Research Highlight

Tiny aide for bone growth

doi:10.1038/nindia.2009.105 Published online 24 April 2009

Nanosized fibrous scaffolds can now become a material of choice in artificial bone implants to help regenerate bone tissue1.

Researchers have created these tiny biocompatible scaffolds combining an organic compound gelatin and hydroxyapatite (HA) nanoparticles through electrospinning and electrospraying. The scaffolds aided the growth of human fetal osteoblast cells (hFOB) that help make new bone.

Mechanical properties of artificial implants don't match with the adjacent tissues disrupting the process of new bone formation. The researchers fabricated scaffolds using poly(L-lactic acid)-co-poly(3-caprolactone) (PLACL) gelatin and HA nanoparticles. The hFOB cells were then cultured on scaffolds and analysed.

The sprayed scaffolds showed higher tensile stress than blended scaffolds. This happens because blending involves physical mixing of mechanically mismatched materials, while spraying results in superficial dispersion of HA nanoparticles, keeping intact the intrinsic property of polymer. The HA sprayed scaffold showed 50 per cent higher mineralization of hFOB than HA blended scaffold.

"Electrospraying of any type of material (growth factors, antibiotics, nanoparticles, anticancer agents) may support the specific sites of healing tissues or organs," says one of the researchers Jayarama Reddy Venugopal.

The authors of this work are from: Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Initiative and Division of Bioengineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore; Amity Institute of Nanotechnology, Amity University, Noida and Department of Textile Technology, A.C. College of Technology, Anna University, Chennai, India.


  1. Gupta, D. et al. Nanostructured biocomposite substrates by electrospinning and electrospraying for the mineralization of osteoblasts. Biomaterials 30, 2085-2094 (2009) | Article |