Fabrication of Nano-Macro Porous Glass with a Water Soluble Pore Former



Lehigh University has developed a superior method for creating interconnected nano-macro porous glass. Most often glass is used as one monolithic solid. However, it becomes the material of choice for many other applications in tissue engineering, catalysis, virus separation, etc., if it is made with controlled porosity. For example in regenerative medicine a biocompatible material is needed to repair damaged or diseased tissue to its original state or function be helping natural healing processes to work faster with human cell cultures, the so-called scaffolds, which acts as a 3D template for cell growth, differentiation, and formation of living tissues. Scaffolds containing dual porosity, at the nano and macroscale, have been claimed to exhibit a better performance in terms of crystallization of hydroxycarbonate apatite, cell adhesion and proliferation and also vascularization. Another example in HIV Diagnostics, nano-macroporous materials is needed to separate the HIV virus from human blood cells. The present invention provides a method for preparing a silica-based bioactive scaffold and matrix to separate HIV from human blood cells, based on a melt-quench procedure that induces phase separation. The glass and sucrose powders were mixed and compacted by pressing in a die at room temperature. The sucrose part in composite compact was dissolved in water at room temperature. Thus 3D interconnected macroporous structures with controlled sizes was formed readily. The macroporous glass is sinter-heat treated to produce complex microstructures consisting of phase separation and crystallization at multiple length scales. The macroporous glass-ceramic is chemical treated to leach parts of the newly formed selected phases. The pore structure of the resulting glass-ceramic, which consists of interconnected pored of micrometer, and several to tens as well as hundreds of pores in nanometer sizes, is optimized for enhanced bone regenerating and HIV diagnostic performance. The newly demonstrated using sucrose as a macro pore former is resulted in highly interconnected 3D porous glass and also improved a previous method for fabricating nano-macro porous soda lime phosphosilicate glass (melt-quench-heat-etch). The same method can be extended to other compositions that show pinodal phase separation, which will be more suitable for applications other than bioscaffolds or virus separation.


Lehigh Tech ID#012510-01




While tissue scaffold engineering for bone and cartilage repair may not be a new development, there is still an immediate window of opportunity for such technologies. This is due not only to the size of the global bone replacement material market, which is around $2B as of 2010, but also due to the aging baby-boomer population and the need for more innovative and effective bone replacement and grafting techniques. [1]


[1] “Bioactive Technologies for Bone Replacement,” Medical Devices Today web site, http://www.medicaldevicestoday.com/2010/06/bioactive-technologies-for-bone-replacement.html, accessed September 2, 2010.




Lehigh University is initially interested in identifying industry partners to co-develop the material, ultimately leading to licensing.



App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Utility United States 13/358,858 9,656,900 1/26/2012 5/23/2017  
For Information, Contact:
Rick Smith
Lehigh University
Himanshu Jain
Hassan Moawad