Society for Biomaterials 2015 Annual Meeting, SFB 2015

Society for Biomaterials 2015

The Society for Biomaterials will hold its 2015 Annual Meeting (SFB 2015) in Charlotte, NC, USA on 15th-18th April 2015 at the Charlotte Convention Centre.

Dates and deadlines:

Registration is open, sign up now to avoid disappointment.

The abstract submission deadline for poster presentations has passed and abstracts are no longer being accepted.

Browse the programme:

The programme for SFB 2015 is live, so why not take a look. Key speakers include: Ashutosh Chilkoti, Duke University and Stuart B. Goodman, Stanford University. For a full list of speakers visit the website.

Themes:

The theme of this year’s meeting is Driving Innovation and the Race to Translation; a tribute to the city’s rich motor racing history. In keeping with that theme, the meeting will be organised into five thematic areas:

1. Translation: Focused on translating research from the lab to the clinic, advancing biomaterials in their product development life cycle

2. Biofabrication/Biomanufacturing: Manufacturing techniques e.g. nanoprinting, rapid prototyping, microfluidic based printing, etc.

3. Multi-Functional Biomaterial Design: Drug/gene delivery, biosensing, and complex tissue regeneration, etc.

4. Biocompatibility and Immune Engineering: How to harness/modulate the immune response (innate and adaptive) for biomaterial design or technology translation

5. Other topics of interest to the biomaterials community

For full details visit the SFB 2015 website.

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To crosslink or not to crosslink? – How polymeric micelles can target tumors effectively

Robert van Lith highlights a hot article in Biomaterials Science

Although big strides have been made in the development of anti-cancer drugs, a major hindrance in their development is the lack of appropriate models to test their efficacy. 2D models are poor representations for real-life situations, while animal models present ethical issues. 3D cell-based tumour models would be a major improvement, yet transport modes in 3D models are poorly understood, impeding targeted strategies. A new study published in Biomaterials Science by Lu et al. elucidates how polymeric micelles, a main cancer-treatment platform, are taken up and transported, allowing for improved development of strategies to effectively deliver drug payloads to tumours.

Despite the plethora of anti-cancer drugs developed in the past decades, testing efficacy prior to human trials remains suboptimal at best. 2D cell models poorly reflect the real-life situation, with different pharmacokinetics and nutrient availability, leading to misleading observations and faulty conclusions. Better representations are animal tumour models, yet – separate from obvious ethical concerns – animal metabolism is not necessarily comparable to humans. The development of a more representative 3D multicellular tumour spheroid (MCTS) model to investigate treatment modalities would be a big step towards alleviating those issues, yet the mode of drug carrier transport in 3D models is poorly understood, impeding targeted strategies.

To address the current caveats in MCTS knowledge, Dr. Martina Stenzel’s research group at the University of New South Wales investigated how polymeric micelles are taken up and transported through the outer layers of MCTS’s. Her group created both crosslinked and uncrosslinked polymeric micelles (called CKM and UCM, respectively) and delivered them to a pancreatic MCTS’s. The penetration was monitored using a fluorescent payload, Nile Red, and various modes of endocytosis, as well as exocytosis, were blocked. Their results indicate that it is both caveolae-mediated endocytosis and exocytosis mechanisms are required for good penetration depth of micelles into MCTS’s. Taken together, this evidence points toward transcellular mechanisms as the primary mode of transport for drug-loaded polymeric micelles.

Dr. Stenzel’s group further shows that UCM micelles could not penetrate as far as CKM micelles. The rapid release of their toxic payload doxorubicin creates an apoptotic peripheral cell layer, leading to cessation of additional transcellular transport. Perhaps the most captivating aspect of her research, though understated in the main article, is that the mode of micellar transport seems to be identical in other tumour models.

