Sol-gel derived lithium-releasing glass for cartilage regeneration.
Li S., Maçon ALB., Jacquemin M., Stevens MM., Jones JR.
Wnt-signalling cascade is one of the crucial pathways involved in the development and homeostasis of cartilage. Influencing this pathway can potentially contribute to improved cartilage repair or regeneration. One key molecular regulator of the Wnt pathway is the glycogen synthase kinase-3 enzyme, the inhibition of which allows initiation of the signalling pathway. This study aims to utilise a binary SiO2-Li2O sol-gel derived glass for controlled delivery of lithium, a known glycogen synthase kinase-3 antagonist. The effect of the dissolution products of the glass on chondrogenic differentiation in an in vitro 3D pellet culture model is reported. Dissolution products that contained 5 mM lithium and 3.5 mM silicon were capable of inducing chondrogenic differentiation and hyaline cartilaginous matrix formation without the presence of growth factors such as TGF-β3. The results suggest that sol-gel derived glass has the potential to be used as a delivery vehicle for therapeutic lithium ions in cartilage regeneration applications.