2023 Issue 1 (Available Online: 2023-03-28)

    The emergence of AI tools in scientific writing and research
    Zhidao Xia, Qian Wang
    2023, 4(1):  1-2.  doi:10.12336/biomatertransl.2023.01.001
    Abstract ( 156 )   HTML ( 26)   PDF (96KB) ( 569 )  
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    Yehao Zhang, Cong Wang, Wenhui Zhang, Xinming Li
    2023, 4(1):  5-17.  doi:10.12336/biomatertransl.2023.01.003
    Anticancer peptides (ACPs), derived from naturally occurring and modified peptides, have received great attention in these years and emerge as novel therapeutic and diagnostic candidates for cancer therapies, because of numerous advantages over the current treatment modalities.
    Abstract ( 289 )   HTML ( 30)   PDF (858KB) ( 797 )  
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    Cancer is a serious concern in public health worldwide. Numerous modalities including surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, have been used for cancer therapies in clinic. Despite progress in anticancer therapies, the usage of these methods for cancer treatment is often related to deleterious side effects and multidrug resistance of conventional anticancer drugs, which have prompted the development of novel therapeutic methods. Anticancer peptides (ACPs), derived from naturally occurring and modified peptides, have received great attention in these years and emerge as novel therapeutic and diagnostic candidates for cancer therapies, because of several advantages over the current treatment modalities. In this review, the classification and properties of ACPs, the mode of action and mechanism of membrane disruption, as well as the natural sources of bioactive peptides with anticancer activities were summarised. Because of their high efficacy for inducing cancer cell death, certain ACPs have been developed to work as drugs and vaccines, evaluated in varied phases of clinical trials. We expect that this summary could facilitate the understanding and design of ACPs with increased specificity and toxicity towards malignant cells and with reduced side effects to normal cells.

    Rob Jess, Tao Ling, Yi Xiong, Chris J. Wright, Feihu Zhao
    2023, 4(1):  18-26.  doi:10.12336/biomatertransl.2023.01.004
    Different types of mechanical stimulation are applied on stem cells and/or chondrocytes for in vitro cartilage tissue engineering. Determining/optimising the mechanical stimulation for in vitro experiments can be assisted by in silico modelling and simulation.
    Abstract ( 237 )   HTML ( 19)   PDF (372KB) ( 332 )  
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    Mechanobiological study of chondrogenic cells and multipotent stem cells for articular cartilage tissue engineering (CTE) has been widely explored. The mechanical stimulation in terms of wall shear stress, hydrostatic pressure and mechanical strain has been applied in CTE in vitro. It has been found that the mechanical stimulation at a certain range can accelerate the chondrogenesis and articular cartilage tissue regeneration. This review explicitly focuses on the study of the influence of the mechanical environment on proliferation and extracellular matrix production of chondrocytes in vitro for CTE. The multidisciplinary approaches used in previous studies and the need for in silico methods to be used in parallel with in vitro methods are also discussed. The information from this review is expected to direct facial CTE research, in which mechanobiology has not been widely explored yet.

    Gen Wang, Zhangqin Yuan, Li Yu, Yingkang Yu, Pinghui Zhou, Genglei Chu, Huan Wang, Qianping Guo, Caihong Zhu, Fengxuan Han, Song Chen, Bin Li
    2023, 4(1):  27-40.  doi:10.12336/biomatertransl.2023.01.005
    High-quality cell sheets through combining mechanical stimulation and thermosensitive poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAAm) were prepared. Both  in vitro  and  in vivo  studies have proven that cell sheets function to facilitate osteogenesis and bone repair, and therefore present an effective strategy for bone tissue engineering.
    Abstract ( 172 )   HTML ( 34)   PDF (2332KB) ( 285 )  
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    Cell sheet–based scaffold–free technology holds promise for tissue engineering applications and has been extensively explored during the past decades. However, efficient harvest and handling of cell sheets remain challenging, including insufficient extracellular matrix content and poor mechanical strength. Mechanical loading has been widely used to enhance extracellular matrix production in a variety of cell types. However, currently, there are no effective ways to apply mechanical loading to cell sheets. In this study, we prepared thermo–responsive elastomer substrates by grafting poly(N–isopropyl acrylamide) (PNIPAAm) to poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) surfaces. The effect of PNIPAAm grafting yields on cell behaviours was investigated to optimize surfaces suitable for cell sheet culturing and harvesting. Subsequently, MC3T3–E1 cells were cultured on the PDMS–g–PNIPAAm substrates under mechanical stimulation by cyclically stretching the substrates. Upon maturation, the cell sheets were harvested by lowering the temperature. We found that the extracellular matrix content and thickness of cell sheet were markedly elevated upon appropriate mechanical conditioning. Reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analyses further confirmed that the expression of osteogenic–specific genes and major matrix components were up–regulated. After implantation into the critical–sized calvarial defects of mice, the mechanically conditioned cell sheets significantly promoted new bone formation. Findings from this study reveal that thermo–responsive elastomer, together with mechanical conditioning, can potentially be applied to prepare high–quality cell sheets for bone tissue engineering.

