REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0036.v1
Online: 4 August 2016 (11:00:19 CEST)
Disease, trauma, and aging account for a significant number of clinical disorders. Regenerative medicine is emerging as a very promising therapeutic option. The design and development of new cell-customized biomaterials able to mimic ECM functionalities represent one of the major strategy to control the cell fate and stimulate tissue regeneration. Recently, hydrogels have received a considerable interest for their use in the modulation and control of cell fate during regeneration processes. Several synthetic bioresponsive hydrogels are being developed in order to facilitate cell-matrix and cell-cell interactions. In this review new strategies and future perspectives of such synthetic cell microenvironment will be highlighted.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0560.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: relaxation; dissipation; microindentation; polyacrylamide hydrogels; viscoelasticity
Online: 27 January 2021 (12:56:04 CET)
Following the general aim of recapitulating the native mechanical properties of tissues and organs in vitro, the field of materials science and engineering has benefited from recent progress in developing compliant substrates with similar physical and chemical properties. In particular, in the field of mechanobiology, soft hydrogels can now reproduce the precise range of stiffnesses of healthy and pathological tissues to study the mechanisms behind cell response to mechanics. However, it was shown that biological tissues are not only elastic but also relax at different timescales. Cells can indeed perceive and actually need this dissipation because it is a critical signal integrated with other signals to define adhesion, spreading and even more complicated functions. The mechanical definition of hydrogels used in mechanobiology is however commonly limited to the elastic stiffness (Young’s modulus) and this value is known to depend greatly on the measurement conditions that are rarely reported. Here, we report that a simple relaxation test performed under well defined conditions can provide all the necessary information to characterize soft materials mechanically, by fitting the dissipation behavior with a generalized Maxwell model (GMM). The method was validated using soft polyacrylamide hydrogels and proved to be very useful to unveil precise mechanical properties of gels that cells can sense and offer a set of characteristic values that can be compared with what is typically reported from microindentation tests.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0128.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: Hydrogels; polymers; regeneration; antibacterial; drug release; garlic; alicin
Online: 9 September 2022 (03:56:12 CEST)
Hydrogels can provide instant relief to pain and facilitate the fast recovery of wounds. Currently the incorporation of medicinal herbs/plants in polymer matrix is being investigated due to their anti-bacterial and wound healing properties. Herein, we investigated the novel combination of chitosan (CS), chondroitin sulfate (CHI) and garlic (Gar) to synthesize hydrogels through freeze gelation process for faster wound healing and resistance to microbial growth at the wound surface. The synthesized hydrogels were characterized via Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), which confirmed the presence of relevant functional groups. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images exhibited the porous structure of the hydrogels, which is useful for the sustained release of Gar from the hydrogels. The synthesized hydrogels showed significant inhibition zones against Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). Furthermore, cell culture studies confirmed the cyto-compatibility of the synthesized hydrogels. Thus, the novel hydrogels presented in this study can offer antibacterial effect during wound healing and promote tissue regeneration.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0264.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: PEGDA Hydrogels; 3D recognition; diffusion; strand displacement assay.
Online: 9 June 2021 (11:45:54 CEST)
The control of the three-dimensional (3D) polymer network structure is important for permselective materials when specific biomolecules detection is needed. Here we investigate conditions to obtain a tailored hydrogel network that combine both molecular filtering and molecular capture capabilities for biosensing applications. Along this line short oligonucleotide detection in a displacement assay is set within PEGDA hydrogels synthetized by UV radical photopolymerization. To provide insights on the molecular filter capability, diffusion studies of several probes (sulforhodamine G and dextrans) with different hydrodynamic radii were carried out using NMR technique. Moreover, fluorometric analyses of hybridization of DNA oligonucleotides inside PEGDA-hydrogels shed light on the mechanisms of recognition in 3D, highlighting that mesh size and crowding effect greatly impact of hybridization mechanism onto polymer network. Finally, we found the best probe density and diffusion transport conditions to allow the specific oligonucleotide capture and detection inside PEGDA-hydrogels for oligonucleotide detection and the filtering out of higher molecular weight molecules.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0388.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: Biomimetic hydrogels; hybrid nanocomposites; anomalous sorption; Tissue engineering
Online: 15 March 2021 (13:44:37 CET)
