Nanofibrous ε-Polycaprolactone Matrices Containing Nano-Hydroxyapatite and Humulus lupulus L. Extract: Physicochemical and Biological Characterization for Oral Applications

Oral bone defects occur as a result of trauma, cancer, infections, periodontal diseases, and caries. Autogenic and allogenic grafts are the gold standard used to treat and regenerate damaged or defective bone segments. However, these materials do not possess the antimicrobial properties necessary to inhibit the invasion of the numerous deleterious pathogens present in the oral microbiota. In the present study, poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL), nano-hydroxyapatite (nHAp), and a commercial extract of Humulus lupulus L. (hops) were electrospun into polymeric matrices to assess their potential for drug delivery and bone regeneration. The fabricated matrices were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), tensile analysis, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), FTIR assay, and in vitro hydrolytic degradation. The antimicrobial properties were evaluated against the oral pathogens Streptococcus mutans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans. The cytocompatibility was proved using the MTT assay. SEM analysis established the nanostructured matrices present in the three-dimensional interconnected network. The present research provides new information about the interaction of natural compounds with ceramic and polymeric biomaterials. The hop extract and other natural or synthetic medicinal agents can be effectively loaded into PCL fibers and have the potential to be used in oral applications.

Nanocarrier of α-Tocopheryl Succinate Based on a Copolymer Derivative of (4,7-dichloroquinolin-2-yl)methanol and Its Cytotoxicity against a Breast Cancer Cell Line

In order to improve the water solubility and, therefore, bioavailability and therapeutic activity of anticancer hydrophobic drug α-tocopherol succinate (α-TOS), in this work, copolymers were synthesized via free radicals from QMES (1-[4,7-dichloroquinolin-2-ylmethyl]-4-methacryloyloxyethyl succinate) and VP (N-vinyl-2-pirrolidone) using different molar ratios, and were used to nanoencapsulate and deliver α-TOS into cancer cells MCF-7. QMES monomer was chosen because the QMES pendant group in the polymer tends to hydrolyze to form free 4,7-dichloro-2-quinolinemethanol (QOH), which also, like α-TOS, exhibit anti-proliferative effects on cancerous cells. From the QMES-VP 30:70 (QMES-30) and 40:60 (QMES-40) copolymers obtained, it was possible to prepare aqueous suspensions of empty nanoparticles (NPs) loaded with α-TOS by nanoprecipitation. The diameter and encapsulation efficiency (%EE) of the QMES-30 NPs loaded with α-TOS were 128.6 nm and 52%; while for the QMES-40 NPs loaded with α-TOS, they were 148.8 nm and 65%. The results of the AlamarBlue assay at 72 h of treatment show that empty QMES-30 NPs (without α-TOS) produced a marked cytotoxic effect on MCF-7 breast cancer cells, corresponding to an IC50 value of 0.043 mg mL−1, and importantly, they did not exhibit cytotoxicity against healthy HUVEC cells. Furthermore, NP-QMES-40 loaded with α-TOS were cytotoxic with an IC50 value of 0.076 mg mL−1, demonstrating a progressive release of α-TOS; however, the latter nanoparticles were also cytotoxic to healthy cells in the range of the assayed concentrations. These results contribute to the search for a new polymeric nanocarrier of QOH, α-TOS or other hydrophobic drugs for the treatment of cancer or others diseases treatable with these drugs.

Facile, fast and green synthesis of a highly porous calcium-syringate bioMOF with intriguing triple bioactivity

A facile, fast and green strategy in ethanol is utilized to prepare a new bioMOF, namely CaSyr-1, with the particular characteristics of full biocompatibility given by using just calcium and syringic acid, the later being a phenolic natural product found in fruits and vegetables, permanent porosity with outstanding surface area >1000 m2g-1, and a micropore diameter of 1.4 nm close to mesopore values. Collectively, these data establish CaSyr-1 as one of the most porous bioMOFs reported to date, with high molecular adsorption capacity. The CaSyr-1 adsorptive behavior is revised here through the reversible adsorption of CO2 and the encapsulation of bioactive ingredients in the structure. Remarkably, CaSyr-1 enables the development of triple therapeutic entities, involving bioactive Ca2+, syringic acid and an impregnated drug.

