Biofunctionalized ceramic with self-assembled networks of nanochannels

Hae Lin Jang, Keunho Lee, Chan Soon Kang, Hye Kyoung Lee, Hyo Yong Ahn, Hui Yun Jeong, Sunghak Park, Seul Cham Kim, Kyoungsuk Jin, Jimin Park, Tae Youl Yang, Jin Hong Kim, Seon Ae Shin, Heung Nam Han, Kyu Hwan Oh, Ho Young Lee, Jun Lim, Kug Sun Hong, Malcolm L. Snead, Jimmy XuKi Tae Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Nature designs circulatory systems with hierarchically organized networks of gradually tapered channels ranging from micrometer to nanometer in diameter. In most hard tissues in biological systems, fluid, gases, nutrients and wastes are constantly exchanged through such networks. Here, we developed a biologically inspired, hierarchically organized structure in ceramic to achieve effective permeation with minimum void region, using fabrication methods that create a long-range, highly interconnected nanochannel system in a ceramic biomaterial. This design of a synthetic model-material was implemented through a novel pressurized sintering process formulated to induce a gradual tapering in channel diameter based on pressure-dependent polymer agglomeration. The resulting system allows long-range, efficient transport of fluid and nutrients into sites and interfaces that conventional fluid conduction cannot reach without external force. We demonstrate the ability of mammalian bone-forming cells placed at the distal transport termination of the nanochannel system to proliferate in a manner dependent solely upon the supply of media by the self-powering nanochannels. This approach mimics the significant contribution that nanochannel transport plays in maintaining living hard tissues by providing nutrient supply that facilitates cell growth and differentiation, and thereby makes the ceramic composite "alive".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4447-4457
Number of pages11
JournalACS nano
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 28
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.


  • bioinspired
  • ceramics
  • fluid transports
  • hierarchical structures
  • nanochannels
  • polymer agglomeration
  • pressure gradient sintering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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