Final Report Summary - BIOCERENG (Bioceramics: Multiscale Engineering of Advanced Ceramics at the Biology Interface)
Multiscale engineering of advanced ceramics for biological applications was conducted successfully within the framework of this project. From the nano to the macroscopic level advanced ceramics were designed, engineered and probed with biological entities such as proteins, viruses, bacteria and mammalian cells. We were able to elucidate fundamental particle - protein and virus interaction mechanisms and furthermore to tailor these surfaces for controlled protein and virus adsorption. Our data demonstrate the effects of the specifically designed surface functionalization of colloidal particles on the particles’ protein, peptide, and virus interactions and are therefore of utmost significance to future applications in biological systems. Learning from these lessons, we pushed an ionotropic colloidal processing route further successfully to synthesis open porous ceramics with controlled permeability to tailor enzyme and antibacterial activity. By this, porous ceramics were created that combine large, accessible surface areas with high liquid flow permeability. The obtained microbeads were probed for enzyme turno-over rates and antibacterial activity. We showed, that assemblies thereof with bio-chemical surface modifications are excellent platforms for biotechnological applications. Aiming at obtaining novel bioceramics for orthopaedic implants, a facile synthesis route for baghdadite was found and the mechanical properties of baghdadite determined in detail for the first time. With a comparable mechanical strength to hydroxyapatite, but with increased fracture toughness by 30% and hardness by 13%, we demonstrated that baghdadite is highly suitable for potential applications in non-load bearing areas (e.g. coatings or filler materials).