In the last years bone tissue engineering has been increasingly indicated as a valid solution to meet the challenging requirements for a healthy bone regeneration in case of bone loss or fracture. In such a context, bioactive glasses have already proved their great potential in promoting the regeneration of new bone tissue due to their high bioactivity. In addition, their composition and structure enable us to incorporate and subsequently release therapeutic ions such as strontium, enhancing the osteogenic properties of the material. The incorporation of these inorganic systems in polymeric matrices enables the formulation of composite systems suitable for the design of bone scaffolds or delivery platforms. Among the natural polymers, type I collagen represents the main organic phase of bone and thus is a good candidate to develop biomimetic bioactive systems for bone tissue regeneration. However, alongside the specific composition and structure, the key factor in the design of new biosystems is creating a suitable interaction with cells and the host tissue. In this scenario, the presented study aimed at combining nano-sized mesoporous bioactive glasses produced by means of a sol–gel route with type I collagen in order to develop a bioactive hybrid formulation suitable for bone tissue engineering applications. The designed system has been fully characterized in terms of physico-chemical and morphological analyses and the ability to release Sr2+ ions has been studied observing a more sustained profile in presence of the collagenous matrix. With the aim to improve the mechanical and thermal stability of the resulting hybrid system, a chemical crosslinking approach using 4-star poly (ethylene glycol) ether tetrasuccinimidyl glutarate (4-StarPEG) has been explored. The biocompatibility of both non-crosslinked and 4-StarPEG crosslinked systems was evaluated by in vitro tests with human osteoblast-like MG-63 cells. Collected results confirmed the high biocompatibility of composites, showing a good viability and adhesion of cells when cultured onto the biomaterial samples.
Materials 12.22 (2019)
Giorgia Montalbano, Giorgia Borciani, Carlotta Pontremoli, Gabriela Ciapetti, Monica Mattioli-Belmonte, Sonia Fiorilli and Chiara Vitale-Brovarone