Int J Biol Sci 2018; 14(4):471-484. doi:10.7150/ijbs.23872

Research Paper

Mesoporous bioactive glass-coated 3D printed borosilicate bioactive glass scaffolds for improving repair of bone defects

Xin Qi1,5*, Hui Wang2,6*, Yadong Zhang3*, Libin Pang2,6, Wei Xiao4, Weitao Jia1, Shichang Zhao1✉, Deping Wang6, Wenhai Huang6✉, Qiugen Wang5

1. Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai 200233, People's Republic of China
2. Laboratory for Advanced Lubricating Materials, Shanghai Advanced Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201210, China.
3. Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Shanghai Fengxian District Central Hospital, Shanghai 201400, People's Republic of China
4. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO 65409-0340, USA
5. Trauma Center, Shanghai General Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China
6. School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, People's Republic of China
*These authors contributed equally to this work.


Background: In the field of tissue engineering, there is currently increasing interest in new biomedical materials with high osteogenic ability and comparable mechanical function to repair bone defects. Three-dimensional (3-D) bioactive borosilicate glass (BG) scaffolds exhibit uniform interconnected macro-pores, high porosity and high compressive strength. In this study, we fabricated 3-D BG scaffolds by the 3D printing technique, then coated the surface of the 3-D BG scaffolds with mesoporous bioactive glass (MBG) (BG-MBG scaffold).

Methods: The biocompatibility of the BG-MBG scaffolds was evaluated by assessing biodegradability, cell proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis of osteogenic gene expression with human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs). Moreover, the BG-MBG scaffolds were used to repair rat femoral defects and their performance was evaluated using microcomputed tomography (micro-CT), fluorescence labeling, histological analysis and immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis.

Results: The results showed that the BG-MBG scaffolds possessed ordered nearly 4nm meso-pores and regular macro-pores, as well as good biodegradability, and that they stimulated the proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs. In in vivo studies, the result of micro-CT reconstructed images (BG-9M group, 0.63 ± 0.02 g/cm3 and BG group 0.13 ± 0.02 g/cm3 ) and van Gieson staining (BG-9M groups, 62.67 ± 3.39% and BG group, 12.33 ± 2.58%) showed that the BG-MBG scaffolds could significantly enhance new bone formation in both inner and peripheral scaffolds in defects, in and in without the presence of growth factors or stem cells (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: It is believed from these results that the BG-MBG scaffolds possess excellent osteoinductive and osteogenic properties which will make them appealing candidates for bone defect repair. The novelty of our research is to provide a new material to treat bone defects in clinic.

Keywords: Borosilicate bioactive glass, Mesoporous bioactive glass, 3D printing scaffold, Bioactive coating, Osteogenesis

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How to cite this article:
Qi X, Wang H, Zhang Y, Pang L, Xiao W, Jia W, Zhao S, Wang D, Huang W, Wang Q. Mesoporous bioactive glass-coated 3D printed borosilicate bioactive glass scaffolds for improving repair of bone defects. Int J Biol Sci 2018; 14(4):471-484. doi:10.7150/ijbs.23872. Available from