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Biomaterials (v.30, #10)

Editorial board (pp. ifc).

Contact activation of blood-plasma coagulation by Erwin A. Vogler; Christopher A. Siedlecki (pp. 1857-1869).
This opinion identifies inconsistencies in the generally-accepted surface biophysics involved in contact activation of blood-plasma coagulation, reviews recent experimental work aimed at resolving inconsistencies, and concludes that this standard paradigm requires substantial revision to accommodate new experimental observations. Foremost among these new findings is that surface-catalyzed conversion of the blood zymogen factor XII (FXII, Hageman factor) to the enzyme FXIIa(FXII→surfaceFXIIa, a.k.a. autoactivation) is not specific for anionic surfaces, as proposed by the standard paradigm. Furthermore, it is found that surface activation is moderated by the protein composition of the fluid phase in which FXII autoactivation occurs by what appears to be a protein-adsorption-competition effect. Both of these findings argue against the standard view that contact activation of plasma coagulation is potentiated by the assembly of activation-complex proteins (FXII, FXI, prekallikrein, and high-molecular weight kininogen) directly onto activating surfaces (procoagulants) through specific protein/surface interactions. These new findings supplement the observation that adsorption behavior of FXII and FXIIa is not remarkably different from a wide variety of other blood proteins surveyed. Similarity in adsorption properties further undermines the idea that FXII and/or FXIIa are distinguished from other blood proteins by unusual adsorption properties resulting in chemically-specific interactions with activating anionic surfaces. Impact statement: This review shows that the consensus biochemical mechanism of contact activation of blood-plasma coagulation that has long served as a rationale for poor hemocompatibility is an inadequate basis for surface engineering of advanced cardiovascular biomaterials.

Keywords: Blood coagulation; FXII; Hageman factor; Contact activation; Autoactivation; Protein adsorption


Improved resistance to wear and fatigue fracture in high pressure crystallized vitamin E-containing ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene by Ebru Oral; Christine A. Godleski Beckos; Andrew J. Lozynsky; Arnaz S. Malhi; Orhun K. Muratoglu (pp. 1870-1880).
Higher crystallinity and extended chain morphology are induced in ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) in the hexagonal phase at temperatures and pressures above the triple point, resulting in improved mechanical properties. In this study, we report the effects of the presence of a plasticizing agent, namely vitamin E (α-tocopherol), in UHMWPE during high pressure crystallization. We found that this new vitamin E-blended and high pressure crystallized UHMWPE (VEHPE) has improved fatigue strength and wear resistance compared to virgin high pressure crystallized (HP) UHMWPE. This suggested different mechanisms of wear reduction and fatigue crack propagation resistance in UHMWPE.

Keywords: Semi-crystalline; Plasticity; Cross-linking; Oxidation resistance; Fatigue resistance; Biomaterials


Monodisperse mesoporous superparamagnetic single-crystal magnetite nanoparticles for drug delivery by Shaojun Guo; Dan Li; Lixue Zhang; Jing Li; Erkang Wang (pp. 1881-1889).
In this contribution, we report a facile, gram-scale, low-cost route to prepare monodisperse superparamagnetic single-crystal magnetite NPs with mesoporous structure (MSSMN) via a very simple solvothermal method. The formation mechanism of MSSMN is also discussed and we think that Ostwald ripening probably plays an important role in this synthesis process. It is also interestingly found that the size and morphology of mesoporous Fe3O4 NPs can be easily controlled by changing the amount of NaOH and 1,2-ethylenediamine (ETH). Most importantly, the MSSMN can be used as an effective drug delivery carrier. A typical anticancer drug, doxorubicin (Dox), is used for drug loading, and the release behaviors of Dox in two different pH solutions are studied. The results indicate that the MSSMN has a high drug loading capacity and favorable release property for Dox; thus, it is very promising for the application in drug delivery.

Keywords: Mesoporous structure; Magnetic nanoparticle; Biomedicine; Drug delivery; Superparamagnetic