How polymer micelles are transported in tumor models


The primary mechanism for micellar penetration in MCTS models shown in this article creates important guidance to other researchers investigating anti-cancer drug delivery to tumours. An essential insight is that micelles need to be capable of retaining their structural integrity long enough to prevent payload-induced penetration limitations. Intriguingly, there are indications that the shown penetration mechanisms are extrapolatable to other tumours as well. This study therefore represents a great step forward towards creating better utilization of in vitro tumour models.

Check out the full article:
H. Lu, R.H. Utama, U. Kitiyotsawat, K. Babiuch, Y. Jiang and M.H. Stenzel
Biomater. Sci., 2014, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C4BM00323C


Biomaterials Science web writer Robert van Lith

Robert van Lith (@RvLith) is currently a Post-Doc in the Biomedical Engineering department at Northwestern University, developing intrinsically antioxidant  biomaterials. He recently received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University for his work on citrate-based antioxidant polyesters, receiving an American Heart Association Fellowship and Society for Biomaterials award for his work. He was trained in the Netherlands, holding an M.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology. Read more about Robert’s research publications here.


Follow the latest journal news on Twitter @BioMaterSci or go to our Facebook page.

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Size of Internalized Calcium Phosphate Particles Plays a Critical Role in Cell Fate

Ellen Tworkoski highlights a recent hot article in Biomaterials Science

Calcium phosphate (CaP) based materials have long been popular choices for a range of medical applications including bone replacement and drug delivery.  However, recent studies indicate a need for a closer look at how cells react to small, degraded CaP particles that find their way into the cell’s interior.  In a recent study, a research team from the University of Birmingham demonstrated that when CaP particles with a diameter larger than 1.5μm penetrated the interior of the cell but were not sequestered by the cell’s lysosomes, a series of events eventually leading to cell death could be observed.

Within the past few years, an increased focus on the end results of CaP degradation have shown that the eventual cytotoxicity of these materials is heavily dependent on the total volume of internalized material.  A study by Motskin et al. in 2009 illustrated that many of these degraded particles are localized to the lysosomes, cellular structures whose acidic environments are responsible for the degradation of waste products which, in the case of CaP, results in the generation of calcium ions.  It was suggested that the generation of a surplus of these ions could interfere with the cell’s signalling pathways, potentially triggering apoptosis.

Intracellular Distribution of CaP showing co-localization with lysosomes

In a study published recently in Biomaterials Science, Williams et al. quantified the volume and size distribution of CaP material within cells by chemically grafting a fluorescent probe to the surface of silicon-substituted hydroxyapatite (SiHA), and then exposing a mouse osteoblast precursor cell line to the labelled particles.  Following exposure, the group observed changes in cell behaviour that were indicative of the onset of cell death including alterations in cell morphology, an increase in the number of lysosomes, and cellular detachment from the underlying substrate.  As the cells transitioned from the early stages of cell death (morphology changes) to later stages (detachment from the substrate), there was a marked increase in the amount of SiHA within the cytoplasm but outside of the lysosomes.  Moreover, the onset of cell death was correlated with SiHA aggregates within the cytoplasm that were 1.5μm in diameter or larger.

The group hypothesized that this may have been due to a destabilization of the lysosome membrane which prevented undissolved CaP from remaining within the lysosomes or, alternatively, the destabilization of endosomes which were responsible for delivering particles to the lysosomes.  Regardless, this study proves a need for additional research into the size-dependent effects of CaP particles on cell health and suggests a new design concern for CaP based medical materials.

Check out the full article here:
Quantification of volume and size distribution of internalised calcium phosphate particles and their influence on cell fate
by Richard L. Williams, Isaac Vizcaíno-Castón, and Liam M. Grover



Ellen Tworkoski is a Web Writer for Biomaterials Science and a graduate student in the department of Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University.

