Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

, Volume 89, Issue 2, pp 521–530 | Cite as

In vitro drug release study from hydroxyapatite-alumina composites

  • J. M. C. TeixeiraEmail author
  • J. S. V. Alburquerque
  • E. B. Duarte
  • S. A. Silva
  • R. E. F. Q. Nogueira
Original Paper: Sol-gel and hybrid materials for biological and health (medical) applications


Modern technologies require new materials with an increasingly varied set of properties. In this context, biomaterials such as synthetic hydroxyapatite have become of great interest for research and development in the field of materials science and engineering. In spite of its biocompatibility, hydroxyapatite suffers from low mechanical strength. Aiming to improve the mechanical properties of hydroxyapatite without affecting its biocompatibility, the formation of hydroxyapatite composites with alumina (Al2O3) as a reinforcement has been studied. In this work, hydroxyapatite was synthesized via a sol–gel method. Hydroxyapatite/alumina composites (HAp/Al2O3) were prepared in different proportions to determine the best combination to be used as a controlled release system of ampicillin. The samples obtained were characterized by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. Mechanical behavior was evaluated by diametrical compression. After characterization of the composites, the sample with the highest mechanical resistance was chosen for the incorporation and release of ampicillin. The study showed very different release profiles, indicating that the release devices prepared may be useful in clinical applications that require varying times for treatment.


  • Hydroxyapatite successfully synthesized by the sol–gel method.

  • Formation of hydroxyapatite composites with alumina as a reinforcement has been studied.

  • Addition of alumina increased mechanical strength of the hydroxyapatite.

  • A composite with the highest mechanical resistance was chosen for release of ampicillin.

  • Release study revealed great potential of the composites for use in ampicillin delivery systems.


Hydroxyapatite Sol–gel Alumina Composites Drug release. 



We are thankful to Fundação Cearense de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (FUNCAP, Brazil) for their financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biomaterials Laboratory, Department of Metallurgical and Materials EngineeringFederal University of CearáFortalezaBrazil
  2. 2.Federal Institute of EducationScience and Technology of Sertão PernambucanoOuricuriBrazil

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