A nanotectonics approach to produce hierarchically organized bioactive glass nanoparticles-based macrospheres
Bioactive particles have been widely used in a series of biomedical applications due to their ability to promote bone-bonding and elicit favorable biological responses in therapies associated with the replacement and regeneration of mineralized tissues. In this work hierarchical architectures are prepared by an innovative methodology using SiO2–CaO sol–gel based nanoparticles. Inspired by colloidal crystals, spherical aggregates were formed on biomimetic superhydrophobic surfaces using bioactive glass nanoparticles (BG-NPs) able to promote bone regeneration. A highly ordered organization, a common feature of mineralized structures in Nature, was achieved at both nano- and microlevels, being the crystallization degree of the structures controlled by the evaporation rates taking place at room temperature (RT) or at 4 °C. The crystallization degree of the structures influenced the Ca/P ratio of the apatitic film formed at their surface, after 7 days of immersion in SBF. This allows the regulation of bioactive properties and the ability to release potential additives that could be also incorporated in such particles with a high efficiency. Such a versatile method to produce bioactive particles with controlled size and internal structure could open new possibilities in designing new spherical devices for orthopaedic applications, including tissue engineering.