Innovative tissue engineering biomimetic hydrogels based on hydrophilic polymers have been investigated for their physical and mechanical properties. 5% to 25% by volume loading PHEMA-nanosilica glassy hybrid samples were equilibrated at 37°C in aqueous physiological isotonic and hypotonic saline solutions (0.15 and 0.05 M NaCl) simulating two limiting possible compositions of physiological extracellular fluids. The glassy and hydrated hybrid materials were characterized both for dynamo-mechanical properties and equilibrium absorptions in the two physiological-like aqueous solutions. Mechanical and the morphological modifications occurring in the samples have been described. The 5% volume nanosilica loading hybrid nanocomposite composition showed mechanical characteristics in the dry and hydrated states that were comparable to those of cortical bone and articular cartilage, respectively, and then chosen for further sorption kinetics characterization. Sorption and swelling kinetics were monitored up to equilibrium. Changes in water activities and osmotic pressures in the water-hybrid systems equilibrated at the two limiting solute molarities of the physiological solutions have been related to the observed anomalous sorption modes using the Flory-Huggins interaction parameter approach. The bulk modulus of the dry and glassy PHEMA-5% nanosilica hybrid at 37°C has been observed to be comparable with the values of the osmotic pressures generated from the sorption of isotonic and hypotonic solutions. The anomalous sorption modes and swelling rates are coherent with the difference between osmotic swelling pressures and hybrid glassy nano-composite bulk modulus: the lower the differences the higher the swelling rate and equilibrium solution uptakes. Bone tissue engineering benefits of use of tuneable biomimetic scaffold biomaterials that can be “designed” to act as biocompatible and biomechanically active hybrid interfaces are discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0611.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: hydrogels; cardiac patches; 3D bioprinting; furfuryl-gelatin; lattice
Online: 31 July 2018 (08:06:27 CEST)
3D bioprinting holds great promise in the field of regenerative medicine as it can create complex structures in a layer-by-layer manner using cell-laden bioinks, making it possible to imitate native tissues. Current bioinks lack both the high printability and the biocompatibility required in this respect. Hence, the development of bioinks that are capable of both properties is needed. In our previous study, a furfuryl-gelatin based bioink, crosslinkable by visible light, was used for creating mouse mesenchymal stem cell-laden structures with high fidelity. In this study, lattice mesh geometries were printed in a comparative study to test against the properties of a traditional rectangular-sheet. After 3D printing and crosslinking, both structures were analysed for swelling and rheological properties, and their porosity estimated using scanning electron microscopy. Results showed that the lattice structure was relatively more porous but sturdy and exhibited a lower degradation rate compared to the rectangular-sheet. Further, the lattice allowed encapsulation of a greater number of cells, allowing them to proliferate to a greater extent compared to the rectangular-sheet that retained a lesser number of cells initially. All of these results collectively affirmed that the lattice poses as a superior scaffold design for tissue engineering applications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0171.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: Hyaluronic acid; hydrogels; injectable; tissue engineering; endodontic tissue regeneration
Online: 9 November 2021 (13:27:21 CET)
Dental pulp tissue engineering (TE) quests to regenerate dentin/pulp complex by combining a suitable supporting matrix, stem cells, and biochemical stimuli. Such procedures foresee a matrix that can be easily introduced into the root canal system (RCS) and tightly adhere to dentin walls to assure the dentin surface's proper colonization with progenitor cells capable of restoring the dentin/pulp complex. Herein was investigated an injectable self-setting hyaluronic acid-based (HA) hydrogel system, formed by aldehyde-modified (a-HA) with hydrazide-modified (ADH), enriched with platelet lysate (PL), for endodontic regeneration. The hydrogels' working (wT) and setting (sT) times, the adhesion to the dentine walls, the hydrogel's microstructure, and the delivery of human Dental Pulp Cells (DPCs) were studied in vitro. Hydrogels incorporating PL showed a suitable wT and sT and a porous microstructure. The tensile tests showed that the breaking point occurs after 4.13 mm deformation. While in the indentation test after 1.3 mm deformation. Both breaking points occur in the hydrogel extension. The HA/PL hydrogels exhibited supportive properties and promoted cell migration toward dentin surfaces in vitro. Overall, these results support using PL-laden HA injectable hydrogels (HA/PL) as a biomaterial for DPCs encapsulation, thereby displaying great clinical potential towards endodontic regenerative therapies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0047.v2
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: Hydrogels; Sodium alginate; Betamethasone; Drug delivery; Cartilage tissue engineering
Online: 6 April 2021 (10:03:04 CEST)
