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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 306418, 10 pages
Research Article

In Vitro and In Vivo Investigation of the Potential of Amorphous Microporous Silica as a Protein Delivery Vehicle

1Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, BIOMAT Research Group, KU Leuven, Kapucijnenvoer 7, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
2Laboratory of Bacteriology, Rega Institute, KU Leuven, Minderbroedersstraat 10, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
3Laboratory of Radiopharmacy, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
4Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
5Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, KU Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 23, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium

Received 26 April 2013; Revised 28 June 2013; Accepted 9 July 2013

Academic Editor: Weibo Cai

Copyright © 2013 Amol Chaudhari et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Delivering growth factors (GFs) at bone/implant interface needs to be optimized to achieve faster osseointegration. Amorphous microporous silica (AMS) has a potential to be used as a carrier and delivery platform for GFs. In this work, adsorption (loading) and release (delivery) mechanism of a model protein, bovine serum albumin (BSA), from AMS was investigated in vitro as well as in vivo. In general, strong BSA adsorption to AMS was observed. The interaction was stronger at lower pH owing to favorable electrostatic interaction. In vitro evaluation of BSA release revealed a peculiar release profile, involving a burst release followed by a 6 h period without appreciable BSA release and a further slower release later. Experimental data supporting this observation are discussed. Apart from understanding protein/biomaterial (BSA/AMS) interaction, determination of in vivo protein release is an essential aspect of the evaluation of a protein delivery system. In this regard micropositron emission tomography (μ-PET) was used in an exploratory experiment to determine in vivo BSA release profile from AMS. Results suggest stronger in vivo retention of BSA when adsorbed on AMS. This study highlights the possible use of AMS as a controlled protein delivery platform which may facilitate osseointegration.