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Doxycycline and Zinc Loaded Silica-Nanofibrous Polymers as Biomaterials for Bone Regeneration

The main target of bone tissue engineering is to design biomaterials that support bone regeneration and vascularization. Nanostructured membranes of (MMA)1-co-(HEMA)1/(MA)3-co-(HEA)2 loaded with 5% wt of SiO2-nanoparticles (HOOC-Si-Membrane) were doped with zinc (Zn-HOOC-Si-Membrane) or doxycycline (Dox-HOOC-Si-Membrane). Critical bone defects were effectuated on six New Zealand-bred rabbit skulls and covered with the membranes. After six weeks, the bone architecture was evaluated with micro computed tomography. Three histological analyses were utilized to analyse bone regeneration, including von Kossa silver nitrate, toluidine blue and fluorescence. All membrane-treated defects exhibited higher number of osteocytes and bone perimeter than the control group without the membrane. Zn-HOOC-Si-Membranes induced higher new bone and osteoid area than those treated with HOOC-Si-Membranes, and control group, respectively. Zn-HOOC-Si-Membranes and Dox-HOOC-Si-Membranes attained the lowest ratio M1 macrophages/M2 macrophages. Dox-HOOC-Si-Membranes caused the lowest number of osteoclasts, and bone density. At the trabecular new bone, Zn-HOOC-Si-Membranes produced the highest angiogenesis, bone thickness, connectivity, junctions and branches. Zn-HOOC-Si-Membranes enhanced biological activity, attained a balanced remodeling, and achieved the greatest regenerative efficiency after osteogenesis and angiogenesis assessments. The bone-integrated Zn-HOOC-Si-Membranes can be considered as bioactive modulators provoking a M2 macrophages (pro-healing cells) increase, being a potential biomaterial for promoting bone repair.

Publication date: 25/05/2020

Author: Manuel Toledano

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym12051201

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.