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

Coelho SAR, Almeida JC, Ünalan I, Detsch R, Miranda Salvado IM, Boccaccini AR, Fernandes MHV (2021)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2021


DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.0c01546


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 nuclear 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 11B NMR results, it was found that Ca changes the boron coordination, from trigonal (BO3) to tetrahedral (BO4). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs and N2 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.

Authors with CRIS profile

Involved external institutions

How to cite


Coelho, S.A.R., Almeida, J.C., Ünalan, I., Detsch, R., Miranda Salvado, I.M., Boccaccini, A.R., & Fernandes, M.H.V. (2021). Cellular Response to Sol-Gel Hybrid Materials Releasing Boron and Calcium Ions. ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering. https://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsbiomaterials.0c01546


Coelho, Soraia Alexandra Ramos, et al. "Cellular Response to Sol-Gel Hybrid Materials Releasing Boron and Calcium Ions." ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering (2021).

BibTeX: Download