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pubs.acs.org/acssce.. 2014;2:2014. Abstract
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Duarte AR, Anderson LE, Duarte CM, Kazarian SG. {A comparison between gravimetric and in situ spectroscopic methods to measure the sorption of CO{\textless}inf{\textgreater}2{\textless}/inf{\textgreater} in a biocompatible polymer}. Journal of Supercritical Fluids. 2005;36. Abstract

In situ ATR-IR spectroscopy was used to simultaneously measure the sorption and swelling of carbon dioxide at high pressures in a biocompatible acrylate copolymer poly(methylmethacrylate-co-ethylhexylacrylate-co- ethyleneglycoldimethacrylate), P(MMA-EHA-EGDMA). The $ν$ 3 band of CO 2 dissolved in the polymer (at 2335 cm -1 ) was used to calculate the sorption data and the polymer swelling was determined by analyzing the changes in the absorbance of the $ν$(CO) band (at 1730 cm -1 ) of the polymer. Transmission spectroscopy in the near-IR region was also used to study the sorption of CO 2 in the polymer using combinational and overtone bands. The experiments were carried out in a pressure range of 2.0-12.0 MPa and in a temperature range of 27-40 °C. The data for CO 2 sorption in this polymer obtained by in situ spectroscopic methods have been compared to the data obtained by the gravimetric technique. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Duarte AR, Ferreira AS, Barreiros S, Cabrita E, Reis RL, Paiva A. {A comparison between pure active pharmaceutical ingredients and therapeutic deep eutectic solvents: Solubility and permeability studies}. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics. 2017;114:296-304. Abstractpdf

THEDES, so called therapeutic deep eutectic solvents are here defined as a mixture of two components, which at a particular molar composition become liquid at room temperature and in which one of them is an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). In this work, THEDES based on menthol complexed with three different APIs, ibuprofen (ibu), BA (BA) and phenylacetic acid (PA), were prepared. The interactions between the components that constitute the THEDES were studied by NMR, confirming that the eutectic system is formed by H-bonds between menthol and the API. The mobility of the THEDES components was studied by PFGSE NMR spectroscopy. It was determined that the self-diffusion of the species followed the same behavior as observed previously for ionic liquids, in which the components migrate via jumping between voids in the suprastructure created by punctual thermal fluctuations. The solubility and permeability of the systems in an isotonic solution was evaluated and a comparison with the pure APIs was established through diffusion and permeability studies carried out in a Franz cell. The solubility of the APIs when in the THEDES system can be improved up to 12 fold, namely for the system containing ibu. Furthermore, for this system the permeability was calculated to be 14 × 10−5 cm/s representing a 3 fold increase in comparison with the pure API. With the exception of the systems containing PA an increase in the solubility, coupled with an increase in permeability was observed. In this work, we hence demonstrate the efficiency of THEDES as a new formulation for the enhancement of the bioavailability of APIs by changing the physical state of the molecules from a solid dosage to a liquid system.

Silva SS, Duarte AR, Oliveira JM, Mano JF, Reis RL. {Alternative methodology for chitin-hydroxyapatite composites using ionic liquids and supercritical fluid technology}. Journal of Bioactive and Compatible Polymers. 2013;28. Abstract

An alternative, green method was used to develop chitin-based biocomposite (ChHA) materials by an integrated strategy using ionic liquids, supercritical fluid drying, and salt leaching. ChHA matrices were produced by dissolving chitin in 1-butyl-methylimidazolium acetate along with salt and/or hydroxyapatite particles and then subsequent drying. The ChHA composite formed had a heterogeneous porous microstructure with 65{%}-85{%} porosity and pore sizes in the range of 100-300 $μ$m. The hydroxyapatite was found to be well distributed within the composite structures and had a positive effect in the viability and proliferation of osteoblast-like cells, in vitro. Our findings indicate that these ChHA matrices have potential applications in bone tissue engineering. © The Author(s) 2013.

