Magnetic forces and magnetized biomaterials provide dynamic flux information during bone regeneration

Alessandro Russo, Michele Bianchi, Maria Sartori, Annapaola Parrilli, Silvia Panseri, Alessandro Ortolani, Monica Sandri, Marco Boi, Donald M. Salter, Maria Cristina Maltarello, Gianluca Giavaresi, Milena Fini, Valentin Dediu, Anna Tampieri, Maurilio Marcacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The fascinating prospect to direct tissue regeneration by magnetic activation has been recently explored. In this study we investigate the possibility to boost bone regeneration in an experimental defect in rabbit femoral condyle by combining static magnetic fields and magnetic biomaterials. NdFeB permanent magnets are implanted close to biomimetic collagen/hydroxyapatite resorbable scaffolds magnetized according to two different protocols. Permanent magnet only or non-magnetic scaffolds are used as controls. Bone tissue regeneration is evaluated at 12 weeks from surgery from a histological, histomorphometric and biomechanical point of view. The reorganization of the magnetized collagen fibers under the effect of the static magnetic field generated by the permanent magnet produces a highly-peculiar bone pattern, with highly-interconnected trabeculae orthogonally oriented with respect to the magnetic field lines. In contrast, only partial defect healing is achieved within the control groups. We ascribe the peculiar bone regeneration to the transfer of micro-environmental information, mediated by collagen fibrils magnetized by magnetic nanoparticles, under the effect of the static magnetic field. These results open new perspectives on the possibility to improve implant fixation and control the morphology and maturity of regenerated bone providing “in site” forces by synergically combining static magnetic fields and biomaterials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number51
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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