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).

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

Development of Methotrexate Complexes Endowed with New Biological Properties Envisioned for Musculoskeletal Regeneration in Rheumatoid Arthritis Environments

Methotrexate (MTX) administration is the gold standard treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but its effects are limited to preventing the progression of the disease. Therefore, effective egenerative therapies for damaged tissues are still to be developed. In this regard, MTX complexes of general molecular formula M(MTX)xH2O, where M = Sr, Zn, or Mg, were synthesized and physicochemically characterized by TGA, XRD, NMR, ATR–FTIR, and EDAX spectroscopies. Characterization results demonstrated the coordination between the different cations and MTX via two monodentate bonds with the carboxylate groups of MTX. Cation complexation provided MTX with new bioactive properties such as increasing the deposition of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and alternative anti-inflammatory capacities, without compromising the immunosuppressant properties of MTX on macrophages. Lastly, these new complexes were loaded into spray-dried chitosan microparticles as a proof of concept that they can be encapsulated and further delivered in situ in RA-affected joints, envisioning them as a suitable alternative to oral MTX therapy.

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Fernández-Villa, D. et al. Development of Methotrexate Complexes Endowed with New Biological Properties Envisioned for Musculoskeletal Regeneration in Rheumatoid Arthritis Environments. Int J Mol Sci 23, 10054 (2022).

The Role of Polymeric Biomaterials in the Treatment of Articular Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a high-prevalence joint disease characterized by the degradation of cartilage, subchondral bone thickening, and synovitis. Due to the inability of cartilage to self-repair, regenerative medicine strategies have become highly relevant in the management of osteoarthritis. Despite the great advances in medical and pharmaceutical sciences, current therapies stay unfulfilled, due to the inability of cartilage to repair itself. Additionally, the multifactorial etiology of the disease, including endogenous genetic dysfunctions and exogenous factors in many cases, also limits the formation of new cartilage extracellular matrix or impairs the regular recruiting of chondroprogenitor cells. Hence, current strategies for osteoarthritis management involve not only analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and/or viscosupplementation but also polymeric biomaterials that are able to drive native cells to heal and repair the damaged cartilage. This review updates the most relevant research on osteoarthritis management that employs polymeric biomaterials capable of restoring the viscoelastic properties of cartilage, reducing symptomatology, and favoring adequate cartilage regeneration properties.

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Velasco-Salgado, C. et al. The Role of Polymeric Biomaterials in the Treatment of Articular Osteoarthritis. Pharmaceutics 14, 1644 (2022). Download
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