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  1. Bismuth oxide is an important bismuth compound having applications in electronics, photo-catalysis and medicine. At the nanoscale, bismuth oxide experiences a variety of new physico-chemical properties because of its increased surface to volume ratio leading to potentially new applications. In this manuscript, we report for the very first time the synthesis of bismuth oxide (Bi 2 O 3 ) nano-flakes by pulsed laser ablation in liquids without any external assistance (no acoustic, electric field, or magnetic field). The synthesis was performed by irradiating, pure bismuth needles immerged in de-ionized water, at very high fluence ∼160 J cm −2 in order to be highly selective and only promote the growth of two-dimensional structures. The x - and y -dimensions of the flakes were around 1 μm in size while their thickness was 47.0 ± 12.7 nm as confirmed by AFM analysis. The flakes were confirmed to be α- and γ-Bi 2 O 3 by SAED and Raman spectroscopy. By using this mixture of flakes, we demonstrated that the nanostructures can be used as antimicrobial agents, achieving a complete inhibition of Gram positive (MSRA) and Gram negative bacteria (MDR-EC) at low concentration, ∼50 ppm.
  2. INTRODUCTION: Orthopedic implants are important therapeutic devices for the management of a wide range of orthopedic conditions. However, bacterial infections of orthopedic implants remain a major problem, and not an uncommon one, leading to an increased rate of osteomyelitis, sepsis, implant failure and dysfunction, etc. Treating these infections is more challenging as the causative organism protects itself by the production of a biofilm over the implant’s surface (1). Infections start by the adhesion and colonization of pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus (SA), Staphylococcus epidermidis (SE), Escherichia coli (E. coli), Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Multi-Drug Resistant Escherichia coli (MDR E. coli) on the implant’s surfaces. Specifically, Staphylococcus comprises up to two-thirds of all pathogens involved in orthopedic implant infections (2). However, bacterial surface adhesion is a complex process influenced by several factors such as chemical composition, hydrophobicity, magnetization, surface charge, and surface roughness of the implant (3). Considering the intimate association between bacteria and the implant surface, we measured the effect of stainless-steel surface properties on bacterial surface attachment and subsequent formation of biofilms controlling above mentioned factors. METHODS: The prominent bacteria responsible for orthopedic implant infections (SA, SE, E. coli, MRSA, and MDR E. coli) were used inmore »this study. We were able to control the grain size of medical grade 304 and 316L stainless steel without altering their chemical composition (grain size range= 20μm-200nm) (4). Grain size control affected the nano-topography of the material surfaces which was measured by an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). Grain sizes, such as 0.2, 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 9, and 10 μm, were used both polished and non-polished. All the stainless-steel samples were cleaned by treating with acetone and ethanol under sonication. Triplicates of all polished and non-polished samples with different grain sizes were subjected to magnetization of DM, 0.1T, 0.5T, and 1T, before seeding them with the bacteria. Controls were used in the form of untreated samples. Bacterial were grown in Tryptic Soy Broth (TSB). An actively growing bacterial suspension was seeded onto the stainless-steel discs into 24-well micro-titer plates and kept for incubation. After 24 hours of incubation, the stainless-steel discs were washed with Phosphate Buffer Saline (PBS) to remove the plankton bacteria and allow the sessile bacteria in the biofilm to remain. The degree of development of the bacterial biofilms on the stainless-steel discs were measured using spectrophotometric analysis. For this, the bacterial biofilm was removed from the stainless steel by sonication. The formation of biofilms was also determined by performing a biofilm staining method using Safranin. RESULTS SECTION: AFM results revealed a slight decrease in roughness by decreasing the grain size of the material. Moreover, the samples were segregated into two categories of polished and non-polished samples, in which polishing decreased roughness significantly. After careful analysis we found out that polished surfaces showed a higher degree for biofilm formation in comparison to the non-polished ones. We also observed that bacteria showed a higher rate for biofilm formation for the demagnetized samples, whereas 0.5T magnetization showed the least amount of biofilm formation. After 0.5T, there was no significant change in the rate of biofilm formation on the stainless-steel samples. Altogether, stainless steel samples containing 0.5 μm and less grainsize, and magnetized with 0.5 tesla and stronger magnets demonstrated the least degree of biofilm formation. DISCUSSION: In summary, the results demonstrate that controlling the grain size of medical grade stainless steel can control and mitigate bacterial responses on, and thus possibly infections of, orthopedic implants or other implantable devices. The research was funded by Komatsuseiki Kosakusho Co., Ltd (KSJ: Japan) SIGNIFICANCE/CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Orthopedic implants that more than 70% of them are made of metals (i.e., stainless steel, titanium, and cobalt-chromium alloys) are failing through loosening and breakage due to their limited mechanical properties. On the other hand, the risk of infection for these implants and its financial burden on our society is undeniable. We have seen that our uniformly nanograined stainless steel shows improved mechanical properties (i.e., higher stiffness, hardness, fatigue) as compared to conventional stainless steel along with the reduction of biofilm formation on its surface. These promising results made us to peruse the development of nanograined titanium and cobalt-chromium alloys for resolving the complications of orthopedic implants.« less
  3. Abstract Porous three-dimensional hydrogel scaffolds have an exquisite ability to promote tissue repair. However, because of their high water content and invasive nature during surgical implantation, hydrogels are at an increased risk of bacterial infection. Recently, we have developed elastic biomimetic cryogels, an advanced type of polymeric hydrogel, that are syringe-deliverable through hypodermic needles. These needle-injectable cryogels have unique properties, including large and interconnected pores, mechanical robustness, and shape-memory. Like hydrogels, cryogels are also susceptible to colonization by microbial pathogens. To that end, our minimally invasive cryogels have been engineered to address this challenge. Specifically, we hybridized the cryogels with calcium peroxide microparticles to controllably produce bactericidal hydrogen peroxide. Our novel microcomposite cryogels exhibit antimicrobial properties and inhibit antibiotic-resistant bacteria (MRSA and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ), the most common cause of biomaterial implant failure in modern medicine. Moreover, the cryogels showed negligible cytotoxicity toward murine fibroblasts and prevented activation of primary bone marrow-derived dendritic cells ex vivo. Finally, in vivo data suggested tissue integration, biodegradation, and minimal host inflammatory responses when the antimicrobial cryogels, even when purposely contaminated with bacteria, were subcutaneously injected in mice. Collectively, these needle-injectable microcomposite cryogels show great promise for biomedical applications, especially in tissue engineering andmore »regenerative medicine.« less
  4. The burgeoning field of nanotechnology aims to create and deploy nanoscale structures, devices, and systems with novel, size-dependent properties and functions. The nanotechnology revolution has sparked radically new technologies and strategies across all scientific disciplines, with nanotechnology now applied to virtually every area of research and development in the US and globally. NanoFlorida was founded to create a forum for scientific exchange, promote networking among nanoscientists, encourage collaborative research efforts across institutions, forge strong industry-academia partnerships in nanoscience, and showcase the contributions of students and trainees in nanotechnology fields. The 2019 NanoFlorida International Conference expanded this vision to emphasize national and international participation, with a focus on advances made in translating nanotechnology. This review highlights notable research in the areas of engineering especially in optics, photonics and plasmonics and electronics; biomedical devices, nano-biotechnology, nanotherapeutics including both experimental nanotherapies and nanovaccines; nano-diagnostics and -theranostics; nano-enabled drug discovery platforms; tissue engineering, bioprinting, and environmental nanotechnology, as well as challenges and directions for future research.