Advanced Materials Lab, Department of Architecture and Industrial Design, University of Campania, Luigi Vanvitelli, Abbazia di San Lorenzo, via San Lorenzo, 81031 Aversa (CE), Italy
*Corresponding author: Apicella Antonio, Advanced Materials Lab, Department of Architecture and Industrial Design, University of Campania, Luigi Vanvitelli, Abbazia di San Lorenzo, via San Lorenzo, 81031 Aversa (CE), Italy
Submission: October 15, 2022; Published: October 19, 2022
This opinion and perspective paper deals with the potential properties and clinical applications of new ceramic-polymeric hybrids hydrogels for tissue engineering containing non-stoichiometric metal oxides WO3-x, SiO2-x, and TiO2-x nano-fillers presenting strong photo-absorption at visible and infrared light wavelengths. The hybrid bioactive hydrogels are potential candidates as bone tissue engineering materials with photo-induced antimicrobial activity. The improved photo-activity derives from the oxygen gap in the crystalline structure that produces a strong Local Surface Plasma Resonance (LSPR) generating Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) that damage the microbial agent’s membrane components. However, in tissue engineering, these biological effects could also extend to neighboring eukaryotic cells, raising the question concerning the biosafety of these new materials. Further studies are needed to establish a complete risk assessment of the presence of bioactive nanoparticles since they directly affect cellular singling and damage DNA, causing mutations. Biosafety issues of these new materials arise from genetic and epigenetic effects. Cell growth ability, apoptosis, free radicals’ generation, and DNA damage are crucial parameters to be controlled in order to promote the use of these new materials. The development of materials with IR and light-induced antimicrobial properties represents an important advancement for the reliability of orthopaedic implants characterised by high bone-implant contact surfaces. Multidrug- resistant bacteria and viruses’ contamination could be partially hindered by photoactive coating hydrogels that self-inhibit the proliferation and spreading of these pathogens.
Keywords:Epigenetic effects; Biosafety issues; Antimicrobial; Osseointegration; Contamination
Abbreviations:LSPR: Local Surface Plasma Resonance; ROS: Reactive Oxygen Species; NIR: Near- Infrared; AM: Additive Manufacturing; EFSA: European Food Safety Authority