Multi-doped apatite: Strontium, magnesium, gallium and zinc ions synergistically affect osteogenic stimulation in human mesenchymal cells important for bone tissue engineering

Marija Vukomanovic, Lea Gazvoda, Nemanja Anicic, Marina Rubert, Danilo Suvorov, Ralph Müller, Sandra Hofmann

Published: September 2022


Functional calcium phosphate biomaterials can be designed as carriers of a balanced mixture of biologically relevant ions able to target critical processes in bone regeneration. They hold the potential to use mechanisms very similar to growth factors naturally produced during fracture healing, while circumventing some of their drawbacks. Here we present a novel phase of carbonated-apatite containing Mg2+, Sr2+, Zn2+ and Ga3+ ions (HApMgSrZnGa). While all dopants decrease the crystallinity, Ga3+ limits crystal growth and enables the formation of a nanosized apatite phase with enhanced specific surface area. Coexistence of the ions enhances degradability and controls solubility of low crystalline, distorted, multi-doped apatite structure, controlled by Ga3+ ions accumulated at the surface. Consequently, HApMgSrZnGa supports the viability of human mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) and induces their stimulation along the osteogenic lineage. In addition, the co-released ions has a synergistic antimicrobial effect, particularly within the HApMgSrZnGa-Au(arg) composite with Au(arg) as contact-based antimicrobial. The activity is stable up to two months in vitro. Osteogenic nature and antimicrobial activity, combined in a single biomaterial, are suggesting a well-balanced, multi-doped apatite design applicable as future option in bone regeneration and tissue engineering.

Graphical abstract

Unlabelled Image

Full Access Link: Biomaterials Advances