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IMPACT STATEMENT - The development of autograft extenders is a significant clinical need in bone tissue engineering. We report new settable poly(thioketal urethane)-based autograft extenders that have bone-like mechanical properties and handling properties comparable to calcium phosphate bone cements. These settable autograft extenders remodeled to form new bone in a biologically stringent intertransverse process model of bone formation that does not heal when treated with calcium phosphate bone void fillers or cements alone. This is the first study to report settable autograft extenders with bone-like strength and handling properties comparable to ceramic bone cements, which have the potential to improve treatment of bone fractures and other orthopedic conditions.
Reconstructive treatment after trauma and tumor resection would greatly benefit from an effective soft tissue regeneration. The use of cell-free scaffolds for adipose tissue regeneration in vivo is emerging as an attractive alternative to tissue-engineered constructs, since this approach avoids complications due to cell manipulation and lack of synchronous vascularization. In this study, we developed a biodegradable polyurethane-based scaffold for soft tissue regeneration, characterized by an exceptional combination between softness and resilience. Exploring the potential as a cell-free scaffold required profound understanding of the impact of its intrinsic physico-chemical properties on the biological performance in vivo. We investigated the effect of the scaffold's hydrophilic character, degradation kinetics, and internal morphology on (i) the local inflammatory response and activation of MGCs (foreign body response); (ii) its ability to promote rapid vascularisation, cell infiltration and migration through the scaffold over time; and (iii) the grade of maturation of the newly formed tissue into vascularized soft tissue in a murine model. The study revealed that soft tissue regeneration in vivo proceeded by gradual infiltration of undifferentiated mesenchymal cells though the periphery toward the center of the scaffold, where the rapid formation of a functional and well-formed vascular network supported cell viability overtime.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE - Exploring the potential of polyurethane-based soft foam as cell-free scaffold for soft tissue regeneration. In this work, we address the unmet need for synthetic functional soft tissue substitutes that provide adequate biological and mechanical support to soft tissue. We developed a series of flexible cross-linked polyurethane copolymer scaffolds with remarkable fatigue-resistance and tunable physico-chemical properties for soft tissue regeneration in vivo. Accordingly, we could extend the potential of this class of biomaterials, which was so far confined for bone and osteochondral tissue regeneration, to other types of connective tissue.
Copyright © 2018 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
INTRODUCTION - Osteomyelitis, a common and debilitating invasive infection of bone, is a frequent complication following orthopedic surgery and causes pathologic destruction of skeletal tissues. Bone destruction during osteomyelitis results in necrotic tissue, which is poorly penetrated by antibiotics and can serve as a nidus for relapsing infection. Osteomyelitis therefore frequently necessitates surgical debridement procedures, which provide a unique opportunity for targeted delivery of antimicrobial and adjunctive therapies. Areas covered: Following surgical debridement, tissue voids require implanted materials to facilitate the healing process. Antibiotic-loaded, non-biodegradable implants have been the standard of care. However, a new generation of biodegradable, osteoconductive materials are being developed. Additionally, in the face of widespread antimicrobial resistance, alternative therapies to traditional antibiotic regimens are being investigated, including bone targeting compounds, antimicrobial surface modifications of orthopedic implants, and anti-virulence strategies. Expert commentary: Recent advances in biodegradable drug delivery scaffolds make this technology an attractive alternative to traditional techniques for orthopedic infection that require secondary operations for removal. Advances in novel treatment methods are expanding the arsenal of viable antimicrobial treatment strategies in the face of widespread drug resistance. Despite a need for large scale clinical investigations, these strategies offer hope for future treatment of this difficult invasive disease.
BACKGROUND - The challenging biological and mechanical environment of posterolateral fusion (PLF) requires a carrier that spans the transverse processes and resists the compressive forces of the posterior musculature. The less traumatic posterolateral approach enabled by minimally invasive surgical techniques has prompted investigations into alternative rhBMP-2 carriers that are injectable, settable, and compression-resistant. In this pilot study, we investigated injectable low-viscosity (LV) polymer/composite bone grafts as compression-resistant carriers for rhBMP-2 in a single-level rabbit PLF model.
