Thermosensitive Hydrogel Development for Its Possible Application in Cardiac Cell Therapy

Ischemic events can culminate in acute myocardial infarction with irreversible cardiac lesions that cannot be restored due to the limited regenerative capacity of the heart. Tissue engineering proposes therapeutic alternatives by using biomaterials to resemble the native extracellular medium combined with healthy and functional cells. This research focused on developing a natural thermosensitive hydrogel, its physical-chemical characterization and in vitro biocompatibility determination. Hydrogels’ morphological characterization was carried out through scanning electron microscopy and its chemical characterization by employing Infrared Spectroscopy technic. In addition, the biocompatibility was determined using fetal human ventricular cardiomyocytes cell line RL-14 and the MTT cytotoxicity test according to the ISO 10993-5 standard. Four biocompatible and thermosensitive hydrogels were obtained with a three-dimensional internal structure and two gelation times. The results show the potential of the hydrogel to increase the cell survival rate to the cardiac cell therapies under investigation and lay the foundations to continue with its characterization and biological evaluation both in vitro and in vivo models.

Optimization of Mechanical Properties of Alginate Hydrogel for 3D Bio-Printing Self-Standing Scaffold Architecture for Tissue Engineering Applications

In this study, the mechanical properties of alginate hydrogel material for self-standing 3D scaffold architecture with proper shape fidelity are investigated. In-lab built 3D bio-printer extrusion-based technology is utilized to fabricate 3D alginate scaffold constructs. The pressure, needle speed and stage speed are varied using a computer-controlled system. The experimental result indicates that the concentration of alginate solution, calcium chloride (CaCl2) cross-linking concentration and cross-linking ratios lead to the formation of alginate hydrogel with various gelation states. Besides, the gelling conditions, such as cross-linking reaction time and temperature also have a significant effect on the mechanical properties of alginate hydrogel. Various experimental tests such as the material gelation, the material spreading and the printability test for filament collapse as well as the swelling test were conducted to evaluate the fabricated 3D scaffold constructs. The result indicates that the fabricated 3D scaffold from composition of 3.5% wt alginate solution, that is prepared in DI water and 1% wt CaCl2 solution with cross-linking ratios of 7:3 show good printability and sustain good shape fidelity for more than 20 days, compared to alginate hydrogel that is prepared in a phosphate buffered saline (PBS). The fabricated self-standing 3D scaffold constructs measured 30 mm × 30 mm and consisted of 4 layers (n = 4) show good pore geometry and clear grid structure after printing. In addition, the percentage change of swelling degree exhibits high swelling capability with respect to time. The swelling test shows that the geometry of 3D alginate-scaffold construct and of the macro-pore are rarely changed, which indicates the capability of holding the shape fidelity during the incubation period. This study demonstrated that the mechanical and physical properties of alginate hydrogel could be tuned for a 3D bio-printing extrusion-based system to fabricate self-standing 3D scaffold soft structures. This 3D bioengineered scaffold provides a natural microenvironment present in the extracellular matrix of the tissue, which could be seeded with the biological cells to generate the desired 3D live tissue model for in vitro and in vivo tissue engineering applications.

Sustainable Hydrogel Nanocomposites Based on Grafted Chitosan and Clay for Effective Adsorption of Cationic Dye

