2021 Issue 1 (Available Online: 2021-03-28)

    Development of personal protective equipment for the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand and technical aspects of testing gown materials
    Visarut Buranasudja, Anongnat Somwangthanaroj, Suched Likitlersuang, Tirawat Boonyatee, Chartchalerm Isarankura-Na-Ayudhya, Jittima Amie Luckanagul
    2021, 2(1):  3-9.  doi:10.3877/cma.j.issn.2096-112X.2021.01.002
    Abstract ( 299 )   HTML ( 44)   PDF (290KB) ( 1890 )  
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    Ting Ge, Shengfeng Cheng
    2021, 2(1):  10-18.  doi:10.3877/cma.j.issn.2096-112X.2021.01.003
    The coronavirus causing COVID-19 relies on respiratory droplets as the main carrier for its transmission. Understanding the physical characteristics of respiratory droplets and their fate after being released into air plays a crucial role in helping develop mitigating measures and policies to fight the ongoing pandemic that plagues the world.
    Abstract ( 596 )   HTML ( 51)   PDF (868KB) ( 793 )  
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    The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a serious challenge faced by the global community. Physical scientists can help medical workers and biomedical scientists, engineers, and practitioners, who are working on the front line, to slow down and eventually contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This review is focused on the physicochemical characteristics, including composition, aerodynamics, and drying behavior of respiratory droplets as a complex and multicomponent soft matter system, which are the main carrier of the virus for interpersonal transmission. The distribution and dynamics of virus particles within a droplet are also discussed. Understanding the characteristics of virus-laden respiratory droplets can lead to better design of personal protective equipment, frequently touched surfaces such as door knobs and touchscreens, and filtering equipment for indoor air circulation. Such an understanding also provides the scientific basis of public policy, including social distancing rules and public hygiene guidelines, implemented by governments around the world.

    Yiqing Wang, Xiangyu Chu, Bing Wang
    2021, 2(1):  19-29.  doi:10.3877/cma.j.issn.2096-112X.2021.01.004

    A schematic diagram illustrating recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV)-based gene therapy combined with a tissue-engineered biomaterial scaffold. rAAV-modified stem cells and gene-activated biomaterials can be applied to bone, vertebral disc, cartilage or muscle to treat multiple musculoskeletal disorders.

    Abstract ( 453 )   HTML ( 50)   PDF (670KB) ( 969 )  
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    Recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vector-mediated gene delivery is a novel molecular therapeutic approach for musculoskeletal disorders which achieves tissue regeneration by delivering a transgene to the impaired tissue. In recent years, substantial scientific progress in rAAV gene therapy has led to several clinical trials for human musculoskeletal diseases. Nevertheless, there are still limitations in developing an optimal gene therapy model due to the low transduction efficiency and fast degradation of the gene vectors. To overcome the challenges of rAAV gene therapy, tissue engineering combined with gene therapy has emerged as a more promising alternative. An rAAV viral vector incorporated into a biomaterial has a more controlled gene expression, lower immune response, and higher efficiency. A number of biomaterials and architectures have been combined with rAAV viral vectors, each having its own advantages and limitations. This review aims to give a broad introduction to combinatorial therapy and the recent progress this new technology has offered.

    Isak Jatoi, Jingyu Fan
    2021, 2(1):  30-42.  doi:10.3877/cma.j.issn.2096-112X.2021.01.005
    Four vaccine types derived from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus are depicted, namely, DNA-based, viral vector, RNA-based, and protein subunit vaccines. Vaccine uptake, processing, and presentation by an antigen-presenting cell (APC) are also illustrated for these four vaccine mechanisms. 
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    The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has caused a considerable loss of life, morbidity, and economic distress since its emergence in late 2019. In response to the novel virus, public and private institutions around the world have utilized novel technologies to develop a vaccine in the hopes of building herd immunity and ending the pandemic. This review provides an overview of mechanisms and available data on the nascent vaccine technologies undergoing clinical trials to combat SARS-CoV-2, namely, those using protein subunits, viral vectors, mRNA, and DNA. Furthermore, we discuss the potential uses of biomaterials in improving the immunogenicity and safety of these vaccine technologies with the goal of improving upon newly-available technologies to combat future SARS-CoV-2 strains and other emerging viral pathogens.

