• Open Access

Nanostructural materials increase mineralization in bone cells and affect gene expression through miRNA regulation


Alexandru S. BIRIS, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Nanotechnology Center, Applied Science Department, Little Rock, AR 72204, USA. Tel.: 1-(501) 683–7458 Fax: 1-(501) 683–7601 E-mail: asbiris@ualr.edu


We report that several nanomaterials induced enhanced mineralization (increased numbers and larger areas of mineral nests) in MC3T3-E1 bone cells, with the highest response being induced by silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). We demonstrate that AgNPs altered microRNA expression resulting in specific gene expression associated with bone formation. We suggest that the identified essential transcriptional factors and bone morphogenetic proteins play an important role in activation of the process of mineralization in bone cells exposed to AgNPs.