The effect of a hydroxamic acid-containing polymer on active matrix metalloproteinases by Gary A. Skarja; Allison L. Brown; Rebecca K. Ho; Michael H. May; Michael V. Sefton (pp. 1890-1897).
Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) sequestering polymer microspheres were prepared by a post-polymerization hydroxamic acid derivatization of poly(methyl methacrylate- co-methacrylic acid). The microspheres were designed to selectively bind MMPs from solutions on contact through a direct interaction between the polymer-bound hydroxamic acid groups and the characteristic catalytic site zinc atom common to all MMPs. MMP activity assays showed that the hydroxamic acid microspheres reduce MMP activity on contact in a time and concentration-dependent fashion. This effect was observed for several MMP subclasses (MMP-2, -3, -8 and -13) suggesting that the microspheres possess a broad-spectrum MMP binding capacity. However, inactive pro-forms of MMPs showed little binding affinity for the microspheres indicating that the interaction was dependent on MMP activation. The preferential binding of active MMPs was confirmed by MMP-3 and MMP-8 activation studies, which demonstrated significant increases in microsphere binding on activation. The MMP sequestering effect of the microspheres was also demonstrated in a physiologically relevant solution (human chronic wound fluid extract) indicating that the binding interaction was effective in a multi-component, competitive adsorption environment. Thus, the hydroxamic acid-containing microspheres may find use as localized, broad-spectrum MMP inhibitors for the treatment of a number of disease conditions characterized by elevated MMP activity.

Keywords: Matrix metalloproteinase; Microsphere; Copolymer; Hydroxamic acid


The effect of collagen I mimetic peptides on mesenchymal stem cell adhesion and differentiation, and on bone formation at hydroxyapatite surfaces by Kristin M. Hennessy; Beth E. Pollot; William C. Clem; Matthew C. Phipps; Amber A. Sawyer; Bonnie K. Culpepper; Susan L. Bellis (pp. 1898-1909).
Integrin-binding peptides increase cell adhesion to naive hydroxyapatite (HA), however, in the body, HA becomes rapidly modified by protein adsorption. Previously we reported that, when combined with an adsorbed protein layer, RGD peptides interfered with cell adhesion to HA. In the current study we evaluated mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) interactions with HA disks coated with the collagen-mimetic peptides, DGEA, P15 and GFOGER. MSCs adhered equally well to disks coated with DGEA, P15, or collagen I, and all three substrates, but not GFOGER, supported greater cell adhesion than uncoated HA. When peptide-coated disks were overcoated with proteins from serum or the tibial microenvironment, collagen mimetics did not inhibit MSC adhesion, as was observed with RGD, however neither did they enhance adhesion. Given that activation of collagen-selective integrins stimulates osteoblastic differentiation, we monitored osteocalcin secretion and alkaline phosphatase activity from MSCs adherent to DGEA or P15-coated disks. Both of these osteoblastic markers were upregulated by DGEA and P15, in the presence and absence of differentiation-inducing media. Finally, bone formation on HA tibial implants was increased by the collagen mimetics. Collectively these results suggest that collagen-mimetic peptides improve osseointegration of HA, most probably by stimulating osteoblastic differentiation, rather than adhesion, of MSCs.

Keywords: Bioadsorption; Bone tissue engineering; Cell adhesion; Hydroxyapatite; Collagen; Peptide


Formation of a human-derived fat tissue layer in PdlLGA hollow fibre scaffolds for adipocyte tissue engineering by Suzanne M. Morgan; Ben J. Ainsworth; Janos M. Kanczler; Jodie C. Babister; Julian B. Chaudhuri; Richard O.C. Oreffo (pp. 1910-1917).
Development of adipose tissue-engineering strategies, where human bone marrow stromal cells (HBMSC) are combined with three-dimensional scaffolds, is likely to prove valuable for soft tissue restoration. In this study, we assessed the function of poly(dl-lactide- co-glycolide) (PdlLGA) hollow fibres in facilitating the development of HBMSC-derived adipocytes for advancement of an associated adipocyte layer. The large surface area of 75:25 PdlLGA fibres facilitated the rapid generation of extensive adipocyte aggregates from an undifferentiated HBMSC monolayer, where the fat-laden cells stained positive with Oil Red O and expressed the adipocyte marker, fatty acid binding protein 3 (FABP3). Following implantation subcutaneously in severely compromised immunodeficient mice, the adipogenic phenotype of the PLGA–adipocyte graft was maintained for up to 56 days. Confocal microscopy showed associated LipidTOX™ Deep Red neutral lipid staining in anFLPdlLGA fibre–adipocyte graft after 56 days, critical evidence demonstrating maintenance of the adipocyte phenotype in the subcutaneous graft. To support adipose tissue advancement in a defined volume, the PdlLGA–adipocyte scaffold was encapsulated within alginate/chitosan hydrogel capsules (typical diameters, 4.0mm). In a 28-day in vivo trial in immunodeficient mice, clusters of the capsules were maintained at the subcutaneous site. An adipocyte tissue layer advancing within the surrounding hydrogel was demonstrated.