    Kaewta Rattanapisit, Gorawit Yusakul, Balamurugan Shanmugaraj, Kittinop Kittirotruji, Phassorn Suwatsrisakul, Eakachai Prompetchara, Suthira Taychakhoonavud, Waranyoo Phoolcharoen
    2021, 2(1):  43-49.  doi:10.3877/cma.j.issn.2096-112X.2021.01.006
    Plant-produced recombinant severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) receptor-binding domain (RBD) was used to develop a lateral flow immunoassay strip (LFIA) for detecting IgM/IgG antibodies. 
    Abstract ( 747 )   HTML ( 53)   PDF (1358KB) ( 1507 )  
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    The outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), spread rapidly causing a severe global health burden. The standard COVID-19 diagnosis relies heavily on molecular tests to detect viral RNA in patient samples; however, this method is costly, requires highly-equipped laboratories, multiple reagents, skilled laboratory technicians, and takes 3-6 hours to complete. To overcome these limitations, we developed a plant-based production platform for the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain as an economical source of detection reagents for a lateral-flow immunoassay strip (LFIA) which is suitable for detection of IgM/IgG antibodies in human samples. Further, we validated the plant-produced SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain-based LFIA as a useful diagnostic tool for COVID-19. A total of 51 confirmed COVID-19 serum samples were tested using the LFIA, and the obtained results were consistent with those from polymerase chain reaction assays, while providing sensitivity and specificity of 94.1% and 98%, respectively. The developed LFIA is rapid, scalable, user-friendly, and relatively inexpensive with a simple test procedure, making it useful for the routine monitoring of COVID-19 in clinical settings. This study was approved on March 19, 2020 by the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University (COA No. 354/2020 and IRB No. 236/63).

    Dahae Seong, Monchupa Kingsak, Yuan Lin, Qian Wang, Shamia Hoque
    2021, 2(1):  50-60.  doi:10.3877/cma.j.issn.2096-112X.2021.01.007
    To limit transmission due to infectious droplets we must understand, “What factors control the transport, deposition, adhesion, and persistence of pathogens indoors?” The pandemic has reinforced the necessity of establishing baseline information on how viruses under indoor environmental conditions optimize survivability and transmission. Virus-surface interactions investigations using vaccinia virus sheds light on part of the picture.
    Abstract ( 578 )   HTML ( 52)   PDF (1268KB) ( 876 )  
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    The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has reinforced the necessity of understanding and establishing baseline information on the fate and transport mechanisms of viruses under indoor environmental conditions. Mechanisms governing virus interactions in built spaces have thus far been established based on our knowledge on the interaction of inorganic particles in indoor spaces and do not include characteristics specific to viruses. Studies have explored the biological and kinetic processes of microbes’ attachments on surfaces in other fields but not in the built environment. There is also extensive literature on the influence of indoor architecture on air flow, temperature profiles, and forces influencing aerosol transport. Bridging the gap between these fields will lead to the generation of novel frameworks, methodologies and know-how that can identify undiscovered pathways taken by viruses and other microbes in the built environment. Our study summarizes the assessment of the influence of surface properties on the adhesion kinetics of vaccinia virus on gold, silica, glass, and stainless-steel surfaces. We found that on gold the virus layer was more viscoelastic compared to stainless-steel. There was negligible removal of the layer from the stainless-steel surface compared to the others. The results further highlight the importance of converging different fields of research to assess the fate and transport of microbes in indoor built spaces.

    Pingli Wu, Yangyang Liang, Guoming Sun
    2021, 2(1):  61-71.  doi:10.3877/cma.j.issn.2096-112X.2021.01.008
    The immune system plays significant roles in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The immunomodulatory potential of biomaterial scaffolds can be achieved by tailoring their chemical, physical and biological properties. Engineering immune-responsive pro-regenerative biomaterial scaffolds would greatly advance cutaneous wound healing.
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    The progress of biomaterials and tissue engineering has led to significant advances in wound healing, but the clinical therapy to regenerate perfect skin remains a great challenge. The implantation of biomaterial scaffolds to heal wounds inevitably leads to a host immune response. Many recent studies revealed that the immune system plays a significant role in both the healing process and the outcome. Immunomodulation or immuno-engineering has thus become a promising approach to develop pro-regenerative scaffolds for perfect skin regeneration. In this paper, we will review recent advancements in immunomodulating biomaterials in the field of skin repair and regeneration, and discuss strategies to modulate the immune response by tailoring the chemical, physical and biological properties of the biomaterials. Understanding the important role of immune responses and manipulating the inherent properties of biomaterials to regulate the immune reaction are approaches to overcome the current bottleneck of skin repair and regeneration.

    Xiangyu Deng, Zengwu Shao, Yanli Zhao
    2021, 2(1):  72-85.  doi:10.3877/cma.j.issn.2096-112X.2021.01.009

    This review article highlights representative research progress on the development of porphyrin and titanium dioxide sonosensitizers for sonodynamic cancer therapy. These sonosensitizers are rationally designed according to inherent characteristics of the tumour microenvironment in order to achieve efficient therapeutic outcome, demonstrating their promising application potential in the cancer treatment.

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    Sonodynamic therapy for malignant tumours has gained much attention for its deep penetration effect and efficient tumour killing ability. The design, modification, and utilization of sonosensitizers are important aspects of sonodynamic therapy. As an essential factor in this process, highly effective sonosensitizers should be developed to facilitate the clinical applications of sonodynamic therapy. This review takes porphyrin- and titanium dioxide (TiO2)-based systems as representative organic and inorganic sonosensitizers respectively, and summarizes their characteristics and biological effects as sonodynamic therapy. Upon discovery of novel sonosensitizers, sonodynamic therapy becomes an efficient means of adjuvant therapy for the treatment of malignant tumours.