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Making it personal – Engineered tissues for neural regeneration

Brian Aguado highlights a recent hot article in Biomaterials Science

The “holy grail” of neural tissue engineering is to develop functional tissue constructs in an effort to reconnect nerves that have been previously disconnected from disease or injury (i.e. spinal cord injury).  One technique for developing personalized regenerative cell therapies is to use adult somatic cells from a patient (such as skin cells) and re-program them to an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) state. After isolating iPSCs, patient-specific neurons may be generated and transplanted back into the patient, with the hope that the newly formed neurons will form connections in the tissue and restore function.

At the University of Victoria, Montgomery et al. have developed a method to differentiate mouse iPSCs into neurons within a fibrin gel. Fibrin has been regarded as a traditional biomaterial to effectively differentiate embryonic stem cells into neurons. In this study, fibrin was utilized to evaluate the efficiency of two iPS differentiation protocols. The first protocol tested was the traditional “4-/4+” method, involving no treatment to iPS embryoid bodies for 4 days of culture, then adding retinoic acid (RA) for the subsequent 4 days of culture. The second protocol tested was the newer “2-/4+” method, involving no treatment to iPS embryoid bodies for 2 days of culture, then adding RA and purmorphamine for the subsequent 4 days of culture. Individual embryoid bodies were then isolated and placed within a 3D fibrin gel to observe differentiation of neurons.


Interestingly, the overall differentiation efficiency was increased using the 6 day 2-/4+ method compared to using the traditional 4-/4+ method after seeding the treated iPS cells in 3D fibrin gels. Phenotypes were characterized using immunofluorescence staining and RT-PCR, with increases in expression of the neuronal markers TUJ1 and nestin at Day 14 of culture using the 2-/4+ method compared to the 4-/4+ method. The SOX2 pluripotent marker remained low at Day 14, indicating cells were differentiating to a neuronal state.

Taken together, this study demonstrates the ability to differentiate neurons from mouse iPSCs using simple differentiation and encapsulation protocols. Future work will need to be conducted to see if these protocols can be implemented to achieve neuronal differentiation using human iPSCs.

Check out the full article:
Engineering personalized neural tissue by combining induced pluripotent stem cells with fibrin scaffolds, by Amy Montgomery, Alix Wong, Nicole Gabers and Stephanie M. Willerth


Brian Aguado

Brian Aguado (@BrianAguado) is currently a Ph.D. Candidate and NSF Fellow in the Biomedical Engineering department at Northwestern University. He holds a B.S. degree in Biomechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a M.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University. Read more about Brian’s research publications here.





Follow the latest journal news on Twitter @BioMaterSci or go to our Facebook page.

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Joint Biomaterials Science and Soft Matter ‘Silk and silk-inspired materials’ Web Collection

Take a look at the ‘Silk and silk-inspired materials’ web collection, a joint venture by Biomaterials Science and Soft Matter.

Are you interested in why spider silk is so strong? Or maybe you’re intrigued to find out how silk can be utilised in cell delivery? Whatever your curiosity be sure to check out the ‘Silk and silk-inspired materials’ web collection and find out why this growing area of research is proving so popular!

The web collection features articles from both Biomaterials Science and Soft Matter by leading authors from around the world. The collection contains a range of article types which cover the properties and rheology of silk-inspired materials as well as investigations into the surface properties of spider silk particles. Please follow the link to read all the articles in this popular area of research.

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Biomaterials Science Lectureship: Nominations now open

Do you know someone who deserves recognition for their contribution to the biomaterials field?

Now is your chance to propose they receive the accolade they deserve.

Biomaterials Science is pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for its Biomaterials Science Lectureship 2015. This annual award was established in 2014 to honour an early-stage career scientist who has made a significant contribution to the biomaterials field.

Suzie Pun was the winner of the 2014 Biomaterials Science Lectureship. Suzie is part of the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington.

Qualification

To be eligible for the Biomaterials Science Lectureship, the candidate should be in the earlier stages of their scientific career, typically within 15 years of attaining their doctorate or equivalent degree, and will have made a significant contribution to the field.

Description

The recipient of the award will be asked to present a lecture three times, one of which will be located in the home country of the recipient. The Biomaterials Science Editorial Office will provide the sum of £1000 to the recipient for travel and accommodation costs.