Contamination of water, due to the discharge of untreated industrial wastewaters into the ecosystem, has become a serious problem for many countries. In this study, bioadsorbents based on chitosan-g-poly(acrylamide) and montmorillonite (MMt) clay (CTS-g-PAAm/MMt) hydrogel nanocomposites were prepared via free‐radical grafting copolymerization and crosslinking of acrylamide monomer (AAm) onto natural polysaccharide chitosan (CTS) as backbone, in presence of various contents of MMt clay as nanofiller. Then, they were hydrolyzed to obtain highly functionalized pH‐sensitive nanomaterials with uppermost swelling properties. Their structure characterization was conducted by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analyses. The adsorption performances of the developed nanohybrids were examined for removal of methylene blue (MB) cationic dye from aqueous solutions. The factors affecting the removal of MB, such as clay content, pH medium, adsorbent dose, initial dye concentration and temperature were explored. The adsorption process was found to be highly pH dependent. From adsorption kinetic results, the prepared adsorbents showed remarkable adsorption capacity and fast adsorption rate, mainly more than 88% of MB removal efficiency was reached after 50 min in 200 mg L-1 of dye solution. In addition, the incorporating of various content of clay has enhanced adsorption capacity of CTS-g-PAAm matrix from 1685 to a highest value of 1749 mg g-1 for the optimized nanocomposite containing 2 wt.% of MMt. The experimental kinetic data were well described by the pseudo-second-order model, while the equilibrium data were represented perfectly by Langmuir isotherm model. The maximum Langmuir equilibrium adsorption capacity (qm) was found to increase from 2173 mg g−1 until 2221 mg g−1 by adding 2 wt.% of clay nanofiller. Thermodynamic parameters revealed the spontaneous and endothermic nature of the process. In addition, the reusability study revealed that these bioadsorbents could be well regenerated with desorption efficiency overhead 87% and without any obvious decrease of removal efficiency as compared to starting ones even after four consecutive adsorption/desorption cycles, which exceeded 64%. These results suggest that the optimized nanocomposites are promising as low cost bioadsorbents.

A Bacterial Foraging Optimization Algorithm Applied to the Synthesis of Polyacrylamide Hydrogels

The Bacterial Foraging Optimization (BFO) algorithm is inspired by the behavior of bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Myxococcus xanthus when searching for food, more precisely the chemotaxis behavior. Bacteria perceive chemical gradients in the environment, such as nutrients, and also other individual bacteria, and move toward or in the opposite direction to those signals. The application example considered as a case study consists in establishing the dependency between the reaction yield of hydrogels based on polyacrylamide and the working conditions such as time, temperature, monomer, initiator, crosslinking agent and inclusion polymer concentrations, as well as type of the polymer added. This process is modeled with a neural network which is included in an optimization procedure based on BFO. An experimental study of BFO parameters is performed. The results show that the algorithm is quite robust and can obtain good results for diverse combinations of parameter values.

Hydrogel Based on Cellulose Acetate Used as Scaffold for Cell Growth

A hydrogel from cellulose acetate cross linked with ethylenediaminetetraacetic dianhydride (HAC-EDTA) was synthesized by our research group, and submitted to characterization and biological tests. Cytocompatibility analysis was performed by confocal microscopy using human adipocyte derived stem cells (ASCs). The FTIR analysis showed characteristic bands of cellulose acetate and hydroxyl groups and the tensile tests evidence that HAC-EDTA present a Young’s modulus of 643.7 MPa. The confocal analysis revealed that there was cell growth at the surface of HAC-EDTA. After one day of culture the cells presented spherical morphology, which may be caused by stress of the sequestration of Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions at the cell medium by HAC-EDTA, as demonstrated by ICP-MS. However, after seven days and 14 days of culture, the cells present fibroblastoid morphology, phenotype expected by this cellular type. The results give efforts to indicate this new material as a potential biomaterial for tissue engineering, in the future in vivo approach.

Evaluation of TRIS-DMA-NVP Hydrogels for Making Silicone-Based Contact Lenses

In this study, contact lenses were prepared through the polymerization of tris-(trimethyl-silyl-propyl-methacrylate) (TRIS), N,N-dimethylacrylamide (DMA), N-vinylpyrrolidone (NVP), and cross-linked with ethylene glycol dimethylacrylate (EGDMA). The equilibrium water content (EWC), oxygen permeability (Dk), light transmittance, and in vitro cytotoxicity of TRIS-DMA-NVP with various ratios were measured. The results showed that the EWC increased while the Dk decreased with the increase of NVP content. For the sample with 25 wt% NVP, the EWC attained 53% whereas the Dk decreased to 46 barrers. All these lenses exhibited light transmittance over than 95%. In addition, all these lenses exhibited no inhibition to the growth of L292 fibroblasts. Thus, this study showed that TRIS-DMA-NVP can be applicable for making contact lens.