METHODS - LV grafts were augmented with ceramic microparticles: (1) hydrolytically degradable bioactive glass (BG), or (2) cell-degradable 85% β-tricalcium phosphate/15% hydroxyapatite (CM). Material properties, such as pore size, viscosity, working time, and bulk modulus upon curing, were measured for each LV polymer/ceramic material. An in vivo model of posterolateral fusion in a rabbit was used to assess the grafts' capability to encourage spinal fusion.
RESULTS - These materials maintained a working time between 9.6 and 10.3 min, with a final bulk modulus between 1.2 and 3.1 MPa. The LV polymer/composite bone grafts released 55% of their rhBMP-2 over a 14-day period. As assessed by manual palpation in vivo, fusion was achieved in all (n = 3) animals treated with LV/BG or LV/CM carriers incorporating 430 μg rhBMP-2/ml. Images of μCT and histological sections revealed evidence of bone fusion near the transverse processes.
CONCLUSION - This study highlights the potential of LV grafts as injectable and compression-resistant rhBMP-2 carriers for posterolateral spinal fusion.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW - Bone is a structurally unique microenvironment that presents many challenges for the development of 3D models for studying bone physiology and diseases, including cancer. As researchers continue to investigate the interactions within the bone microenvironment, the development of 3D models of bone has become critical.
RECENT FINDINGS - 3D models have been developed that replicate some properties of bone, but have not fully reproduced the complex structural and cellular composition of the bone microenvironment. This review will discuss 3D models including polyurethane, silk, and collagen scaffolds that have been developed to study tumor-induced bone disease. In addition, we discuss 3D printing techniques used to better replicate the structure of bone. 3D models that better replicate the bone microenvironment will help researchers better understand the dynamic interactions between tumors and the bone microenvironment, ultimately leading to better models for testing therapeutics and predicting patient outcomes.
Ceramic/polymer composite bone grafts offer the potential advantage of combining the osteoconductivity of ceramic component with the ductility of polymeric component, resulting in a graft that meets many of the desired properties for bone void fillers (BVF). However, the relative contributions of the polymer and ceramic components to bone healing are not well understood. In this study, we compared remodeling of low-viscosity (LV) ceramic/poly(ester urethane) composites to a ceramic BVF control in a sheep femoral condyle plug defect model. LV composites incorporating either ceramic (LV/CM) or allograft bone (LV/A) particles were evaluated. We hypothesized that LV/CM composites which have the advantageous handling properties of injectability, flowability, and settability would heal comparably to the CM control, which was evaluated for up to 2 years to study its long-term degradation properties. Remodeling of LV/CM was comparable to that observed for the CM control, as evidenced by new bone formation on the surface of the ceramic particles. At early time points (4 months), LV/CM composites healed similar to the ceramic clinical control, while LV/A components showed more variable healing due to osteoclast-mediated resorption of the allograft particles. At longer time points (12-15 months), healing of LV/CM composites was more variable due to the nonhomogeneous distribution and lower concentration of the ceramic particles compared to the ceramic clinical control. Resorption of the ceramic particles was almost complete at 2 years. This study highlights the importance of optimizing the loading and distribution of ceramic particles in polymer/ceramic composites to maximize bone healing. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 105B: 2333-2343, 2017.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Repeated injection of urethane (ethyl carbamate) is carcinogenic in susceptible strains of mice. Most recent cancer studies involving urethane-induced tumor formation use p53(+/-) mice, which lack one copy of the p53 tumor suppressor gene. In contrast, the same protocol elicits at most a single tumor in wildtype C57BL/6 mice. The effect of repeatedly injecting urethane as a component of a ketamine-xylazine anesthetic mixture in the highly prevalent mouse strain C57BL/6 is unknown. Male C57BL/6J mice (n = 30; age, 3 mo) were anesthetized once monthly for 4 mo by using 560 mg/kg urethane, 28 mg/kg ketamine, and 5.6 mg/kg xylazine. The physical health of the mice was evaluated according to 2 published scoring systems. The average body condition score (scale, 1 to 5; normal, 3) was 3.3, 3.3, and 3.4 after the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th injections, respectively. The visual assessment score was 0 (that is, normal) at all time points examined. Within 1 wk after the 4th injection, the mice were euthanized, necropsied, and evaluated histopathologically. No histopathologic findings were noteworthy. We conclude that repeated monthly injection with urethane as a component of an anesthetic cocktail does not cause clinically detectable abnormalities or induce neoplasia in C57BL/6J mice. These findings are important because urethane combined with low-dose ketamine, unlike other anesthetic regimens, allows for accurate recording of neuronal activity in both the brain and retina. Longitudinal neuronal recordings minimize the number of mice needed and improve the analysis of disease progression and potential therapeutic interventions.
