Amorphous Silica: A New Antioxidant Role for Rapid Critical-Sized Bone Defect Healing

Azhar Ilyas, Tetsuro Odatsu, Ami Shah, Felipe Monte, Harry K W Kim, Philip Kramer, Pranesh B. Aswath, Venu G. Varanasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Traumatic fractures cause structurally unstable sites due to severe bone loss. Such fractures generate a high yield of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can lead to oxidative stress. Excessive and prolonged ROS activity impedes osteoblast differentiation and instigates long healing times. Stimulation of antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase (SOD1), are crucial to reduce ROS, stimulate osteogenesis, and strengthen collagen and mineral formation. Yet, no current fixative devices have shown an ability to enhance collagen matrix formation through antioxidant expression. This study reports plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition based amorphous silicon oxynitride (Si(ON)x) as a potential new fracture healing biomaterial that adheres well to the implant surface, releases Si+4 to enhance osteogenesis, and forms a surface hydroxyapatite for collagen mineral attachment. These materials provide a sustained release of Si+4 in physiological environment for extended times. The dissolution rate partially depends on the film chemistry and can be controlled by varying O/N ratio. The presence of Si+4 enhances SOD1, which stimulates other osteogenic markers downstream and leads to rapid mineral formation. In vivo testing using a rat critical-sized calvarial defect model shows a more rapid bone-regeneration for these biomaterials as compared to control groups, that implies the clinical significance of the presented biomaterial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2199-2213
Number of pages15
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 7 2016


  • antioxidants
  • blood vessel formation
  • bone formation
  • superoxide dismutase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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