Bioactive borate glass scaffolds: in vitro and in vivo evaluation for use as a drug delivery system in the treatment of bone infection

J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2010 Feb;21(2):575-82. doi: 10.1007/s10856-009-3897-8. Epub 2009 Oct 15.


The objective of this work was to evaluate borate bioactive glass scaffolds (with a composition in the system Na(2)O-K(2)O-MgO-CaO-B(2)O(3)-P(2)O(5)) as devices for the release of the drug Vancomycin in the treatment of bone infection. A solution of ammonium phosphate, with or without dissolved Vancomycin, was used to bond borate glass particles into the shape of pellets. The in vitro degradation of the pellets and their conversion to a hydroxyapatite-type material in a simulated body fluid (SBF) were investigated using weight loss measurements, chemical analysis, X-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy. The results showed that greater than 90% of the glass in the scaffolds degraded within 1 week, to form poorly crystallized hydroxyapatite (HA). Pellets loaded with Vancomycin provided controlled release of the drug over 4 days. Vancomycin-loaded scaffolds were implanted into the right tibiae of rabbits infected with osteomyelitis. The efficacy of the treatment was assessed using microbiological examination and histology. The HA formed in the scaffolds in vivo, resulting from the conversion of the glass, served as structure to support the growth of new bone and blood vessels. The results in this work indicate that bioactive borate glass could provide a promising biodegradable and bioactive material for use as both a drug delivery system and a scaffold for bone repair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Borates / chemistry*
  • Drug Compounding / methods
  • Drug Implants / chemistry*
  • Drug Implants / therapeutic use*
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Materials Testing
  • Osteomyelitis / therapy*
  • Rabbits
  • Tissue Scaffolds*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vancomycin / administration & dosage*
  • Vancomycin / chemistry


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Borates
  • Drug Implants
  • Vancomycin