UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


A comparative study of zwitterionic ligands-mediated mineralization and the potential of mineralized zwitterionic matrices for bone tissue engineering.

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation; Department of Cell and Developmental Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Biomaterials | Cell and Developmental Biology | Cell Biology | Materials Chemistry | Molecular, Cellular, and Tissue Engineering | Orthopedics


Cationic and anionic residues of the extracellular matrices (ECM) of bone play synergistic roles in recruiting precursor ions and templating the nucleation, growth and crystalline transformations of calcium apatite in natural biomineralization. We previously reported that zwitterionic sulfobetaine ligands can template extensive 3-dimensional (3-D) hydroxyapaptite (HA)-mineralization of photo-crosslinked polymethacrylatehydrogels. Here, we compared the potency of two other major zwitterionic ligands, phosphobetaine and carboxybetaine, with that of the sulfobetaine in mediating 3-D mineralization using the crosslinked polymethacrylate hydrogel platform. We confirmed that all three zwitterionic hydrogels were able to effectively template 3-D mineralization, supporting the general ability of zwitterions to mediate templated mineralization. Among them, however, sulfobetaine and phosphobetaine hydrogels templated denser 3-D mineralizationthan the carboxybetaine hydrogel, likely due to their higher free water fractions and better maintenance of zwitterionic nature throughout the pH-changes during the in vitro mineralization process. We further demonstrated that the extensively mineralized zwitterionic hydrogels could be exploited for efficient retention (e.g. 99% retention after 24-h incubation in PBS) of osteogenic growth factor recombinant bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) and subsequent sustained local release with retained bioactivity. Combined with the excellent cytocompatibility of all three zwitterionic hydrogels and the significantly improved cell adhesive properties of their mineralized matrices, these materials could find promising applications in bone tissue engineering.

Rights and Permissions

© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2014

DOI of Published Version



J Mater Chem B Mater Biol Med. 2014 Nov 21;2(43):7524-7533. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of materials chemistry. B, Materials for biology and medicine

PubMed ID