Staff member


Martin Alexandre Alonso Iglesias

Masters Student
Synthetic, Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems (SPECS)

Staff member publications

Vila, M., García, A., Girotti, A., Alonso, M., Rodríguez-Cabello, J. C., González-Vázquez, A., Planell, J. A., Engel, E., Buján, J., Garcíaa-Honduvilla, N., Vallet-Regí, M., (2016). 3D silicon doped hydroxyapatite scaffolds decorated with Elastin-like Recombinamers for bone regenerative medicine Acta Biomaterialia 45, 349-356

The current study reports on the manufacturing by rapid prototyping technique of three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds based on silicon substituted hydroxyapatite with Elastin-like Recombinamers (ELRs) functionalized surfaces. Silicon doped hydroxyapatite (Si-HA), with Ca10(PO4)5.7(SiO4)0.3(OH)1.7h0.3 nominal formula, was surface functionalized with two different types of polymers designed by genetic engineering: ELR-RGD that contain cell attachment specific sequences and ELR-SNA15/RGD with both hydroxyapatite and cells domains that interact with the inorganic phase and with the cells, respectively. These hybrid materials were subjected to in vitro assays in order to clarify if the ELRs coating improved the well-known biocompatible and bone regeneration properties of calcium phosphates materials. The in vitro tests showed that there was a total and homogeneous colonization of the 3D scaffolds by Bone marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (BMSCs). In addition, the BMSCs were viable and able to proliferate and differentiate into osteoblasts. Statement of Significance Bone tissue engineering is an area of increasing interest because its main applications are directly related to the rising life expectancy of the population, which promotes higher rates of several bone pathologies, so innovative strategies are needed for bone tissue regeneration therapies. Here we use the rapid prototyping technology to allow moulding ceramic 3D scaffolds and we use different bio-polymers for the functionalization of their surfaces in order to enhance the biological response. Combining the ceramic material (silicon doped hydroxyapatite, Si-HA) and the Elastin like Recombinamers (ELRs) polymers with the presence of the integrin-mediate adhesion domain alone or in combination with SNA15 peptide that possess high affinity for hydroxyapatite, provided an improved Bone marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (BMSCs) differentiation into osteoblastic linkage.

Keywords: Bone marrow Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (BMSCs), Bone repair, Elastin-like Recombinamers (ELRs), Rapid prototyped 3D scaffolds, Silicon doped hydroxyapatite (Si-HA), Tissue engineering


Tejeda-Montes, E., Smith, K. H., Rebollo, E., Gómez, R., Alonso, M., Rodriguez-Cabello, J. C., Engel, E., Mata, Alvaro., (2014). Bioactive membranes for bone regeneration applications: Effect of physical and biomolecular signals on mesenchymal stem cell behavior Acta Biomaterialia 10, (1), 134-141

This study focuses on the in vitro characterization of bioactive elastin-like recombinamer (ELR) membranes for bone regeneration applications. Four bioactive ELRs exhibiting epitopes designed to promote mesenchymal stem cell adhesion (RGDS), endothelial cell adhesion (REDV), mineralization (HAP), and both cell adhesion and mineralization (HAP-RGDS) were synthesized using standard recombinant protein techniques. The materials were then used to fabricate ELR membranes incorporating a variety of topographical micropatterns including channels, holes and posts. Primary rat mesenchymal stem cells (rMSCs) were cultured on the different membranes and the effects of biomolecular and physical signals on cell adhesion, morphology, proliferation, and differentiation were evaluated. All results were analyzed using a custom-made MATLAB program for high throughput image analysis. Effects on cell morphology were mostly dependent on surface topography, while cell proliferation and cell differentiation were largely dependent on the biomolecular signaling from the ELR membranes. In particular, osteogenic differentiation (evaluated by staining for the osteoblastic marker osterix) was significantly enhanced on cells cultured on HAP membranes. Remarkably, cells growing on membranes containing the HAP sequence in non-osteogenic differentiation media exhibited significant up-regulation of the osteogenic marker as early as day 5, while those growing on fibronectin-coated glass in osteogenic differentiation media did not. These results are part of our ongoing effort to develop an optimized molecularly designed periosteal graft.


Tejeda-Montes, E., Smith, K. H., Poch, M., López-Bosque, M. J., Martín, L., Alonso, M., Engel, E., Mata, Alvaro., (2012). Engineering membrane scaffolds with both physical and biomolecular signaling Acta Biomaterialia 8, (3), 998-1009

We report on the combination of a top-down and bottom-up approach to develop thin bioactive membrane scaffolds based on functional elastin-like polymers (ELPs). Our strategy combines ELP cross-linking and assembly, and a variety of standard and novel micro/nanofabrication techniques to create self-supporting membranes down to ∼500 nm thick that incorporate both physical and biomolecular signals, which can be easily tailored for a specific application. In this study we used an ELP that included the cell-binding motif arginine-glycine-aspartic acid-serine (RGDS). Furthermore, fabrication processes were developed to create membranes that exhibited topographical patterns with features down to 200 nm in lateral dimensions and up to 10 μm in height on either one or both sides, uniform and well-defined pores, or multiple ELP layers. A variety of processing parameters were tested in order to optimize membrane fabrication, including ELP and cross-linker concentration, temperature, reaction time and ambient humidity. Membrane micro/nanopatterning, swelling and stiffness were characterized by atomic force microscopy, nanoindentation tests and scanning electron microscopy. Upon immersion in phosphate-buffered saline and an increase in temperature from 25 to 40°C, membranes exhibited a significant increase in surface stiffness, with the reduced Young's modulus increasing with temperature. Finally, rat mesenchymal stem cells were cultured on thin RGDS-containing membranes, which allowed cell adhesion, qualitatively enhanced spreading compared to membranes without RGDS epitopes and permitted proliferation. Furthermore, cell morphology was drastically affected by topographical patterns on the surface of the membranes.

Keywords: Elastin-like polymers, Membranes, Nanotechnology, Scaffolds, Tissue engineering