Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Sol-gel Synthesis and Characterization of a Quaternary Bioglass for Bone Regeneration and Tissue Engineering

Version 1 : Received: 30 June 2021 / Approved: 1 July 2021 / Online: 1 July 2021 (11:20:51 CEST)

How to cite: Bento, R.; Gaddam, A.; Ferreira, A.J.M.F. Sol-gel Synthesis and Characterization of a Quaternary Bioglass for Bone Regeneration and Tissue Engineering. Preprints 2021, 2021070018 Bento, R.; Gaddam, A.; Ferreira, A.J.M.F. Sol-gel Synthesis and Characterization of a Quaternary Bioglass for Bone Regeneration and Tissue Engineering. Preprints 2021, 2021070018

Abstract

In bone tissue engineering, ceramics have been the choice due to their excellent biological properties. But the paradigm changed with the discovery of bioactive glasses (BGs) in 1969 by Larry Hench and co-workers, due to their ability to bond to living tissues through the formation of an interfacial bone-like hydroxyapatite layer when the bioglass was put in contact with biological fluids in vivo. Among a number of tested compositions, the one exhibiting the highest bioactivity index is the well-known trademarked 45S5 Bioglass®. The topic received increasing attention particularly after 1985 when this material entered in the market of biomedical devices, inspiring many other investigations aiming at further exploring the in vitro and in vivo performances of this BG, or developing other related BG compositions. The research efforts gradually revealed a number of shortcomings of 45S5 Bioglass®, mostly derived from its high sodium content, initially intended to decrease the melting temperature and accelerating the degradation of the silicate network over time. But the extensive release of sodium from 45S5 Bioglass® in the biological fluids creates a high pH cytotoxic environment. Other serious drawbacks include a fast degradation rate, and a poor sintering ability, which hinders the reliable fabrication of porous scaffolds. Therefore, sol-gel was regarded as an attractive alternative to prepare alkali-free BG compositions. The process uses inorganic and/or organic precursors, which undergo hydrolysis and condensation at room-temperature, being less costly. When properly conducted, the sol-gel process might result in amorphous structures with all the components intimately mixed at the atomic scale. Moreover, developing new better performing materials for bone tissue engineering is a growing concern, as the ageing of the world’s population leads to lower bone density and osteoporosis. This work describes the sol-gel synthesis of a novel quaternary silicate-based BG with the composition 60 SiO2 – 34 CaO – 4 MgO – 2 P2O5 (mol%) was prepared using acidified distilled water as single solvent. By controlling the kinetics of the hydrolysis and condensation steps, an amorphous glass structure could be obtained. The results of XRD of samples calcined within the temperature range from 600-900 ºC demonstrated that amorphous nature was maintained until 800 ºC, followed by partial crystallization at 900 ºC. The specific surface area, an important factor in osteoconduction, was also evaluated over different temperatures, ranging from 160.6 ± 0.8 m2/g at 600 ºC down to 2.2 ± 0.1 m2/g at 900 ºC, being accompanied consistent changes in average pore size and agreeing pore size distribution. The immersion of the BG particles in simulated body fluid (SBF) led to the formation of an extensive apatite layer on its surface. These overall results indicate the proposed material is very promising for biomedical applications in bone regeneration and tissue engineering.

Subject Areas

Bioactive glasses; Alkali-free; Sol-gel; Bone regeneration; Tissue engineering.

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