The award recipient will be presented with the award at one of the three award lectures. They will also be asked to contribute a lead article to the journal and will have their work showcased on the back cover of the issue in which their article is published.

Selection

The recipient of the award will be selected and endorsed by the Biomaterials Science Editorial Board.

Nominations

Those wishing to make a nomination should send details of the nominee, including a brief C.V. (no longer than 2 pages A4) together with a letter (no longer than 2 pages A4) supporting the nomination, to the Biomaterials Science Editorial Office by 6th March 2015. Self-nomination is not permitted.

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Take 1…minute for chemistry in health

Can you explain the importance of chemistry to human health in just 1 minute? If you’re an early-career researcher who is up to the challenge, making a 1 minute video could win you £500.

The chemical sciences will be fundamental in helping us meet the healthcare challenges of the future, and we are committed to ensuring that they contribute to their full potential. As part of our work in this area, we are inviting undergraduate and PhD students, post-docs and those starting out their career in industry to produce an original video that demonstrates the importance of chemistry in health.Take 1... minute for chemistry in health

We are looking for imaginative ways of showcasing how chemistry helps us address healthcare challenges. Your video should be no longer than 1 minute, and you can use any approach you like.

The winner will receive a £500 cash prize, with a £250 prize for second place and £150 prize for third place up for grabs too.

Stuck for inspirationLast year’s winning video is a good place to start. John Gleeson’s video was selected based on the effective use of language, dynamic style, creativity and its accurate content.

The closing date for entries to be submitted is 30 January 2015. Our judging panel will select the top five videos. We will then publish the shortlisted videos online and open the judging to the public to determine the winner and the runners up.

For more details on how to enter the competition and who is eligible, join us at the Take 1… page.

Good luck!

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Growing replacement bones – is biomaterial geometry important?

Biomaterials Science web writer, Debanti Sengupta, highlights a popular article from the journal

Staining of actin stress fibers

Staining of actin stress fibers to visualize the tissue formed in vitro and to study the effects of curvature (a). The predicted tissue regeneration based on a linear curvature-dependent theoretical model is depicted in subfigure (b). Theoretical predictions match these in vitro experimental observations.

In this paper, Professor Amir Zadpoor reviews the role of biomaterial scaffold geometries on regenerating bone tissue.  Scaffold curvature, pore size, and pore shape are all shown to be important in stimulating more bone growth.

In the case of large bone injuries, the role of scaffolds in regenerating bones becomes increasingly critical.  The ideal bone scaffolds need to be biocompatible, mechanically strong, and contain pores that allow the transport of nutrients and new cell growth.

The geometry of the scaffold plays a very important role in regenerating bone tissue, and is explored in this paper.  Broadly speaking, the curvature of the scaffold, the shape, and the size of the pores are all key components that influence how well the bone is structured and grows.

Strikingly, it has been found that curvature of the surface proportionally impacts the rate of tissue regeneration. Curvature of the surface can be much smaller than, on the scale of, or much larger than cells that grow on the surface. Smaller curvatures can impact individual cell focal adhesions, through which cells can both sense the underlying surface and apply force to it. Larger curvatures can impact cell stress fibers as well as the overall forces on the growing bone tissue.

Pore size can also dramatically impact bone regeneration.  It is already known that a limited amount of inflammation is actually good for bone growth.  Pore size can affect inflammation – for example, larger pores and wider scaffold geometry angles can increase local inflammation.  Pore size can also dictate the amount of oxygen and nutrients reaching the cells, and whether cartilage or bone is formed first.

Pore shape is also extremely important – for example, it has been shown that when cells are grown in scaffolds shaped like parallelograms, alkaline phosphatase activity is increased. Since alkaline phosphatase is a byproduct of bone growth, this data suggests a role for the shape of scaffold pores in bone generation.

