IBEC group presents 4th generation biomaterial that mimics bone

By doing so, it offers the correct interactions between constituents to encourage cells to behave in the way required to successfully regenerate tissue.

Image: Morphology of the inorganic shell remaining after thermal treatment of the fibers. Only the inorganic bioactive coating skeleton remains, reproducing their previous shape.

“Up to now, we’ve been working with the third generation of biomaterials, which are resorbable and bioactive, but which often biodegrade in a non-homogeneous manner, as well as having biological responses which are far from ideal,” explains Nadège Sachot, first author on the paper. “With this new material we’re closer to the next generation, which would mimic natural tissues, recreating the molecular architecture and biochemical environment to surround cells with the proper stimuli to spread and grow.”

To make their hybrid material, the group took polylactic acid electrospun fibers and coated them with a bioactive, organically modified glass known as ormoglass. In comparison to fibers without the glass, the material showed improved hydrophilicity and mechanical properties, better bioactive ion release to aid angiogenesis, and exhibited a surface roughness that enabled good cell adhesion and spreading after just one day of culture.

“Our method of producing these materials is efficient, cost-effective and versatile,” adds Nadège. “What’s more, we can easily modify their surface properties by changing the ormoglass composition, or transfer the protocol to other polymer structures prepared by different processing methods, so a wide range of biomaterials that could trigger different cellular responses could be produced for different applications.”

This offers the possibility to expand the material’s application to additional tissue types depending on architecture and composition, such as an angiogenic coating for regeneration of muscles, or a tube coating for arterial replacement.

Article: Nadège Sachot, Miguel Angel Mateos-Timoneda, Josep A.Planell, Aldrik Velders, Malgorzata Lewandowska, Elisabeth Engel & Oscar Castaño (2015). Towards 4th generation biomaterials: a covalent hybrid polymer-ormoglass architecture. Nanoscale, 7, 15349-15361