Magnesium and strontium doped octacalcium phosphate thin films by matrix assisted pulsed laser evaporation

Elisa Boanini, Paola Torricelli, Milena Fini, Felix Sima, Natalia Serban, Ion N. Mihailescu, Adriana Bigi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Octacalcium phosphate (OCP) is a promising alternative to hydroxyapatite as biomaterial for hard tissue repair. In this study we successfully applied Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation (MAPLE) to deposit Mg and Sr doped OCP (MgOCP and SrOCP), as well as OCP, thin films on titanium substrates. OCP, Mg-substituted and Sr-substituted OCP were synthesized in aqueous medium, then were suspended in deionised water, frozen at liquid nitrogen temperature and used as targets for MAPLE experiments. The depositions were carried out using a KrF* excimer laser source (λ = 248 nm, τ FWHM = 25 ns) in mild conditions of temperature and pressure. The results of X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy investigations revealed that the OCP thin films are deposited in the form of cauliflower-like aggregates and droplets, as well as crystal fragments, with a homogeneous distribution of magnesium and strontium on the surface of the coatings. Human osteoblast-like MG-63 cells were cultured on the different biomaterials up to 14 days. MgOCP and SrOCP coatings promote osteoblast proliferation and differentiation with respect to OCP. Under these experimental conditions, the production of procollagen-type I, transforming growth factor-β1, alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin indicated that the level of differentiation of the cells grown on the different coatings increased in the order OCP <MgOCP <SrOCP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Inorganic Biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


  • Magnesium
  • Octacalcium phosphate coating
  • Osteoblast
  • Strontium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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