The impact of copper oxide nanoparticles on the structure and applicability of bioactive glasses

  • K. MagyariEmail author
  • Zs. Pap
  • Z. R. Tóth
  • Zs. Kása
  • E. Licarete
  • D. C. Vodnar
  • K. Hernadi
  • L. BaiaEmail author
Original Paper: Sol-gel and hybrid materials for biological and health (medical) applications


In order to identify novel appropriate compositions for targeted tissue engineering applications, bioactive glasses with copper oxide content were synthesized by sol-gel method and further investigated. Copper oxide nanoparticles (Cu2ONP) were chosen with the aim of understanding the impact of different copper species on the biocompatibility and antibacterial activity. The structural analyses revealed that the copper in the glass samples is in the copper hydroxy phosphate form, i.e., Cu2(PO4)(OH). The in vitro bioactivity assessment revealed that in the simulated body fluid were leached ionic species as CuH2PO4+, which interact with biological materials. In vitro cells viability assays performed with Human keratinocytes cells show good proliferation rate for the sample with 0.2 mol% CuO. The good antibacterial effect was obtained against Pseudomonas aeruginosa using glasses with 0.2–0.5 mol% CuO, and against Staphylococcus aureus, where only the sample with 0.5 mol% CuO exhibited a slight effect.

Cu2ONP were used to understanding the impact of different copper species on the biocompatibility and antibacterial activity. The Cu2(PO4)(OH) is formed in the glass samples. In the simulated body fluid CuH2PO4+ leached which interacts to the cells and bacteria.


  • Copper oxide nanoparticles (Cu2ONP) used in sol-gel derived bioactive glasses.

  • Hydroxy phosphate form, i.e., Cu2(PO4)(OH) is formed in the glass samples.

  • In the simulated body fluid were leached ionic species as CuH2PO4+.

  • Good proliferation rate on Human keratinocytes cells were obtained for the sample with 0.2 mol% CuO.

  • The good antibacterial effect was obtained against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

  • Only Cu2+ is not sufficient for the good antibacterial effect.


Bioactive glasses Copper oxide nanoparticles Cell viability Antibacterial activity 



This work was supported by a grant of Ministry of Research and Innovation, CNCS—UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2016-1324, within PNCDI III.K. Magyari wishes to thank for the financial support provided by MTA Domus937/27/2016/HTMT.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nanostructured Materials and Bio-Nano-Interfaces Center, Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Bio-Nano-SciencesBabes-Bolyai UniversityCluj-NapocaRomania
  2. 2.Institute of Environmental Science and TechnologyUniversity of SzegedSzegedHungary
  3. 3.Research Group of Environmental Chemistry, Department of Applied and Environmental Chemistry, Institute of ChemistryUniversity of SzegedSzegedHungary
  4. 4.Molecular Biology Centre, Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Bio-Nano-SciencesBabes-Bolyai UniversityCluj-NapocaRomania
  5. 5.Faculty of Food Science and TechnologyUniversity of Agricultural Science and Veterinary MedicineCluj-NapocaRomania
  6. 6.Faculty of PhysicsBabes-Bolyai UniversityCluj-NapocaRomania

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