Hydrogels obtained from the combination of different polymers are an interesting strategy for the development of controlled release system platforms and tissue engineering scaffolds. In this study, the applicability of sodium alginate-g-(QCL-co-HEMA) hydrogels for these biomedical applications was evaluated. Hydrogels were synthesized by free-radical polymerization using different concentration of the components. The hydrogels were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and swelling degree; betamethasone release as well as the in vitro cytocompatibility with chondrocytes and fibroblast cells were also evaluated. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed the porous surface morphology of the hydrogels in all cases. The swelling percent was determined at different pH and was observed to be pH-sensitive. The controlled release behavior of betamethasone from the matrices was investigated in PBS media (pH = 7.4) and the drug was released in a controlled manner up to 8 h. Human chondrocytes and fibroblasts were cultured on the hydrogels. The MTS assay shown that almost all hydrogels are cytocompatibles and an increase the proliferation in both cell types after one week of incubation was observed by Live/Dead® assay. These results demonstrate that these hydrogels are attractive materials for pharmaceutical and biomedical applications due to their characteristics, their release kinetics and biocompatibility.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201710.0178.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Nanotechnology Keywords: hydrogels; peptides; proteins; crosslinked networks; controlled release; biodegradable polymers
Online: 30 October 2017 (03:39:55 CET)
Hydrogels evolved as an outstanding carrier material for local and controlled drug delivery that tend to the shortcomings of old conventional dosage forms for small drugs (NSAIDS) and large peptides and proteins. Aqueous swellable and crosslinked polymeric network structure of hydrogels is composed of various natural, synthetic and semisynthetic biodegradable polymers. Hydrogels have remarkable properties of functionality, reversibility, sterilizability, and biocompatibility. All these dynamic properties of hydrogels have increased the interest in their use as a carrier for peptides and proteins to be released slowly in a sustained manner. The therapeutical peptide and proteins are remarkable therapeutic agents in today’s world that allows the treatment of severe, chronic and life‐threatening diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis in an easy manner. Despite few limitations, hydrogels provide fine tuning of proteins and peptides delivery with enormous impact in clinical medicine. The primary objective of this article is to review current issues concerned with the therapeutics peptides and proteins and impact of remarkable properties of hydrogels on these therapeutic agents. Different routes for pharmaceutical peptides and proteins and superiority over other drugs candidates are presented. The article will also review literature concerning classification of hydrogels on different basis, polymers used, release mechanisms their physical and chemical characteristics and diverse applications.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0346.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: hydrogel mechanical properties; nanocomposites; double-network hydrogels; polymer- nanoparticle interactions
Online: 29 January 2020 (04:23:23 CET)
Extensive experimental and theoretical research over the past several decades has culminated in the understanding of the mechanisms behind nanoparticle-mediated enhancements on the mechanical properties of hydrogels. This information is not only crucial to realizing applications that directly benefit from developing hydrogels with high mechanical strength, but also to guide the development of strategies to further enhance hydrogel properties by combining different approaches. In our study, we investigated the effect of combining two approaches – addition of nanoparticles and crosslinking two different polymers (to create double-network hydrogels) – on the mechanical properties of hydrogels. Our studies revealed that these approaches may be combined to synthesize hydrogel composites with enhanced properties; however, both polymers in the double-network hydrogel must strongly interact with the nanoparticles to fully benefit from the addition of nanoparticles. Moreover, the concentration of hydrogel monomers used for the preparation of the double-network hydrogels had a significant effect on the extent of nanoparticle-mediated enhancements; double-network hydrogel nanocomposites prepared using lower monomer concentrations showed higher enhancements in elastic moduli compared to those prepared using high monomer concentrations. Collectively, these results demonstrate that the hypotheses previously developed to understand the role of nanoparticles on the mechanical properties of hydrogel nanocomposites may be extended to double-network hydrogel systems and guide the development of next generation hydrogels with extraordinary mechanical properties through a combination of orthogonal approaches.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0157.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: chitosan hydrogels, silver nanowires, controlled release, antimicrobial activity, bone regeneration
Online: 18 February 2019 (10:38:46 CET)
