Biomimetic hydroxyapatite-drug nanocrystals as potential bone substitutes with antitumor drug delivery properties

Barbara Palazzo*, Michele Iafisco, Mariarita Laforgia, Nicola Margiotta, Giovanni Natile, Claudia L. Bianchi, Dominic Walsh, Stephen Mann, Norberto Roveri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

326 Citations (Scopus)


This Full Paper investigates the adsorption and desorption of the anticancer drugs cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) (CDDP, cisplatin) and the new platinum(II) complex di(ethylenediamineplatinum)medronate (DPM), as well as the clinically relevant bisphosphonate alendronate, towards two biomimetic synthetic HA nanocrystalline materials with either plate-shaped (HAps) or needle-shaped (HAns) morphologies and different chemico-physical properties. The adsorption and desorption kinetics are dependent on the specific properties of the drugs and the morphology of the HA nanoparticles. Adsorption of the platinum complexes occurs with retention of the nitrogen ligands but the chloride ligands of cisplatin are displaced. Despite their opposite charges, the negatively charged alendronate bisphosphonate and the positively charged aquated cisplatin are strongly adsorbed, while the neutral DPM complex shows lower affinity towards the negatively charged apatitic surface. The data suggest that adsorption of the two platinum complexes is driven by electrostatic attractions, while interaction between the alendronate and the HA surface takes place by ligand exchange in which the two phosphonate groups of the drug molecule replace two surface phosphate groups. Significantly, adsorption of positively charged hydrolysis species of cisplatin is more favored on the phosphate-rich HAns surface while adsorption of negatively charged alendronate is more favored on the calcium-rich HAps surface. The latter type of short-range electrostatic interactions also appear to dominate the desorption kinetics; consequently, drug release is greater for neutral DPM than for charged alendronate and aquated cisplatin. Moreover, while the release per unit area of charged species is the same for the two types of HAs, the release of DPM is faster from HAns, which is lower in surface calcium, than for HAps. Overall, this work demonstrates that the properties of HA nanocrystals can be modulated in such a way to produce HA/biomolecule conjugates tailored for specific therapeutic applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2180-2188
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2007




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