However, there are significant caveats to be considered when studying bone regeneration in the lab. Since bone grows in stages, a short in vitro study may not capture all nuances of bone growth that occur in vivo. It is important to study in vitro and in vivo bone generation in parallel to reconcile any contradictory data. Further, it must be noted that it is often difficult to isolate the independent impact of one specific property of a scaffold without affecting another property.  For example, changing pore size can also change the overall mechanical properties of the scaffold.

Despite these limitation, it is clear that the geometrical properties of the scaffold can significantly impact bone growth.  Computational studies and modeling are also now being used to optimize many scaffold properties, and have the potential to drive further research to elucidate the role of scaffold geometry in clinically valuable bone growth.

Check out the full article:

Bone tissue regeneration: the role of scaffold geometry by Amir A. Zadpoor


Web writer Debanti Sengupta

Web writer Debanti Sengupta





Debanti Sengupta completed her PhD in Chemistry in 2012 from Stanford University.  She was previously a Siebel postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and is currently a postdoctoral scholar in Radiation Oncology at Stanford University. Follow her on Twitter @yoginiscientist.
Follow the latest journal news on Twitter @BioMaterSci or go to our Facebook page.

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12th International Conference on Materials Chemistry (MC12) – call for abstracts

We are delighted to announce that 12th International Conference on Materials Chemistry (MC12) will be held at the University of York on 20 – 23 July 2015. Abstracts are now invited for this event so submit today and take advantage of this excellent opportunity to present your work alongside scientists from across the globe.

This cutting edge international research conference is organised around four exciting and diverse areas of the application of materials chemistry. One prominent theme at MC12 is Biomaterials, encompassing materials for tissue engineering, biomaterials for healthcare, green biomaterials and advanced synthesis methods of biomaterials. Visit http://rsc.li/mc12 to find out more and submit your abstract today.

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Biomaterials Science Scope and Standards

Visitors to the Biomaterials Science website may have noticed that we have made some changes to the journal’s scope statement.  These changes are the result of conversations with researchers about how the journal can best serve a dynamic, multi-disciplinary and still relatively young research field.

Over its first two years of publication, Biomaterials Science has begun to establish itself as a home for research which provides insight into the fundamental science of biomaterials.  With our updated scope statement, we hope to emphasise what distinguishes the journal from others in the field.

To help authors get a better feel of the scope and standards of Biomaterials Science, we have included a list of papers that we believe are particularly characteristic of the journal. This list will be regularly updated as we continue to publish cutting edge biomaterials science research.

Our updated scope statement:

Biomaterials Science is an international, high impact journal exploring the underlying science behind the function, interactions and design of biomaterials. Its scope encompasses insights into the chemistry, biology and materials science underpinning biomaterials research, new concepts in biomaterials design, and using materials to answer fundamental biological questions.

The journal is a collaborative venture between the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University, Japan.  It publishes primary research and review-type articles which advance fundamental understanding in areas including:

Molecular design of biomaterials, including proof of concept studies

How to optimize binding of coated nanoparticles: coupling of physical interactions, molecular organization and chemical state
R. J. Nap and I. Szleifer

Incorporation of sulfated hyaluronic acid macromers into degradable hydrogel scaffolds for sustained molecule delivery
Brendan P. Purcell, Iris L. Kim, Vanessa Chuo, Theodore Guenin, Shauna M. Dorsey and Jason A. Burdick

Science of cells and materials at the mesoscale  

Mesoscopic science, where materials become life and life inspires materials
Norio Nakatsuji

Sub-100 nm patterning of TiO2 film for the regulation of endothelial and smooth muscle cell functions
R. Muhammad, S. H. Lim, S. H. Goh, J. B. K. Law, M. S. M. Saifullah, G. W. Ho and E. K. F. Yim

Changing ligand number and type within nanocylindrical domains through kinetically constrained self-assembly – impacts of ligand ‘redundancy’ on human mesenchymal stem cell adhesion and morphology
Haiqing Li and Justin J. Cooper-White

