Publications by authors named "Senne Seneca"

8 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Development and characterization of a hydrogel-based adhesive patch for sealing open-globe injuries.

Acta Biomater 2022 01 19;137:53-63. Epub 2021 Oct 19.

Department of Ophthalmology, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, United States. Electronic address:

Full-thickness wounds to the eye can lead to serious vision impairment. Current standards of care (from suturing to tissue transplantation) usually require highly skilled surgeons and use of an operating theater. In this study, we report the synthesis, optimization, and in vitro and ex vivo testing of photocrosslinkable hydrogel-based adhesive patches that can easily be applied to globe injuries or corneal incisions. According to the type and concentration of polymers used in the adhesive formulations, we were able to finely tune the physical properties of the bioadhesive including viscosity, elastic modulus, extensibility, ultimate tensile strength, adhesion, transparency, water content, degradation time, and swellability. Our in vitro studies showed no sign of cytotoxicity of the hydrogels. Moreover, the hydrogel patches showed higher adhesion on freshly explanted pig eyeballs compared to a marketed ocular sealant. Finally, ex vivo feasibility studies showed that the hydrogel patches could seal complex open-globe injuries such as large incision, cruciform injury, and injury associated with tissue loss. These results suggest that our photocrosslinkable hydrogel patch could represent a promising solution for the sealing of open-globe injuries or surgical incisions. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Current management of severe ocular injuries require advanced surgical skills and access to an operating theater. To address the need for emergent management of wounds that cannot be handled in the operating room, surgical adhesives have gained popularity, but none of the currently available adhesives have optimal bioavailability, adhesive or mechanical properties. This study describes the development, optimization and testing of a light-sensitive adhesive patch that can easily be applied to the eye. After solidification using visible light, the patch shows no toxicity and is more adherent to the tissue than a marketed sealant. Thus this technology could represent a promising solution to stabilize ocular injuries in emergency settings before definitive surgical repair.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actbio.2021.10.021DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8678346PMC
January 2022

PEGylating poly(p-phenylene vinylene)-based bioimaging nanoprobes.

J Colloid Interface Sci 2021 Jan 2;581(Pt B):566-575. Epub 2020 Aug 2.

Institute for Materials Research, Hasselt University, Wetenschapspark 1 and Agoralaan Building D, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium; IMEC Associated Lab IMOMEC, Wetenschapspark 1, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium. Electronic address:

Hypothesis: Conjugated polymer nanoparticles (CNPs) have attracted considerable attention within bioimaging due to their excellent optical properties and biocompatibility. However, unspecific adsorption of proteins hampers their effective use as advanced bioimaging probes. Controlled methodologies made possible tailor-made functional poly(p-phenylene vinylene), enabling one-pot synthesis of CNPs containing functional surface groups. Hence, it should be feasible to PEGylate these CNPs to tune the uptake by cell lines representative for the brain without imparting their optical properties.

Experiments: CNPs consisting of the statistical copolymer 2-(5'-methoxycarbonylpentyloxy)-5-methoxy-1,4-phenylenevinylene and poly(2-methoxy-5-(3',7'-dimethoxyoctyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene) were fabricated by miniemulsion solvent evaporation technique. Surface carboxylic acid groups were used to covalently attach amine-terminated polyethylene glycol (PEG) of different molecular weights. We investigated the effect of grafting CNPs with PEG chains on their intrinsic optical properties, protein adsorption behavior and uptake by representative brain cell lines.

Findings: PEGylation did not affect the optical properties and biocompatibility of our CNPs. Moreover, a significant decrease in protein corona formation and unspecific uptake in central nervous system cell lines, depending on PEG chain length, was observed. This is the first report indicating that PEGylation does not affect the CNPs role as excellent bioimaging tools and can be adapted to tune biological interactions with brain cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2020.07.145DOI Listing
January 2021

Effect of Branching on the Optical Properties of Poly(-phenylene ethynylene) Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticles for Bioimaging.

ACS Biomater Sci Eng 2019 Apr 13;5(4):1967-1977. Epub 2019 Mar 13.