Mass Transfer of Paracetamol from the Crosslinked Carrageenan-Polyvinyl Alcohol Film

In this research, carrageenan extracted from seaweed Eucheuma cottonii was mixed with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and then crosslinked using glutaraldehyde (GA). The obtained hydrogel films were applied to control the drug release rate of paracetamol. The aim of this research was to develop a mathematical model that can be used to describe the mass transfer rate of paracetamol from the hydrogel film into buffer solution. The effect of weight ratio carrageenan-PVA (5: 0, 1: 0.5, 1: 1, 1: 2, 0: 5) on the parameters of the mathematical model was investigated also. Based on the experimental data, the proposed mathematical model could describe the mass transfer rate of paracetamol. The weight ratio of carrageenan-PVA greatly affected the amount of paracetamol absorbed in the hydrogel film and the mass transfer rate of paracetamol.

Design and Fabrication of a Scaffold with Appropriate Features for Cartilage Tissue Engineering

Poor ability of cartilage tissue when experiencing a damage leads scientists to use tissue engineering as a reliable and effective method for regenerating or replacing damaged tissues. An artificial tissue should have some features such as biocompatibility, biodegradation and, enough mechanical properties like the original tissue. In this work, a composite hydrogel is prepared by using natural and synthetic materials that has high porosity. Mechanical properties of different combinations of polymers such as modulus of elasticity were tested, and a hydrogel with good mechanical properties was selected. Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells were also seeded into the pores of the sponge, and the results showed the adhesion and proliferation of cells within the hydrogel after one month. In comparison with previous works, this study offers a new and efficient procedure for the fabrication of cartilage like tissue and further cartilage repair.

Green Synthesis of Nanosilver-Loaded Hydrogel Nanocomposites for Antibacterial Application

Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) or hydrogels with three-dimensional hydrophilic network structure are high-performance water absorbent and retention materials. The in situ synthesis of metal nanoparticles within polymeric network as antibacterial agents for bio-applications is an approach that takes advantage of the existing free-space into networks, which not only acts as a template for nucleation of nanoparticles, but also provides long term stability and reduces their toxicity by delaying their oxidation and release. In this work, SAP/nanosilver nanocomposites were successfully developed by a unique green process at room temperature, which involves in situ formation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) within hydrogels as a template. The aim of this study is to investigate whether these AgNPs-loaded hydrogels are potential candidates for antimicrobial applications. Firstly, the superabsorbents were prepared through radical copolymerization via grafting and crosslinking of acrylamide (AAm) onto chitosan backbone (Cs) using potassium persulfate as initiator and N,N’-methylenebisacrylamide as the crosslinker. Then, they were hydrolyzed to achieve superabsorbents with ampholytic properties and uppermost swelling capacity. Lastly, the AgNPs were biosynthesized and entrapped into hydrogels through a simple, eco-friendly and cost-effective method using aqueous silver nitrate as a silver precursor and curcuma longa tuber-powder extracts as both reducing and stabilizing agent. The formed superabsorbents nanocomposites (Cs-g-PAAm)/AgNPs were characterized by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), UV-visible Spectroscopy, Attenuated Total reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP), and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). Microscopic surface structure analyzed by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) has showed spherical shapes of AgNPs with size in the range of 3-15 nm. The extent of nanosilver loading was decreased by increasing Cs content into network. The silver-loaded hydrogel was thermally more stable than the unloaded dry hydrogel counterpart. The swelling equilibrium degree (Q) and centrifuge retention capacity (CRC) in deionized water were affected by both contents of Cs and the entrapped AgNPs. The nanosilver-embedded hydrogels exhibited antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. These comprehensive results suggest that the elaborated AgNPs-loaded nanomaterials could be used to produce valuable wound dressing.

