Multi-leveled Nanosilicate Implants Can Facilitate Near-Perfect Bone Healing

Mozhgan Keshavarz, Parvin Alizadeh*, Firoz Babu Kadumudi, Gorka Orive*, Akhilesh K. Gaharwar, Miguel Castilho, Nasim Golafshan, Alireza Dolatshahi-Pirouz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Several studies have shown that nanosilicate-reinforced scaffolds are suitable for bone regeneration. However, hydrogels are inherently too soft for load-bearing bone defects of critical sizes, and hard scaffolds typically do not provide a suitable three-dimensional (3D) microenvironment for cells to thrive, grow, and differentiate naturally. In this study, we bypass these long-standing challenges by fabricating a cell-free multi-level implant consisting of a porous and hard bone-like framework capable of providing load-bearing support and a softer native-like phase that has been reinforced with nanosilicates. The system was tested with rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in vitro and as a cell-free system in a critical-sized rat bone defect. Overall, our combinatorial and multi-level implant design displayed remarkable osteoconductivity in vitro without differentiation factors, expressing significant levels of osteogenic markers compared to unmodified groups. Moreover, after 8 weeks of implantation, histological and immunohistochemical assays indicated that the cell-free scaffolds enhanced bone repair up to approximately 84% following a near-complete defect healing. Overall, our results suggest that the proposed nanosilicate bioceramic implant could herald a new age in the field of orthopedics.

Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number17
Pages (from-to)21476-21495
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Alginate
  • Bio glass
  • Hydrogels
  • Laponite
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Nanomaterials
  • Nanosilicate


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