One-dimensional nanostructures such as silver nanowires (AgNWs) have attracted considerable attention owing to their outstanding electrical, thermal and antimicrobial properties; however, their application in the prevention of infections linked to bone tissue regeneration interventions has not yet been explored. Here we report on the development of an innovative scaffold prepared from chitosan, composite hydroxyapatite and AgNWs (CS-HACS-AgNWs) having both bioactive and antibacterial properties. In vitro results highlighted the antibacterial potential of AgNWs against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The CS-HACS-AgNWs composite scaffold demonstrated suitable Ca/P deposition, improved gel strength, reduced gelation time, and sustained Ag+ release within therapeutic concentrations. Antibacterial studies showed that the composite formulation was capable of inhibiting bacterial growth in suspension and of completely preventing biofilm formation on the scaffold in the presence of resistant strains. The hydrogels were also shown to be biocompatible, allowing cell proliferation. In summary, the developed CS-HACS-AgNWs composite hydrogels demonstrated significant potential as a scaffold material to be employed in bone regenerative medicine, as it presents enhanced mechanical strength combined with the ability to allow calcium salts deposition, while efficiently decreasing the risk of infections. The results presented justify further investigations into potential clinical applications of these materials.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0026.v2
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: elastomers; hydrogels; elastomer-hydrogel systems; injectable biomaterials; adhesive surfaces; tissue engineering
Online: 20 April 2022 (11:39:28 CEST)
Novel advanced biomaterials have recently gained great attention, especially in surgical minimally invasive techniques. Applying sophisticated design and engineering methods, various elastomer-hydrogel systems (EHS) with outstanding performance have been developed in last decades. Those systems composed of elastomers and hydrogels are very attractive due to their high biocompatibility, injectability, controlled porosity and often antimicrobial properties. Moreover, elastomeric properties and bioadhesiveness are making them suitable for soft tissue engineering. Herein, we present the advances in current state-of-the-art design principles and strategies for strong interface formation inspired by nature (bio-inspiration), diverse properties and applications of elastomer-hydrogel systems in different medical fields, in particular, in tissue engineering. Functionalities of those systems, including adhesive properties, injectability, antimicrobial properties and degradability applicable to tissue engineering will be discussed in a context of future efforts towards development of advanced biomaterials.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0035.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: calcium alginate; SARS-CoV-2; bacteriophage; phi 6; biomaterials; films; hydrogels
Online: 2 March 2022 (07:17:08 CET)
The current pandemic is urgently demanding to discover alternative materials capable of inactivate the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) disease. Calcium alginate is a crosslinked hydrophilic biopolymer with an immense range of biomedical applications due to its excellent chemical, physical and biological properties. In this study, the cytotoxicity and antiviral activity of calcium alginate in the form of films were studied. The results showed that these films are biocompatible in human keratinocytes and are capable of inactivating enveloped viruses such as bacteriophage phi 6 with a 1.43-log reduction (94.92% viral inactivation) and SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant with a 1.64-log reduction (96.94% viral inactivation) in virus titers. The antiviral activity of these calcium alginate films can be attributed to its negative charge density that may bind to viral envelopes inactivating membrane receptors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0358.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Polymers & Plastics Keywords: biodestruction, soil constructions, sustainability, polymers, synthetic hydrogels, peat, CO2 emission, water-retention, modeling.
Online: 22 June 2018 (14:20:10 CEST)
Decomposition of natural and synthetic polymeric materials (peat, humates, biochar, strongly swelling hydrogels and other soil conditioners) in a biologically- and chemically- active soil environment inevitably leads to their degradation and ability to improve the structure, water-retention, absorptive capacity and actual fertility of artificial soil constructions in urbanized ecosystems and agro landscapes (constructozems). Quantitative assessment of the biodegradation process using field and laboratory incubation experiments, as well as mathematical modeling, showed the possibility of significant (up to 30-50% per year) losses of organic matter of constructozems and a corresponding deterioration in their quality. Incubation experiments with the analysis of carbon dioxide emission for polymeric materials under given thermodynamic conditions allow to estimate the potential rates of their decomposition (half-life) and their dependence on the dose of inhibitors of microbial activity. Special nomographs provide an opportunity to determine the optimum depth of the arrangement of organic components in soil constructions to ensure their stable functioning during a fixed operating time in urban conditions. The results of the study are useful for geo-engineers and landscaping practitioners.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0335.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Nanotechnology Keywords: metal nanocomposite hydrogels; particle distribution; nanoplasmonic sensor; preparation methods; SEM imaging; volume imaging
Online: 26 April 2018 (08:16:47 CEST)
