A Next Generation Material for Skin-healing: Nano-scale Borate Bioactive Glass (Material Science)

Recently, Professor Wang Junfeng from High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) collaborated with Professor ZHANG Teng from Fuzhou University, constructed nano-scale borate bioactive glass (Nano-HCA@BG) with the help of a steady-state strong magnetic field experimental device, which can effectively reduce the biological toxicity of borate bioglass, improves the biocompatibility of the glass, and significantly promotes the effect of borate bioglass on skin repair. The related research was published in the Chemical Engineer Journal.

“It is expected to become the next generation of skin wound repair dressings,” said Prof. WANG.

Borate bioglass is a glass with boron element (B) as the glass network matrix. With good dopability and degradability, it has great potential in the field of skin tissue repair. However, some unresolved problems hindered its development: It releases a large amount of alkaline ions, and the explosive release of these ions will change the acid-base environment of the tissue around the glass material, thereby inhibiting cell proliferation. In addition, the effective surface area of micron-sized borate bioglass in contact with tissues at the wound is small, and the ions on the glass surface are not conducive to the deposition of collagen, so scars are easily formed at the wound after healing. Therefore, preparing a nano-scale borate bioglass with no biological toxicity and excellent biological performance is an urgent problem to be solved.

In this study, researchers used a special mobile phase, for the first time, to pre-treat micron-sized borate bioglass by melting method in vitro. They successfully obtained Nano-scale (~50nm) borate bioglass (Nano-HCA@BG), which was covered with an amorphous HCA layer. During the processing, the ions (PO43- and CO32-) in the mobile phase were deposited on the surface of the glass to form an amorphous HCA layer, which effectively inhibited the rapid release of boron and calcium in the remaining glass and thereby reduced the biological toxicity of the glass itself to cells. In addition, HCA, as an important inorganic component in bones, has good biocompatibility, and can accelerate the induction of collagen synthesis in tissues.

The results of in vitro degradation experiments, cell experiments, and animal experiments showed that compared with the existing commercialized 45S5, Hydroxyapatite and micron-sized borate bioglass, nano-HCA@BG slow-released boron calcium, and other elements can effectively accelerate wound cells migration and further up-regulation of the expression of vascular-related growth factors in the wound. Besides, the amorphous HCA layer on the surface of the glass not only reduces the rapid release of the glass, but also promotes the deposition of collagen in the wound, which in turn promotes the healing of the wound more quickly.

This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and a major project of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Link to Paper: Nanosized HCA-coated borate bioactive glass with improved wound healing effects on rodent model

Featured image: Figure The wound healing process of a mouse skin defect model. (A) Different control group and Nano-HCA@BG mice skin wound healing images on days 0, 1, 3, 5, and 7 (the unit scale of the ruler in the photo is 1mm). (B) Corresponding statistical results of wound healing rate in mice. (Credit by MA Hui)


Provided by Hefei Institute of Physical Science

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