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The biocompatibility of carbon hydroxyapatite/β-glucan composite for bone tissue engineering studied with Raman and FTIR spectroscopic imaging


The spectroscopic approaches of FTIR imaging and Raman mapping were applied to the characterisation of a new carbon hydroxyapatite/β-glucan composite developed for bone tissue engineering. The composite is an artificial bone material with an apatite-forming ability for the bone repair process. Rabbit bone samples were tested with an implanted bioactive material for a period of several months. Using spectroscopic and chemometric methods, we were able to determine the presence of amides and phosphates and the distribution of lipid-rich domains in the bone tissue, providing an assessment of the composite’s bioactivity. Samples were also imaged in transmission using an infrared microscope combined with a focal plane array detector. CaF2 lenses were also used on the infrared microscope to improve spectral quality by reducing scattering artefacts, improving chemometric analysis. The presence of collagen and lipids at the bone/composite interface confirmed biocompatibility and demonstrate the suitability of FTIR microscopic imaging with lenses in studying these samples. It confirmed that the composite is a very good background for collagen growth and increases collagen maturity with the time of the bone growth process. The results indicate the bioactive and biocompatible properties of this composite and demonstrate how Raman and FTIR spectroscopic imaging have been used as an effective tool for tissue characterisation.

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This work was supported by the European Regional Development Fund within the Innovative Economy Operational Program, grant no. UDA-POIG 01.03.01-00-005/09-01. S.G.K. acknowledges the research funding from the European Research Council under the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/20072013)/ERC advanced grant agreement no. 227950. The authors would also like to acknowledge the research funding from the National Science Centre grant no. 5824/B/P01/2011/40, the Foundation for Polish Science (TEAM Programme 2009-4/5) and DS2/12 of the Medical University in Lublin. Raman equipment was purchased within the agreement no. PORPW.01.03.00-06-0109-00 Operational Program Development of Eastern Poland 2007–2013.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Correspondence to Anna Sroka-Bartnicka or Sergei G. Kazarian.

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Sroka-Bartnicka, A., Kimber, J.A., Borkowski, L. et al. The biocompatibility of carbon hydroxyapatite/β-glucan composite for bone tissue engineering studied with Raman and FTIR spectroscopic imaging. Anal Bioanal Chem 407, 7775–7785 (2015).

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  • IR spectroscopy
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Biomaterials
  • Bone tissue engineering
  • Hydroxyapatite composite