate the FGF-2 receptor that can also assemble into a scaffold deliverable to tissue. We report here on peptide amphiphiles that incorporate a peptide known to activate the FGF-2 receptor and peptide domains that drive its self-assembly into supramolecular nanoribbons. These FGF2-PA nanoribbons displayed the ability to increase the proliferation and migration of the human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in vitro to the same extent as the native FGF-2 protein at certain concentrations. We confirmed that this activity was specific to the FGFR1 signaling pathway by tracking the phosphorylation of downstream signaling effectors such ERK1/2 and pH3. These results indicated the specificity of FGF2-PA nanoribbons in activating the FGF-2 signaling pathway and its potential application as a supramolecular scaffold that can be used in vivo as an alternative to the encapsulation and delivery of the native FGF-2 protein.
Antigen specificity is a primary goal in developing curative therapies for autoimmune disease. Dendritic cells (DCs), as the most effective antigen presenting cells in the body, represent a key target to mediate restoration of antigen-specific immune regulation. Here, we describe an injectable, dual-sized microparticle (MP) approach that employs phagocytosable ∼1 μm and nonphagocytosable ∼30 μm MPs to deliver tolerance-promoting factors both intracellularly and extracellularly, as well as the type 1 diabetes autoantigen, insulin, to DCs for reprogramming of immune responses and remediation of autoimmunity. This poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) MP system prevented diabetes onset in 60% of nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice when administered subcutaneously in 8 week old mice. Prevention of disease was dependent upon antigen inclusion and required encapsulation of factors in MPs. Moreover, administration of this “suppressive-vaccine” boosted pancreatic lymph node and splenic regulatory T cells (Tregs), upregulated PD-1 on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and reversed hyperglycemia for up to 100 days in recent-onset NOD mice. Our results demonstrate that a MP-based platform can reeducate the immune system in an antigen-specific manner, augment immunomodulation compared to soluble administration of drugs, and provide a promising alternative to systemic immunosuppression for autoimmunity.
Porous hydrogel scaffolds are ideal candidates for mimicking cellular microenvironments, regarding both structural and mechanical aspects. We present a novel strategy to use uniquely designed ceramic networks as templates for generating hydrogels with a network of interconnected pores in the form of microchannels. The advantages of this new approach are the high and guaranteed interconnectivity of the microchannels, as well as the possibility to produce channels with diameters smaller than 7 μm. Neither of these assets can be ensured with other established techniques. Experiments using the polyacrylamide substrates produced with our approach have shown that the migration of human pathogenic Acanthamoeba castellanii trophozoites is manipulated by the microchannel structure in the hydrogels. The parasites can even be captured inside the microchannel network and removed from their incubation medium by the porous polyacrylamide, indicating the huge potential of our new technique for medical, pharmaceutical, and tissue engineering applications.
Current regulatory requirements impede clinical translation and market introduction of many new antimicrobial combination implants and devices, causing unnecessary patient suffering, doctor frustration, and costs to healthcare payers. Regulatory requirements of antimicrobial combination implants and devices should be thoroughly revisited and their approval allowed based on enrichment of benefit demonstrations from high-risk patient groups and populations or device components to facilitate their clinical translation. Biomaterial implant and devices equipped with antimicrobial strategies and approved based on enrichment claims should be mandatorily enrolled in global registry studies supervised by regulatory agencies for a minimum five-year period or until statistically validated evidence for noninferiority or superiority of claims is demonstrated. With these recommendations, this trans-Atlantic consortium of academicians and clinicians takes its responsibility to actively seek to relieve the factors that stagnate downward clinical translation and availability of antimicrobial combination implants and devices. Improved dialogue between the various key players involved in the current translational blockade, which include patients, academicians and doctors, policymakers, regulatory agencies, manufacturers, and healthcare payers, is urgently needed.
