Synthesis and characterization of strontium-substituted hydroxyapatite nanoparticles for bone regeneration

Matteo Frasnelli, Francesco Cristofaro, Vincenzo M Sglavo, Sandra Dirè, Emanuela Callone, Riccardo Ceccato, Giovanna Bruni, Antonia Icaro Cornaglia, Livia Visai

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The production of stable suspensions of strontium-substituted hydroxyapatite (Sr-HA) nanopowders, as Sr ions vector for bone tissue regeneration, was carried out in the present work. Sr-HA nanopowders were synthesized via aqueous precipitation methods using Sr(2+) amount from 0 to 100mol% and were characterized by several complementary techniques such as solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, Infrared spectroscopy, N2 physisorption and Transmission Electron Microscopy. The substitution of Ca(2+) with Sr(2+) in HA is always isomorphic with gradual evolution between the two limit compositions (containing 100% Ca and 100% Sr), this pointing out the homogeneity of the synthesized nanopowders and the complete solubility of strontium in HA lattice. Strontium addition is responsible for an increasing c/a ratio in the triclinic unit cell. A significant variation of the nanopowders shape and dimension is also observed, a preferential growth along the c-axis direction being evident at higher strontium loads. Modifications in the local chemical environment of phosphate and hydroxyl groups in the apatite lattice are also observed. Stable suspensions were produced by dispersing the synthesized nanopowders in bovine serum albumin. Characterization by Dynamic Light Scattering and ζ-potential determination allowed to show that Ca(2+)→Sr(2+) substitution influences the hydrodynamic diameter, which is always twice the particles size determined by TEM, the nanoparticles being always negatively charged as a result from the albumin rearrangement upon the interaction with nanoparticles surface. The biocompatibility of the suspensions was studied in terms of cell viability, apoptosis, proliferation and morphology, using osteosarcoma cell line SAOS-2. The data pointed out an increased cell proliferation for HA nanoparticles containing larger Sr(2+) load, the cells morphology remaining essentially unaffected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-662
Number of pages10
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Journal Article


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