Fassini D, Duarte AR, Reis R, Silva T. {Bioinspiring Chondrosia reniformis (Nardo, 1847) Collagen-Based Hydrogel: A New Extraction Method to Obtain a Sticky and Self-Healing Collagenous Material}. Marine Drugs. 2017;15:380. Abstractpdf

Collagen is a natural and abundant polymer that serves multiple functions in both invertebrates and vertebrates. As collagen is the natural scaffolding for cells, collagen-based hydrogels are regarded as ideal materials for tissue engineering applications since they can mimic the natural cellular microenvironment. Chondrosia reniformis is a marine demosponge particularly rich in collagen, characterized by the presence of labile interfibrillar crosslinks similarly to those described in the mutable collagenous tissues (MCTs) of echinoderms. As a result single fibrils can be isolated using calcium-chelating and disulphide-reducing chemicals. In the present work we firstly describe a new extraction method that directly produces a highly hydrated hydrogel with interesting self-healing properties. The materials obtained were then biochemically and rheologically characterized. Our investigation has shown that the developed extraction procedure is able to extract collagen as well as other proteins and Glycosaminoglycans (GAG)-like molecules that give the collagenous hydrogel interesting and new rheological properties when compared to other described collagenous materials. The present work motivates further in-depth investigations towards the development of a new class of injectable collagenous hydrogels with tailored specifications.

Duarte RM, Varanda P, Reis RL, Duarte AR, Correia-Pinto J. {Biomaterials and Bioactive Agents in Spinal Fusion}. Tissue Engineering Part B: Reviews. 2017;23:ten.teb.2017.0072. Abstractpdf

Management of degenerative spine pathologies frequently leads to the need for spinal fusion (SF), where bone growth is induced toward stabilization of the interventioned spine. Autologous bone graft (ABG) remains the gold-standard inducer, whereas new bone graft substitutes attempt to achieve effective de novo bone formation and solid fusion. Limited fusion outcomes have driven motivation for more sophisticated and multidisciplinary solutions, involving new biomaterials and/or biologics, through innovative delivery platforms. The present review will analyze the most recent body of literature that is focused on new approaches for consistent bone fusion of spinal vertebrae, including the development of new biomaterials that pursue physical and chemical aptitudes; the delivery of growth factors (GF) to accelerate new bone formation; and the use of cells to improve functional bone development. Bone graft substitutes currently in clinical practice, such as demineralized bone matrix and ceramics, are still used as a starting point for the study of new bioactive agents. Polyesters such as polycaprolactone and polylactic acid arise as platforms for the development of composites, where a mineral element and cell/GF constitute the delivery system. Exciting fusion outcomes were obtained in several small and large animal models with these. On what regards bioactive agents, mesenchymal stem cells, preferentially derived from the bone marrow or adipose tissue, were studied in this context. Autologous and allogeneic approaches, as well as osteogenically differentiated cells, have been tested. These cell sources have further been genetically engineered for specific GF expression. Nevertheless, results on fusion efficacy with cells have been inconsistent. On the other hand, the delivery of GF (most commonly bone morphogenetic protein-2 [BMP-2]) has provided favorable outcomes. Complications related to burst release and dosing are still the target of research through the development of controlled release systems or alternative GF such as Nel-like molecule-1 (NELL-1), Oxysterols, or COMP-Ang1. Promising solutions with new biomaterial and GF compositions are becoming closer to the human patient, as these evidence high-fusion performance, while offering cost and safety advantages. The use of cells has not yet proved solid benefits, whereas a further understanding of cell behavior remains a challenge.