The distribution of noble metal nanoparticles in hydrogels are influencing their nanoplasmonic response and signal used for biosensor purposes. By controlling the particle distribution, it is possible to obtain new nanoplasmonic features with new sensing modalities. Particle distributions can be characterized by using volume-imaging methods such as the focused ion beam-scanning electron microscope (FIB-SEM) and the serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SBFSEM) techniques . Since the pore structure of hydrogels is contained by the water absorbed in the polymer network it may pose challenges for volume-imaging based on electron microscope techniques since the sample must be in a vacuum chamber. The structure of hydrogels can be conserved by choosing appropriate preparation methods, which also depends on the composition of the hydrogel used. In this paper, we have prepared low-weight percentage hydrogels, with and without gold nanorods (GNR) for conventional SEM imaging by using two different drying techniques; (1) the critical point drying (CPD) technique and (2) hexamethyldisilazane (HMDS) drying of hydrogels. A qualitative characterization of the GNR-hydrogels was carried out to study the GNRs positioned in the polymer network. The effect of the two different drying methods on the hydrogel morphology were also compared. The use of HMDS as an alternative to the CPD has several advantages involving less parametrical variables for drying, involving less effort, being cost-effective, and requires no equipment use. In addition, choosing an optimized sample preparation method for SEM with optimized imaging parameters is highly important for obtaining accurate information about materials that is not correlated to artifacts. Hence, the results obtained from the preparation methods and SEM imaging parameters in this paper are useful for developing methods for mapping the metal particle distributions in micro-hydrogels by using FIB-SEM and SBFSEM techniques.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0309.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: lab-on-a-chip; cell migration; microfluidics; PDMS; hydrogels; femtosecond laser microfabrication; two-photon polymerization
Online: 22 June 2022 (08:21:44 CEST)
Understanding cell migration is a key step to unravel many physiological phenomena and predict several pathologies, like cancer metastasis. In particular, mechanical confinement has been proved to be a key factor in the cellular migration strategy choice. As our insight in the field improves, new tools are needed in order to empower biologists’ analysis capabilities. In this framework, microfluidic devices have been used to engineer the mechanical stimuli and to investigate cellular migration response in a more controlled way. In this work, we will review the existing technologies employed in the realization of microfluidic cellular migration assays, namely soft lithography of PDMS and hydrogels and femtosecond laser micromachining. We will give an overview of the state of the art of these devices, focusing on the different geometrical configurations that have been exploited to study specific aspects of cellular migration. Our scope is to highlight the advantages and possibilities given by each approach and to envisage the future developments in in-vitro migration studies under mechanical confinement in microfluidic devices.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0395.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Physical Chemistry Keywords: Tamarind Gum; Hydrogels; Semi-IPNs; Green synthesis; Silver Nanoparticles; Drug Delivery; Chemotherapeutics; HCT116 Cell; Anti-microbial
Online: 22 November 2021 (13:46:47 CET)
Novel pH responsive semi-interpenetrating polymer hydrogels based on tamarind gum-co-poly(acrylamidoglycolic acid) (TMGA) polymers have been synthesized using simple free radical polymerization in the presence of bis[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl] phosphate as a crosslinker and potassium persulfate as a initiator. In addition, these hydrogels have been used as templates for green synthesis of silver nanoparticles (13.4±3.6 nm in diameter, TMGA-Ag) by using leaf extract of Teminalia bellirica as reducing agent. Swelling kinetics and equilibrium swelling behavior of the TMGA hydrogels have been investigated in various pH environment the maxium % equilibrium swelling behavior observed i.e., 2882±1.2. The synthesized hydrogels and silver nanocomposites have been characterized by the UV, FTIR, XRD, SEM and TEM. TMGA and TMGA-Ag hydrogels have been investigated to study the characteristics of drug delivery and antimicrobial study. Doxorubicin hydrochloride, a chemotherapeutic agent successfully encapsulated with maximum encapulstaion efficiency i.e., 69.20±1.2 and performed in vitro release studies in pH physiological and gastric environment at 37 ℃. The drug release behavior is examined with kinetic models such as zero order, first order, Higuchi, Hixson Crowell, Korsmeyer-Peppas. These release data was the best fitted with the Korsemeyer-Peppas transport mechanism with n=0.91. Treatment effect on HCT116 Cell, human colon cancer cells were assessed with cell viability and cell cycle analysis. Antimicrobial activity of TMGA-Ag hydrogels is studied against to Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumonia. Finally, the results demonstrate that TMGA and TMGA-Ag are promising candidates for anti-cancer drug delivery and inactivation of pathogenic bacteria, respectively.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0162.v2
