Development of multifunctional bioinspired scaffolds that can stimulate vascularization and regeneration is necessary for the application in bone tissue engineering. Herein, we report a composite matrix containing hydroxyapatite (HA)–silica core–shell nanorods with good biocompatibility, osteogenic differentiation, vascularization, and bone regeneration potential. 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 were 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. Finally, when tested in a critical-sized femoral segmental defect in rats, the nanocomposite scaffolds enhanced new bone formation in par with the biomaterial degradation. In conclusion, the newly developed composite biomimetic scaffold may perform as a promising candidate for bone tissue engineering applications.
A. A, Menon, D., B, S. T., Koyakutty, M., Mohan, C. C., Nair, S. V., and Dr. Manitha B. Nair, “Bioinspired Composite Matrix Containing Hydroxyapatite–Silica Core–Shell Nanorods for Bone Tissue Engineering”, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, vol. 9, no. 32, pp. 26707–26718, 2017.