Impact of Biomimicry in the Design of Osteoinductive Bone Substitutes: Nanoscale Matters

Albert Barba, Anna Diez-Escudero, Montserrat Espanol, Mar Bonany, Joanna Maria Sadowska, Jordi Guillem-Marti, Caroline Öhman-Mägi, Cecilia Persson, Maria Cristina Manzanares, Jordi Franch, Maria Pau Ginebra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

21 Citations (Scopus)


© 2019 American Chemical Society. Bone apatite consists of carbonated calcium-deficient hydroxyapatite (CDHA) nanocrystals. Biomimetic routes allow fabricating synthetic bone grafts that mimic biological apatite. In this work, we explored the role of two distinctive features of biomimetic apatites, namely, nanocrystal morphology (plate vs needle-like crystals) and carbonate content, on the bone regeneration potential of CDHA scaffolds in an in vivo canine model. Both ectopic bone formation and scaffold degradation were drastically affected by the nanocrystal morphology after intramuscular implantation. Fine-CDHA foams with needle-like nanocrystals, comparable in size to bone mineral, showed a markedly higher osteoinductive potential and a superior degradation than chemically identical coarse-CDHA foams with larger plate-shaped crystals. These findings correlated well with the superior bone-healing capacity showed by the fine-CDHA scaffolds when implanted intraosseously. Moreover, carbonate doping of CDHA, which resulted in small plate-shaped nanocrystals, accelerated both the intrinsic osteoinduction and the bone healing capacity, and significantly increased the cell-mediated resorption. These results suggest that tuning the chemical composition and the nanostructural features may allow the material to enter the physiological bone remodeling cycle, promoting a tight synchronization between scaffold degradation and bone formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8818-8830
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2019


  • biomimetic
  • calcium phosphate
  • carbonated apatite
  • foaming
  • nanostructure
  • osteogenesis
  • osteoinduction


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