Keywords: Human bone marrow stromal cells; Adipocytes; Soft tissue engineering; Adipogenesis; Poly(lactide-; co; -glycolide) hollow fibres; Alginate/chitosan hydrogels


Augmentation of skeletal tissue formation in impaction bone grafting using vaterite microsphere biocomposites by David W. Green; Benjamin J.R.F. Bolland; Janos M. Kanczler; Stuart A. Lanham; Dominic Walsh; Stephen Mann; Richard O.C. Oreffo (pp. 1918-1927).
The development of particulate bone void fillers with added biological function to augment skeletal tissue formation will lead to improved efficacy in bone replacement surgery. We demonstrate the potential for vaterite microsphere biocomposites to augment bone matrix formation within an in vivo model for impaction bone grafting seeded with human bone marrow stromal cells. In vitro tests demonstrate the significance of vaterite microspheres in the activation and promotion of 3D skeletal tissue formation. Further in vitro experiments using functionalized microspheres with surface integrated RGD peptide activate co-cultured skeletal populations in pellets and promote secretion of extracellular matrix collagens and human osteocalcin. Specific temporal release of entrapped RNase A was successfully demonstrated using these specialized microspheres with integrated magnetic beads, which physically disrupted the inorganic macrostructure. These studies demonstrate that bio-inspired calcium carbonate microspheres augment in vivo bone formation in impaction bone grafting. Such microspheres with added biological functionality offer innovative therapeutic approaches to activate skeletal populations and enhance bone formation with reparative implications for hard tissues.

Keywords: Human osteoprogenitor; Calcium carbonate; Osteogenesis; Biomimetic material; Mineralization; Bone tissue engineering


Influence of anchoring ligands and particle size on the colloidal stability and in vivo biodistribution of polyethylene glycol-coated gold nanoparticles in tumor-xenografted mice by Guodong Zhang; Zhi Yang; Wei Lu; Rui Zhang; Qian Huang; Mei Tian; Li Li; Dong Liang; Chun Li (pp. 1928-1936).
Polyethylene glycol (PEG)-coated (pegylated) gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have been proposed as drug carriers and diagnostic contrast agents. However, the impact of particle characteristics on the biodistribution and pharmacokinetics of pegylated AuNPs is not clear. We investigated the effects of PEG molecular weight, type of anchoring ligand, and particle size on the assembly properties and colloidal stability of PEG-coated AuNPs. The pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of the most stable PEG-coated AuNPs in nude mice bearing subcutaneous A431 squamous tumors were further studied using111In-labeled AuNPs. AuNPs coated with thioctic acid (TA)-anchored PEG exhibited higher colloidal stability in phosphate-buffered saline in the presence of dithiothreitol than did AuNPs coated with monothiol-anchored PEG. AuNPs coated with high-molecular-weight (5000 Da) PEG were more stable than AuNPs coated with low-molecular-weight (2000 Da) PEG. Of the 20-nm, 40-nm, and 80-nm AuNPs coated with TA-terminated PEG5000, the 20-nm AuNPs exhibited the lowest uptake by reticuloendothelial cells and the slowest clearance from the body. Moreover, the 20-nm AuNPs coated with TA-terminated PEG5000 showed significantly higher tumor uptake and extravasation from the tumor blood vessels than did the 40- and 80-nm AuNPs. Thus, 20-nm AuNPs coated with TA-terminated PEG5000 are promising potential drug delivery vehicles and diagnostic imaging agents.

Keywords: Gold nanoparticle; Polyethylene glycol; Thioctic acid; Biodistribution; Pharmacokinetics


The regulation of the gap junction of human mesenchymal stem cells through the internalization of quantum dots by Jui-Chih Chang; Shan-hui Hsu; Hong-Lin Su (pp. 1937-1946).
The delivery mechanism of CdSe/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) into cells was previously found to critically determine the biocompatibility of QDs to human adult mesenchymal stem cells, but the associated mechanism remained unknown. The present study tried to establish a link between the above phenomenon and the change in gap junction upon QD internalization. By comparing Pep-1- and PolyFect-mediated QD internalizations, the connexin 43 (Cx43)-mediated gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) of human adipose-derived adult stem cells was investigated in monolayer and in three-dimensional (3D) culture (alginate hollow spheres). The latter system offered cells more mobility, which was more similar as in vivo. The results showed that Pep-1-coated QDs, which escaped from the endo-/lysosome degradation, could activate the F-actin assembly and the ERK-dependent phosphorylation of Cx43. The consequence was a reduction in Cx43-mediated GJIC. When the cells were grown in high density 3D alginate hollow spheres instead of in monolayer, the decrease of GJIC caused by the QD internalization was restored. These results indicated that the adaptability in QDs-mediated regulation of GJIC with different delivery coatings depended on the culture systems. The study also suggested that the regulation of gap junction may play a key role in QD cytotoxicity.