Institute for Materials Research (IMO-IMOMEC), Nanobiophysics and Soft Matter Interfaces (NSI), Hasselt University, Wetenschapspark 1, Diepenbeek 3590, Belgium.

Fluorescent conjugated polymers formulated in nanoparticles show attractive properties to be used as bioimaging probes. However, their fluorescence brightness is generally limited by quenching phenomena due to interchain aggregation in the confined nanoparticle space. In this work, branched conjugated polymer networks are investigated as a way to enhance the photoluminescence quantum yield of the resulting conjugated polymer nanoparticles (CPNs). 1,3,5-Tribromobenzene and 2,2',7,7'-tetrabromo-9,9'-spirobifluorene are chosen as branching moieties and are added in 3 or 5 mol % to the poly(-phenylene ethynylene) (PPE) conjugated polymer synthesis. Nanoparticles of all samples are prepared via the combined miniemulsion/solvent evaporation technique. The optical properties of the branched polymers in solution and in nanoparticle form are then compared to those of the linear PPE counterpart. The fluorescence quantum yield of the CPNs increases from 5 to 11% for the samples containing 1,3,5-tribromobenzene. Furthermore, when 5 mol % of either branching molecule is used, the one-photon fluorescence brightness doubles. The nanoparticles show low cytotoxicity in A549 human lung carcinoma cells up to a concentration of 100 μg/mL for 24 h. They also exhibit good particle uptake into cells and compatibility with two-photon imaging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsbiomaterials.8b01416DOI Listing
April 2019

Morphology-dependent pH-responsive release of hydrophilic payloads using biodegradable nanocarriers.

RSC Adv 2018 Oct 31;8(64):36869-36878. Epub 2018 Oct 31.

Institute for Materials Research (IMO), Hasselt University Wetenschapspark 1 and Agoralaan D, 3590 Diepenbeek Belgium

The development of functional nanocarriers with stimuli-responsive properties has advanced tremendously to serve biomedical applications such as drug delivery and regenerative medicine. However, the development of biodegradable nanocarriers that can be loaded with hydrophilic compounds and ensure its controlled release in response to changes in the surrounding environment still remains very challenging. Herein, we achieved such demands the preparation of aqueous core nanocapsules using a base-catalyzed interfacial reaction employing a diisocyanate monomer and functional monomers/polymers containing thiol and hydroxyl functionalities at the droplet interface. pH-responsive poly(thiourethane-urethane) nanocarriers with ester linkages were synthesized by incorporating polycaprolactone diol, which is susceptible to hydrolytic degradation ester linkages, as a functional monomer in the reaction formulation. We could demonstrate that by systematically varying the number of biodegradable segments, the morphology of the nanocarriers can be tuned without imparting the efficient encapsulation of hydrophilic payload (>85% encapsulation efficiency) and its transfer from organic to aqueous phase. The developed nanocarriers allow for a fast release of hydrophilic payload that depends on pH, the number of biodegradable segments and nanocarrier morphology. Succinctly put, this study provides important information to develop pH-responsive nanocarriers with tunable morphology, using interfacial reactions in the inverse miniemulsion process, by controlling the number of degradable segments to adjust the release profile depending on the type of application envisaged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c8ra07066kDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9088891PMC
October 2018

How Low Can You Go? Low Densities of Poly(ethylene glycol) Surfactants Attract Stealth Proteins.

Macromol Biosci 2018 09 25;18(9):e1800075. Epub 2018 Jun 25.

Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, University Medical Center, Ackermannweg 10, 55128, Mainz, Germany.

It is now well-established that the surface chemistry and "stealth" surface functionalities such as poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) chains of nanocarriers play an important role to decrease unspecific protein adsorption of opsonizing proteins, to increase the enrichment of specific stealth proteins, and to prolong the circulation times of the nanocarriers. At the same time, PEG chains are used to provide colloidal stability for the nanoparticles. However, it is not clear how the chain length and density influence the unspecific and specific protein adsorption keeping at the same time the stability of the nanoparticles in a biological environment. Therefore, this study aims at characterizing the protein adsorption patterns depending on PEG chain length and density to define limits for the amount of PEG needed for a stealth effect by selective protein adsorption as well as colloidal stability during cell experiments. PEG chains are introduced using the PEGylated Lutensol AT surfactants, which allow easy modification of the nanoparticle surface. These findings indicate that a specific enrichment of stealth proteins already occurs at low PEG concentrations; for the decrease of unspecific protein adsorption and finally the colloidal stability a full surface coverage is advised.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mabi.201800075DOI Listing
September 2018

Size-dependent properties of functional PPV-based conjugated polymer nanoparticles for bioimaging.

Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces 2018 09 24;169:494-501. Epub 2018 May 24.

Institute for Materials Research, Hasselt University, Martelarenlaan 42, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium; Imec Associated Lab IMOMEC, Wetenschapspark 1, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium. Electronic address:

Conjugated polymer nanoparticle systems have gained significant momentum in the bioimaging field on account of their biocompatibility and outstanding spectroscopic properties. Recently, new control procedures have spawned custom-built functional poly(p-phenylene vinylene) (PPV). These facilitate the one-pot synthesis of semiconducting polymer NPs with incorporated surface functional groups, an essential feature for advanced biomedical applications. In this work, nanoparticles (NPs) of different sizes are synthesized consisting of the statistical copolymer CPM-co-MDMO-PPV with monomer units 2-(5'-methoxycarbonylpentyloxy)-5-methoxy-1,4-phenylenevinylene (CPM-PPV) and poly(2-methoxy-5-(3',7'-dimethoxyoctyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene) (MDMO-PPV). To monitor potential implications of switching from a commonly used homopolymer to copolymer system, MDMO-PPV NPs were prepared as a control. The versatile combination of the miniemulsion and solvent evaporation method allowed for an easy adaptation of the NP size. Decreasing the diameter of functional PPV-based NPs up to 20 nm did not significantly affect their optical properties nor the biocompatibility of the bioimaging probe, as cell viability never dropped below 90%. The quantum yield and molar extinction coefficient remained stable at values of 1-2% and 10 M cm respectively, indicating an excellent fluorescence brightness. However, a threshold was observed to which the size could be lowered without causing irreversible changes to the system. Cell uptake varied drastically depended on size and material choice, as switching from homo- to copolymer system and lowering the size significantly increased NP uptake. These results clearly demonstrate that adjusting the size of functional PPV-based NPs can be achieved easily to a lower limit of 20 nm without adversely affecting their performance in bioimaging applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfb.2018.05.055DOI Listing
September 2018

Dynamics of the phospholipid shell of microbubbles: a fluorescence photoselection and spectral phasor approach.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2018 May;54(38):4854-4857

Biomedical Research Institute (BIOMED), Hasselt University, Agoralaan Bldg. C, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium.

The lipid organization of microbubbles is important in many applications. By monitoring the photoselection and emission spectrum of the fluorescent probe Laurdan in perfluorobutane gas-filled DPPC microbubbles with a two-photon laser scanning microscope, we observed a transition to a more rigid lipid organization in 30 minutes to several hours.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c8cc01012aDOI Listing
May 2018

Ionic strength dependent vesicle adsorption and phase behavior of anionic phospholipids on a gold substrate.

Biointerphases 2016 Mar 8;11(1):019006. Epub 2016 Mar 8.

Institute for Materials Research IMO, Hasselt University, Wetenschapspark 1, B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium and IMEC, Associated Lab IMOMEC, Wetenschapspark 1, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium.

The authors report on the effect of ionic strength on the formation of supported vesicle layers of anionic phospholipids 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-rac-glycerol (DMPG) and dimyristoylphosphatidylserine (DMPS) onto gold. Using quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring the authors show that vesicle adsorption is mainly governed by NaCl concentration, reflecting the importance of electrostatic interactions in anionic lipids, as compared to zwitterionic 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine. At low ionic strength, low or no adsorption is observed as a result of vesicle-vesicle electrostatic repulsion. At medium ionic strength, the negative charges of DMPG and DMPS are screened resulting in larger adsorption and a highly dissipative intact vesicle layer. In addition, DMPS exhibits a peculiar behavior at high ionic strength that depends on the temperature of the process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1116/1.4939596DOI Listing
March 2016
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