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by Keyword: alginate

Ramírez-Alba MD, Molins-Martínez M, García-Torres J, Romanini M, Macovez R, Pérez-Madrigal MM, Alemán C, (2024). pH and electrically responsive hydrogels with adhesive property Reactive & Functional Polymers 196, 105841

Applications of sodium alginate (Alg) and polyacrylic acid (PAA) hydrogels in biomedicine are well-known. These are predefined by the strength and weakness of their properties, which in turn depend on the chemical structure and the architecture of their crosslinks. In this work, Alg biopolymer has been grafted to synthetic PAA that has been chemically crosslinked using N,N′-methylene-bisacrylamide (MBA) to produce a pH responsive hydrogel with adhesive property. The double crosslinking network, which combines MBA-mediated covalent crosslinks and ionic crosslinks in Alg domains, results in an elastic modulus that resembles that of highly anisotropic and viscoelastic human skin. After addressing the influence of the dual network onto the Alg-g-PAA hydrogel properties, a prospection of its potential as an adhesive has been made considering different surfaces (rubber, paper steel, porcine skin, etc). The bonding energy onto porcine skin, 32.6 ± 4.6 J/m2, revealed that the Alg-g-PAA hydrogel can be proposed in the biomedical field as tissue adhesive for wound healing applications. Finally, the hydrogel has been semi-interpenetrated with poly(hydroxymethyl-3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT-MeOH) chains through a chemical oxidative polymerization process. The resulting hydrogel, Alg-g-PAA/PEDOT-MeOH, which is even more porous than Alg-g-PAA, in addition to being electro-responsive, maintains adhesive properties. © 2024 The Authors

JTD Keywords: Adhesion properties, Adhesive properties, Adhesives, Biomedical applications, Biopolymers, Bonding energies, Bonding energy, Chemical bonds, Conducting hydrogels, Crosslinking, Dual network, Hydrogels, Medical applications, Methylenebisacrylamide, Poly(acrylic acid), Porcine skin, Property, Sodium alginate


Colombi S, Macor LP, Ortiz-Membrado L, Pérez-Amodio S, Jiménez-Piqué E, Engel E, Pérez-Madrigal MM, García-Torres J, Alemán C, (2023). Enzymatic Degradation of Polylactic Acid Fibers Supported on a Hydrogel for Sustained Release of Lactate Acs Applied Bio Materials 6, 3889-3901

The incorporation of exogenous lactate into cardiac tissues is a regenerative strategy that is rapidly gaining attention. In this work, two polymeric platforms were designed to achieve a sustained release of lactate, combining immediate and prolonged release profiles. Both platforms contained electrospun poly(lactic acid) (PLA) fibers and an alginate (Alg) hydrogel. In the first platform, named L/K(x)/Alg-PLA, lactate and proteinase K (x mg of enzyme per 1 g of PLA) were directly loaded into the Alg hydrogel, into which PLA fibers were assembled. In the second platform, L/Alg-K(x)/PLA, fibers were produced by electrospinning a proteinase K:PLA solution and, subsequently, assembled within the lactate-loaded hydrogel. After characterizing the chemical, morphological, and mechanical properties of the systems, as well as their cytotoxicity, the release profiles of the two platforms were determined considering different amounts of proteinase K (x = 5.2, 26, and 52 mg of proteinase K per 1 g of PLA), which is known to exhibit a broad cleavage activity. The profiles obtained using L/Alg-K(x)/PLA platforms with x = 26 and 52 were the closest to the criteria that must be met for cardiac tissue regeneration. Finally, the amount of lactate directly loaded in the Alg hydrogel for immediate release and the amount of protein in the electrospinning solution were adapted to achieve a constant lactate release of around 6 mM per day over 1 or 2 weeks. In the optimized bioplatform, in which 6 mM lactate was loaded in the hydrogel, the amount of fibers was increased by a factor of ×3, the amount of enzyme was adjusted to 40 mg per 1 g of PLA, and a daily lactate release of 5.9 ± 2.7 mM over a period of 11 days was achieved. Accordingly, the engineered device fully satisfied the characteristics and requirements for heart tissue regeneration.

JTD Keywords: biodegradable fibers, cardiac tissue regeneration, cell, drug-release, elastic-modulus, electrospinning, heart, nanoindentation, plasma treatment, proteinase, scaffold, stiffness, Alginate, Biodegradable fibers, Cardiac tissue regeneration, Electrospinning, Nanoindentation, Plasma treatment, Proteinase, Skeletal-muscle


Macor, LP, Colombi, S, Tamarit, JL, Engel, E, Pérez-Madrigal, MM, García-Torres, J, Alemán, C, (2023). Immediate-sustained lactate release using alginate hydrogel assembled to proteinase K/polymer electrospun fibers International Journal Of Biological Macromolecules 238, 124117

This work proposes a microfibers-hydrogel assembled composite as delivery vehicle able to combine into a single system both burst and prolonged release of lactate. The prolonged release of lactate has been achieved by electrospinning a mixture of polylactic acid and proteinase K (26.0 mg of proteinase K and 0.99 g of PLA dissolved in 6 mL of 2:1 chloroform:acetone in the optimal case), which is a protease that catalyzes the degradation of polylactic acid into lactate. The degradation of microfibers into lactate reflects that proteinase K preserves its enzymatic activity even after the electrospinning process because of the mild operational conditions used. Besides, burst release is obtained from the lactate-loaded alginate hydrogel. The successful assembly between the lactate-loaded hydrogel and the polylactic acid/proteinase K fibers has been favored by applying a low-pressure (0.3 mbar at 300 W) oxygen plasma treatment, which transforms hydrophobic fibers into hydrophilic while the enzymatic activity is still maintained. The composite displays both fast (< 24 h) and sustained (> 10 days) lactate release, and allows the modulation of the release by adjusting either the amount of loaded lactate or the amount of active enzyme.Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier B.V.

