Setting properties and in vitro bioactivity of strontium-enriched gelatin-calcium phosphate bone cements

S. Panzavolta, P. Torricelli, L. Sturba, B. Bracci, R. Giardino, A. Bigi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Strontium is known to reduce bone resorption and stimulate bone formation. We have investigated the effect of strontium on the setting properties and in vitro bioactivity of a biomimetic gelatin-calcium phosphate bone cement. Gelatin-α-TCP powders, with a gelatin content of 15 wt %, were prepared by grinding and sieving the solid compounds obtained by casting gelatin aqueous solutions containing α-TCP. 5 wt % of CaHPO4·2H 2O were added to the cement powders before mixing with the liquid phase, with a L/P ratio of 0.3 mL/g. Strontium was added as SrCl 2-OH2O in different amounts up to 5 atom %. X-ray diffraction analysis, mechanical tests, and SEM investigations were carried out on the cements after different times of soaking in physiological solution. The presence of strontium affects both the initial and the final setting times of the cements, which increase with the ion content. The microstructural modifications observed m me SEM micrographs of the fractured surfaces are in agreement with the increase of the total porosity, and with the slight reduction of the compressive strength of the aged cements, on increasing strontium content. The rate of transformation of α-TCP into calcium deficient hydroxyapatite increases on increasing strontium content. SEM reveals that MG63 osteoblasts grown on the cements show a normal morphology and biological tests demonstrate very good rate of proliferation and viability in every experimental time. In particular, strontium stimulates Alkaline Phosphatase activity, Collagen type I, osteocalcin, and osteoprotegerin expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-972
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2008


  • Bioactivity
  • Biocompatibility
  • Calcium phosphate bone cement
  • In vitro
  • Strontium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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