Utilization and Characterizations of Olive Oil Industry By-Products

A considerable amount of lignocellulosic by-product could be obtained from olive pulp during olive oil extraction industry. The major constituents of the olive pulp are husks and seeds. The separation of each portion of olive pulp (seeds and husks) was carried out by water flotation where seeds were sediment in the bottom. Both seeds and husks were dignified by 15% NaOH followed by complete lignin removal by using sodium chlorite in acidic medium. The isolated holocellulose, α-cellulose, hydrogel and CMC which prepared from cellulose of both seeds and husk fractions were characterized by FTIR and SEM. The present study focused on the investigation of the chemical components of the lignocellulosic fraction of olive pulp. Biofunctionlization of hydrogel was achieved through loading of silver nanoparticles AgNPs in to the prepared hydrogel. The antimicrobial activity of the loaded silver hydrogel against G-ve, and G+ve, and candida was demonstrated.

Swelling Behaviour of Kappa Carrageenan Hydrogel in Neutral Salt Solution

Hydrogel films were prepared from kappa carrageenan by crosslinking with glutaraldehyde. Carrageenan films extracted from Kappaphycus alvarezii seaweed were immersed in glutaraldehyde solution for 2 min and then cured at 110 °C for 25 min. The obtained crosslinked films were washed with ethanol to remove the unreacted glutaraldehyde and then air dried to constant weights. The aim of this research was to study the swelling degree behaviour of the hydrogel film to neutral salts solution, namely NaCl, KCl, and CaCl2. The results showed that swelling degree of crosslinked films varied non-monotonically with salinity of NaCl. Swelling degree decreased with the increasing of KCl concentration. Swelling degree of crosslinked film in CaCl2 solution was lower than that in NaCl and in KCl solutions.

Controlled Release of Glucosamine from Pluronic-Based Hydrogels for the Treatment of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis affects a lot of people worldwide. Local injection of glucosamine is one of the alternative treatment methods to replenish the natural lubrication of cartilage. However, multiple injections can potentially lead to possible bacterial infection. Therefore, a drug delivery system is desired to reduce the frequencies of injections. A hydrogel is one of the delivery systems that can control the release of drugs. Thermo-reversible hydrogels can be beneficial to the drug delivery system especially in the local injection route because this formulation can change from liquid to gel after getting into human body. Once the gel is in the body, it will slowly release the drug in a controlled manner. In this study, various formulations of Pluronic-based hydrogels were synthesized for the controlled release of glucosamine. One of the challenges of the Pluronic controlled release system is its fast dissolution rate. To overcome this problem, alginate and calcium sulfate (CaSO4) were added to the polymer solution. The characteristics of the hydrogels were investigated including the gelation temperature, gelation time, hydrogel dissolution and glucosamine release mechanism. Finally, a mathematical model of glucosamine release from Pluronic-alginate-hyaluronic acid hydrogel was developed. Our results have shown that crosslinking Pluronic gel with alginate did not significantly extend the dissolution rate of the gel. Moreover, the gel dissolution profiles and the glucosamine release mechanisms were best described using the zeroth-order kinetic model, indicating that the release of glucosamine was primarily governed by the gel dissolution.

Utilization and Characterizations of Olive Oil Industry By-Products

A considerable amount of lignocellulosic by-product could be obtained from olive pulp during olive oil extraction industry. The major constituents of the olive pulp are husks and seeds. The separation of each portion of olive pulp (seeds and husks) was carried out by water flotation where seeds were sediment in the bottom. Both seeds and husks were dignified by 15% NaOH followed by complete lignin removal by using sodium chlorite in acidic medium. The isolated holocellulose, α-cellulose, hydrogel and CMC of both seeds and husk fractions were characterized by FTIR and SEM. The present study focused on the investigation of the chemical components of the lignocellulosic fraction of olive pulp and using them in medical application. Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) is produced and applied in the preparation of antimicrobial hydrogel.

