Boron is an essential metalloid, which plays a key role in plant and animal metabolisms. It has been reported that boron is involved in bone mineralization, has some uses in synthetic chemistry, and its potential has been only recently exploited in medicinal chemistry. However, in the area of tissue engineering, the use of boron is limited to works involving certain bioactive glasses. In this study, we engineer poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) substrates with sustained release of boron. Then, we analyze for the first time the uniqueness effects of boron in cell differentiation using murine C2C12 myoblasts and discuss a potential mechanism of action in cooperation with Ca2+. Our results demonstrate that borax-loaded materials strongly enhance myotube formation at initial steps of myogenesis. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Ca2+ plays an essential role in combination with borax as chelating or blocking Ca2+ entry into the cell leads to a detrimental effect on myoblast differentiation observed on borax-loaded materials. This research identifies borax-loaded materials to trigger differentiation mechanisms and it establishes a new tool to engineer microenvironments with applications in regenerative medicine for muscular diseases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering