Cytotoxicity and bioactivity assessments for Cu2+ and La3+ doped high-silica sol-gel derived bioglasses: The complex interplay between additive ions revealed


We show the influence of two functional ions (Cu2+ and La3+), incorporated into a quaternary (Si, Ca, Na, P) sol-gel derived bioactive glass system, on its particle size, cytotoxicity, and bioactivity. By doping the parent glass with the two ions in singular or combined forms, 15 doped glasses were prepared by a rapid sol-gel technique. The influence of the combined doping on the particle size and cell viability was successfully evaluated by the aid of signal-to-noise-ratio (S/N), using Taguchi analysis. This allowed us to analyze the complex interplay of effects between these ions, and the marked differences in biocompatibility between the three cell types studied. Cu addition had a significant effect on reducing the glass particle size, while both increased density. Cell viability was significantly improved for some doping combinations, demonstrating that while combined Cu-La doping was beneficial for biocompatibility with lymphoblasts, individual high-Cu or low-La doping was better with fibroblasts, and either high-Cu or low-La doping, or certain combined Cu-La combinations, were the optimum for osteoblasts. However, the bioactivity of doped samples was generally similar to that of the parent glass, although both La, and particularly Cu, did appear to aid dissolution of ions when immersed in SBF, act as glass modifiers, and encourage HAp crystallization. The results reveal that potential synergistic benefits can be obtained by combining the effects on the mean particle size, density, cytotoxicity, and bioactivity of the glasses. The greatly improved biocompatibility of some of the doped glasses makes them promising candidates for biomedical applications.



subject category

Engineering; Materials Science


Ben-Arfa, BAE; Palama, IE; Salvado, IMM; Ferreira, JMF; Pullar, RC

our authors


Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia, Grant/Award Numbers: IF/00681/2015, PTDC/EPH-PAT/6281/2014, UID/CTM/50011/2019; Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC), Grant/Award Number: MFAG n. 16803; Tecnomed (FIRS project of nanotechnology, photonics and precision medicine)

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