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Rosado, A. et al. Facile, fast and green synthesis of a highly porous calcium-syringate bioMOF with intriguing triple bioactivity. Inorg. Chem. Front. 10, 2165–2173 (2023). Download Download

Ketoprofen-based polymer-drug nanoparticles provide anti-inf lammatory properties to HA/collagen hydrogels

Current limitations of wound dressings for treating chronic wounds require the development of novel approaches. One of these is the immune-centered approach, which aims to restore the pro-regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties of macrophages. Under inflammatory conditions, ketoprofen nanoparticles (KT NP) can reduce pro-inflammatory markers of macrophages and increase anti-inflammatory cytokines. To assess their suitability as part of wound dressings, these NP were combined with hyaluronan (HA)/collagen-based hydro- (HG) and cryogels (CG). Different HA, NP concentrations and loading techniques for NP incorporation were used. The NP release, gel morphology and mechanical properties were studied. Generally, colonialization of the gels with macrophages resulted in high cell viability and proliferation. Furthermore, direct contact of the NP to the cells reduced the level of nitric oxide (NO). The formation of multinucleated cells on the gels was low and further decreased by the NP. For the HG that produced the highest reduction in NO, extended ELISA studies showed reduced levels of the pro-inflammatory markers PGE2, IL-12 p40, TNF-α, and IL-6. Thus, HA/collagen-based gels con-taining KT NP may represent a novel therapeutic approach for treating chronic wounds. Whether effects observed in vitro translate into a favorable profile on skin regeneration in vivo will require rigorous testing.

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Halfter, N. et al. Ketoprofen-Based Polymer-Drug Nanoparticles Provide Anti-Inflammatory Properties to HA/Collagen Hydrogels. Journal of Functional Biomaterials 14, 160 (2023). Download

Antiaging properties of antioxidant photoprotective polymeric nanoparticles loaded with coenzyme-Q10

Skin is the most extensive organ within our body. It is continually subjected to stress factors, among which ultraviolet irradiation, a key factor responsible in skin aging since it leads to reactive oxygen species production. In order to fight against these oxidative species, the human body has an innate robust antioxidant mechanism composed of several different substances, one of which is coenzyme Q10. Its capacity to increase cellular energy production and excellent antioxidant properties have been proved, as well as its antiaging properties being able to attenuate cellular damage induced by ultraviolet irradiation in human dermal fibroblasts. However, its high hydrophobicity and photolability hampers its therapeutic potential. In this context, the objective of this work consists of the preparation of chitosan-rosmarinic acid conjugate-based nanoparticles to encapsulate coenzyme Q10 with high encapsulation efficiencies in order to improve its bioavailability and broaden its therapeutic use in skin applications. Hyaluronic acid coating was performed giving stable nanoparticles at physiological pH with 382 ± 3 nm of hydrodynamic diameter (0.04 ± 0.02 polydispersity) and − 18 ± 3 mV of surface charge. Release kinetics studies showed a maximum of 82 % mass release of coenzyme Q10 after 40 min, and radical scavenger activity assay confirmed the antioxidant character of chitosan-rosmarinic acid nanoparticles. Hyaluronic acid-coated chitosan-rosmarinic acid nanoparticles loaded with coenzyme Q10 were biocompatible in human dermal fibroblasts and exhibited interesting photoprotective properties in ultraviolet irradiated cells. In addition, nanoparticles hindered the production of reactive oxygen species, interleukin-6 and metalloproteinase-1, as well as caspase-9 activation maintaining high viability values upon irradiation of dermal fibroblasts. Overall results envision a great potential of these nanovehicles for application in skin disorders or antiaging treatments.

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Huerta-Madroñal, M., Espinosa-Cano, E., Aguilar, M. R. & Vazquez-Lasa, B. Antiaging properties of antioxidant photoprotective polymeric nanoparticles loaded with coenzyme-Q10. Biomaterials Advances 145, 213247 (2023).

New Insights into the In Vitro Antioxidant Routes and Osteogenic Properties of Sr/Zn Phytate Compounds

