Biocomposite Macrospheres Based on Strontium-Bioactive Glass for Application as Bone Fillers

Ivone Regina de Oliveira, Isabela dos Santos Gonçalves, Kennedy Wallace dos Santos, Maria Carmo Lança, Tânia Vieira, Jorge Carvalho Silva, Ibrahim Fatih Cengiz, Rui Luís Reis, Joaquim Miguel Oliveira, João Paulo Miranda Ribeiro Borges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Traditional bioactive glass powders are typically composed of irregular particles that can be packed into dense configurations presenting low interconnectivity, which can limit bone ingrowth. The use of novel biocomposite sphere formulations comprising bioactive factors as bone fillers are most advantageous, as it simultaneously allows for packing the particles in a 3-dimensional manner to achieve an adequate interconnected porosity, enhanced biological performance, and ultimately a superior new bone formation. In this work, we develop and characterize novel biocomposite macrospheres of Sr-bioactive glass using sodium alginate, polylactic acid (PLA), and chitosan (CH) as encapsulating materials for finding applications as bone fillers. The biocomposite macrospheres that were obtained using PLA have a larger size distribution and higher porosity and an interconnectivity of 99.7%. Loose apatite particles were observed on the surface of macrospheres prepared with alginate and CH by means of soaking into a simulated body fluid (SBF) for 7 days. A dense apatite layer was formed on the biocomposite macrospheres’ surface produced with PLA, which served to protect PLA from degradation. In vitro investigations demonstrated that biocomposite macrospheres had minimal cytotoxic effects on a human osteosarcoma cell line (SaOS-2 cells). However, the accelerated degradation of PLA due to the degradation of bioactive glass may account for the observed decrease in SaOS-2 cells viability. Among the biocomposite macrospheres, those composed of PLA exhibited the most promising characteristics for their potential use as fillers in bone tissue repair applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-658
Number of pages13
JournalACS Materials Au
Issue number6
Early online date1 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2023


  • bioactive glass
  • bone defects
  • encapsulation
  • macrospheres
  • strontium


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