Hollow hydroxyapatite microspheres as a device for controlled delivery of proteins
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Hollow hydroxyapatite (HA) microspheres were prepared by reacting solid microspheres of Li2O–CaO–B2O3 glass (106–150 μm) in K2HPO4 solution, and evaluated as a controlled delivery device for a model protein, bovine serum albumin (BSA). Reaction of the glass microspheres for 2 days in 0.02 M K2HPO4 solution (pH = 9) at 37°C resulted in the formation of biocompatible HA microspheres with a hollow core diameter equal to 0.6 the external diameter, high surface area (~100 m2/g), and a mesoporous shell wall (pore size ≈13 nm). After loading with a solution of BSA in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) (5 mg BSA/ml), the release kinetics of BSA from the HA microspheres into a PBS medium were measured using a micro bicinchoninic acid (BCA) protein assay. Release of BSA initially increased linearly with time, but almost ceased after 24–48 h. Modification of the BSA release kinetics was achieved by modifying the microstructure of the as-prepared HA microspheres using a controlled heat treatment (1–24 h at 600–900°C). Sustained release of BSA was achieved over 7–14 days from HA microspheres heated for 5 h at 600°C. The amount of BSA released at a given time was dependent on the concentration of BSA initially loaded into the HA microspheres. These hollow HA microspheres could provide a novel inorganic device for controlled local delivery of proteins and drugs.
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