Natural polymer hydrogels are used ubiquitously as scaffold materials for cardiac tissue engineering as well as for soft tissue engineering more broadly because of FDA approval, minimal immunogenicity, and well-defined physiological clearance pathways. However, the relationships between natural polymer hydrogels and resident cell populations in directing the development of engineered tissues are poorly defined. This interaction is of particular concern for tissues prepared with iPSC-derived cell populations, in which population purity and batch-to-batch variability become additional critical factors to consider. Herein, the design space for a blended fibrin and collagen scaffold is characterized for applications in creating engineered myocardium with human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes. Stiffness values of the acellular hydrogel formulations approach those of native myocardium in compression, but deviate significantly in tension when compared to rat myocardium in both transverse and longitudinal fiber orientations. A response surface methodology approach to understanding the relationship between collagen concentration, fibrin concentration, seeding density, and cardiac purity found a statistically significant predictive model across three repeated studies that confirms that all of these factors contribute to tissue compaction. In these constructs, increased fibrin concentration and seeding density were each associated with increased compaction, while increased collagen concentration was associated with decreased compaction. Both the lowest (24.4% cTnT+) and highest (60.2% cTnT+) cardiomyocyte purities evaluated were associated with decreased compaction, whereas the greatest compaction was predicted to occur in constructs prepared with a 40-50% cTnT+ population. Constructs prepared with purified cardiomyocytes (≥75.5% cTnT+) compacted and formed syncytia well, although increased fibrin concentration in these groups was associated with decreased compaction, a reversal of the trend observed in unpurified cardiomyocytes. This study demonstrates an analytical approach to understanding cell-scaffold interactions in engineered tissues and provides a foundation for the development of more sophisticated and customized scaffold platforms for human cardiac tissue engineering.
Clinical implementation of novel products for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine requires a validated sterilization method. In this study, we investigated the effect of γ-irradiation and EtO degassing on material characteristics in vitro and the effect on template remodeling of hybrid tubular constructs in a large animal model. Hybrid tubular templates were prepared from type I collagen and Vicryl polymers and sterilized by 25 kGray of γ-irradiation or EtO degassing. The in vitro characteristics were extensively studied, including tensile strength analysis and degradation studies. For in vivo evaluation, constructs were subcutaneously implanted in goats for 1 month to form vascularized neo-tissue. Macroscopic and microscopic appearances of the γ- and EtO-sterilized constructs slightly differed due to additional processing required for the COL-Vicryl-EtO constructs. Regardless of the sterilization method, incubation in urine resulted in fast degradation of the Vicryl polymer and decreased strength (<7 days). Incubation in SBF was less invasive, and strength was maintained for at least 14 days. The difference between the two sterilization methods was otherwise limited. In contrast, subcutaneous implantation showed that the effect of sterilization was considerable. A well-vascularized tube was formed in both cases, but the γ-irradiated construct showed an organized architecture of vasculature and was mechanically more comparable to the native ureter. Moreover, the γ-irradiated construct showed advanced tissue remodeling as shown by enhanced ECM production. This study shows that the effect of sterilization on tissue remodeling cannot be predicted by in vitro analyses alone. Thus, validated sterilization methods should be incorporated early in the development of tissue engineered products, and this requires both in vitro and in vivo analyses.
Pulsatile chemotherapeutic delivery profiles may provide a number advantages by maximizing the anticancer toxicity of chemotherapeutics, reducing off-target side effects, and combating adaptive resistance. While these temporally dynamic deliveries have shown some promise, they have yet to be clinically deployed from implantable hydrogels, whose localized deliveries could further enhance therapeutic outcomes. Here, several pulsatile chemotherapeutic delivery profiles were tested on melanoma cell survival in vitro and compared to constant (flatline) delivery profiles of the same integrated dose. Results indicated that pulsatile delivery profiles were more efficient at killing melanoma cells than flatline deliveries. Furthermore, results suggested that parameters like the duration of drug “on” periods (pulse width), delivery rates during those periods (pulse heights), and the number/frequency of pulses could be used to optimize delivery profiles. Optimization of pulsatile profiles at tumor sites in vivo would require hydrogel materials capable of producing a wide variety of pulsatile profiles (e.g., of different pulse heights, pulse widths, and pulse numbers). This work goes on to demonstrate that magnetically responsive, biphasic ferrogels are capable of producing pulsatile mitoxantrone delivery profiles similar to those tested in vitro. Pulse parameters such as the timing and rate of delivery during “on” periods could be remotely regulated through the use of simple, hand-held magnets. The timing of pulses was controlled simply by deciding when and for how long to magnetically stimulate. The rate of release during pulse “on” periods was a function of the magnetic stimulation frequency. These findings add to the growing evidence that pulsatile chemotherapeutic delivery profiles may be therapeutically beneficial and suggest that magnetically responsive hydrogels could provide useful tools for optimizing and clinically deploying pulsatile chemotherapeutic delivery profiles.