Synthesis and precision casting of bioactive glasses and the impact of the microstructured surfaces on cellular behaviour

The well-established bioactive glass 45S5, developed by Larry Hench in the 1970s is succesfully used as bone replacement material as well as for dental applications. It consists of SiO2, Na2O, CaO, and P2O5, quickly binds to bone and stimulates the growth of new bone tissue. Furthermore it is known that microstructured surfaces can influence cell adhesion and cell differentiation. The combination of bioactive glasses and surface microstructures has not been under investigation yet and is addressed in this project. Indeed, the production of microstructured bioglass samples is challenging and has to be developed first. The aim of this project, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), is to understand the complex interaction between microstructured implant surfaces out of resorbable bioglass and neighboring cells. As the reactions at the interface depend on both, the materials composition and the surface structure, both aspects are addressed in this project. Tests investigating the dissolving behavior of bioglass in physiological media will be conducted to understand the kinetics and surface reactions in detail. In addition, cell culture experiments are performed to analyze the influence of microstructured bioglass on bone forming cells.

This project is conducted in collaboration with two partners from university.