Glass - Back to the Future!

Presenting Author:
Aldo Boccaccini

article posted 21 March 2016

Aldo R. Boccaccini is Professor of Biomaterials and Head of the Institute of Biomaterials at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. He is also visiting Professor at Imperial College London, UK. He holds an engineering degree from Instituto Balseiro (Argentina), Dr-Ing. from RWTH Aachen University (Germany) and Habilitation from TU Ilmenau (Germany). The research activities of Prof. Boccaccini are in the field of glasses, ceramics and composites for biomedical, functional and/or structural applications. He is the author or co-author of more than 600 scientific papers and 15 book chapters. His work has been cited more than 20,000 times and he was named in the 2014 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher list. Boccaccini has been a visiting professor at different universities around the world, including Japan, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Netherlands, Singapore, Germany, Argentina and Poland. His achievements have been recognized with several awards including, most recently, the Materials Prize of the German Materials Society (DGM) in 2015. Boccaccini is the editor-in-chief of the journal Materials Letters and serves in the editorial board of more than 10 international journals. In 2015 he was elected member of the Council of the European Society for Biomaterials (ESB) and member of the World Academy of Ceramics. He also serves in the Review Panel of the German Science Foundation (DFG) and is an international advisor to the Ministry of Science and Technology of Argentina. He has been member of the Basic Science and Technology Division of the Society of Glass Technology for almost 10 years.

Osteogenic Differentiation and Angiogenic Potential of Alkaline Phosphatase Functionalized Boron-based Bioactive Glass Scaffolds

Preethi Balasubramanian, Rainer Detsch, Alina Grünewald, Aldo R. Boccaccini*
Institute of Biomaterials, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, 91058, Erlangen, Germany

Bioactive glasses (BGs) are widely investigated as promising materials for bone regeneration. In the broad family of BGs, boron-doped BGs continue to attract the attention of researchers [1]. We present the fabrication of three-dimensional, porous boron-doped BG scaffolds using the foam replication technique [2]. Functionalizing the surfaces of these scaffolds with biologically active enzymes or molecules is a suitable strategy to enhance both the inorganic and biological responses of the biomaterial. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is a metalloenzyme involved significantly in osteogenesis and it is highly expressed in mineralized tissue cells. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and enzymatic activity tests confirmed the presence of ALP on the surface of the scaffolds. We investigated the ability of the boron-doped BG scaffolds, with and without ALP grafting, to stimulate the expression and secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) from ST-2 cells (mouse bone marrow stromal cells). VEGF secretion was measured quantitatively using the VEGF ELISA Kit. In vitro osteogenic differentiation capability of ST-2 cells on ALP functionalized boron-doped scaffolds was investigated. The cell proliferation was determined using the BrdU (calorimetric) assay and cell morphology was observed using fluorescence microscopy (FM). Figure 1 shows the FM image of the ALP-functionalized BG scaffold with ST2 cells. The influence of an enzyme (ALP), in terms of ion release kinetics, directing better cell-matrix interactions, osteogenic differentiation and angiogenic potential was established, thus confirming the suitability of the functionalized B-containing scaffolds for bone regeneration applications.

Figure 1- Fluorescence microscopy image of ALP-functionalized boron-containing BG scaffold with differentiated ST2 cells.

Acknowledgement: This project was funded by the European Commission under the 7th FP (Marie Curie Initial Training Networks; grant number: 289958, Bioceramics for bone repair).

[1] Fu, Q., et al., Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A, 2010;95:172–9.
[2] Chen, Q. Z., et al., Biomaterials, 2006;27(11):2414–25.