Barros AA, Rita AN, Duarte AR, Pires RA, Sampaio-Marques B, Ludovico P, Lima E, Mano JF, Reis RL. {Bioresorbable ureteral stents from natural origin polymers}. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials. 2015;103:608-17. Abstract

In this work, stents were produced from natural origin polysaccharides. Alginate, gellan gum, and a blend of these with gelatin were used to produce hollow tube (stents) following a combination of templated gelation and critical point carbon dioxide drying. Morphological analysis of the surface of the stents was carried out by scanning electron microscopy. Indwelling time, encrustation, and stability of the stents in artificial urine solution was carried out up to 60 days of immersion. In vitro studies carried out with simulated urine demonstrated that the tubes present a high fluid uptake ability, about 1000{%}. Despite this, the materials are able to maintain their shape and do not present an extensive swelling behavior. The bioresorption profile was observed to be highly dependent on the composition of the stent and it can be tuned. Complete dissolution of the materials may occur between 14 and 60 days. Additionally, no encrustation was observed within the tested timeframe. The ability to resist bacterial adherence was evaluated with Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus and two Gram-negatives Escherichia coli DH5 alpha and Klebsiella oxytoca. For K. oxytoca, no differences were observed in comparison with a commercial stent (Biosoft((R)) duo, Porges), although, for S. aureus all tested compositions had a higher inhibition of bacterial adhesion compared to the commercial stents. In case of E. coli, the addition of gelatin to the formulations reduced the bacterial adhesion in a highly significant manner compared to the commercial stents. The stents produced by the developed technology fulfill the requirements for ureteral stents and will contribute in the development of biocompatible and bioresorbable urinary stents.

Aroso IM, Duarte AR, Pires RR, Mano JF, Reis RL. {Cork processing with supercritical carbon dioxide: Impregnation and sorption studies}. Journal of Supercritical Fluids. 2015;104:251-8. Abstractpdf

Abstract The present study relates to the use of supercritical carbon dioxide (SCCO{\textless}inf{\textgreater}2{\textless}/inf{\textgreater}) to modify the properties of cork by incorporation of new molecules. The impact of SCCO{\textless}inf{\textgreater}2{\textless}/inf{\textgreater}processing on the morphology and on the mechanical properties was found to be negligible.The impregnation of disperse blue 14 (blue dye) on cubic shaped cork samples of 5 mm occurs progressively,is dependent of the processing conditions and of the presence of lenticels and growth rings. The impregnation of the samples bulk was achieved with processing at 10 MPa and 313 K for 16 h. The solubility and sorption of SCCO{\textless}inf{\textgreater}2{\textless}/inf{\textgreater} in the cork matrix was measured using circular discs and the diffusion coefficients calculated to be on the order of 10{\textless}sup{\textgreater}-8{\textless}/sup{\textgreater} cm{\textless}sup{\textgreater}2{\textless}/sup{\textgreater}/s, the same order as for wood materials. This work demonstrates the feasibility of supercritical fluid technology to impart new features to cork, which may lead to innovative architectural, outdoor and industrial applications.

Silva SS, Duarte AR, Mano JF, Reis RL. {Design and functionalization of chitin-based microsphere scaffolds}. Green Chemistry. 2013;15:3252. Abstractpdf

Chitin agglomerated scaffolds were produced and functionalized using the green chemistry principles and clean technologies. Such combination enabled the functionalization of chitin microparticles prepared through dissolution of the polymer in ionic liquids, followed by of the application of a sol-gel method. Finally, the 3D constructs were moulded and dried using a supercritical assisted agglomeration method. Structural and morphological characterization is presented using scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) and micro-computed tomography ([small micro]-CT). An evaluation of the bioactive behavior of the matrices was made by immersing them in simulated body fluid (SBF) for up to 21 days. The potential of such matrices as drug delivery systems was evaluated after the incorporation of dexamethasone into the matrices during drying in supercritical assisted agglomeration. The findings suggested that the morphological features such as porosity, interconnectivity and pore size distribution of the matrices can be tunned by changing particle size, chitin concentration and the pressure applied during moulding. Chitin microspheres were modified by siloxane and silanol groups, providing a bioactive behavior; the apatite formation was shown to be dependent on the amount and arrangement of silanol groups. Furthermore, in vitro drug release studies showed that dexamethasone was sustainably released. All findings suggest that this strategy is a feasible and advantageous process to obtain chitin-based 3D structures with both functional and structural characteristics that make then suitable for regenerative medicine applications.