Sorption of Charged Organic Dyes from Anionic Hydrogels

Hydrogels are three-dimensional, hydrophilic, polymeric networks composed of homopolymers or copolymers and are insoluble in water due to the presence of chemical or physical cross-links. When hydrogels come in contact with aqueous solutions, they can effectively sorb and retain the dissolved substances, depending on the nature of the monomeric units comprising the hydrogel. For this reason, hydrogels have been proposed in several studies as water purification agents. At the present work anionic hydrogels bearing negatively charged –COO- groups were prepared and investigated. These gels are based on sodium acrylate (ANa), either homopolymerized (poly(sodiumacrylate), PANa) or copolymerized (P(DMAM-co-ANa)) with N,N Dimethylacrylamide (DMAM). The hydrogels were used to extract some model organic dyes from water. It is found that cationic dyes are strongly sorbed and retained by the hydrogels, while sorption of anionic dyes was negligible. In all cases it was found that both maximum sorption capacity and equilibrium binding constant varied from one dye to the other depending on the chemical structure of the dye, the presence of functional chemical groups and the hydrophobic-hydrophilic balance. Finally, the nonionic hydrogel of the homopolymer poly(N,Ndimethylacrylamide), PDMAM, was also used for reasons of comparison.

Synthesis and Properties of Chitosan-Graft Polyacrylamide/Gelatin Superabsorbent Composites for Wastewater Purification

Superabsorbent polymers received much attention and are used in many fields because of their superior characters to traditional absorbents, e.g., sponge and cotton. So, it is very important but challenging to prepare highly and fast-swelling superabsorbents. A reliable, efficient and low-cost technique for removing heavy metal ions from wastewater is the adsorption using bio-adsorbents obtained from biological materials, such as polysaccharides-based hydrogels superabsorbents. In this study, novel multi-functional superabsorbent composites type semi-interpenetrating polymer networks (Semi-IPNs) were prepared via graft polymerization of acrylamide onto chitosan backbone in presence of gelatin, CTS-g-PAAm/Ge, using potassium persulfate and N,N’-methylene bisacrylamide as initiator and crosslinker, respectively. These hydrogels were also partially hydrolyzed to achieve superabsorbents with ampholytic properties and uppermost swelling capacity. The formation of the grafted network was evidenced by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA). The porous structures were observed by Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). From TGA analysis, it was concluded that the incorporation of the Ge in the CTS-g-PAAm network has marginally affected its thermal stability. The effect of gelatin content on the swelling capacities of these superabsorbent composites was examined in various media (distilled water, saline and pH-solutions). The water absorbency was enhanced by adding Ge in the network, where the optimum value was reached at 2 wt. % of Ge. Their hydrolysis has not only greatly optimized their absorption capacity but also improved the swelling kinetic.These materials have also showed reswelling ability. We believe that these super-absorbing materials would be very effective for the adsorption of harmful metal ions from wastewater.

Formulation and ex vivo Evaluation of Solid Lipid Nanoparticles (SLNS) Based Hydrogel for Intranasal Drug Delivery

Risperidone (RISP) is an antipsychotic agent and has low water solubility and nontargeted delivery results in numerous side effects. Hence, an attempt was made to develop SLNs hydrogel for intranasal delivery of RISP to achieve maximum bioavailability and reduction of side effects. RISP loaded SLNs composed of 1.65% (w/v) lipid mass were produced by high shear homogenization (HSH) coupled ultrasound (US) method using glycerylmonostearate (GMS) or Imwitor 900K (solid lipid). The particles were loaded with 0.2% (w/v) of the RISP & surface-tailored with a 2.02% (w/v) non-ionic surfactant Tween® 80. Optimization was done using 32 factorial design using Design Expert® software. The prepared SLNs dispersion incorporated into Polycarbophil AA1 hydrogel (0.5% w/v). The final gel formulation was evaluated for entrapment efficiency, particle size, rheological properties, X ray diffraction, in vitro diffusion, ex vivo permeation using sheep nasal mucosa and histopathological studies for nasocilliary toxicity. The entrapment efficiency of optimized SLNs was found to be 76 ± 2%, polydispersity index

