Calcite incorporated in silica/collagen xerogels mediates calcium release and enhances osteoblast proliferation and differentiation


Multiphasic silica/collagen xerogels are biomaterials designed for bone regeneration. Biphasic silica/collagen xerogels (B30) and triphasic xerogels (B30H20 or B30CK20) additionally containing hydroxyapatite or calcite were demonstrated to exhibit several structural levels. On the first level, low fibrillar collagen serves as template for silica nanoparticle agglomerates. On second level, this silica-enriched matrix phase is fiber-reinforced by collagen fibrils. In case of hydroxyapatite incorporation in B30H20, resulting xerogels exhibit a hydroxyapatite-enriched phase consisting of hydroxyapatite particle agglomerates next to silica and low fibrillar collagen. Calcite in B30CK20 is incorporated as single non-agglomerated crystal into the silica/collagen matrix phase with embedded collagen fibrils. Both the structure of multiphasic xerogels and the manner of hydroxyapatite or calcite incorporation have an influence on the release of calcium from the xerogels. B30CK20 released a significantly higher amount of calcium into a calcium-free solution over a three-week period than B30H20. In calcium containing incubation media, all xerogels caused a decrease in calcium concentration as a result of their bioactivity, which was superimposed by the calcium release for B30CK20 and B30H20. Proliferation of human bone marrow stromal cells in direct contact to the materials was enhanced on B30CK20 compared to cells on both plain B30 and B30H20.
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