The application of mesoporous bioactive glasses (MBGs) containing controllable amount of different ions, with the aim to impart antibacterial activity, as well as stimulation of osteogenesis and angiogenesis, is attracting an increasing interest.

In this contribution, in order to endow nano-sized MBG with additional biological functions, the framework of a binary SiO2-CaO mesoporous glass was modified with different concentrations of copper ions (2 and 5% mol.), through a one-pot ultrasound-assisted sol-gel procedure. The Cu-containing MBG (2% mol.) showed high exposed surface area (550 m2 g−1), uniform mesoporous channels (2.6 nm), remarkable in vitro bioactive behaviour and sustained release of Cu2+ ions.

Cu-MBG nanoparticles and their ionic dissolution extracts exhibited antibacterial effect against three different bacteria strains, E. coli, S. aureus, S. epidermidis, and the ability to inhibit and disperse the biofilm produced by S. epidermidis.

The obtained results suggest that the developed material, which combines in single multifunctional agent excellent bioactivity and antimicrobial ability, offers promising opportunities for the prevention of infectious diseases and the effective treatment of bone defects.

This article originally appeared in Acta Biomaterialia 55, 2017, Pages 493–504.