Surface properties and ion release from fluoride-containing bioactive glasses promote osteoblast differentiation and mineralization in vitro.
Gentleman E., Stevens MM., Hill RG., Brauer DS.
Bioactive glasses (BG) are suitable for bone regeneration applications as they bond with bone and can be tailored to release therapeutic ions. Fluoride, which is widely recognized to prevent dental caries, is efficacious in promoting bone formation and preventing osteoporosis-related fractures when administered at appropriate doses. To take advantage of these properties, we created BG incorporating increasing levels of fluoride whilst holding their silicate structure constant, and tested their effects on human osteoblasts in vitro. Our results demonstrate that, whilst cell proliferation was highest on low-fluoride-containing BG, markers for differentiation and mineralization were highest on BG with the highest fluoride contents, a likely effect of a combination of surface effects and ion release. Furthermore, osteoblasts exposed to the dissolution products of fluoride-containing BG or early doses of sodium fluoride showed increased alkaline phosphatase activity, a marker for bone mineralization, suggesting that fluoride can direct osteoblast differentiation. Taken together, these results suggest that BG that can release therapeutic levels of fluoride may find use in a range of bone regeneration applications.