Strontium substituted hydroxyapatite promotes direct primary human osteoblast maturation

Liga Stipniece, Shannon Wilson, J. M. Curran, Rui Chen, Kristine Salma-Ancane, Preetam Sharma, BJ Meenan, A Boyd

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35 Citations (Scopus)
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Strontium-substituted hydroxyapatite (SrHAp) materials are known to actively promote bone formation. However, the optimum level of Sr inclusion needed to elicit a physiologically relevant response from bone cells is unclear and can vary dependent on the fabrication process employed. In this work hydroxyapatite (HAp), SrHAp powders (2, 5 and 10 wt% (i.e., 1, 2 and 5 at%) with respect to [Sr/(Sr + Ca) ∙100]), were synthesized with the purity and Sr-substitution was confined in the range of 1–8 wt% (1–4 at%). All SrHAp samples contained rod-like crystals (<106 nm in length), which decreased in length with increasing Sr content, and exhibited larger flatter crystals (>300 nm in length). TEM-EDX confirmed the presence of Sr and maintenance of the HAp lattice structure for both types of crystals. Qualitative in vitro evaluation using primary human ostesoblast cells (HOBC) cultured in contact with the SrHAp over 28 days showed that the presence of Sr (in particular with the highest Sr content) directly promotes the maturation of osteoblasts into osteocytes as compared to the response observed for HAp. As these materials contain no additives other than Sr, the effects observed here can only be attributed to the physiologically important levels of Sr in the samples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3368-3379
Number of pages12
JournalCeramics International
Issue number3
Early online date20 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Authors would like to acknowledge funding from Invest Northern Ireland (INI) for the BioDevices Laboratory project.

Funding Information:
This work has been supported by the European Regional Development Fund within the Activity “Post-doctoral Research Aid” of the Specific Aid Objective 1.1.1 “To increase the research and innovative capacity of scientific institutions of Latvia and the ability to attract external financing, investing in human resources and infrastructure” of the Operational Programme “Growth and Employment” (No. and No ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd and Techna Group S.r.l.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Collagen I
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Osteoblast
  • Osteocyte
  • Strontium substitution


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