JTD Keywords: biodegradable fibers, proteases, regeneration, repair, Alginate, Biodegradable fibers, Myocardial-infarction, Proteases


Garcia-Torres, J, Colombi, S, Mahamed, I, Sylla, D, Arnau, M, Sans, J, Ginebra, MP, Aleman, C, (2023). Nanocomposite Hydrogels with Temperature Response for Capacitive Energy Storage Acs Applied Energy Materials 6, 4487-4495

Bonany, M, del-Mazo-Barbara, L, Espanol, M, Ginebra, MP, (2022). Microsphere incorporation as a strategy to tune the biological performance of bioinks Journal Of Tissue Engineering 13, 20417314221119896

Although alginate is widely used as a matrix in the formulation of cell-laden inks, this polymer often requires laborious processing strategies due to its lack of cell adhesion moieties. The main objective of the present work was to explore the incorporation of microspheres into alginate-based bioinks as a simple and tuneable way to solve the cell adhesion problems, while adding extra biological functionality and improving their mechanical properties. To this end, three types of microspheres with different mineral contents (i.e. gelatine with 0% of hydroxyapatite, gelatine with 25 wt% of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles and 100 wt% of calcium -deficient hydroxyapatite) were synthesised and incorporated into the formulation of cell-laden inks. The results showed that the addition of microspheres generally improved the rheological properties of the ink, favoured cell proliferation and positively affected osteogenic cell differentiation. Furthermore, this differentiation was found to be influenced by the type of microsphere and the ability of the cells to migrate towards them, which was highly dependent on the stiffness of the bioink. In this regard, Ca2+ supplementation in the cell culture medium had a pronounced effect on the relaxation of the stiffness of these cell-loaded inks, influencing the overall cell performance. In conclusion, we have developed a powerful and tuneable strategy for the fabrication of alginate-based bioinks with enhanced biological characteristics by incorporating microspheres into the initial ink formulation.; [GRAPHICS]; .

JTD Keywords: 3d bioprinting, alginate, bioink, gelatine, hydroxyapatite, 3d bioprinting, Alginate, Behavior, Bioink, Cell-culture, Gelatin, Gelatine, Hydrogels, Hydroxyapatite, Laden, Microspheres, Mineralization, Scaffolds


Tringides, CM, Vachicouras, N, de Lazaro, I, Wang, H, Trouillet, A, Seo, BR, Elosegui-Artola, A, Fallegger, F, Shin, Y, Casiraghi, C, Kostarelos, K, Lacour, SP, Mooney, DJ, (2021). Viscoelastic surface electrode arrays to interface with viscoelastic tissues Nature Nanotechnology 16, 1019-+

Living tissues are non-linearly elastic materials that exhibit viscoelasticity and plasticity. Man-made, implantable bioelectronic arrays mainly rely on rigid or elastic encapsulation materials and stiff films of ductile metals that can be manipulated with microscopic precision to offer reliable electrical properties. In this study, we have engineered a surface microelectrode array that replaces the traditional encapsulation and conductive components with viscoelastic materials. Our array overcomes previous limitations in matching the stiffness and relaxation behaviour of soft biological tissues by using hydrogels as the outer layers. We have introduced a hydrogel-based conductor made from an ionically conductive alginate matrix enhanced with carbon nanomaterials, which provide electrical percolation even at low loading fractions. Our combination of conducting and insulating viscoelastic materials, with top-down manufacturing, allows for the fabrication of electrode arrays compatible with standard electrophysiology platforms. Our arrays intimately conform to the convoluted surface of the heart or brain cortex and offer promising bioengineering applications for recording and stimulation.

JTD Keywords: tough, Alginate


Babeli, I, Ruano, G, Puiggalí-Jou, A, Ginebra, MP, Alemán, C, Garcia-Torres, J, (2021). Self-Healable and Eco-Friendly Hydrogels for Flexible Supercapacitors Advanced Sustainable Systems 5, 2000273

© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH One limitation of wearable electronics, and at the same time a challenge, is the lack of energy storage devices with multiple functionalities produced using clean and environmental-friendly strategies. Here, a multifunctional conductive hydrogel containing poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT) and alginate is fabricated, to be used as electrodes in supercapacitors, by applying water-mediated self-assembly and polymerization processes at room temperature. The interpenetration of both polymers allows the combination of flexibility and self-healing properties within the same hydrogel together with the intrinsic biocompatibility and sustainability of such materials. Initially, PEDOT:polystyrene sulfonate and alginate aqueous solutions are mixed in two different proportions (1:1 and 1:3) and ionically crosslinked with CaCl2. Subsequently, re-interpenetration of poly(hydroxymethyl-3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) by anodic polymerization in CaCl2 aqueous solution is achieved. Re-interpenetrated 1:3 PEDOT/alginate hydrogels show excellent capacitance values (35 mF cm−2) and good capacitance retention. In addition, the electrochemical properties are not significantly changed after many cutting/self-healing cycles as observed by cyclic voltammetry. Therefore, this sustainably produced hydrogel shows promising properties for use in wearable energy storage devices.

JTD Keywords: flexibility, pedot:pss-alginate hydrogels, self-healing, sustainability, Electrochemical supercapacitors, Flexibility, Pedot:pss-alginate hydrogels, Self-healing, Sustainability