Natural inorganic/organic nanohybrids are a fascinating model in biomaterials design due to their ultra-microstructure and extraordinary properties. Here, we report unique-structured nanohybrids through self-assembly of biomedical inorganic/organic nanounits, composed of bioactive inorganic nanoparticle core (hydroxyapatite, bioactive glass, or mesoporous silica) and chitosan shell - namely Chit@IOC. The inorganic core thin-shelled with chitosan could constitute as high as 90%, strikingly contrasted with the conventional composites. The Chit@IOC nanohybrids were highly resilient under cyclic load and resisted external stress almost an order of magnitude effectively than the conventional composites. The nanohybrids, with the nano-roughened surface topography, could accelerate the cellular responses through stimulated integrin-mediated focal adhesions. The nanohybrids were also able to load multiple therapeutic molecules in the core and shell compartment and then release sequentially, demonstrating controlled delivery systems. The nanohybrids compartmentally-loaded with therapeutic molecules (dexamethasone, fibroblast growth factor 2, and phenamil) were shown to stimulate the anti-inflammatory, pro-angiogenic and osteogenic events of relevant cells. When implanted in the in vivo calvarium defect model with 3D-printed scaffold forms, the therapeutic nanohybrids were proven to accelerate new bone formation. Overall, the nanohybrids self-assembled from Chit@IOC nanounits, with their unique properties (ultrahigh inorganic content, nano-topography, high resilience, multiple-therapeutics delivery, and cellular activation), can be considered as promising 3D tissue regenerative platforms.
Keywords : Self-assembly, inorganic-organic nanohybrids, core-shell, ultrahigh inorganic content, resilience, controlled drug delivery, tissue regeneration