Aroso IM, Craveiro R, Rocha Â, Dionísio M, Barreiros S, Reis RL, Paiva A, Duarte AR. {Design of controlled release systems for THEDES - Therapeutic deep eutectic solvents, using supercritical fluid technology}. International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 2015;492. Abstract

© 2015 Elsevier B.V. Abstract Deep eutectic solvents (DES) can be formed by bioactive compounds or pharmaceutical ingredients. A therapeutic DES (THEDES) based on ibuprofen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and menthol was synthesized and its thermal behavior was analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). A controlled drug delivery system was developed by impregnating a starch:poly-Ï$μ$-caprolactone polymeric blend (SPCL 30:70) with the menthol:ibuprofen THEDES in different ratios (10 and 20 wt{%}), after supercritical fluid sintering at 20 MPa and 50 °C. The morphological characterization of SPCL matrices impregnated with THEDES was performed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and micro-computed tomography (micro-CT). Drug release studies were carried out in a phosphate buffered saline. The results obtained provide important clues for the development of carriers for the sustainable delivery of bioactive compounds.

Salgado M, Santos F, Rodríguez-Rojo S, Reis RL, Duarte AR, Cocero MJ. {Development of barley and yeast $\beta$-glucan aerogels for drug delivery by supercritical fluids}. Journal of CO2 Utilization. 2017;22:262-9. Abstractpdf

Polysaccharide aerogels are a good alternative as carriers for drug delivery, since they allow high loading of the active compounds in matrices that are non-toxic, biocompatible and from a renewable feedstock. In this work, barley and yeast $\beta$-glucans aerogels were produced by gelation in aqueous solution, followed by solvent exchange and drying with supercritical CO2. First, viscoelastic properties and melting profile of the hydrogels were determined. Then, the obtained aerogels were analyzed regarding morphology, mechanical properties and behavior in physiological fluid. Both in the hydrogels and in the aerogels, big differences were observed between barley and yeast $\beta$-glucans due to their different chain structure and gelation behavior. Finally, impregnation of acetylsalicylic acid was performed at the same time as the drying of the alcogels with supercritical CO2. The release profile of the drug in PBS was analyzed in order to determine the mechanism governing the release from the $\beta$-glucan matrix. 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Costa VP, Braga ME, Guerra JP, Duarte AR, Duarte CM, Leite EO, Gil MH, de Sousa HC. {Development of therapeutic contact lenses using a supercritical solvent impregnation method}. Journal of Supercritical Fluids. 2010;52:306-16. Abstract

We present some selected results indicating the feasibility of preparing therapeutic finished ophthalmic articles, namely commercially available soft contact lenses, using a supercritical solvent impregnation (SSI) technique. Several commercial soft contact lenses were tested and, among these, four lenses were selected for more complete studies: Nelfilcon A (FocusDailies®, CIBA Vision), Omafilcon A (Proclear® Compatibles, CooperVision), Methafilcon A (Frequency® 55, CooperVision) and Hilafilcon B (SofLens® 59 Comfort, Bausch {&} Lomb). Supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) was the chosen supercritical fluid and two ophthalmic drugs were tested: flurbiprofen (a NSAID, hydrophobic) and timolol maleate (an anti-glaucoma drug, hydrophilic). The effects of operational pressure, of impregnation duration and of the addition of a cosolvent (ethanol) were studied on the overall drug loading yields. Depending on the experiment, we employed pressures from 9 up to 16 MPa and impregnation times from 30 up to 180 min. Temperature was kept constant and equal to 313 K. The employed depressurization rates were kept low and between 0.1 and 0.2 MPa/min. Results are discussed in terms of the employed operational conditions and taking in consideration all the possible interactions between supercritical fluids, drugs, cosolvents and the polymers which compose the employed hydrogel contact lenses. In vitro drug release experiments were carried out in order to evaluate the resulting drug release profiles. Obtained results were also compared with drug-loaded contact lenses obtained by conventional drug "soaking" in aqueous solutions. Results also proved that SSI can be considered as a viable, efficient and safe alternative for the impregnation of drugs, including those of hydrophobic character or presenting low aqueous solubility, into commercial soft contact lenses. SSI proved to be a "tunable" process since the variation of the employed operational conditions indicated that it is possible to control the amount of impregnated drug. In the end, the ophthalmic articles were recovered undamaged and without the presence of harmful solvent residues. This method also permits to process already prepared commercial contact lenses, without interfering with their manufacture methods and, after processing, store them for future use. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Duarte AR, Mano JF, Reis RL. {Dexamethasone-loaded scaffolds prepared by supercritical-assisted phase inversion}. Acta Biomaterialia. 2009;5:2054-62. Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the possibility of preparing dexamethasone-loaded starch-based porous matrices in a one-step process. Supercritical phase inversion technique was used to prepare composite scaffolds of dexamethasone and a polymeric blend of starch and poly(l-lactic acid) (SPLA) for tissue engineering purposes. Dexamethasone is used in osteogenic media to direct the differentiation of stem cells towards the osteogenic lineage. Samples with different drug concentrations (5-15 wt.{%} polymer) were prepared at 200 bar and 55 °C. The presence of dexamethasone did not affect the porosity or interconnectivity of the polymeric matrices. Water uptake and degradation studies were also performed on SPLA scaffolds. We conclude that SPLA matrices prepared by supercritical phase inversion have a swelling degree of nearly 90{%} and the material presents a weight loss of ∼25{%} after 21 days in solution. Furthermore, in vitro drug release studies were carried out and the results show that a sustained release of dexamethasone was achieved over 21 days. The fitting of the power law to the experimental data demonstrated that drug release is governed by an anomalous transport, i.e., both the drug diffusion and the swelling of the matrix influence the release of dexamethasone out of the scaffold. The kinetic constant was also determined. This study reports the feasibility of using supercritical fluid technology to process in one step a porous matrix loaded with a pharmaceutical agent for tissue engineering purposes. © 2009 Acta Materialia Inc.

Aroso IM, Silva JC, Mano F, Ferreira AS, Dionísio M, Sá-Nogueira I, Barreiros S, Reis RL, Paiva A, Duarte AR. {Dissolution enhancement of active pharmaceutical ingredients by therapeutic deep eutectic systems}. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics. 2016;98:57-66. Abstractpdf

A therapeutic deep eutectic system (THEDES) is here defined as a deep eutectic solvent (DES) having an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) as one of the components. In this work, THEDESs are proposed as enhanced transporters and delivery vehicles for bioactive molecules. THEDESs based on choline chloride (ChCl) or menthol conjugated with three different APIs, namely acetylsalicylic acid (AA), benzoic acid (BA) and phenylacetic acid (PA), were synthesized and characterized for thermal behaviour, structural features, dissolution rate and antibacterial activity. Differential scanning calorimetry and polarized optical microscopy showed that ChCl:PA (1:1), ChCl:AA (1:1), menthol:AA (3:1), menthol:BA (3:1), menthol:PA (2:1) and menthol:PA (3:1) were liquid at room temperature. Dissolution studies in PBS led to increased dissolution rates for the APIs when in the form of THEDES, compared to the API alone. The increase in dissolution rate was particularly noticeable for menthol-based THEDES. Antibacterial activity was assessed using both Gram-positive and Gram-negative model organisms. The results show that all the THEDESs retain the antibacterial activity of the API. Overall, our results highlight the great potential of THEDES as dissolution enhancers in the development of novel and more effective drug delivery systems.

