iBB
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Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences
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Electrical stimulation towards improved osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells

Electrical stimulation towards improved osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells | iBB | Scoop.it

Electrical stimulation (ES) has been tested clinically for over 40 years to promote bone healing, mainly as an adjunct to standard fracture treatments. However, the biological mechanisms by which ES promotes bone healing and the osteogenic commitment of bone progenitors cells remain poorly described.

In a recent study published in Scientific Reports, iBB researchers (João C. Silva, Fábio Garrudo and Frederico Ferreira) in collaboration with Sofia Fernandes (IBEB-Faculdade de Ciências-Universidade de Lisboa) and João Meneses, Nuno Alves and Paula Pascoal-Faria (CDRSP-Politécnico de Leiria), study the effect of five different ES protocols on the viability, proliferation, and osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (hBM-MSCs). A numerical finite element method (FEM) model of the culture platform was employed to characterize the system and predict the magnitude/distribution of the electric fields generated by the different ES protocols. In vitro cell culture studies showed that all the ES protocols did not impair cell viability and morphology and supported the osteogenic differentiation of hBM-MSCs. Our results evidenced relevant differences when considering the applied protocol operation mode (potential versus current controlled), including the choice of stimulus duration and period. They also suggest an improved performance of the applied current-controlled protocol (STIM3 OM) in promoting hBM-MSCs osteogenic differentiation as shown by a more efficient in vitro mineralization and higher expression of the late osteogenic marker genes. Overall, this work emphasizes the critical role of numerical modelling in selecting and optimizing ES parameters to improve MSC-based osteogenesis in vitro, a step forward towards the development of novel therapeutic strategies for bone regeneration.

This study was developed under the scope of the FCT funded projects “InSilico4OCReg” (PTDC/EME-SIS/0838/2021) and “OptiBioScafold” (PTDC/EME-SIS/4446/2020).

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Hydroxyapatite-filled osteoinductive and piezoelectric nanofibers for bone tissue engineering

Hydroxyapatite-filled osteoinductive and piezoelectric nanofibers for bone tissue engineering | iBB | Scoop.it

The production of piezoelectric constructs in order to address osteoporotic-related fractures holds significant promise. Such scaffolds could be used to mimic the native piezoelectric features of bone as well as assisting electrical stimulation-based therapies, which have been found to accelerate bone repair. In an article recently published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials, iBB researchers Frederico Barbosa, João Silva, Fábio Garrudo, Marta Carvalho, Paola Alberte, Leonor Resina and Frederico Ferreira, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Nottingham and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, developed novel hydroxyapatite-filled PVDF-TrFE nanofibers with enhanced piezoelectrical properties and osteogenic potential.

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Electrical Stimulation of Neural Stem Cells on Electroconductive Platforms Made of PEDOT:PSS

Electrical Stimulation of Neural Stem Cells on Electroconductive Platforms Made of PEDOT:PSS | iBB | Scoop.it

Many cells in the human body respond to electrical stimuli. The differentiation of neural stem cells into mature neurons, in particular, can be stimulated via electroconductive materials. In a recent publication in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology researchers from SCERG-iBB and IT report on the electrical stimulation of neural stem cells on electroconductive platforms made of  conjugated polymer PEDOT:PSS. In a first stage, the performance of electroconductive platforms made of cross-linked (with GOPS or DVS) PEDOT:PSS was evaluated in terms of conductivity and stability. Three different protocols of electrical stimulation, with 3 different electrical currents (AC, DC and pulsatile DC), were then compared for neural stem cell differentiation. Results show that pulsatile DC assisted best in generating higher number of neurons. This finding is important for future regenerative approaches to treat neurological diseases and highlights the importance of using the correct platform to design scaffolds to regenerate the brain tissue.

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Synergy between 3D electroconductive scaffolds and electrical stimulation to improve bone tissue engineering strategies

Synergy between 3D electroconductive scaffolds and electrical stimulation to improve bone tissue engineering strategies | iBB | Scoop.it

In a recent article published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry B, iBB researchers working in collaboration with colleagues from Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), CDRSP-Politécnico de Leiria and CERENA, demonstrated a synergistic effect between 3D printed porous electroconductive scaffolds and electrical stimulation (EStim) in the enhancement of the osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (hBMSCs), envisaging improved bone tissue engineering (BTE) strategies. The 3D scaffolds were fabricated in polycaprolactone (PCL) and coated with the conductive polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) following previously optimized strategies. Results show that the PEDOT:PSS coatings are electroconductive (11.3–20.1 S cm−1), stable (up to 21 days in saline solution), allow the immobilization of gelatin (Gel) to further improve bioactivity, and enhance the in vitro mineralization of the scaffolds. Finite element modelling allowed the prediction of the magnitude and distribution of the electrical fields within the conductive scaffolds structure when submitted to EStim. The osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs was performed with and without EStim and the abovementioned synergy between conductive materials and EStim in the improvement of BTE strategies was clearly shown by the increased cell-secreted calcium deposition (tissue mineralization) and by the upregulation of bone-specific marker genes. This study was coordinated by Dr. João C. Silva (iBB) and Dr. Fabio Garrudo (iBB and IT) and performed under the scope of the FCT projects BioMaterARISES (EXPL/CTM-CTM/0995/2021) and InSilico4OCReg (PTDC/EME-SIS/0838/2021).

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Novel Electroactive Mineralized Polyacrylonitrile/PEDOT:PSS Electrospun Nanofibers for Bone Repair Applications

Novel Electroactive Mineralized Polyacrylonitrile/PEDOT:PSS Electrospun Nanofibers for Bone Repair Applications | iBB | Scoop.it

The repair of bone defects remains an important challenge in current orthopaedic clinical practice. Novel approaches, including electrical stimulation-based therapies, have been gaining traction due to their encouraging results in both in vivo and in vitro settings. The development of electroconductive scaffolds to assist this type of therapy holds significant promise, as such constructs could be used to guide electrical stimuli directly to the damaged site, therefore increasing the effectiveness of the regeneration process. In an article recently published in the journal International Journal of Molecular Sciences, iBB researchers Frederico Barbosa, João Silva, Fábio Garrudo and Frederico Ferreira, in collaboration with colleagues from Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT) and CERENA, developed mineralized and electroconductive PEDOT:PSS-based nanofibers with bone-like features. This project was developed under the scope of Frederico Barbosa’s PhD thesis, supervised by Frederico Ferreira and João Silva.

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