Keywords: Quantum dots; Adult adipose-derived stem cells; Gap junction intercellular communication; Connexin 43; Three-dimensional culture


Development of highly porous large PLGA microparticles for pulmonary drug delivery by Yan Yang; Nimisha Bajaj; Peisheng Xu; Kimberly Ohn; Michael D. Tsifansky; Yoon Yeo (pp. 1947-1953).
We report a new process of making highly-porous large polymeric microparticles for local drug delivery to the lungs by inhalation. Poly(lactic- co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microparticles (average diameter, 10–20μm) were made by the double-emulsion method. To impart favorable aerodynamic properties, an effervescent salt ammonium bicarbonate (ABC) was included in the internal aqueous phase. ABC produced highly-porous structures in the PLGA particles as it escaped as ammonia and carbon dioxide. The fine-particle fraction (FPF) of the microparticles increased as a function of the ratio of ABC to PLGA. Microparticles prepared with 7.5%w/w (ABC/PLGA) had a mass median aerodynamic diameter (MMAD) of 4.0±1.2μm and FPF of 32.0±9.1% when tested with Anderson Cascade Impactor (ACI) and Rotahaler. The highly-porous large particles deposited at the ACI stages corresponding to the trachea and below. The highly-porous large particles avoided phagocytosis by macrophages, while non-porous small particles were quickly taken up by the macrophages. Unlike other encapsulation methods which employ osmogens or extractable porogens, this method could encapsulate lysozyme and doxorubicin·HCl, with high encapsulation efficiency (∼100% for both lysozyme and doxorubicin), in the PLGA microparticles characterized by desirable MMAD (4.5±0.6μm lysozyme; 4.6±0.4μm doxorubicin) and FPF (29.1±12.2% lysozyme; 33.8±3.6% doxorubicin). Fifty-two percent of encapsulated doxorubicin was released over 4 days from the highly-porous microparticles. This method is an efficient way of making polymeric microparticles for sustained local drug delivery by inhalation.

Keywords: Highly porous large microparticles; Ammonium bicarbonate; Inhalable dry powder; Inhalational therapy; Sustained drug delivery


The role of hydrophobic amino acid grafts in the enhancement of membrane-disruptive activity of pH-responsive pseudo-peptides by Rongjun Chen; Sariah Khormaee; Mark E. Eccleston; Nigel K.H. Slater (pp. 1954-1961).
pH-responsive polymers have been synthesised by graftingl-valine (PV-75),l-leucine (PL-75) andl-phenylalanine (PP-75) onto the pendant carboxylic acid moieties of a pseudo-peptide, poly(l-lysine iso-phthalamide), at a stoichiometric degree of substitution of 75 mol%. The effect of such modification on the pH-, concentration- and time-dependent cell membrane-disruptive activity of the grafted polymers has been investigated using a haemolysis model. At 0.025 mg mL−1, the grafted polymers were almost non-haemolytic at pH 7.4, but mediated considerable membrane lysis after 60 min in the pH range characteristic of early endosomes, which ranked in the order: PP-75 > PL-75 > PV-75 > poly(l-lysine iso-phthalamide). PP-75 was 35-fold more lytic on a molar basis than the membrane-lytic peptide melittin. With increasing concentration, the grafted polymers showed an increased ability to lyse cell membranes and caused noticeable membrane disruption at physiological pH. The mechanism of the polymer-mediated membrane destabilisation has been investigated. The in-vitro cytotoxicity of the grafted polymers has been assessed using a propidium iodide fluorescence assay. It has been demonstrated by confocal microscopy that the grafted polymers can induce a significant release of endocytosed materials into the cytoplasm of HeLa cells, which is a feature critical for drug delivery applications.