Sr/Zn phytate compounds have been shown interest in biomaterial science, specifically in dental implantology, due to their antimicrobial effects against Streptococcus mutans and their capacity to form bioactive coatings. Phytic acid is a natural chelating compound that shows antioxidant and osteogenic properties that can play an important role in bone remodelling processes affected by oxidative stress environments, such as those produced during infections. The application of non-protein cell-signalling molecules that regulate both bone and ROS homeostasis is a promising strategy for the regeneration of bone tissues affected by oxidative stress processes. In this context, phytic acid (PA) emerged as an excellent option since its antioxidant and osteogenic properties can play an important role in bone remodelling processes. In this study, we explored the antioxidant and osteogenic properties of two metallic PA complexes bearing bioactive cations, i.e., Sr2+ (SrPhy) and Zn2+ (ZnPhy), highlighting the effect of the divalent cations anchored to phytate moieties and their capability to modulate the PA properties. The in vitro features of the complexes were analyzed and compared with those of their precursor PA. The ferrozine/FeCl2 method indicated that SrPhy exhibited a more remarkable ferrous ion affinity than ZnPhy, while the antioxidant activity demonstrated by a DPPH assay showed that only ZnPhy reduced the content of free radicals. Likewise, the antioxidant potential was assessed with RAW264.7 cell cultures. An ROS assay indicated again that ZnPhy was the only one to reduce the ROS content (20%), whereas all phytate compounds inhibited lipid peroxidation following the decreasing order of PA > SrPhy > ZnPhy. The in vitro evaluation of the phytate’s osteogenic ability was performed using hMSC cells. The results showed tailored properties related to the cation bound in each complex. ZnPhy overexpressed ALP activity at 3 and 14 days, and SrPhy significantly increased calcium deposition after 21 days. This study demonstrated that Sr/Zn phytates maintained the antioxidant and osteogenic properties of PA and can be used in bone regenerative therapies involving oxidative environments, such as infected implant coatings and periodontal tissues.

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Asensio, G., Martín-del-Campo, M., Ramírez, R. A., Rojo, L. & Vázquez-Lasa, B. New Insights into the In Vitro Antioxidant Routes and Osteogenic Properties of Sr/Zn Phytate Compounds. Pharmaceutics 15, 339 (2023). Download

Strontium/zinc phytate-based self-assembled monolayers on titanium surfaces enhance osteogenesis and antibacterial performance in vitro

The accumulation of bacteria over implant surfaces is still the first cause of failure, and the development of antimicrobial surfaces constitutes a first line in implant research. Besides, the durability and mechanical performance of implants, in special in the dental area, are mainly determined by their osseointegration capacity into the maxillofacial bone and the appearance of infections. Consequently, implant osseointegration and infection prophylaxis remain as big challenges to attain so a huge investigation is being developed on the production of bioactive surfaces to achieve improvements in these aspects. In this work we propose the functionalization of titanium surfaces (Ti Cp) with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of bioactive organophosphate compounds: phytic acid (Ti-PA) and its metallic phytate derivatives bearing Sr2+ and/or Zn2+ (Ti-SrPhy, Ti-ZnPhy and Ti-SrPhy/ZnPhy) which exhibited tunable in vitro osteogenic, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties in a previous work. Thus, phytate compounds are chemically anchored onto Ti discs through a simple procedure consisting of a condensation reaction promoted by heat treatment. EDS and XPS spectroscopies confirm the obtaining of the modified surfaces and the topographic properties and wettability analysed by SEM, AFM, profilometry and contact angle measurements, respectively, are explored. Additionally, phytate-SAMs do not release any cytotoxic compound after 14 days and stimulate in vitro adhesion and proliferation of human osteoblast cells after 14 days of culture. The osteogenic ability of the modified surfaces evaluated by the quantification of ALP activity and matrix mineralization degree shows a significant improvement with respect to unmodified surfaces. Furthermore, the antimicrobial activity of phytate-SAMs against Streptococcus mutans cultures is evaluated. The count of viable cells and the quantification of produced biofilm are significantly reduced by all phytate-SAMs groups (p < 0.001). Cell membrane integrity studies by LIVE/DEAD staining and SEM imaging confirm a decreased viability of adhered bacteria when phytate-based surfaces are tested, due to a disruption in the function and permeability of the cell membrane. Therefore, phytate-SAMs exhibit suitable in vitro features suggesting their promising potential as bioactive coatings of dental implants.

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Asensio, G. et al. Strontium/zinc phytate-based self-assembled monolayers on titanium surfaces enhance osteogenesis and antibacterial performance in vitro. Applied Surface Science 620, 156818 (2023).

DEAE/Catechol-Chitosan Conjugates as Bioactive Polymers: Synthesis, Characterization, and Potential Applications

