- Theresa M.Lutz, Ceren Kimna, Angela Casini, Oliver Lieleg
With the “many-headed” slime mold Physarum polycelphalum having been voted the unicellular organism of the year 2021 by the German Society of Protozoology, we are reminded that a large part of nature's huge variety of life forms is easily overlooked – both by the general public and researchers alike. Indeed, whereas several animals such as mussels or spiders have already inspired many scientists to create novel materials with glue-like properties, there is much more to discover in the flora and fauna. Here, we provide an overview of naturally occurring slimy substances with adhesive properties and categorize them in terms of the main chemical motifs that convey their stickiness, i.e., carbohydrate-, protein-, and glycoprotein-based biological glues. Furthermore, we highlight selected recent developments in the area of material design and functionalization that aim at making use of such biological compounds for novel applications in medicine – either by conjugating adhesive motifs found in nature to biological or synthetic macromolecules or by synthetically creating (multi-)functional materials, which combine adhesive properties with additional, problem-specific (and sometimes tunable) features.
- P.Farjam, E.E.G.Hekman, J.Rouwkema, G.J.Verkerke
The demand for utilizing new novel orthopedic implants and increasing the success rate of currently conducted orthopedic surgery is anticipated to raise for the foreseeable future. Importantly, In this article we aim to attract the attention of inventors, designers and surgeons to fixation techniques as they play a critical role in the overall success of treatment and surgery. The review on current novel anchoring systems that assure sufficient stability to implants will bring multiple advantages. One benefit would be modifying fixation methods currently being used in traditional reconstruction and replacement surgery to enhance stability and integration. In addition, this review potentially serves as a valuable source for designing fixation methods for novel future implants.
- Bauer, Maria G., Reithmeir, Rosa, Lutz, Theresa M., Lieleg, Oliver
Even though polyurethanes (PU) constitute a class of highly versatile and customizable polymeric materials, being able to modify their surface properties, for example, their wettability, without altering the composition of the bulk material would often be desirable. However, PU-based materials can be both rather diverse and resilient to chemical modification. Thus, in this study, three PU variants are subjected to three different treatments that aim at altering the wetting properties of the materials: We assess the feasibility of plasma treatment, dopamine incubation, and chemical etching, and evaluate the stability of the obtained surface modifications with regard to wet and dry storage, UV exposure, and application-specific properties such as lubricity and colonization with eukaryotic cells. The results obtained here can be used to achieve an additional customization of PU surfaces to tailor their behavior for selected applications where dedicated surface properties are required.