It is of great importance to develop multifunctional bioactive scaffolds, which combine angiogenesis capacity, osteostimulation, and antibacterial properties for regenerating lost bone tissues. In order to achieve this aim, we prepared copper (Cu)-containing mesoporous bioactive glass (Cu-MBG) scaffolds with interconnective large pores (several hundred micrometer) and well-ordered mesopore channels (around 5 nm). Both Cu-MBG scaffolds and their ionic extracts could stimulate hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs). In addition, both Cu-MBG scaffolds and their ionic extracts significantly promoted the osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs by improving their bone-related gene expression (alkaline phosphatase (ALP), osteopontin (OPN) and osteocalcin (OCN)). Furthermore, Cu-MBG scaffolds could maintain a sustained release of ibuprofen and significantly inhibited the viability of bacteria. This study indicates that the incorporation of Cu(2+) ions into MBG scaffolds significantly enhances hypoxia-like tissue reaction leading to the coupling of angiogenesis and osteogenesis. Cu(2+) ions play an important role to offer the multifunctional properties of MBG scaffold system. This study has demonstrated that it is possible to develop multifunctional scaffolds by combining enhanced angiogenesis potential, osteostimulation, and antibacterial properties for the treatment of large bone defects.
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