ABSTRACT: Boron is one of the trace elements in the human body which plays an important role in bone growth. Porous mesopore bioactive glass (MBG) scaffolds are proposed as potential bone regeneration materials due to their excellent bioactivity and drug-delivery ability. The aims of the present study were to develop boron-containing MBG (B-MBG) scaffolds by sol-gel method and to evaluate the effect of boron on the physiochemistry of B-MBG scaffolds and the response of osteoblasts to these scaffolds. Furthermore, the effect of dexamethasone (DEX) delivery in B-MBG scaffold system was investigated on the proliferation, differentiation and bone-related gene expression of osteoblasts. The composition, microstructure and mesopore properties (specific surface area, nano-pore volume and nano-pore distribution) of B-MBG scaffolds have been characterized. The effect of boron contents and large-pore porosity on the loading and release of DEX in B-MBG scaffolds were also investigated. The results have shown that the incorporation of boron into MBG scaffolds slightly decreases the specific surface area and pore volume, but maintains well-ordered mesopore structure and high surface area and nano-pore volume compared to non-mesopore bioactive glass. Boron contents in MBG scaffolds did not influence the nano-pore size distribution or the loading and release of DEX. B-MBG scaffolds have the ability to maintain a sustained release of DEX in a long-term span. Incorporating boron into MBG glass scaffolds led to a controllable release of boron ions and significantly improved the proliferation and bone-related gene expression (Col I and Runx2) of osteoblasts. Furthermore, the sustained release of DEX from B-MBG scaffolds significantly enhanced alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and gene expressions (Col I, Runx2, ALP and BSP) of osteoblasts. These results suggest that boron plays an important role in enhancing osteoblast proliferation in B-MBG scaffold system and DEX-loaded B-MBG scaffolds show great potential as a release system to enhance osteogenic property for bone tissue engineering application.
Biomaterials 06/2011; 32(29):7068-78. · 7.40 Impact Factor