Phosphate-based glasses (PBGs) are traditionally prepared using the high-temperature melt-quenching (MQ) route or via the more recent sol–gel (SG) method that requires the use of organic solvents. The coacervation method represents an excellent inexpensive and green alternative to MQ and SG, being performed in aqueous solution and at room temperature. Coacervation is particularly applicable for the production of PBGs designed for biomedical applications because it allows for the inclusion of temperature-sensitive molecules and does not require the use of toxic solvents. Whereas the atomic structure of the MQ and SGPBGs is known, the atomic structure of those prepared via coacervation has yet to be investigated. In this study, a comprehensive advanced structural characterization has been performed on phosphate-based glasses in the system P2O5–CaO–Na2O–Ag2O (Ag2O mol % = 0, 1, 3, 5, 9, and 14) prepared via the coacervation method. Glasses within this system should find application as bioresorbable biomaterials thanks to their ability to release bioactive ions in a controlled manner. In particular, they possess antibacterial properties, inferred by the release of Ag+ over time. High-energy X-ray diffraction (HEXRD), 31P and 23Na solid-state magic-angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS NMR), and X-ray absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) at the Ag K-edge were used to probe the atomic structure of the glasses after drying in vacuum and after calcination at 300 °C. The length of the polyphosphate chains in the solid state appears to be independent of silver concentration; however, significant degradation of these chains is seen after calcination at 300 °C. Atomic-scale characterisation results indicate that the structure of these glasses is akin to that of other silver-doped phosphate glasses prepared using the MQ and SG methods. This suggests that phosphate-based glasses prepared using milder and greener conditions may have similar chemical and physical properties such as solubility, biocompatibility, and antibacterial properties.
Calcium phosphate glasses are a promising new generation of biomaterials that can simultaneously induce tissue regeneration and controlled release of therapeutic molecules. In this work, novel calcium phosphate glasses containing 0, 2, 4, and 6 mol % Cu2+ were synthesized via room temperature precipitation reaction in aqueous solution. The effect of Cu2+ addition on the glass properties and structure was investigated using thermal analysis, 31P solidstate MAS NMR, Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. All glasses crystallize at temperature >500 °C and are mainly formed by Q1 groups. The release of P, Ca, and Cu in solution over time was monitored via inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy. It was found that with increasing Cu content, the amount of P and Ca released decreases whereas the amount of Cu released increases. The effect of Cu2+ release on the antibacterial activity against S. aureus, a bacterial strain commonly found in postsurgery infections, has been investigated. The addition of copper has been shown to infer the glasses antibacterial properties. As expected, the antibacterial activity of the glasses increases with increasing Cu2+ content. Cytocompatibility was assessed by seeding human osteoblast-like osteosarcoma cells Saos-2 (HTB85) on the glass particles. A significant increase in cell number was observed in all the glasses investigated. The copper-doped calcium phosphate glasses have proven to be multifunctional, as they combine bone regenerative properties with antibacterial activity. Therefore, they have great potential as antibacterial bioresorbable materials for hard tissue regeneration.
Mesoporous phosphate-based glasses have great potential as biomedical materials being able to simultaneously induce tissue regeneration and controlled release of therapeutic molecules. In the present study, a series of mesoporous phosphate-based glasses in the P2O5-CaO-Na2O system doped with 1, 3, and 5 mol % of Sr2+ were prepared using the sol-gel method combined with supramolecular templating. A sample without strontium addition was prepared for comparison. The non-ionic triblock copolymer EO20PO70EO20 (P123) was used as a templating agent. SEM images revealed that all synthesized glasses have an extended porous structure. This was confirmed by N2 adsorption-desorption analysis at 77 K that shows a porosity typical of mesoporous materials. 31P magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (31P MAS-NMR) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopies have shown that the glasses are mainly formed by Q1 and Q2 phosphate groups. Degradation of the glasses in deionized water assessed over a 7-day period shows that phosphate, Ca2+, Na+ and Sr2+ ions can be released in a controlled matter over time. In particular, a direct correlation between strontium content and degradation rate was observed. This study shows that Sr-doped mesoporous phosphate-based glasses have great potential in bone tissue regeneration as materials for controlled delivery of therapeutic ions.
Phosphate-based glasses are materials of great interest for the regeneration and repair of damaged hard or soft tissues. They have the desirable property of slowly dissolving in the physiological environment, eventually being totally replaced by regenerated tissue. Being bioresorbable, they can simultaneously induce tissue regeneration and deliver therapeutic agents (e.g. antibacterial ions) in a controlled way. In this work, we have synthesised a series of glasses in the P2O5–CaO–Na2O system doped with Ag2O using the coacervation method. The addition of silver is known to provide the glass with antibacterial properties due to the release of Ag+ ions into the body fluid. The coacervation method is a facile, water-based technique which offers significant advantages over the conventional melt-quench route for preparing phosphate-based glasses which requires melting of metal oxide powders at high temperatures (1000–1200 °C). The properties of the initial colloidal polyphosphate systems (coacervates) as a function of the Ag2O content were characterised using rheology and liquid state 31P NMR. The effect of Ag+ addition on the final dried glasses was investigated using thermal analysis, Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. The antibacterial activity was assessed against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), a bacterial strain commonly found in post-surgery infections. A dose-dependent antimicrobial effect was seen with an increasing silver content.