Cambridge 7th to 9th September
article posted 01 Apr 2015
Uresha Patel is a second year PhD student in the advanced materials group at the University of Nottingham, where she is involved in investigating formulations doped with varying modifier oxides in aim of providing tailored degradation and ion release profiles. Structural analysis on complex (quaternary and quinternary systems) is also examined in order to develop an understanding of the inter-relationship between composition, structure, durability and ion release rates. Her interests lie in orthopaedic materials and completed her MSc in Biomaterials at the University of Manchester in 2013.
Strontium enriched phosphate based glass microspheres for orthopaedic applications
Uresha Patel*, Andrew Kennedy, Alex Hannon, Emma Barney, Ifty Ahmed
University of Nottingham
The worldwide ageing population is placing ever greater demands on healthcare
systems to provide effective treatments for bone related diseases such as osteoporosis.
Strontium ranelate has been used as a drug treatment for osteoporosis which is
known to reduce the risk of fragility fractures. Studies in the literature have shown
that strontium ions act by promoting bone making cells (osteoblasts) and reducing
the activity of cells which break down bone (osteoclasts), hence minimising bone
Therefore the aim of this research was to manufacture bioresorbable phosphate
based glass (PBG) microspheres, tailoring the composition of these glasses to
include therapeutic ions, such as strontium, to be released during resorption.
This study focused on two strands of research. The first part investigated the
manufacturing process used to produce microspheres (Figure 1a) of varying sizes.
This processing was vital as the spherical morphology potentially enables treatment
via a minimally invasive delivery route. Furthermore, microspheres provide greater
versatility when fitting defects of various sizes as they can pack more efficiently
compared to scaffolds with a predetermined shape.
The second part of this study focussed on the compositional development of the
glasses used to optimise the therapeutic effects of the microspheres. A series of
quaternary PBGs were fabricated by substituting the CaO component with SrO in
order to investigate effects on their structure, thermal properties and their degradation
profiles. Addition of Sr2+
ions had little effect on the glasses thermal
properties (Figure 1b)
suggesting degradation rates may also not be significantly different between compositions.
(1 A.U.) for Sr2+
resulted in an increase in density (Figure 1c)
and a marginal increase in molar volume suggesting that addition of slightly larger ions
minimally increases the free volume of the network, with no unexpected changes in the
local environment of the glass when substituting the therapeutic ion
in place of Ca2+
 Kyllonen, L., et al., Local drug delivery for enhancing fracture healing in osteoporotic bone. Acta Biomaterialia, 2015. 11: p. 412-434.