Strontium has a beneficial role on bone remodeling and is proposed for the treatment of pathologies associated to excessive bone resorption, such as osteoporosis. Herein, the possibility to utilize a biomimetic scaffold as strontium delivery system is explored. Porous 3D gelatin scaffolds containing about 30% of strontium substituted hydroxyapatite (SrHA) or pure hydroxyapatite (HA) are prepared by freeze-drying. The scaffolds display a very high open porosity, with an interconnectivity of 100%. Reinforcement with further amount of gelatin provokes a modest decrease of the average pore size, without reducing interconnectivity. Moreover, reinforced scaffolds display reduced water uptake ability and increased values of mechanical parameters when compared to as-prepared scaffolds. Strontium displays a sustained release in phosphate buffered saline: the quantities released after 14 d from as-prepared and reinforced scaffolds are just 14 and 18% of the initial content, respectively. Coculture of osteoblasts and osteoclasts shows that SrHA-containing scaffolds promote osteoblast viability and activity when compared to HA-containing scaffolds. On the other hand, osteoclastogenesis and osteoclast differentiation are significantly inhibited on SrHA-containing scaffolds, suggesting that these systems could be usefully applied for local delivery of strontium in loci characterized by excessive bone resorption.
- biomimetic scaffolds
- strontium release