Anitha A., a student of Amrita Center for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine, under the guidance of Dr. Manitha B. Nair, Assistant Professor, Center for Nanosciences, Kochi, published her research work, titled, "Bioinspired Composite Matrix Containing Hydroxyapatite–Silica Core–Shell Nanorods for Bone Tissue Engineering", in the high impact journal, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces in 2017 ( Volume:  9, Issue: 32, Pages: 26707–26718, DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b07131). 

Her research is about how hydroxyapatite silica core-shell particles can be used in bone tissue engineering. Development of multifunctional bioinspired scaffolds that can stimulate vascularization and regeneration is necessary for the application in bone tissue engineering. A composite matrix containing hydroxyapatite (HA)–silica core–shell nanorods with good biocompatibility, osteogenic differentiation, vascularization, and bone regeneration potential is reported. The biomaterial consists of a crystalline, rod-shaped nanoHA core with uniform amorphous silica sheath (Si–nHA) that retains the characteristic phases of the individual components, confirmed by high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffractometer, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The nanorods are blended with gelatinous matrix to develop as a porous, composite scaffold.

The viability and functionality of osteogenically induced mesenchymal stem cells, as well as endothelial cells, have been significantly improved through the incorporation of Si–nHA within the matrix. Studies in the chicken chorioallantoic membrane and rat models demonstrated that the silica-containing scaffolds not only exhibit good biocompatibility, but also enhance vascularization in comparison to the matrix devoid of silica. When tested in a critical-sized femoral segmental defect in rats, the nanocomposite scaffolds enhanced new bone formation in par with the biomaterial degradation. Thus the newly developed composite biomimetic scaffold may perform as a promising candidate for bone tissue engineering applications.

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