Influence of Niobium Pentoxide particulates on the properties of Brushite/Gelatin/Alginate membranes

Novel non-porous membranes were prepared by impregnating of nano-brushite and niobium pentoxide (Nb2O5) into a gelatin/alginate matrix. The physicochemical properties, morphology and mechanical properties of the prepared membranes were characterized using XRD, FTIR, SEM, TEM and universal testing machine, respectively. Swelling ability of the prepared membranes was determined in distilled water. The surfaces of the membranes were characterized by means of FTIR and SEM coupled with EDX after submersion in simulated body fluid (SBF) up to 15 days. Moreover, the calcium and phosphorus ion concentrations in the SBF were measured by UV-spectrophotometer. The in vitro drug release and the release mechanism of a model antibiotic, namely, ciprofloxacin (CFX), were tested in phosphate buffer saline (PBS) for 15 days. The antibacterial activities of the CFX-loaded membranes were tested against known microorganisms. The physicochemical properties, morphology, mechanical properties and swelling ability of the prepared membranes were found to be dependent on the presence of Nb2O5 allowing control of their properties. For example, the Nb2O5-loaded membranes exhibited a higher in vitro bioactivity and slower drug release compared to those of Nb2O5-free membranes. The CFX-loaded membranes also exhibited an excellent inhibition zones against the selected microorganisms. Overall, the prepared membranes have been found to be very promising for use in bone substitute’s applications.