6 research outputs found

    Hydroxyapatite Crystal Formation in the Presence of Polysaccharide

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    Natural polysaccharides play an important role in the formation of nanohydroxyapatite (nHA) crystals in biological systems. In this study, we synthesized nHA crystals in the presence of four polysaccharides, i.e., pectin, carrageenan, chitosan, and amylose, referred as PeHA, CaHA, CsHA, and AmHA, respectively. X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscope, and thermogravimetric analysis were used to investigate the formation of nHA crystals. The shape of prepared nHA crystals is needle/rod-like in all cases, whereas the size increases in the order of PeHA, CaHA, CsHA, and AmHA. The presence of polysaccharides induces the heterogeneous nucleation of nHA and further modulates the crystal growth. Our data suggest that the interaction intensity between nHA and polysaccharides is in the decreasing order of PeHA, CaHA, CsHA, and AmHA, resulting in the smallest nHA crystals with pectin. It is also demonstrated that a high polysaccharide concentration and short reaction time are adverse to nHA crystals, especially for the polysaccharides with carboxyl groups. This study can provide insight into the effects of polysaccharides with different chemical functional groups (−COOH, −OSO<sub>3</sub>H, −NH<sub>2</sub>, −OH) on the formation of nHA crystals

    A Biomimetic Poly(vinyl alcohol)–Carrageenan Composite Scaffold with Oriented Microarchitecture

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    In general, the design of a scaffold should imitate certain advantageous properties of native extracellular matrix (ECM) to operate as a temporary ECM for cells. From this perspective, a biomimetic scaffold was prepared using poly­(vinyl alcohol) and carrageenan in which axially oriented pore structure can be formed through a facile unidirectional freeze–thaw method. We examined the feasibility of this oriented scaffold, which has better physicochemical properties than a non-oriented scaffold fabricated by the conventional method. The microenvironment of this oriented scaffold could imitate biochemical and physical cues of natural cartilage ECM for guiding spatial organization and proliferation of cells in vitro, indicating its potential in cartilage repair strategy. Furthermore, the biocompatibility of the scaffold in vivo was demonstrated in a subcutaneous rat model, which revealed uniform infiltration and survival of newly formed tissue into the oriented scaffold after 4 weeks with only a minimal inflammatory response being observed over the course of the experiments. These results together indicated that the present biomimetic scaffold with oriented microarchitecture could be a promising candidate for cartilage tissue engineering

    Injectable Fullerenol/Alginate Hydrogel for Suppression of Oxidative Stress Damage in Brown Adipose-Derived Stem Cells and Cardiac Repair

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    Stem cell implantation strategy has exhibited potential to treat the myocardial infarction (MI), however, the low retention and survival limit their applications due to the reactive oxygen species (ROS) microenvironment after MI. In this study, the fullerenol nanoparticles are introduced into alginate hydrogel to create an injectable cell delivery vehicle with antioxidant activity. Results suggest that the prepared hydrogels exhibit excellent injectable and mechanical strength. In addition, the fullerenol/alginate hydrogel can effectively scavenge the superoxide anion and hydroxyl radicals. Based on these results, the biological behaviors of brown adipose-derived stem cells (BADSCs) seeded in fullerenol/alginate hydrogel were investigated in the presence of H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub>. Results suggest that the fullerenol/alginate hydrogels have no cytotoxicity effects on BADSCs. Moreover, they can suppress the oxidative stress damage of BADSCs and improve their survival capacity under ROS microenvironment via activating the ERK and p38 pathways while inhibiting JNK pathway. Further, the addition of fullerenol can improve the cardiomyogenic differentiation of BADSCs even under ROS microenvironment. To assess its therapeutic effects <i>in vivo</i>, the fullerenol/alginate hydrogel loaded with BADSCs were implanted in the MI area in rats. Results suggest that the fullerenol/alginate hydrogel can effectively decrease ROS level in MI zone, improve the retention and survival of implanted BADSCs, and induce angiogenesis, which in turn promote cardiac functional recovery. Therefore, the fullerenol/alginate hydrogel can act as injectable cell delivery vehicles for cardiac repair

    RoY Peptide-Modified Chitosan-Based Hydrogel to Improve Angiogenesis and Cardiac Repair under Hypoxia

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    Myocardial infarction (MI) still represents the “Number One Killer” in the world. The lack of functional vasculature of the infracted myocardium under hypoxia is one of the main problems for cardiac repair. In this study, a thermosensitive chitosan chloride-RoY (CSCl-RoY) hydrogel was developed to improve angiogenesis under hypoxia after MI. First, RoY peptides were conjugated onto the CSCl chain via amide linkages, and our data show that the conjugation of RoY peptide to CSCl does not interfere with the temperature sensitivity. Then, the effect of CSCl-RoY hydrogels on vascularization in vitro under hypoxia was investigated using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Results show that CSCl-RoY hydrogels can promote the survival, proliferation, migration and tube formation of HUVECs under hypoxia compared with CSCl hydrogel. Further investigations suggest that CSCl-RoY hydrogels can modulate the expression of membrane surface GRP78 receptor of HUVECs under hypoxia and then activate Akt and ERK1/2 signaling pathways related to cell survival/proliferation, thereby enhancing angiogenic activity of HUVECs under hypoxia. To assess its therapeutic properties in vivo, a MI model was induced in rats by the left anterior descending artery ligation. CSCl or CSCl-RoY hydrogels were injected into the border of infracted hearts. The results demonstrate that the introduction of RoY peptide can not only improve angiogenesis at MI region but also improve the cardiac functions. Overall, we conclude that the CSCl-RoY may represent an ideal scaffold material for injectable cardiac tissue engineering

    Zwitterionic-Modified Starch-Based Stealth Micelles for Prolonging Circulation Time and Reducing Macrophage Response

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    Over the last few decades, nanoparticles have been emerging as useful means to improve the therapeutic efficacy of drug delivery and medical diagnoses. However, the heterogeneity and complexity of blood as a medium is a fundamental problem; large amounts of protein can be adsorbed onto the surface of nanoparticles and cause their rapid clearance before reaching their target sites, resulting in the failure of drug delivery. To overcome this challenge, we present a rationally designed starch derivative (SB-ST-OC) with both a superhydrophilic moiety of zwitterionic sulfobetaine (SB) and a hydrophobic segment of octane (OC) as functional groups, which can self-assemble into “stealth” micelles (SSO micelles). The superhydrophilic SB kept the micelles stable against aggregation in complex media and imbued them with “stealth” properties, eventually extending their circulation time in blood. In stability and hemolysis tests the SSO micelles showed excellent protein resistance properties and hemocompatibility. Moreover, a phagocytosis test and cytokine secretion assay confirmed that the SSO micelles had less potential to trigger the activation of macrophages and were more suitable as a drug delivery candidate <i>in vivo</i>. On the basis of these results, doxorubicin (DOX), a hydrophobic drug, was used to investigate the potential application of this novel starch derivative <i>in vivo</i>. The results of the pharmacokinetic study showed that the values of the plasma area under the concentration curve (AUC) and elimination half-life (<i>T</i><sub>1/2</sub>) of the SSO micelles were higher than those of micelles without SB modifications. In conclusion, the combination of excellent protein resistance, lower macrophage activation, and longer circulation time <i>in vivo</i> makes this synthesized novel starch derivative a promising candidate as a hydrophobic drug carrier for long-term circulation <i>in vivo.</i