Size-dependent osteogenesis of black phosphorus in nanocomposite hydrogel scaffolds

Haocheng Xu, Xifeng Liu, Sungjo Park, Andre Terzic, Lichun Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A promising new strategy emerged in bone tissue engineering is to incorporate black phosphorus (BP) into polymer scaffolds, fabricating nanocomposite hydrogel platforms with biocompatibility, degradation controllability, and osteogenic capacity. BP quantum dot is a new concept and stands out recently among the BP family due to its tiny structure and a series of excellent characteristics. In this study, BP was processed into nanosheets of three different sizes via different exfoliation strategies and then incorporated into cross-linkable oligo[poly(ethylene glycol) fumarate] (OPF) to produce nanocomposite hydrogels for bone regeneration. The three different BP nanosheets were designated as BP-L, BP-M, and BP-S, with a corresponding diameter of 242.3 ± 90.0, 107.1 ± 47.9, and 18.8 ± 4.6 nm. The degradation kinetics and osteogenic capacity of MC3T3 pre-osteoblasts in vitro were both dependent on the BP size. BP exhibited a controllable degradation rate, which increased with the decrease of the size of the nanosheets, coupled with the release of phosphate in vitro. The osteogenic capacity of the hydrogels was promoted with the addition of all BP nanosheets, compared with OPF hydrogel alone. The smallest BP quantum dots was shown to be optimal in enhancing MC3T3 cell behaviors, including spreading, distribution, proliferation, and differentiation on the OPF hydrogels. These results reinforced that the supplementation of BP quantum dots into OPF nanocomposite hydrogel scaffolds could potentially find application in the restoration of bone defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1488-1498
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • black phosphorus
  • hydrogel
  • osteogenesis
  • quantum dot
  • size effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


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