Preparation and in vitro Bactericidal and Fungicidal Efficiency of NanoSilver/Methylcellulose Hydrogel

In this work we describe the preparation of NanoSilver/methylcellulose hydrogel containing silver nanoparticles (NPs) for topical bactericidal applications. Highly concentrated dispersion of silver NPs as high as of 5g/L of silver with diameter of 10nm was prepared by reduction of AgNO3 via strong reducing agent NaBH4. Silver NPs were stabilized by addition of sodium polyacrylate in order to prevent their aggregation at such high concentration. This way synthesized silver NPs were subsequently incorporated into methylcellulose suspension at elevated temperature resulting in formation of NanoSilver/methylcellulose hydrogel when temperature cooled down to laboratory conditions. In vitro antibacterial activity assay proved high bactericidal and fungicidal efficiency of silver NPs alone in the form of dispersion as well as in the form of hydrogel against broad spectrum of bacteria and yeasts including highly multiresistant strains such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. A very low concentrations of silver as low as 0.84mg/L Ag in as-prepared dispersion gave antibacterial performance. NanoSilver/methylcellulose hydrogel showed antibacterial action at the lowest used silver concentration equal to 25mg/L. Such prepared NanoSilver/methylcellulose hydrogel represent promising topical antimicrobial formulation for treatment of burns and wounds.

In vitro and in vivo Anticancer Activity of Nanosize Zinc Oxide Composites of Doxorubicin

The nanotechnology offers some exciting possibilities in cancer treatment, including the possibility of destroying tumors with minimal damage to healthy tissue and organs by targeted drug delivery systems. Considerable achievements in investigations aimed at the use of ZnO nanoparticles and nanocontainers in diagnostics and antitumor therapy were described. However, there are substantial obstacles to the purposes to be achieved by the use of zinc oxide nanosize materials in antitumor therapy. Among the serious problems are the techniques of obtaining ZnO nanosize materials. The article presents a new vector delivery system for the known antitumor drug, doxorubicin in the form of polymeric (PEO, starch-NaCMC) hydrogels, in which nanosize ZnO film of a certain thickness are deposited directly on the drug surface on glass substrate by DC-magnetron sputtering of a zinc target. Anticancer activity in vitro and in vivo of those nanosize zinc oxide composites is shown.

A Comparative Studies on Methanesulfonic and p-Touluene Sulfonic Acid Incorporated Polyacrylamide Gel Polymer Electrolyte for Tin-Air Battery

This study was focused on polymer electrolytes containing methanesulfonic acid (MSA) and p-toluene sulfonic acid (pTSA) mixed with polyacrylamide (PAAm) respectively. Impedance Spectroscopy technique has been employed to compare the ionic conductivity of these polymer electrolytes. The ionic conductivity of the PAAm hydrogel electrolytes increase upon adding the sulfonic acids. Ionic conductivity of PAAm-pTSA is higher than PAAm-MSA. The electrochemical performance evaluations were done with the tin-air cells discharge at zero current for 30minutes and at constant current density of 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5 and 15mA/cm2. The tin-air cell of PAAm-MSA produce higher specific discharge capacity compared to PAAm-pTSA. Open-circuit voltage measurement revealed a higher voltage for tin-air cell of PAAm-MSA which is 1.27V.

Hydrogels Based on Carrageenan Extracted from Kappaphycus alvarezii

Preparation of hydrogel based on carrageenan extracted from Kappaphycus alvarezii was conducted with film immersion in glutaraldehyde solution (GA 4%w/w) for 2min and then followed by thermal curing at 110°C for 25min. The method of carrageenan recovery strongly determines the properties of crosslinked carrageenan. Hydrogel obtained from alkali treated carrageenan showed higher swelling ability compared to hydrogel from nonalkali treated carrageenan. Hydrogel from alkali treated showed the ability of sensitive to pH media.