Strontium and Silicon to Increase Bioactivity of Implants

A research team of Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with colleagues from Russia, Germany and Slovenia conducted a comprehensive study of special composite materials for regenerative medicine, i.e. scaffolds with various additives in the form of inorganic nano- and microparticles of modified hydroxyapatite. These scaffolds help bones recover faster in case of fractures and injuries. The conducted biological studies on cells showed that nano and microparticles of silicon and strontium, implanted in a scaffold, increase its bioactivity allowing bone tissue to recover faster. The study results are published in the European Polymer Journal (IF: 3.741, Q1).

Фото: sample of scaffold with microparticles of silicon-containing hydroxyapatite. The structure was recreated at Karlsruhe University of Technology

The creation of scaffolds and their studies are quite promising for biomedicine. Scaffolds are materials from thin polymer threads intertwined. They are placed at the site of a bone defect as a scaffold for new bone cells, for example at the fracture site. New bone tissue grows through a scaffold and fills the fracture site. To the moment when the bone is fully restored, the polymer will have dissolved in the body. Scaffolds from various materials are already applied in medical practice, however there are still many issues remaining unsolved.

“The main problem is an insufficiently bioactive surface of polymer scaffolds. Bioactive properties imply the stimulation of regeneration process,

says Roman Surmenev, one of the authors of the article, head of the TPU Center for Physical Materials Science and Composite Materials. — To increase the bioactivity indicators, one adds hydroxyapatite to a polymer. This is the mineral component of the bone. Along with this we decided to add silicon and strontium microparticles. The novelty of this study is that we are the first, who conducted a comprehensive comparison of bioactive properties of scaffolds with conventional hydroxyapatite and one with particles of silicon and strontium”.