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[en] Intermediate filaments play a key role in cell mechanics, providing cells with compliance to small deformations and reinforcing them when large forces are applied. Here, we present a study of networks of keratin intermediate filaments in living cells under the influence of external forces. We expose the cells to controlled shear forces applied by microflow and investigate the response of the keratin network in situ. Our results show that bundle dynamics are reduced upon the application of shear flow. It is likely that cytoskeletal cross-talk is involved in this shear stress response via actin–keratin coupling. (paper)
[en] Short term stress relaxation processes in α-keratin fibers were investigated at wide range of strain values 0.8%≤ε≤40%. It was revealed that α-keratin fibers show different viscoelastic behaviours, i.e., non-linear viscoelastic behaviour up to 8-10% strain and linear viscoelastic behaviour for strain values greater than 10%. The stress relaxation behaviors of ?-keratin fibers were discussed on the basis of conformational and structural changes and the mathematical model of stress-relaxation processes was described
[en] In this study, ion implantation into collagen coated Co-Cr alloy, which is a cheaper material of the artificial stent product comparing with Ti alloy, has been studied to develop small diameter artificial stent by the cell adhesion control. The size of stent was 1.6mm of the diameter and 18mm of the length. The life-time of artificial stent depends on adhesion property of endothelial-cells. We successfully controlled cell adhesion selectivity between endothelial cell and muscle cell by using collagen coated and He+ ion beam irradiated Co-Cr-alloy to apply to artificial stent. But, we did not achieve the inhibition of platelet adhesion, yet by using collagen coating and He+ ion beam irradiation. Based on this study, we have plan to research about separation between collagen coating effect and ion beam effect. Also, we will have more detail analysis of the mechanism of cell attachment. In recent years, ion implantation has been applied to the surface modification of prosthesis to improve blood compatibility and tissue compatibility in field of biomedical application. As well known, bio compatibility was concerned with the cell adhesion selectivity for bio-functionality. The biomedical application of ion beam technology would be used more widely in the future such as catheter and artificial graft
[en] We investigated the ability of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins to modulate the response of endothelial cells to both promoters and inhibitors of angiogenesis. Using human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMEC), we found that cells demonstrated different adhesive properties and proliferative responses to the growth factor VEGF depending upon which ECM protein with which they were in contact, with fibronectin having the most impact on VEGF-induced HDMEC proliferation and survival. More importantly, we observed that ECM could modulate the ability of the angiogenic inhibitor endostatin to prevent endothelial cell proliferation, survival and migration. We observed that growth on vitronectin or fibronectin impaired the ability of endostatin to inhibit VEGF-induced HDMEC proliferation to the greatest extent as determined by BrdU incorporation. We found that, following growth on collagen I or collagen IV, endostatin only inhibited VEGF-induced HDMEC proliferation at the highest dose tested (2500 ng/ml). In a similar manner, we observed that growth on ECM proteins modulated the ability of endostatin to induce endothelial cell apoptosis, with growth on collagen I, fibronectin and collagen IV impairing endostatin-induced apoptosis. Interestingly, endostatin inhibited VEGF-induced HDMEC migration following culture on collagen I, collagen IV and laminin, while migration was not inhibited by endostatin following HDMEC culture on other matrices including vitronectin, fibronectin and tenascin-C. These results suggest that different matrix proteins may affect different mechanisms of endostatin inhibition of angiogenesis. Taken together, our results suggest that the ECM may have a profound impact on the ability of angiostatic molecules such as endostatin to inhibit angiogenesis and thus may have impact on the clinical efficacy of such inhibitors
[en] Highlights: • Miscibility of wool keratin/PA6 blends and electrospun fibres were investigated in depth. • Chemical structures and viscometric measurements revealed immiscibility between the two polymers in all blending ratios. • Immiscibility was confirmed by the observation of segregation phases between polymers in the cast films. • Due to kinetic effects, homogeneous nanofibers are obtained from the keratin/PA6 immiscible system,by electrospinning. • The PCA analysis highlighted the keratin percentage, as critical variable which influences the nanofibers diameter. Blends of wool keratin and polyamide 6 (PA6) have shown interesting adsorbent properties in filtration. In this work, the miscibility of keratin and PA6 was studied for the first time through rheological measurements of diluted blend solutions. In particular, the immiscibility between the two polymers in different blend proportions was observed by the segregation of phases in the cast films. Nevertheless, notwithstanding the immiscibility, we demonstrate here that homogeneous keratin/PA6 blend nanofibers can be obtained by electrospinning as a result of rapid solvent evaporation, where kinetic effects prevail on thermodynamic effects, thereby avoiding phase segregation. The obtained nanofibers have diameters ranging from 100 to 250 nm, depending on the experimental conditions. We show, through a principal component analysis (PCA) that the percentage of keratin represents the most important variable to determine nanofiber diameters. Collectively, this study represents a successful case of immiscible electrospinning system for production of useful nanofibers as adsorbent material for different applications.
