Effects of Chemically Doped Bioactive Borate Glass on Neuron Regrowth and Regeneration


Peripheral nerve injuries present challenges to regeneration. Currently, the gold standard for nerve repair is an autograft that results in another region of the body suffering nerve damage. Previously, bioactive borate glass (BBG) has been studied in clinical trials to treat patients with non-healing wounds, and we have reported that BBG is conducive for soft tissue repair. BBG provides structural support, degrades in a non-cytotoxic manner, and can be chemically doped. Here, we tested a wide range of chemical compounds that are reported to have neuroprotective characteristics to promote regeneration of peripheral neurons after traumatic injury. We hypothesized that chemical dopants added in trace amounts to BBG would improve neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth from dorsal root ganglion (DRG) explants. We measured neurite outgrowth from whole DRG explants, and survival rates of dissociated neurons and support cells that comprise the DRG. Results show that chemically doped BBGs have differentially variable effects on neuronal survival and outgrowth, with iron, gallium, and zinc improving outgrowth of neurons, and iodine causing the most detriment to neurons. Because chemically doped BBGs support increased nerve regrowth and survival, they show promise for use in peripheral nerve regeneration.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Biocompatibility; Dorsal root ganglia; Fibroblasts; Glia; Nerve regeneration; Bioactive glass; Cell culture; Chemical compounds; Doping (additives); Repair

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2016 Springer New York LLC, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Dec 2016