A new multifunctionalized material against multi-drug resistant bacteria and abnormal osteoclast activity

Elisa Boanini, Paola Torricelli, Francesca Bonvicini, Maria Cristina Cassani, Milena Fini, Giovanna Angela Gentilomi, Adriana Bigi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of new biomaterials able to favor bone formation and to inhibit bone abnormal resorption is mandatory to face the increasing number of age-related musculo-skeletal disorders. Moreover, the increasing antibiotic resistance of clinically important bacteria, which is among the main causes of implant failure, requires new antimicrobial systems. In this study, we prepared multifunctional materials consisting of hydroxyapatite-zoledronate composite crystals decorated with Ag Nanoparticles (AgNPs). Zoledronate, a potent bisphosphonate widely applied for the treatment of pathologies associated to abnormal bone loss, was incorporated into hydroxyapatite up to about 8 wt%. Loading of poly(ethylenimine) – stabilized AgNPs onto the crystals was promoted by zoledronate functionalization and provoked a significant variation of the values of zeta potential. The results of in vitro tests demonstrate that the multifunctional materials combine the beneficial actions of zoledronate and AgNPs. In fact, they improve osteoblast differentiation and activity, whereas they inhibit osteoclastogenesis and osteoclast differentiation, and significantly hinder the growth of multi-drug resistant Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria. As a consequence, they can be exploited both as antiresorptive agents and as antimicrobial materials able to prevent the development of bone-associated infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-129
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Bisphosphonate
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Multi-drug resistant bacteria
  • Osteoblast/osteoclast co-cultures
  • Osteoporosis
  • Silver nanoparticles
  • Zoledronate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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