Sponge-derived natural bioactive glass microspheres with self-assembled surface channel arrays opening into a hollow core for bone tissue and controlled drug release applications

Murat Kaya*, Ismail Bilican, Muhammad Mujtaba, Idris Sargin, Merve Erginer Haskoylu, Ebru Toksoy Oner, Kai Zheng, Aldo R. Boccaccini, Demet Cansaran-Duman, M. Serdar Onses, Ilker Torun, Lalehan Akyuz, Caglar Elbuken, Martin Vinther Sørensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Porous, bioactive microspheres have always been a dream material to biomedical scientists for bone regeneration and drug delivery applications due to their interconnectivity, unique pore geometry, encapsulation ability and porosity spanning macroscopic, microscopic and nanoscopic length scales. Extensive efforts have been made to produce such materials synthetically at a great cost of money, time and labor. Herein, naturally-assembled multifunctional, open-channeled and hollow bioactive micro silica spheres (diameter 209.4 ± 38.5 µm) were discovered in a marine sponge (Geodia macandrewii), by peeling the outer surface of the sterrasters using hydrogen fluoride. The obtained micro silica spheres exhibited valuable characteristics such as homogeneously distributed pores, a cavity in the center of the sphere, and channels (approx. 3000) opening from each pore into the central cavity. Simulated body fluid analysis demonstrated the bioactivity of the micro silica spheres; whereas, no bioactivity was recorded for the original untreated sterrasters. The non-cytotoxicity and osteogenic ability of the isolated microspheres were confirmed through osteoblast cell culture. Finally, these silica based porous microspheres were tested for controlled drug release capacity. The spheres showed excellent loading and release abilities for an anti-cancer drug, carboplatin, in simulated solutions and in human cancer cell culture, HeLa, through a real time cell analyzer system. The drug loading capacity of the porous beads was determined as 10.59%. Considering the unique biological and physicochemical properties, these novel bioactive silica spheres, which we name as giant macroporous silica (GMS), are promising materials for a range of applications including bone tissue engineering and drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126667
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


Thanks to ASUBTAM (Aksaray University) and National Nanotechnology Research Center (UNAM) for providing laboratory facilities and access to equipment.

FundersFunder number
National Nanotechnology Research Center
Aksaray Üniversitesi
University of Namibia


    • Biosilica
    • Bone tissue
    • Drug release
    • Geodia
    • Macroporous silica
    • Porifera
    • Porous beads
    • Sterrasters


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