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Verdiyeva G.,University College London | Koshy K.,University College London | Glibbery N.,University College London | Mann H.,Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust Hospital | Seifalian A.M.,University College London
Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology

Tendon injuries are a common and rising occurrence, associated with significant impairment to quality of life and financial burden to the healthcare system. Clinically, they represent an unresolved problem, due to poor natural tendon healing and the inability of current treatment strategies to restore the tendon to its native state. Tissue engineering offers a promising alternative, with the incorporation of scaffolds, cells and growth factors to support the complete regeneration of the tendon. The materials used in tendon engineering to date have provided significant advances in structural integrity and biological compatibility and in many cases the results obtained are superior to those observed in natural healing. However, grafts fail to reproduce the qualities of the pre-injured tendon and each has weaknesses subject to its constituent parts. Furthermore, many materials and cell types are being investigated concurrently, with seemingly little association or comparison between research results. In this review the properties of the most-investigated and effective components have been appraised in light of the surrounding literature, with research from early in-vitro experiments to clinical trials being discussed. Extensive comparisons have been made between scaffolds, cell types and growth factors used, listing strengths and weaknesses to provide a stable platform for future research. Promising future endeavours are also described in the field of nanocomposite material science, stem cell sources and growth factors, which may bypass weaknesses found in individual elements. The future of tendon engineering looks bright, with growing understanding in material technology, cell and growth factor application and encouraging recent advances bringing us ever closer to regenerating the native tendon. Copyright © 2015 American Scientific Publishers All rights reserved. Source

Jeyaraj R.,University College London | Natasha G.,University College London | Kirby G.,University College London | Kirby G.,Kings College | And 5 more authors.
Materials Science and Engineering C

Vascularisation is often deemed the holy grail of tissue engineering because it is one of the key preconditions that determine the in vivo viability of tissue constructs. Given that a well-developed vascular network allows greater complexity in tissue design and helps regulate tissue metabolism, it appears that the overall outcome of engineered tissue implants depends on the success of microvessel formation, maturation and patterning. Current approaches to vascularising tissue include both in vivo and ex vivo techniques, where blood vessel formation is either spontaneous or guided by physical or biochemical factors. The success of these strategies can then be monitored and evaluated for clinical benefit through numerous standard and novel strategies. Despite the impressive progress in the field of tissue engineering in recent times, there are still numerous technical, immunological, surgical and ethical challenges to overcome. Future prospects in this field are likely to depend on the adoption of a wide-ranging approach incorporating a combination of salient themes such as genetic manipulation, modular assembly and bioreactor coupling. Where applicable, the potential contributions of nanobiotechnology to tissue vascularisation will be discussed as appropriate. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source

Madani S.Y.,University College London | Shabani F.,Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust Hospital | Dwek M.V.,University of Westminster | Seifalian A.M.,University College London
International Journal of Nanomedicine

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and early detection provides the best possible prognosis for cancer patients. Nanotechnology is the branch of engineering that deals with the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules. This area of science has the potential to help identify cancerous cells and to destroy them by various methods such as drug delivery or thermal treatment of cancer. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) and quantum dots (QDs) are the two nanoparticles, which have received considerable interest in view of their application for diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Fluorescent nanoparticles known as QDs are gaining momentum as imaging molecules with life science and clinical applications. Clinically they can be used for localization of cancer cells due to their nano size and ability to penetrate individual cancer cells and high-resolution imaging derived from their narrow emission bands compared with organic dyes. CNTs are of interest to the medical community due to their unique properties such as the ability to deliver drugs to a site of action or convert optical energy into thermal energy. By attaching antibodies that bind specifically to tumor cells, CNTs can navigate to malignant tumors. Once at the tumor site, the CNTs enter into the cancer cells by penetration or endocytosis, allowing drug release, and resulting in specific cancer cell death. Alternatively, CNTs can be exposed to near-infrared light in order to thermally destroy the cancer cells. The amphiphilic nature of CNTs allows them to penetrate the cell membrane and their large surface area (in the order of 2600 m2/g) allows drugs to be loaded into the tube and released once inside the cancer cell. Many research laboratories, including our own, are investigating the conjugation of QDs to CNTs to allow localization of the cancer cells in the patient, by imaging with QDs, and subsequent cell killing, via drug release or thermal treatment. This is an area of huge interest and future research and therapy will focus on the multimodality of nanoparticles. In this review, we seek to explore the biomedical applications of QDs conjugated to CNTs, with a particular emphasis on their use as therapeutic platforms in oncology. © 2013 Madani et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd. Source

