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Bisphosphonate Nanoclay Interactions Promote Self-Assembly of Hydrogels for Tissue Regeneration Applications

By 12th April 2020No Comments

The following study was conducted by Scientists from Bone and Joint Research Group, Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration, Institute of Developmental Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK; Department of Chemistry, Ångström Laboratory, Polymer Chemistry, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; College of Biology, Hunan University, Changsha, China; Department of Biosciences and Nutrition (BioNut), Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden. Study is published in Nature Communications Journal as detailed below.

Nature Communications; Volume 11, Article Number: 1365; (2020)

Bisphosphonate Nanoclay Edge-Site Interactions Facilitate Hydrogel Self-Assembly and Sustained Growth Factor Localization


Nanoclays have generated interest in biomaterial design for their ability to enhance the mechanics of polymeric materials and impart biological function. As well as their utility as physical cross-linkers, clays have been explored for sustained localization of biomolecules to promote in vivo tissue regeneration. To date, both biomolecule-clay and polymer-clay nanocomposite strategies have utilised the negatively charged clay particle surface. As such, biomolecule-clay and polymer-clay interactions are set in competition, potentially limiting the functional enhancements achieved. Here, we apply specific bisphosphonate interactions with the positively charged clay particle edge to develop self-assembling hydrogels and functionalized clay nanoparticles with preserved surface exchange capacity. Low concentrations of nanoclay are applied to cross-link hyaluronic acid polymers derivatised with a pendant bisphosphonate to generate hydrogels with enhanced mechanical properties and preserved protein binding able to sustain, for over six weeks in vivo, the localized activity of the clinically licensed growth factor BMP-2.


Nature Communications



Kim, Y.-H., X. Yang, et al. (2020). “Bisphosphonate nanoclay edge-site interactions facilitate hydrogel self-assembly and sustained growth factor localization.” Nature Communications 11(1): 1365.