Electrospun microfibers are attractive for the engineering of oriented tissues because they present instructive topographic and mechanical cues to cells. However, high-density microfiber networks are too cell-impermeable for most tissue applications. Alternatively, the distribution of sparse microfibers within a three-dimensional hydrogel could present instructive cues to guide cell organization while not inhibiting cell behavior. In this study, thin (∼5 fibers thick) layers of aligned microfibers (0.7 μm) were embedded within collagen hydrogels containing mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), cultured for up to 14 days, and assayed for expression of ligament markers and imaged for cell organization. These microfibers were generated through the electrospinning of polycaprolactone (PCL), poly(ester-urethane) (PEUR), or a 75/25 PEUR/PCL blend to produce microfiber networks with elastic moduli of 31, 15, and 5.6 MPa, respectively. MSCs in composites containing 5.6 MPa fibers exhibited increased expression of the ligament marker scleraxis and the contractile phenotype marker α-smooth muscle actin versus the stiffer fiber composites. Additionally, cells within the 5.6 MPa microfiber composites were more oriented compared to cells within the 15 and 31 MPa microfiber composites. Together, these data indicate that the mechanical properties of microfiber/collagen composites can be tuned for the engineering of ligament and other target tissues. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 104A: 1894-1901, 2016.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
In various polymerization processes, the formation of a wide variety of chains, not only in length but also in chemical composition, broadly complicates comprehensive polymer characterization. In this communication, we compare different stationary and mobile phases for the analysis of complex polymer mixtures via size-exclusion chromatography-mass spectrometry (SEC-MS). To the best of our knowledge, we report novel chromatographic effects for the separation of linear and cyclic oligomers for polyesters (PE) and polyurethanes (PUR). A complete separation for the different structures was achieved for both polymer types with a single-solvent system (acetonitrile, ACN) and without extensive optimization. Additionally, cyclic species were found to show an inverse elution profile compared to their linear counterparts, suggesting distinct physical properties between species.
The filling of wound cavities with new tissue is a challenge. We previously reported on the physical properties and wound healing kinetics of prefabricated, gas-blown polyurethane (PUR) scaffolds in rat and porcine excisional wounds. To address the capability of this material to fill complex wound cavities, this study examined the in vitro and in vivo reparative characteristics of injected PUR scaffolds employing a sucrose porogen. Using the porcine excisional wound model, we compared reparative outcomes to both preformed and injected scaffolds as well as untreated wounds at 9, 13, and 30 days after scaffold placement. Both injected and preformed scaffolds delayed wound contraction by 19% at 9 days and 12% at 13 days compared to nontreated wounds. This stenting effect proved transient since both formulations degraded by day 30. Both types of scaffolds significantly inhibited the undesirable alignment of collagen and fibroblasts through day 13. Injected scaffolds were highly compatible with sentinel cellular events of normal wound repair cell proliferation, apoptosis, and blood vessel density. The present study provides further evidence that either injected or preformed PUR scaffolds facilitate wound healing, support tissue infiltration and matrix production, delay wound contraction, and reduce scarring in a clinically relevant animal model, which underscores their potential utility as a void-filling platform for large cutaneous defects. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 104B: 1679-1690, 2016.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.