Lithiated porous silicon nanowires stimulate periodontal regeneration

Martti Kaasalainen, Ran Zhang, Priya Vashisth, Anahid Ahmadi Birjandi, Mark S'Ari, Davide Martella, Mark Isaacs, Ermei Makila, Cong Wang, Evelin Moldenhauer, Paul Clarke, Alessandra Pinna, Xuechen Zhang, Salman Ahmad Mustfa, Valeria Caprettini, Alexander Morrell, Eileen Gentleman, Delia S Brauer, Owen Addison, Xuehui ZhangMads Bergholt, Khuloud Al-Jamal, Ana Angelova Volponi, Jarno Salonen, Nicole Hondow, Paul Sharpe, Ciro Chiappini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Periodontal disease is a significant burden for oral health, causing progressive and irreversible damage to the support structure of the tooth. This complex structure, the periodontium, is composed of interconnected soft and mineralised tissues, posing a challenge for regenerative approaches. Materials combining silicon and lithium are widely studied in periodontal regeneration, as they stimulate bone repair via silicic acid release while providing regenerative stimuli through lithium activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Yet, existing materials for combined lithium and silicon release have limited control over ion release amounts and kinetics. Porous silicon can provide controlled silicic acid release, inducing osteogenesis to support bone regeneration. Prelithiation, a strategy developed for battery technology, can introduce large, controllable amounts of lithium within porous silicon, but yields a highly reactive material, unsuitable for biomedicine. This work debuts a strategy to lithiate porous silicon nanowires (LipSiNs) which generates a biocompatible and bioresorbable material. LipSiNs incorporate lithium to between 1% and 40% of silicon content, releasing lithium and silicic acid in a tailorable fashion from days to weeks. LipSiNs combine osteogenic, cementogenic and Wnt/β-catenin stimuli to regenerate bone, cementum and periodontal ligament fibres in a murine periodontal defect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number487
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Early online date12 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jan 2024


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