Cellular Response to Sol-Gel Hybrid Materials Releasing Boron and Calcium Ions


Poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)-SiO2-CaO-based hybrid materials prepared by sol-gel have proved to be very promising materials for tissue engineering applications and drug-delivery systems. These hybrids are biocompatible and present osteogenic and bioactive properties supporting osteoblast attachment and bone growth. The incorporation of therapeutic elements in these materials, such as boron (B) and calcium (Ca), was considered in this study as an approach to develop biomaterials capable of stimulating bone regeneration. The main purpose of this work was thus to produce, by sol-gel, bioactive and biocompatible hybrid materials of the PDMS-SiO2-B2O3-CaO system, capable of a controlled Ca and B release. Different compositions with different boron amounts were prepared using the same precursors resulting in different monolithic materials, with distinct structures and microstructures. Structural features were assessed by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometry and solid-state nudear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques, which confirmed the presence of hybrid bonds (Si-O-Si) between organic (PDMS) and inorganic phase (tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS)), as well as borosiloxane bonds (B-O-Si). From the B-11 NMR results, it was found that Ca changes the boron coordination, from trigonal (BO3) to tetrahedral (BO4). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs and N-2 isotherms showed that the incorporation of boron modifies the material's microstructure by increasing the macroporosity and decreasing the specific surface area (SSA). In vitro tests in simulated body fluid (SBF) showed the precipitation of a calcium phosphate layer on the material surface and the controlled release of therapeutic ions. The cytocompatibility of the prepared hybrids was studied with bone marrow stromal cells (ST-2 cell line) by analyzing the cell viability and cell density. The results demonstrated that increasing the dilution rate of extraction medium from the hybrids leads to improved cell behavior. The relationship between the in vitro response and the structural and microstructural features of the materials was explored. It was shown that the release of calcium and boron ions, determined by the hybrid structure was crucial for the observed cells behavior. Although not completely understood, the encouraging results obtained constitute an incentive for further studies on this topic.


Materials Science, Biomaterials


Coelho, SAR; Almeida, JC; Unalan, I; Detsch, R; Salvado, IMM; Boccaccini, AR; Fernandes, MHV

nossos autores


This work was developed within the scope of the project CICECO.Aveiro Institute of Materials, UIDB/50011/2020 and UIDP/50011/2020, financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC and when appropriate co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement. Financial support for this work from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) and from FCT-Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia (Convenio FCT/DAAD) is acknowledged. The NMR spectrometers are part of the National NMR Network (PTNMR) and are partially supported by Infrastructure Project No 022161 (co-financed by FEDER through COMPETE 2020, POCI and PORL and FCT through PIDDAC).

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