The effect of alendronate doped calcium phosphates on bone cells activity

Elisa Boanini, Paola Torricelli, Massimo Gazzano, Milena Fini, Adriana Bigi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study demonstrates that octacalcium phosphate (OCP) is a suitable substrate for alendronate local action towards bone cells. The results of the structural, spectroscopic, and microscopic investigation show that soaking OCP into alendronate solutions provoked the deposition of long crystalline rod-shaped formations, most likely a calcium alendronate complex, onto the calcium phosphate. The amount of alendronate loaded onto OCP increased as a function of the bisphosphonate concentration in solution. Osteoblast and osteoclast response was tested in single and in co-cultures on OCP containing 6.4. wt.% AL (OCP-AL), and for comparison on hydroxyapatite (HA) containing a similar amount (5.9. wt.%) of AL (HA-AL), as well as on pure OCP and HA as reference materials. Alendronate loaded materials displayed a beneficial effect on osteoblast activity and differentiation, whereas they inhibited osteoclast proliferation and differentiation. Crosstalking between osteoblast-like MG63 cells and human osteoclasts enhanced their response to alendronate. Moreover, OCP displayed a greater stimulating effect than HA on osteoblast differentiation, and AL promotion of osteoblast differentiation and mineralization was enhanced in OCP-AL with respect to HA-AL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)944-952
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Bisphosphonate
  • Co-culture
  • Octacalcium phosphate
  • Osteoblast
  • Osteoclast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Histology


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