Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 52, Issue 15, pp 9023–9038 | Cite as

Bioactive glass containing silicone composites for left ventricular assist device drivelines: role of Bioglass 45S5® particle size on mechanical properties and cytocompatibility

  • Nicholas H. Cohrs
  • Konstantin Schulz-Schönhagen
  • Florian Jenny
  • Dirk Mohn
  • Wendelin J. Stark
In Honor of Larry Hench


Aside its historical use in contact with bone and teeth, an increasing number of studies use bioactive glasses (BG) in contact with soft tissue. BG could provide solutions for various medical problems. This study presents a first evaluation, whether BG containing silicone elastomers are a suitable material for left ventricular assist device drivelines and could enhance skin biointegration thereof. Three different nano- or microparticles of BG45S5® were incorporated into medical grade silicone elastomer, and thin films of the composites were manufactured. Physicochemical, mechanical and in vitro experiments using primary human dermal fibroblasts were used to evaluate the nano- and microcomposites. The incorporation of BG particles reduced the tensile strength at break and percent elongation at break of the composites and increased the stiffness of the material. Especially, the incorporation of nanosized BG decreased the percent elongation at break after immersion in SBF due to agglomerate formation and increased hydroxyapatite formation compared to commercially available microparticles. The cytocompatibility of BG containing composites increased significantly with increasing particle concentration. A clear trend regarding particle size was not observed. In general, the simple incorporation of particles into medical grade silicone elastomer allowed an easy modification of the mechanical properties and improvement in bioactivity (assessed by hydroxyapatite formation) of the material. The choice of either nano- or microparticles depends on the specific application and requirements for the material, as different particle types show different advantages and disadvantages.



The study was supported by the authors’ institutions. We would like to thank Carlos Mora for the support with the cell experiments and the Laboratory for Interfaces, Soft matter and Assembly of ETH Zurich for support with the contact angle measurements.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10853_2017_1007_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.4 mb)
The supplementary information additionally provides particle or agglomerate size distributions of the BG45S5® particle types. It also provides the XRD diffractograms of 10 wt% nano-BG after immersion in SBF for 2 and 4 weeks and the XRD diffractograms of Schott-BG and Mo-Sci-BG containing silicone composites after 4 weeks in SBF at different concentrations. The results of a protein adsorption assay on the different composites are given, as well as light microscopy images of the composites before and after immersion in SBF. Detailed cross-sectional SEM images of the films before and after immersion in SBF a provided, as well as planar section SEM images of composites before and after immersion in SBF (PDF 1443 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas H. Cohrs
    • 1
  • Konstantin Schulz-Schönhagen
    • 1
  • Florian Jenny
    • 1
  • Dirk Mohn
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wendelin J. Stark
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, Institute for Chemical- and BioengineeringETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Clinic of Preventive Dentistry, Periodontology and Cariology, Center of Dental MedicineUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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