[en] Theoretical models of viscoelastic behavior and plastic deformation mechanisms of human dentin are considered. Using the linear viscoelasticity theory in which creep and relaxation kernels have the form of fraction-exponential functions, numerical values of instantaneous and long-time Young’s moduli and other characteristics of dentin viscoelasticity under uniaxial compression are found. As dentin plastic deformation mechanisms, mutual collagen fiber sliding in the region of contact of their side surfaces, separation of these fibers from each other, and irreversible tension of some collagen fibers, are proposed. It is shown that the second mechanism activation requires a smaller stress than that for activating others. The models of plastic zones at the mode I crack tip, which correspond to these mechanisms, are studied. It is shown that the plastic zone size can increase from a few hundreds of nanometers to hundreds of micrometers with increasing applied stress.
[en] New biological materials for tissue engineering are now being developed using common genetic engineering capabilities to clone and express a variety of genetic elements that allow cost-effective purification and scaffold fabrication from these recombinant proteins, peptides or from chimeric combinations of these. The field is limitless as long as the gene sequences are known. The utility is dependent on the ease, product yield and adaptability of these protein products to the biomedical field. The development of recombinant proteins as scaffolds, while still an emerging technology with respect to commercial products, is scientifically superior to current use of natural materials or synthetic polymer scaffolds, in terms of designing specific structures with desired degrees of biological complexities and motifs. In the field of tissue engineering, next generation scaffolds will be the key to directing appropriate tissue regeneration. The initial period of biodegradable synthetic scaffolds that provided shape and mechanical integrity, but no biological information, is phasing out. The era of protein scaffolds offers distinct advantages, particularly with the combination of powerful tools of molecular biology. These include, for example, the production of human proteins of uniform quality that are free of infectious agents and the ability to make suitable quantities of proteins that are found in low quantity or are hard to isolate from tissue. For the particular needs of tissue engineering scaffolds, fibrous proteins like collagens, elastin, silks and combinations of these offer further advantages of natural well-defined structural scaffolds as well as endless possibilities of controlling functionality by genetic manipulation. (topical review)
[en] We investigated the interactions between selected organic tanning agents and type I fibrillar collagen as a model fibrillar substrate to enable the fast direct evaluation and validation of interpretations of tanning activity. Type I fibrillar collagen (1%) as gel was used as substrate of tanning and tannic acid, resorcinol- and melamine-formaldehyde and their combination at three concentrations as crosslinking agents (tannins). To evaluate the stability of collagen during tanning, the crosslinked gels at 2.8, 4.5 and 9.0 pHs were freeze-dried as discs which were characterized by FTIR, shrinkage temperature, enzymatic degradation and optical microscopy, and the results were validated by statistical analyses. The best stability was given by combinations between resorcinol- and melamine-formaldehyde at isoelectric pH