The integration of organic molecules in a mineralization process or composites of organic and inorganic components for bone replacement pursue one goal, mimicking the natural reference - the bone. The combinations of properties in terms of strength and elasticity, resorbability and biocompatibility are not achieved so far. In this report an approach of bone substitution by a degradable material is presented.
Prestructuring of gelatine with phosphate ions and the following mineralization process initiated by adding calcium/strontium ions was performed and the resulting material was investigated according to ion release and degradability. The materials characterization was supplemented by cell culture of human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSC) as well as human monocytes.
The study showed the possibility to compensate a non-physiological, non-cell controlled apatite deposition from simulated body fluid and cell culture medium by calcium/strontium ion release during materials degradation. The material has been proved to support formation of osteoclast-like cells. Additionally, the ion release caused a stimulatory effect on the osteoblastic development of hMSCs. This is an important step towards the goal, to use the osteoclastic resorption of the biomaterial and the associated release of degradation/resorption products as a physiological stimulation of bone-building cells. In future it might be possible that the formation of new bone, replacing a bone substitute, takes place as a direct result of the materials resorption products. This may help to quickly adjust the natural balance between bone formation and resorption after bone substitute implantation.