Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 54, Issue 17, pp 11390–11399 | Cite as

Structural characterization of bioactive glasses containing rare earth elements (Gd and/or Yb)

  • Roger Borges
  • José F. Schneider
  • Juliana MarchiEmail author


Rare earth-containing bioactive glasses are promising materials for biomedical applications like brachytherapy, luminescence-based imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, among others, due to the electronic configuration of rare earth. Although studies of such glasses have continuously been increasing, they still have been poorly studied as biomaterials. In this work, we studied the influence of gadolinium and ytterbium on the structure of bioactive glasses and iron-based bioactive glasses. The glasses were obtained by melt quenching, and their structures were characterized by X-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance and scanning electron microscopy. The results showed that the addition of rare earth elements in the glass structure creates more non-bridging oxygen bonds in the silicate network, to satisfy the condition of octahedral coordination of the rare earth ions. An observed Q3 → Q2 + Q1 depolymerization of the glass network is a factor that could favor bioactivity. In conclusion, our experimental data address the bioactive behavior of rare earth-containing glasses to an increased concentration of non-bridging oxygen bonds and a more fragmented network.



The authors gratefully acknowledge Profa. Dra. Marcia Spinace and her graduate student MSc. Asaph for their support on the FTIR analysis, and Prof. Dr. Carlos Rettori and Dr. Michael Cabrera-Baez for their support on the EPR measurements and analysis. We are grateful to the Centro em Ciência e Tecnologia dos Materiais at IPEN/CNEN São Paulo, Brazil, for their support on the scanning electron microscopy, and to Central Experimental Multiusuário CEM/UFABC, Brazil, for the facilities support. The authors also appreciate the financial support provided by UFABC and Brazilian Founding Agencies such as FAPESP (2014/19308-8, 2013/07793-6, 2016/16512-0 and 2011/19924-2) and CNPq (308142/2015-2, 130637/2016-5, 402066/2016-2 and 08142/2015-2).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors do not have any conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Ciências Naturais e HumanasUniversidade Federal do ABCSanto AndréBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de Física de São CarlosUniversidade de São PauloSão CarlosBrazil

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