This work provides the first description of the synthesis and characterization of water-soluble chitosan (Cs) derivatives based on the conjugation of both diethylaminoethyl (DEAE) and catechol groups onto the Cs backbone (Cs–DC) in order to obtain a Cs derivative with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. The degree of substitution [DS (%)] was 35.46% for DEAE and 2.53% for catechol, determined by spectroscopy. Changes in the molecular packing due to the incorporation of both pendant groups were described by X-ray diffraction and thermogravimetric analysis. For Cs, the crystallinity index was 59.46% and the maximum decomposition rate appeared at 309.3 °C, while for Cs–DC, the values corresponded to 16.98% and 236.4 °C, respectively. The incorporation of DEAE and catechol groups also increases the solubility of the polymer at pH > 7 without harming the antimicrobial activity displayed by the unmodified polymer. The catecholic derivatives increase the radical scavenging activity in terms of the half-maximum effective concentration (EC50). An EC50 of 1.20 μg/mL was found for neat hydrocaffeic acid (HCA) solution, while for chitosan–catechol (Cs–Ca) and Cs–DC solutions, concentrations equivalent to free HCA of 0.33 and 0.41 μg/mL were required, respectively. Cell culture results show that all Cs derivatives have low cytotoxicity, and Cs–DC showed the ability to reduce the activity of reactive oxygen species by 40% at concentrations as low as 4 μg/mL. Polymeric nanoparticles of Cs derivatives with a hydrodynamic diameter (Dh) of around 200 nm, unimodal size distributions, and a negative ζ-potential were obtained by ionotropic gelation and coated with hyaluronic acid in aqueous suspension, providing the multifunctional nanoparticles with higher stability and a narrower size distribution.

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Caro-León Fj et al. DEAE/Catechol-Chitosan Conjugates as Bioactive Polymers: Synthesis, Characterization, and Potential Applications. Biomacromolecules 24, (2023).

Chemically crosslinked hyaluronic acid-chitosan hydrogel for application on cartilage regeneration

Articular cartilage is an avascular tissue that lines the ends of bones in diarthrodial joints, serves as support, acts as a shock absorber, and facilitates joint’s motion. It is formed by chondrocytes immersed in a dense extracellular matrix (principally composed of aggrecan linked to hyaluronic acid long chains). Damage to this tissue is usually associated with traumatic injuries or age-associated processes that often lead to discomfort, pain and disability in our aging society. Currently, there are few surgical alternatives to treat cartilage damage: the most commonly used is the microfracture procedure, but others include limited grafting or alternative chondrocyte implantation techniques, however, none of them completely restore a fully functional cartilage. Here we present the development of hydrogels based on hyaluronic acid and chitosan loaded with chondroitin sulfate by a new strategy of synthesis using biodegradable di-isocyanates to obtain an interpenetrated network of chitosan and hyaluronic acid for cartilage repair. These scaffolds act as delivery systems for the chondroitin sulfate and present mucoadhesive properties, which stabilizes the clot of microfracture procedures and promotes superficial chondrocyte differentiation favoring a true articular cellular colonization of the cartilage. This double feature potentially improves the microfracture technique and it will allow the development of next-generation therapies against articular cartilage damage

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Escalante, S. et al. Chemically crosslinked hyaluronic acid-chitosan hydrogel for application on cartilage regeneration. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 10, (2022). Download

A study on Sr/Zn phytate complexes: structural properties and antimicrobial synergistic effects against Streptococcus mutans

Phytic acid (PA) is an abundant natural plant component that exhibits a versatility of applications benefited from its chemical structure, standing out its use as food, packing and dental additive due to its antimicrobial properties. The capacity of PA to chelate ions is also well-established and the formation and thermodynamic properties of different metallic complexes has been described. However, research studies of these compounds in terms of chemistry and biological features are still demanded in order to extend the application scope of PA complexes. The main goal of this paper is to deepen in the knowledge of the bioactive metal complexes chemistry and their bactericide activity, to extend their application in biomaterial science, specifically in oral implantology. Thus, this work presents the synthesis and structural assessment of two metallic phytate complexes bearing the bioactive cations Zn2+ and Sr2+ (ZnPhy and SrPhy respectively), along with studies on the synergic biological properties between PA and cations. Metallic phytates were synthesized in the solid-state by hydrothermal reaction leading to pure solid compounds in high yields. Their molecular formulas were C6H12024P6Sr4·5H2O and C6H12024P6Zn6·6H2O, as determined by ICP and HRES-TGA. The metal coordination bond of the solid complexes was further analysed by EDS, Raman, ATR-FTIR and solid 13C and 31P-NMR spectroscopies. Likewise, we evaluated the in vitro ability of the phytate compounds for inhibiting biofilm production of Streptococcus mutans cultures. Results indicate that all compounds significantly reduced biofilm formation (PA < SrPhy < ZnPhy), and ZnPhy even showed remarkable differences with respect to PA and SrPhy. Analysis of antimicrobial properties shows the first clues of the possible synergic effects created between PA and the corresponding cation in different cell metabolic processes. In overall, findings of this work can contribute to expand the applications of these bioactive metallic complexes in the biotechnological and biomedical fields, and they can be considered for the fabrication of anti-plaque coating systems in the dentistry field.

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Asensio, G. et al. A study on Sr/Zn phytate complexes: structural properties and antimicrobial synergistic effects against Streptococcus mutans. Sci Rep 12, 20177 (2022). Download
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