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Über dieses Buch

The development and application of bioactive nano-structured constructs for tissue regeneration is the focus of the research summarised in this thesis. Moreover, a particular focus is the rational use of supercritical carbon dioxide foaming and electrospinning technologies which can lead to innovative polymeric bioresorbable scaffolds made of hydrolysable (both commercial and ‘ad-hoc’ synthesized) polyesters. Mainly, the author discusses the manipulation of polymer chemical structure and composition to tune scaffold physical properties, and optimization of scaffold 3D architecture by a smart use of both fabrication techniques. The multidisciplinary nature of this research is imperative in pursuing the challenge of tissue regeneration successfully. One of the strengths of this thesis is the integration of knowledge from chemistry, physics, engineering, materials science and biomedical science which has contributed to setting up new national and international collaborations, while strengthening existing ones.



Chapter 1. Introduction

Since its origin, regenerative medicine has rapidly grown and has attracted the interest of many scientists and surgeons throughout the world. Nowadays regenerative medicine encompasses different strategies for the creation of new tissue including the use of cloning, of isolated cells, of non-cellular structures and of cells constructs. The latter approach, which is usually referred to as tissue engineering (TE), is believed to be highly promising for regenerating tissues. It is pointed out that a clear distinction between TE and regenerative medicine does not exist in the literature and some scientists use these terms as synonyms. In the present project, however, TE will be considered a sub-discipline of regenerative medicine that intends to use cell-constructs to achieve tissue repair.
Chiara Gualandi

Chapter 2. Materials and Methods

Electrokinetic analyses were performed with a SurPASS electrokinetic analyzer (Anton Paar, Österreich, Austria) equipped with a cylindrical glass cell. ES samples pre-wetted in EtOH and thoroughly rinsed with deionized water were analysed. The wet sample was inserted into the cylindrical cell. The ?-potential was determined from the measurement of streaming potential generated by the imposed movement of an electrolyte solution (KCl 1 × 10?3 M) through the sample. The ?-potential, which is related to the charge density on sample surface, was determined at pH values in the range 5–9 by performing automatic titration.
Chiara Gualandi

Chapter 3. Results and Discussion

The first two sections illustrate scaffold fabrication technologies employed in the present research (i.e. scCO2 foaming and electrospinning) and describe porous scaffold production and characterization. Experiments of scCO2 foaming were carried out at the Inorganic and Material Chemistry Department and at the Centre of Biomolecular Science (University of Nottingham). ES technology was implemented in the course of the research thanks to the collaboration with Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering Departments (University of Bologna). Finally, the preliminary experiments of ES scaffold surface functionalization, illustrated at the end of the second section, were carried out at the Laboratory of Polymers and Biomaterials (University of Manchester).
Chiara Gualandi

Chapter 4. Conclusions

Tissue engineering (TE) is a rapidly growing discipline which integrates the basic principles of biology, engineering and material science with the aim to repair or regenerate damaged tissues. To this scope, a cell-construct is engineered in vitro by using a porous 3D material as cell culture support, commonly referred to as scaffold. The role of the scaffold is to act as a temporary template, guiding cell organization, growth and differentiation and providing a structural stability and a 3D environment where cells can produce new biological tissue. Therefore, the scaffold must be designed to be bioresorbed in the organism and replaced by new tissue produced by cells. The obtainment of a successful engineered tissue encompasses the optimization of several critical elements (e.g. cell type, scaffold material and 3D structure, cell culture conditions, etc.) and an effective multidisciplinary approach involving not only biological and medical expertises but also competences in engineering, chemistry and materials science is imperative in this context.
Chiara Gualandi
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