Main content area

Spatial Distribution of Biomaterial Microenvironment pH and Its Modulatory Effect on Osteoclasts at the Early Stage of Bone Defect Regeneration

Liu, Wenlong, Dan, Xiuli, Lu, William W., Zhao, Xiaoli, Ruan, Changshun, Wang, Ting, Cui, Xu, Zhai, Xinyun, Ma, Yufei, Wang, Deping, Huang, Wenhai, Pan, Haobo
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2019 v.11 no.9 pp. 9557-9572
animal models, biocompatible materials, biodegradability, bones, mice, osteoclasts, pH, protons
It is generally accepted that biodegradable materials greatly influence the nearby microenvironment where cells reside; however, the range of interfacial properties has seldom been discussed due to technical bottlenecks. This study aims to depict biomaterial microenvironment boundaries by correlating interfacial H⁺ distribution with surrounding cell behaviors. Using a disuse-related osteoporotic mouse model, we confirmed that the abnormal activated osteoclasts could be suppressed under relatively alkaline conditions. The differentiation and apatite-resorption capability of osteoclasts were “switched off” when cultured in titrated material extracts with pH values higher than 7.8. To generate a localized alkaline microenvironment, a series of borosilicates were fabricated and their interfacial H⁺ distributions were monitored spatiotemporally by employing noninvasive microtest technology. By correlating interfacial H⁺ distribution with osteoclast “switch on/off” behavior, the microenvironment boundary of the tested material was found to be 400 ± 50 μm, which is broader than the generally accepted value, 300 μm. Furthermore, osteoporotic mice implanted with materials with higher interfacial pH values and boarder effective ranges had lower osteoclast activities and a thicker new bone. To conclude, effective proton microenvironment boundaries of degradable biomaterials were depicted and a weak alkaline microenvironment was shown to promote regeneration of osteoporotic bones possibly by suppressing abnormal activated osteoclasts.