Keywords: pH-responsive polymer; Pseudo-peptide; Hydrophobic amino acid; Haemolysis; Cytotoxicity; Drug delivery


MRI-visible polymeric vector bearing CD3 single chain antibody for gene delivery to T cells for immunosuppression by Chen Guihua; Chen Wenjie; Wu Zhuang; Yuan Renxu; Li Hua; Gao Jinming; Shuai Xintao (pp. 1962-1970).
Gene therapy mediated by nonviral vectors provides great advantages over conventional drug therapy in inducing immunosuppression after organ transplantation, yet it was rarely reported because T cells are normally difficult to transfect. In this paper, a nonviral vector that effectively transports genes into T cells is developed by attaching a T cell specific ligand, the CD3 single chain antibody (scAbCD3), to the distal ends of poly(ethylene glycol)-grafted polyethylenimine (scAbCD3-PEG- g-PEI). This polymer was first complexed with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) and was then used to condense plasmid DNA into nanoparticles with an ideally small size and low cytotoxicity. Based on a reporter gene assay, targeting ligand functionalization of the delivery agent leads to 16 fold of enhancement in the gene transfection level in HB8521 cells, a rat T lymphocyte line. This targeting event in cell culture was successfully imaged by MRI scan. Inspiringly, delivery of a therapeutic gene DGKα with our MRI-visible delivery agent was likewise efficient, resulting in a 43% inhibition in the stimulated proliferation of HB8521 cells as well as a 38% inhibition in the expression of a major functional cytokine interleukin-2 (IL-2), indicating the effective T cell anergy induced by gene therapy.

Keywords: Immunosuppression; Targeted gene delivery; T cell anergy; Nonviral vector; Magnetic resonance imaging


The role of doxorubicin in non-viral gene transfer in the lung by Uta Griesenbach; Cuixiang Meng; Raymond Farley; Aaron Gardner; Maresa A. Brake; Gad M. Frankel; Dieter C. Gruenert; Seng H. Cheng; Ronald K. Scheule; Eric W.F.W. Alton (pp. 1971-1977).
Proteasome inhibitors have been shown to increase adeno-associated virus (AAV)-mediated transduction in vitro and in vivo. To assess if proteasome inhibitors also increase lipid-mediated gene transfer with relevance to cystic fibrosis (CF), we first assessed the effects of doxorubicin and N-acetyl-l-leucinyl-l-leucinal-l-norleucinal in non-CF (A549) and CF (CFTE29o-) airway epithelial cell lines. CFTE29o- cells did not show a response to Dox or LLnL; however, gene transfer in A549 cells increased in a dose-related fashion ( p<0.05), up to approximately 20-fold respectively at the optimal dose (no treatment: 9.3×104±1.5×103, Dox: 1.6×106±2.6×105, LLnL: 1.9×106±3.2×105RLU/mg protein). As Dox is used clinically in cancer chemotherapy we next assessed the effect of this drug on non-viral lung gene transfer in vivo. CF knockout mice were injected intraperitoneally (IP) with Dox (25–100mg/kg) immediately before nebulisation with plasmid DNA carrying a luciferase reporter gene under the control of a CMV promoter/enhancer (pCIKLux) complexed to the cationic lipid GL67A. Dox also significantly ( p<0.05) increased expression of a plasmid regulated by an elongation factor 1α promoter (hCEFI) approximately 8-fold. Although administration of Dox before lung gene transfer may not be a clinically viable option, understanding how Dox increases lung gene expression may help to shed light on intracellular bottle-necks to gene transfer, and may help to identify other adjuncts that may be more appropriate for use in man.

Keywords: Lung; Gene transfer; Lipid; In vivo; test; In vitro; test


Cellular automata model for drug release from binary matrix and reservoir polymeric devices by Timo Johannes Laaksonen; Hannu Mikael Laaksonen; Jouni Tapio Hirvonen; Lasse Murtomäki (pp. 1978-1987).
Kinetics of drug release from polymeric tablets, inserts and implants is an important and widely studied area. Here we present a new and widely applicable cellular automata model for diffusion and erosion processes occurring during drug release from polymeric drug release devices. The model divides a 2D representation of the release device into an array of cells. Each cell contains information about the material, drug, polymer or solvent that the domain contains. Cells are then allowed to rearrange according to statistical rules designed to match realistic drug release. Diffusion is modeled by a random walk of mobile cells and kinetics of chemical or physical processes by probabilities of conversion from one state to another. This is according to the basis of diffusion coefficients and kinetic rate constants, which are on fundamental level just probabilities for certain occurrences. The model is applied to three kinds of devices with different release mechanisms: erodable matrices, diffusion through channels or pores and membrane controlled release. The dissolution curves obtained are compared to analytical models from literature and the validity of the model is considered. The model is shown to be compatible with all three release devices, highlighting easy adaptability of the model to virtually any release system and geometry. Further extension and applications of the model are envisioned.

Keywords: Drug release; Dissolution; Cellular automata; Modeling; Percolation

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