Ahmed M.,University College London | Hamilton G.,Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust Hospital | Seifalian A.M.,University College London

There is an acute clinical need for small-calibre (<6mm) vascular grafts for surgery. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term performance of a small-calibre graft produced from a nanocomposite biomaterial, polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane poly(carbonate-urea)urethane (POSS-PCU), in a large animal model following Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) protocols. Grafts were characterised and implanted into the left carotid artery (LCA) of senescent sheep (n=11) for a period of 9 months. Invivo compliance and blood flow rates were measured using ultrasound wall tracking software and a Transonic flow meter. Graft patency and degree of intimal hyperplasia (IH) were examined at the study end point. Seven of the POSS-PCU grafts were free from thrombosis, IH, calcification and aneurysmal dilation, with 4 occluding within 14 days. All of the ePTFE controls (n=4) were found to be occluded by day 32. The lumen of the patent POSS-PCU grafts was free from any cellular deposits, whilst perigraft tissue could be seen to be infiltrating into the body of the graft from the adventitia. No significant differences were detected between the blood flow rates (p=0.3693) and compliance (p=0.9706) of the POSS-PCU grafts and the native artery, either post-operatively or after 9 months implantation. Small-calibre vascular grafts produced from POSS-PCU offer a viable option for the clinical use in revascularisation procedures with a patency rate of 64%. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Kerstein R.L.,Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust Hospital | Sedaghati T.,University College London | Seifalian A.M.,Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust Hospital | Seifalian A.M.,University College London | Kang N.,Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust Hospital
Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery

Introduction: Hypospadias is the most common congenital condition affecting between 1 in 250 and 300 live births. Even in experienced hands, surgery to repair this congenital defect can have a high complication rate. Wound dehiscence is reported to occur in 5% and fistula formation in 6%-40% depending on technique. The choice of suture material has been shown to affect the complication rate although there is (currently) no consensus about the best suture material to use. Ideally, the sutures used for urethroplasty should be absorbable while maintaining sufficient mechanical strength to support the wounds until they are self-supporting and able to resist urinary flow. Previous studies have compared the effects of human urine on different suture materials especially catgut. However, catgut is now banned in Europe. Our study examined the tensile and breaking strength as well as rate of degradation for four types of absorbable suture now commonly used for hypospadias repairs in the UK. Material and methods: We examined the effect of prolonged storage (up to 27 days) in human urine on 6/0 gauge Vicryl, Vicryl Rapide, Monocryl and polydioxanone (PDS) sutures. These four suture materials are commonly used by the senior plastic consultant surgeon (NK) for hypospadias repairs. 50 mm sections of these suture materials were stored in either urine or saline as control. At specified time points, each suture was placed in a uniaxial load testing machine to assess the stress-strain profile and the mechanical load required to break the suture was measured. Key results: Exposure to urine reduced the tensile and breaking strength of all the suture materials tested. PDS demonstrated the greatest resilience. Vicryl Rapide was the weakest suture and degraded completely by day 6. Vicryl and Monocryl had similar degradation profiles, but Vicryl retained more of its tensile strength for longer. Conclusions: There is a balance to be struck between the duration that a suture material must remain in any surgical wound and the risk that it causes foreign body effects. The results of this study suggest that Vicryl has the best characteristics for urethroplasty of the four suture materials tested. © 2013 British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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