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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 418281, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/418281
Research Article

Hybrid Scaffolds for Tissue Regeneration: Chemotaxis and Physical Confinement as Sources of Biomimesis

1Laboratory of Bioceramics and Bio-Hybrid Composites, Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics, National Research Council, 48018 Faenza, Italy
2Laboratory of Biomechanics and Technology Innovation, Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute, 40136 Bologna, Italy

Received 7 April 2012; Accepted 21 June 2012

Academic Editor: Leonard Deepak Francis

Copyright © 2012 Simone Sprio 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.

Abstract

Biomineralization is a complex ensemble of concomitant phenomena, driving the development of vertebrate and invertebrate organisms, particularly the formation of human bone tissue. In such a process collagen molecules assemble and organize in a complex 3-D structure and simultaneously mineralize with nearly amorphous apatite nanoparticles, whose heterogeneous nucleation, growth, and specific orientation are mediated by various chemical, physical, morphological, and structural control mechanisms, activated by the organic matrix at different size levels. The present work investigates on in-lab biomineralization processes, performed to synthesize hybrid hydroxyapatite/collagen scaffolds for bone and osteochondral regeneration. The synthesis processes are carried out by soft-chemistry procedures, with the purpose to activate all the different control mechanisms at the basis of new bone formation in vivo, so as to achieve scaffolds with high biomimesis, that is, physical, chemical, morphological, and ultrastructural properties very close to the newly formed human bone. Deep analysis of cell behaviour in contact with such hybrid scaffolds confirms their strong affinity with human bone, which in turn determines high regenerative properties in vivo.