Bioactive Borate Glass Scaffolds: In Vitro and in Vivo Evaluation for Use as a Drug Delivery System in the Treatment of Bone Infection


The objective of this work was to evaluateborate bioactive glass scaffolds (with a composition in thesystem Na2O-K2O-MgO-CaO-B2O3-P2O5) as devices forthe release of the drug Vancomycin in the treatment ofbone infection. A solution of ammonium phosphate, withor without dissolved Vancomycin, was used to bond borateglass particles into the shape of pellets. The in vitro deg-radation of the pellets and their conversion to a hydroxy-apatite-type material in a simulated body fluid (SBF) wereinvestigated using weight loss measurements, chemicalanalysis, X-ray diffraction, and scanning electron micros-copy. The results showed that greater than 90% of the glassin the scaffolds degraded within 1 week, to form poorlycrystallized hydroxyapatite (HA). Pellets loaded withVancomycin provided controlled release of the drug over4 days. Vancomycin-loaded scaffolds were implanted intothe right tibiae of rabbits infected with osteomyelitis. Theefficacy of the treatment was assessed using microbiolog-ical examination and histology. The HA formed in thescaffolds in vivo, resulting from the conversion of theglass, served as structure to support the growth of new boneand blood vessels. The results in this work indicate thatbioactive borate glass could provide a promising biode-gradable and bioactive material for use as both a drugdelivery system and a scaffold for bone repair.


Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science

Second Department

Materials Science and Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2010 Springer Verlag, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2010