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Bioengineering 2016, 3(4), 35;

Biosilica from Living Diatoms: Investigations on Biocompatibility of Bare and Chemically Modified Thalassiosira weissflogii Silica Shells

Italian National Council for Research—Institute for the Chemistry of OrganoMetallic Compounds (CNR-ICCOM)-Bari, Bari 70126, Italy
Department of Chemistry, Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro, Bari 70121, Italy
CNR-Nanotech, Lecce 73100, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chiara Vitale-Brovarone
Received: 10 November 2016 / Revised: 2 December 2016 / Accepted: 7 December 2016 / Published: 16 December 2016
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In the past decade, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) with a large surface area and pore volume have attracted considerable attention for their application in drug delivery and biomedicine. Here we propose biosilica from diatoms as an alternative source of mesoporous materials in the field of multifunctional supports for cell growth: the biosilica surfaces were chemically modified by traditional silanization methods resulting in diatom silica microparticles functionalized with 3-mercaptopropyl-trimethoxysilane (MPTMS) and 3-aminopropyl-triethoxysilane (APTES). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses revealed that the –SH or –NH2 were successfully grafted onto the biosilica surface. The relationship among the type of functional groups and the cell viability was established as well as the interaction of the cells with the nanoporosity of frustules. These results show that diatom microparticles are promising natural biomaterials suitable for cell growth, and that the surfaces, owing to the mercapto groups, exhibit good biocompatibility. View Full-Text
Keywords: diatoms; biosilica; cell growth diatoms; biosilica; cell growth

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Cicco, S.R.; Vona, D.; Gristina, R.; Sardella, E.; Ragni, R.; Lo Presti, M.; Farinola, G.M. Biosilica from Living Diatoms: Investigations on Biocompatibility of Bare and Chemically Modified Thalassiosira weissflogii Silica Shells. Bioengineering 2016, 3, 35.

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