Barros AA, Browne S, Oliveira C, Lima E, Duarte AR, Healy KE, Reis RL. {Drug-eluting biodegradable ureteral stent: New approach for urothelial tumors of upper urinary tract cancer}. International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 2016;513. Abstract

© 2016 Elsevier B.V. Upper urinary tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) accounts for 5–10{%} of urothelial carcinomas and is a disease that has not been widely studied as carcinoma of the bladder. To avoid the problems of conventional therapies, such as the need for frequent drug instillation due to poor drug retention, we developed a biodegradable ureteral stent (BUS) impregnated by supercritical fluid CO 2 (scCO 2 ) with the most commonly used anti-cancer drugs, namely paclitaxel, epirubicin, doxorubicin, and gemcitabine. The release kinetics of anti-cancer therapeutics from drug-eluting stents was measured in artificial urine solution (AUS). The in vitro release showed a faster release in the first 72 h for the four anti-cancer drugs, after this time a plateau was achieved and finally the stent degraded after 9 days. Regarding the amount of impregnated drugs by scCO 2 , gemcitabine showed the highest amount of loading (19.57 $μ$g drug /mg polymer: 2{%} loaded), while the lowest amount was obtained for paclitaxel (0.067 $μ$g drug /mg polymer : 0.01{%} loaded). A cancer cell line (T24) was exposed to graded concentrations (0.01–2000 ng/ml) of each drugs for 4 and 72 h to determine the sensitivities of the cells to each drug (IC 50 ). The direct and indirect contact study of the anti-cancer biodegradable ureteral stents with the T24 and HUVEC cell lines confirmed the anti-tumoral effect of the BUS impregnated with the four anti-cancer drugs tested, reducing around 75{%} of the viability of the T24 cell line after 72 h and demonstrating minimal cytotoxic effect on HUVECs.

Correia C, Pereira AL, Duarte AR, Frias AM, Pedro AJ, Oliveira JT, Sousa RA, Reis RL. {Dynamic culturing of cartilage tissue: The significance of hydrostatic pressure}. Tissue Engineering - Part A. 2012;18. Abstract

Silva JM, Rodrigues LC, Silva SS, Reis RL, Duarte AR. {Engineered tubular structures based on chitosan for tissue engineering applications}. Journal of Biomaterials Applications. 2017:088532821774469. Abstractpdf
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Martins M, Aroso IM, Reis RL, Duarte AR, Craveiro R, Paiva A. {Enhanced performance of supercritical fluid foaming of natural-based polymers by deep eutectic solvents}. AIChE Journal. 2014;60. Abstract

© 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Significance: Natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) are defined as a mixture of two or more solid or liquid components, which at a particular composition present a high melting point depression becoming liquids at room temperature. NADES are constituted by natural molecules and fully represent the green chemistry principles. For these reasons, the authors believe that the submitted manuscript is a highly valuable contribution to the field of green chemistry and chemical engineering. For the first time, the possibility to use NADES as enhancers of supercritical fluid technology is revealed.

Santo VE, Duarte AR, Popa EG, Gomes ME, Mano JF, Reis RL. {Enhancement of osteogenic differentiation of human adipose derived stem cells by the controlled release of platelet lysates from hybrid scaffolds produced by supercritical fluid foaming}. Journal of Controlled Release. 2012;162. Abstract

A new generation of scaffolds capable of acting not only as support for cells but also as a source of biological cues to promote tissue regeneration is currently a hot topic of in bone Tissue Engineering (TE) research. The inclusion of growth factor (GF) controlled release functionalities in the scaffolds is a possible strategy to achieve such goal. Platelet Lysate (PL) is an autologous source of GFs, providing several bioactive agents known to act on bone regeneration. In this study, chitosan-chondroitin sulfate nanoparticles loaded with PL were included in a poly(d,l-lactic acid) foam produced by supercritical fluid foaming. The tridimensional (3D) structures were then seeded with human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) and cultured in vitro under osteogenic stimulus. The osteogenic differentiation of the seeded hASCs was observed earlier for the PL-loaded constructs, as shown by the earlier alkaline phosphatase peak and calcium detection and stronger Runx2 expression at day 7 of culture, in comparison with the control scaffolds. Osteocalcin gene expression was upregulated in presence of PL during all culture period, which indicates an enhanced osteogenic induction. These results suggest the synergistic effect of PL and hASCs in combinatory TE strategies and support the potential of PL to increase the multifunctionality of the 3D hybrid construct for bone TE applications. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Duarte AR, Mano J?, Reis RL. {Enzymatic degradation of 3D scaffolds of starch-poly-(?-caprolactone) prepared by supercritical fluid technology}. Polymer Degradation and Stability. 2010;95:2110-7. Abstract