Materials as model systems for stem cell biology

Biomaterial arrays with defined adhesion ligand densities and matrix stiffness identify distinct phenotypes for tumorigenic and non-tumorigenic human mesenchymal cell types
Tyler D. Hansen, Justin T. Koepsel, Ngoc Nhi Le, Eric H. Nguyen, Stefan Zorn, Matthew Parlato, Samuel G. Loveland, Michael P. Schwartz and William L. Murphy

Artificial microniches for probing mesenchymal stem cell fate in 3D
Yujie Ma, Martin P. Neubauer, Julian Thiele, Andreas Fery and W. T. S. Huck

Synthetic hydrogel platform for three-dimensional culture of embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons
Daniel D. McKinnon, April M. Kloxin and Kristi S. Anseth

A high-throughput polymer microarray approach for identifying defined substrates for mesenchymal stem cells
Cairnan R. E. Duffy, Rong Zhang, Siew-Eng How, Annamaria Lilienkampf, Guilhem Tourniaire, Wei Hu, Christopher C. West, Paul de Sousa and Mark Bradley

Materials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

A microstereolithography resin based on thiol-ene chemistry: towards biocompatible 3D extracellular constructs for tissue engineering
Ian A. Barker, Matthew P. Ablett, Hamish T. J. Gilbert, Simon J. Leigh, James A. Covington, Judith A. Hoyland, Stephen M. Richardson and Andrew P. Dove

Evaluation of MMP substrate concentration and specificity for neovascularization of hydrogel scaffolds
S. Sokic, M. C. Christenson, J. C. Larson, A. A. Appel, E. M. Brey and G. Papavasiliou

Heparin-induced conformational changes of fibronectin within the extracellular matrix promote hMSC osteogenic differentiation
Bojun Li, Zhe Lin, Maria Mitsi, Yang Zhang and Viola Vogel

Materials and systems for therapeutic delivery

Cargo delivery to adhering myoblast cells from liposome-containing poly(dopamine) composite coatings
Martin E. Lynge, Boon M. Teo, Marie Baekgaard Laursen, Yan Zhang and Brigitte Städler

“Nail” and “comb” effects of cholesterol modified NIPAm oligomers on cancer targeting liposomes
Wengang Li, Lin Deng, Basem Moosa, Guangchao Wang, Afnan Mashat and Niveen M. Khashab

Protein–polymer therapeutics: a macromolecular perspective
Yuzhou Wu, David Y. W. Ng, Seah Ling Kuan and Tanja Weil

Interactions at the biointerface

Fibronectin-matrix sandwich-like microenvironments to manipulate cell fate
J. Ballester-Beltrán, D. Moratal, M. Lebourg and M. Salmerón-Sánchez

Biophysical properties of nucleic acids at surfaces relevant to microarray performance
Archana N. Rao and David W. Grainger

Biologically inspired and biomimetic materials, including bio-inspired self-assembly systems and cell-inspired synthetic tools

DNA origami technology for biomaterials applications
Masayuki Endo, Yangyang Yang and Hiroshi Sugiyama

Quantitative study on the antifreeze protein mimetic ice growth inhibition properties of poly(ampholytes) derived from vinyl-based polymers
Daniel E. Mitchell, Mary Lilliman, Sebastian G. Spain and Matthew I. Gibson

Next-generation tools and methods for biomedical applications

Application of biomaterials for the detection of amyloid aggregates
Tamotsu Zako and Mizuo Maeda

Alteration of epigenetic program to recover memory and alleviate neurodegeneration: prospects of multi-target molecules
Ganesh N. Pandian, Rhys D. Taylor, Syed Junetha, Abhijit Saha, Chandran Anandhakumar, Thangavel Vaijayanthi and Hiroshi Sugiyama

Nanoscale semiconductor devices as new biomaterials
John Zimmerman, Ramya Parameswaran and Bozhi Tian

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