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: amyloids; frozen accident; genetic code; hydrogels; liquid-liquid phase separation; mRNA; polyglycine; rRNA; ribosomes; translational fidelity; tRNA
Online: 21 October 2020 (10:48:18 CEST)
The genetic code evolved by parallel tracks of chaotic and ordered processes. Liquid-liquid phase separation (hydrogels), a chaotic process, constructs diverse membraneless compartments within cells, resulting in regulated hydration and sequestration and concentration of reaction components. Hydrogels relate to chaotic amyloid fiber production. We propose that polyglycine and related hydrogels (i.e. GADV; G is glycine), phase separations, membraneless droplets and amyloid accretions organized protocell domains to drive the earliest evolution of the genetic code and the pre-life to cellular life transition. By contrast, evolution of tRNA, tRNAomes, aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases and translation systems followed highly ordered and systematic pathways, described by well-defined mechanisms and rules. The pathway of evolution of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, which tracked evolution of the genetic code, is clarified. Hydrogels and amyloids form a chaotic component, therefore, that complemented otherwise systematic processes. We describe with detail a pre-life world in which hydrogels and amyloids provided the selections of the first life.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0460.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: extracellular vesicles; exosomes; neural tissue repair; neuroregeneration; non-human primates; hydrogels; neural tissue engineering; stroke; cortical injury
Online: 28 May 2020 (13:08:32 CEST)
Neural tissue engineering, nanotechnology and neuroregeneration are diverse biomedical disciplines that have been working together in recent decades to solve the complex problems linked to central nervous system (CNS) repair. It is known that the CNS demonstrates a very limited regenerative capacity because of a microenvironment that impedes effective regenerative processes, making development of CNS therapeutics challenging. Given the high prevalence of CNS conditions such as stroke that damage the brain and place a severe burden on afflicted individuals and on society, it is of utmost significance to explore the optimum methodologies for finding treatments that could be applied to humans for restoration of function to pre-injury levels. Extracellular vesicles (EVs), also known as exosomes, when derived from mesenchymal stem cells, are one of the most promising approaches that have been attempted thus far, as EVs deliver factors that stimulate recovery by acting at the nanoscale level on intercellular communication while avoiding the risks linked to stem cell transplantation. At the same time, advances in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine have offered the potential of using hydrogels as bio-scaffolds in order to provide the stroma required for neural repair to occur, as well as the release of biomolecules facilitating or inducing the reparative processes. This review introduces a novel experimental hypothesis regarding the benefits that could be offered if EVs were to be combined with biocompatible injectable hydrogels. The rationale behind this hypothesis is presented, analyzing how a hydrogel might prolong the retention of EVs and maximize the localized benefit to the brain. This sustained delivery of EVs would be coupled with essential guidance cues and structural support from the hydrogel until neural tissue remodeling and regeneration occur. Finally, the importance of including non-human primate (NHP) models in the clinical translation pipeline, as well as the added benefit of multi-modal neuroimage analysis to establish non-invasive, in vivo, quantifiable imaging-based biomarkers for CNS repair are discussed, aiming for more effective and safe clinical translation of such regenerative therapies to humans.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0590.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Hydrogel; Extracellular matrix hydrogels; Myocardial infarctions; Myocardial infarction therapy; Cardiac stem cell therapy; Tissue engineering; Cell-based therapy.
Online: 22 April 2021 (08:16:51 CEST)
The peril of a 3-dimensional, robust and sustained myocardial restoration by means of Tissue Engineering is that it still remains a largely experimental approach. Prolific protocols have been developed and tested in small and large animals, but as clinical cardiac surgeons, we have not come to the privilege of utilizing any of them in our clinical practice. The question arises: why? The heart is a unique organ, anatomically and functionally. It is not an easy target to replicate with current techniques, or even to support its viability and function. Currently available therapies fail to reverse the loss of functional cardiac tissue, the fundamental pathology remains unaddressed and a heart transplantation is an ultima ratio treatment option. Owing to equivocal results of cell-based therapies, several strategies have been pursued to overcome limitations of the current treatment options. Preclinical data as well as first-in-human studies conducted to date have provided important insights into the understanding of injection-based approaches for myocardial restoration. In the light of the available data, injectable biomaterials suitable for transcatheteter delivery appear to have the highest translational potential,. This article presents a current state-of-the-art in the field of hydrogel-based myocardial restoration therapy.