Starch-based polymers have been proposed for different tissue engineering applications due to their inherent properties. In this work, a polymeric blend of starch-poly-(?-caprolactone) (SPCL) was processed using supercritical fluid technology, namely, by supercritical assisted phase inversion. As SPCL is a biodegradable polymer, the matrices produced are susceptible of undergoing enzymatic degradation upon implantation in the human body. In vitro assessment of the enzymatic degradation of SPCL was carried out in different buffer solutions containing a-amylase and/or lipase. The effect of the presence ofthese enzymes was studied by monitoring different parameters in order to characterise both bulk and the surface of the scaffolds. As regards to bulk analysis, weight loss of the samples incubated for 1, 3, 7, 14 and 21 days was determined, further differential scanning calorimetry was carried out. The morphology of the scaffolds after these periods was analysed by micro-computed tomography (?-CT) and surface chemistry was characterised by infra-red spectroscopy and contact angle measurements. Results suggest that SPLC scaffolds undergo bulk degradation, which is typically characterised by hydrolysis of chemical bonds in the polymer chain at the centre of the matrix, resulting in a highly porous material. ? 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Silva JC, Barros AA, Aroso IM, Fassini D, Silva TH, Reis RL, Duarte AR. {Extraction of Collagen/Gelatin from the Marine Demosponge Chondrosia reniformis (Nardo, 1847) Using Water Acidified with Carbon Dioxide - Process Optimization}. Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research. 2016;55:6922-30. Abstract

Marine sponges are a rich source of natural bioactive compounds. One of the most abundant valuable products is collagen/gelatin, which presents an interesting alternative source for pharmaceutical and biomedical applications. We have previously proposed an innovative green technology for the extraction of collagen/gelatin from marine sponges based in water acidified with carbon dioxide. In this work, we have optimized the process operating conditions toward high yields and collagen quality as well as to reduce extraction procedure duration and energy consumption. The process extraction efficiency is higher than 50{%}, corresponding to a yield of approximately 10{%} of the sponge dry mass, obtained for mild operating conditions of 10 bar and 3 h. The extracted material was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), rheology, Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), circular dichroism (CD), amino acid analysis, and SDS-PAGE. The extracts were found to be composed of highly pure mixtures of co...

Duarte AR, Maniglio D, Sousa N, Mano JF, Reis RL, Migliaresi C. {From honeycomb- to microsphere-patterned surfaces of poly(lactic acid) and a starch-poly(lactic acid) blend via the breath figure method.}. Journal of applied biomaterials {&} functional materials. 2016;15. Abstractpdf

BACKGROUND This study investigated the preparation of ordered patterned surfaces and/or microspheres from a natural-based polymer, using the breath figure and reverse breath figure methods. METHODS Poly(D,L-lactic acid) and starch poly(lactic acid) solutions were precipitated in different conditions - namely, polymer concentration, vapor atmosphere temperature and substrate - to evaluate the effect of these conditions on the morphology of the precipitates obtained. RESULTS The possibility of fine-tuning the properties of the final patterns simply by changing the vapor atmosphere was also demonstrated here using a range of compositions of the vapor phase. Porous films or discrete particles are formed when the differences in surface tension determine the ability of polymer solution to surround water droplets or methanol to surround polymer droplets, respectively. In vitro cytotoxicity was assessed applying a simple standard protocol to evaluate the possibility to use these materials in biomedical applications. Moreover, fluorescent microscopy images showed a good interaction of cells with the material, which were able to adhere on the patterned surfaces after 24 hours in culture. CONCLUSIONS The development of patterned surfaces using the breath figure method was tested in this work for the preparation of both poly(lactic acid) and a blend containing starch and poly(lactic acid). The potential of these films to be used in the biomedical area was confirmed by a preliminary cytotoxicity test and by morphological observation of cell adhesion.