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1.  Gold Nanoparticle Delivery of Modified CpG Stimulates Macrophages and Inhibits Tumor Growth for Enhanced Immunotherapy 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63550.
Gold nanoparticle accumulation in immune cells has commonly been viewed as a side effect for cancer therapeutic delivery; however, this phenomenon can be utilized for developing gold nanoparticle mediated immunotherapy. Here, we conjugated a modified CpG oligodeoxynucleotide immune stimulant to gold nanoparticles using a simple and scalable self-assembled monolayer scheme that enhanced the functionality of CpG in vitro and in vivo. Nanoparticles can attenuate systemic side effects by enhancing CpG delivery passively to innate effector cells. The use of a triethylene glycol (TEG) spacer on top of the traditional poly-thymidine spacer increased CpG macrophage stimulatory effects without sacrificing DNA content on the nanoparticle, which directly correlates to particle uptake. In addition, the immune effects of modified CpG-AuNPs were altered by the core particle size, with smaller 15 nm AuNPs generating maximum immune response. These TEG modified CpG-AuNP complexes induced macrophage and dendritic cell tumor infiltration, significantly inhibited tumor growth, and promoted survival in mice when compared to treatments with free CpG.
PMCID: PMC3655178  PMID: 23691064
2.  Effects of composite formulation on the mechanical properties of biodegradable poly(propylene fumarate)/bone fiber scaffolds 
The objective of our study was to determine the effects of composite formulation on the compressive modulus and ultimate strength of a biodegradable, in situ polymerizable poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF) and bone fiber scaffold. The following parameters were investigated: the incorporation of bone fibers (either mineralized or demineralized), PPF molecular weight, N-vinyl pyrrolidinone (NVP) crosslinker amount, benzoyl peroxide (BP) initiator amount, and sodium chloride porogen amount. Eight formulations were chosen based on a resolution III two level fractional factorial design. The compressive modulus and ultimate strength of these formulations were measured on a materials testing machine. Absolute values for compressive modulus varied from 21.3 to 271 MPa and 2.8 to 358 MPa for dry and wet samples, respectively. The ultimate strength of the crosslinked composites varied from 2.1 to 20.3 MPa for dry samples and from 0.4 to 16.6 MPa for wet samples. Main effects of each parameter on the measured property were calculated. The incorporation of mineralized bone fibers and an increase in PPF molecular weight resulted in higher compressive modulus and ultimate strength. Both mechanical properties also increased as the amount of benzoyl peroxide increased or the NVP amount decreased in the formulation. Sodium chloride had a dominating effect on the increase of mechanical properties in dry samples but showed little effects in wet samples. Demineralization of bone fibers led to a decrease in the compressive modulus and ultimate strength. Our results suggest that bone fibers are appropriate as structural enforcement components in PPF scaffolds. The desired orthopaedic PPF scaffold might be obtained by changing a variety of composite formulation parameters.
PMCID: PMC3201805  PMID: 22034584
poly(propylene fumarate); bone fiber; orthopaedic biomaterials; injectable; mechanical properties

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