    Andrew Tai, Euphemie Landao-Bassonga, Ziming Chen, Minh Tran, Brent Allan, Rui Ruan, Dax Calder, Mithran Goonewardene, Hien Ngo, Ming Hao Zheng
    2023, 4(1):  41-50.  doi:10.12336/biomatertransl.2023.01.006
    Guided bone regeneration is a dental surgical procedure that uses a barrier membrane to prevent soft tissue invasion into bone cavity and implants. Three porcine-derived collagen barrier membranes were systemically evaluated. All showed excellent barrier property, but significant difference in D-periodicity of collagen fibres, thickness of membrane and immunogenic content.
    Abstract ( 436 )   HTML ( 54)   PDF (906KB) ( 467 )  
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    Guided bone regeneration is one of the most common surgical treatment modalities performed when an additional alveolar bone is required to stabilize dental implants in partially and fully edentulous patients. The addition of a barrier membrane prevents non–osteogenic tissue invasion into the bone cavity, which is key to the success of guided bone regeneration. Barrier membranes can be broadly classified as non–resorbable or resorbable. In contrast to non–resorbable membranes, resorbable barrier membranes do not require a second surgical procedure for membrane removal. Commercially available resorbable barrier membranes are either synthetically manufactured or derived from xenogeneic collagen. Although collagen barrier membranes have become increasingly popular amongst clinicians, largely due to their superior handling qualities compared to other commercially available barrier membranes, there have been no studies to date that have compared commercially available porcine–derived collagen membranes with respect to surface topography, collagen fibril structure, physical barrier property, and immunogenic composition. This study evaluated three commercially available non–crosslinked porcine–derived collagen membranes (Striate+TM, Bio–Gide® and CreosTM Xenoprotect). Scanning electron microscopy revealed similar collagen fibril distribution on both the rough and smooth sides of the membranes as well as the similar diameters of collagen fibrils. However, D–periodicity of the fibrillar collagen is significantly different among the membranes, with Striate+TM membrane having the closest D–periodicity to native collagen I. This suggests that there is less deformation of collagen during manufacturing process. All collagen membranes showed superior barrier property evidenced by blocking 0.2–16.4 µm beads passing through the membranes. To examine the immunogenic agents in these membranes, we examined the membranes for the presence of DNA and alpha–gal by immunohistochemistry. No alpha–gal or DNA was detected in any membranes. However, using a more sensitive detection method (real–time polymerase chain reaction), a relatively strong DNA signal was detected in Bio–Gide® membrane, but not Striate+TM and CreosTM Xenoprotect membranes. Our study concluded that these membranes are similar but not identical, probably due to the different ages and sources of porcine tissues, as well as different manufacturing processes. We recommend further studies to understand the clinical implications of these findings.

    Xiaodan Wang, Qinmei Li, Huawei Yang
    2023, 4(1):  51-61.  doi:10.12336/biomatertransl.2023.01.007
    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) with different structures were successfully constructed from three types of amino acid monomers. The AMPs were then successfully sterilised using commercial electron beam irradiation. The effects of irradiation on the structure and properties of the AMPs were subsequently studied by solubility assay, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time of flight mass spectrometry, and antibacterial assay.
    Abstract ( 129 )   HTML ( 22)   PDF (2790KB) ( 203 )  
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    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have recently been exploited to fabricate anti–infective medical devices due to their biocompatibility and ability to combat multidrug–resistant bacteria. Modern medical devices should be thoroughly sterilised before use to avoid cross–infection and disease transmission, consequently it is essential to evaluate whether AMPs withstand the sterilisation process or not. In this study, the effect of radiation sterilisation on the structure and properties of AMPs was explored. Fourteen AMPs formed from different monomers with different topologies were synthesised by ring–opening polymerisation of N–carboxyanhydrides. The results of solubility testing showed that the star–shaped AMPs changed from water–soluble to water–insoluble after irradiation, while the solubility of linear AMPs remained unchanged. Matrix–assisted laser desorption/ionisation time of flight mass spectrometry showed that the molecular weight of the linear AMPs underwent minimal changes after irradiation. The results of minimum inhibitory concentration assay also illustrated that radiation sterilisation had little effect on the antibacterial properties of the linear AMPs. Therefore, radiation sterilisation may be a feasible method for the sterilisation of AMPs, which have promising commercial applications in medical devices.