4 years ago

Hierarchical Microspheres Constructed from Chitin Nanofibers Penetrated Hydroxyapatite Crystals for Bone Regeneration

Hierarchical Microspheres Constructed from Chitin Nanofibers Penetrated Hydroxyapatite Crystals for Bone Regeneration
Guan Zheng, Kangquan Shou, Hong Xia, Bo Duan, Yahui Niu, Xiaojuan Su, Yao Huang, Lina Zhang, Yu Zhang, Aixi Yu
Chitin exists abundantly in crab and shrimp shells as the template of the minerals, which inspired us to mineralize it for fabricating bone grafting materials. In the present work, chitin nanofibrous microspheres were used as the matrix for in situ synthesis of hydroxyapatite (HA) crystals including microflakes, submicron-needles, and submicron-spheres, which were penetrated by long chitin nanofibers, leading to the hierarchical structure. The shape and size of the HA crystals could be controlled by changing the HA synthesis process. The tight interface adhesion between chitin and HA through the noncovanlent bonds occurred in the composite microspheres, and HAs were homogeneously dispersed and bounded to the chitin nanofibers. In our findings, the inherent biocompatibilities of the both chitin and HA contributed the bone cell adhesion and osteoconduction. Moreover, the chitin microsphere with submicron-needle and submicron-sphere HA crystals remarkably promoted in vitro cell adhesion and in vivo bone healing. It was demonstrated that rabbits with 1.5 cm radius defect were almost cured completely within three months in a growth factor- and cell-free state, as a result of the unique surface microstructure and biocompatibilities of the composite microspheres. The microsphere scaffold displayed excellent biofunctions and an appropriate biodegradability. This work opened up a new avenue to construct natural polymer-based organic–inorganic hybrid microspheres for bone regeneration.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.biomac.7b00408

DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.7b00408

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