Angiogenic Effect of Bioactive Borate Glass Microfibers and Beads in the Hairless Mouse

Richard J. Watters 1 , Roger F. Brown 1 ,  and Delbert E. Day 2
  • 1 Department of Biological Sciences and 2Graduate Center for Materials Research, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO 65401
  • 2 Graduate Center for Materials Research Missouri University of Science and Technology


The purpose of this project was to investigate the angiogenic mechanism of bioactive borate glass for soft tissue repair in a ‘hairless’ SKH1 mouse model. Subcutaneous microvascular responses to bioactive glass microfibers (45S5, 13-93B3, and 13-93B3Cu) and bioactive glass beads (13-93, 13-93B3, and 13-93B3Cu) were assessed via: noninvasive imaging of skin microvasculature; histomorphometry of microvascular densities; and quantitative PCR measurements of mRNA expression of VEGF and FGF-2 cytokines. Live imaging via dorsal skin windows showed the formation at twoweeks of a halo-like structure infused with microvessels surrounding implanted boratebased 13-93B3 and 13-93B3Cu glass beads, a response not observed with silicate-based 13-93 glass beads. Quantitative histomorphometry of tissues implanted with plugs of 45S5, 13-93B3, and 13-93B3Cu glass microfibers revealed microvascular densities that were 1.6-, 2.3-, and 2.7-times higher, respectively, than the sham control valueswhereas 13-93, 13-93B3, and 13-93B3Cu glass beads caused the microvascular density to increase 1.3-, 1.6-, and 2.5-fold, respectively, relative to sham controls. Quantitative PCR measurements indicate a marginally significant increased expression of VEGF mRNA in tissues with 13-93B3Cu glass beads, an outcome that supported the hypothesis that copper-doped borate glass could promote VEGF expression followed by angiogenesis for enhanced wound healing.

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Biomedical Glasses is an international open access journal covering the field of glasses for biomedical applications. The aim of the journal is to provide a peer-reviewed forum for the publication of original research reports and authoritative review articles related to the development of biomedical glasses and their use in clinical applications.