Biomimetic Materials for Biomedical Applications

Capuccini, Chiara (2009) Biomimetic Materials for Biomedical Applications, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze chimiche, 21 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/1447.
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Objects with complex shape and functions have always attracted attention and interest. The morphological diversity and complexity of naturally occurring forms and patterns have been a motivation for humans to copy and adopt ideas from Nature to achieve functional, aesthetic and social value. Biomimetics is addressed to the design and development of new synthetic materials using strategies adopted by living organisms to produce biological materials. In particular, biomineralized tissues are often sophisticate composite materials, in which the components and the interfaces between them have been defined and optimized, and that present unusual and optimal chemical-physical, morphological and mechanical properties. Moreover, biominerals are generally produced by easily traceable raw materials, in aqueous media and at room pressure and temperature, that is through cheap process and materials. Thus, it is not surprising that the idea to mimic those strategies proper of Nature has been employed in several areas of applied sciences, such as for the preparation of liquid crystals, ceramic thin films computer switches and many other advanced materials. On this basis, this PhD thesis is focused on the investigation of the interaction of biologically active ions and molecules with calcium phosphates with the aim to develop new materials for the substitution and repair of skeletal tissue, according to the following lines: I. Modified calcium phosphates. A relevant part of this PhD thesis has been addressed to study the interaction of Strontium with calcium phosphates. It was demonstrated that strontium ion can substitute for calcium into hydroxyapatite, causing appreciable structural and morphological modifications. The detailed structural analysis carried out on the nanocrystals at different strontium content provided new insight into its interaction with the structure of hydroxyapatite. At variance with the behaviour of Sr towards HA, it was found that this ion inhibits the synthesis of octacalcium phosphate. However, it can substitute for calcium in this structure up to 15 atom %, in agreement with the increase of the cell parameters observed on increasing ion concentration. A similar behaviour was found for Magnesium ion, whereas Manganese inhibits the synthesis of octacalcium phosphate and it promotes the precipitation of dicalcium phosphate dehydrate. It was also found that Strontium affects the kinetics of the reaction of hydrolysis of α-TCP. It inhibits the conversion from α-TCP to hydroxyapatite. However, the resulting apatitic phase contains significant amounts of Sr2+ suggesting that the addition of Sr2+ to the composition of α-TCP bone cements could be successfully exploited for its local delivery in bone defects. The hydrolysis of α-TCP has been investigated also in the presence of increasing amounts of gelatin: the results indicated that this biopolymer accelerates the hydrolysis reaction and promotes the conversion of α-TCP into OCP, suggesting that its addition in the composition of calcium phosphate cements can be employed to modulate the OCP/HA ratio, and as a consequence the solubility, of the set cement. II. Deposition of modified calcium phosphates on metallic substrates. Coating with a thin film of calcium phosphates is frequently applied on the surface of metallic implants in order to combine the high mechanical strength of the metal with the excellent bioactivity of the calcium phosphates surface layers. During this PhD thesis, thank to the collaboration with prof. I.N. Mihailescu, head of the Laser-Surface-Plasma Interactions Laboratory (National Institute for Lasers, Plasma and Radiation Physics – Laser Department, Bucharest) Pulsed Laser Deposition has been successfully applied to deposit thin films of Sr substituted HA on Titanium substrates. The synthesized coatings displayed a uniform Sr distribution, a granular surface and a good degree of crystallinity which slightly decreased on increasing Sr content. The results of in vitro tests carried out on osteoblast-like and osteoclast cells suggested that the presence of Sr in HA thin films can enhance the positive effect of HA coatings on osteointegration and bone regeneration, and prevent undesirable bone resorption. The possibility to introduce an active molecule in the implant site was explored using Matrix Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation to deposit hydroxyapatite nanocrystals at different content of alendronate, a bisphosphonate widely employed in the treatments of pathological diseases associated to bone loss. The coatings displayed a good degree of crystallinity, and the results of in vitro tests indicated that alendronate promotes proliferation and differentiation of osteoblasts even when incorporated into hydroxyapatite. III. Synthesis of drug carriers with a delayed release modulated by a calcium phosphate coating. A core-shell system for modulated drug delivery and release has been developed through optimization of the experimental conditions to cover gelatin microspheres with a uniform layer of calcium phosphate. The kinetics of the release from uncoated and coated microspheres was investigated using aspirin as a model drug. It was shown that the presence of the calcium phosphate shell delays the release of aspirin and allows to modulate its action.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Capuccini, Chiara
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze chimiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Data di discussione
27 Aprile 2009

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