Sintered S53P4 bioactive glass scaffolds have anti-inflammatory properties and stimulate osteogenesis in vitro

Robert Björkenheim, Eemeli Jämsen, Elin Eriksson, Peter Uppstu, Laura Aalto-Setälä, Leena Hupa, Kari Eklund, Mari Ainola, Nina C. Lindfors, Jukka Pajarinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Bioactive glasses (BAG) are used as bone-graft substitutes in orthopaedic surgery. A specific BAG scaffold was developed by sintering BAG-S53P4 granules. It is hypothesised that this scaffold can be used as a bone substitute to fill bone defects and induce a bioactive membrane (IM) around the defect site. Beyond providing the scaffold increased mechanical strength, that the initial inflammatory reaction and subsequent IM formation can be enhanced by coating the scaffolds with poly(DL-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) is also hypothesised. To study the immunomodulatory effects, BAG-S53P4 (± PLGA) scaffolds were placed on monolayers of primary human macrophage cultures and the production of various pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines was assessed using reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and ELISA. To
study the osteogenic effects, BAG-S53P4 (± PLGA) scaffolds were cultured with rabbit mesenchymal stem cells and osteogenic differentiation was evaluated by RT-qPCR and matrix mineralisation assays. The scaffold ion release was quantified and the BAG surface reactivity visualised. Furthermore, the pH of culture media was measured. BAG-S53P4 scaffolds had both anti-inflammatory and osteogenic properties that were likely attributable to alkalinisation of the media and ion release from the scaffold. pH change, ion release, and immunomodulatory properties of the scaffold could be modulated by the PLGA coating. Contrary to the hypothesis, the coating functioned by attenuating the BAG surface reactions and subsequent anti-inflammatory properties, rather than inducing an elevated inflammatory response compared to BAG-S53P4 alone. These results further validated the use of BAG-S53P4 (± PLGA) scaffolds as bone substitutes and indicate that scaffold properties can be tailored to a specific clinical need.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-30
JournaleCells and Materials Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • bioactive glass
  • S53P4
  • PLGA
  • anti-inflammatory
  • osteogenesis stimulation


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