A biomimetic gelatin-calcium phosphate bone cement

A. Bigi, P. Torricelli, M. Fini, B. Bracci, S. Panzavolta, L. Sturba, Roberto Giardino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interest in new bone substitutes is rapidly increasing in the field of orthopedic surgery. A variety of calcium phosphate bone cement has been developed and different additives have been used to improve their biocompatibility and bioactivity. Following a biomimetic strategy aimed at reproducing bone characteristics, this study investigates the biological properties of a new gelatin enriched calcium phosphate cement (GEL-CP) that exhibits improved mechanical properties with respect to cement prepared without gelatin (C-CP). Human osteoblast MG63 were cultured on the surfaces of GEL-CP and were compared to cells cultured on C-CP samples, and on polystyrene of plate culture as control (C). Cell attachment, proliferation and differentiation were evaluated up to 21 days. SEM revealed that osteoblasts grown on GEL-CP showed a normal morphology and biological tests demonstrated very good rate of proliferation and viability in every experimental time. The presence of gelatin stimulated alkaline phosphatase activity, collagen and transforming growth factor β1 production. The data indicate that the new cement GEL-CP favors osteoblast proliferation, activation of their metabolism and differentiation. The remarkable improvement of the setting properties of the calcium phosphate cement due to the presence of gelatin suggest that the biomimetic composite material could be successfully applied as bone substitute.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-673
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • Bioactivity
  • Biomaterials
  • Calcium phosphate bone cements
  • Gelatin
  • In vitro biocompatibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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