Diamond in the allotrope form consists of carbon atoms arranged in a cubic crystal structure covalently bonded in sp3 hybridization. Diamond has emerged as a very promising material for various biomedical applications due to its excellent mechanical properties (hardness, low friction coefficient, good adhesiveness to the underlying substrate, good interlayer cohesion), optical properties (the ability to emit intrinsic luminescence), electrical properties (good insulator in the pristine state and semiconductor after doping), chemical resistance (low chemical reactivity and resistance to wet etching) and biocompatibility (little if any toxicity and immunogenicity). For advanced biomedical applications, diamond is promising particularly in its nanostructured forms, namely nanoparticles, nanostructured diamond films and composite scaffolds in which diamond nanoparticles are dispersed in a matrix (mainly nanodiamond-loaded nanofibrous scaffolds). This chapter summarizes both our long-term experience and that of other research groups in studies focusing on the interaction of cells (particularly bone-derived cells) with nanodiamonds as nanoparticles, thin films and composites with synthetic polymers. Their potential applications in bioimaging, biosensing, drug delivery, biomaterial coating and tissue engineering are also reviewed.
Part of the book: Diamond and Carbon Composites and Nanocomposites
Nanofibrous scaffolds are popular materials in all areas of tissue engineering, because they mimic the fibrous component of the natural extracellular matrix. In this chapter, we focused on the application of nanofibers in skin tissue engineering and wound healing, because the skin is an organ with several vitally important functions, particularly barrier, thermoregulatory, and sensory functions. Nanofibrous meshes not only serve as carriers for skin cells but also can prevent the penetration of microbes into wounds and can keep appropriate moisture in the damaged skin. The nanofibrous meshes have been prepared from a wide range of synthetic and nature-derived polymers. This review is concentrated on synthetic non-degradable and degradable polymers, which have been explored for skin tissue engineering and wound healing. These synthetic polymers were often combined with natural polymers of the protein or polysaccharide nature, which improved their attractiveness for cell colonization. The nanofibrous scaffolds can also be loaded with various bioactive molecules, such as growth factors, hormones, vitamins, antioxidants, antimicrobial, and antitumor agents. In advanced tissue engineering approaches, the cells on the nanofibrous scaffolds are cultured in dynamic bioreactors enabling appropriate mechanical stimulation of cells and at air-liquid interface. This chapter summarizes recent results achieved in the field of nanofiber-based skin tissue engineering, including results of our research group.
Part of the book: Applications of Nanobiotechnology