Biomacromolecules, Vol.19, No.11, 4239-4249, 2018
Enhanced Skull Bone Regeneration by Sustained Release of BMP-2 in Interpenetrating Composite Hydrogels
Direct administration of bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) for bone regeneration could cause various clinical side effects such as osteoclast activation, inflammation, adipogenesis, and bone cyst formation. In this study, thiolated gelatin/poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) interpenetrating (IPN) composite hydrogels were developed for guided skull bone regeneration. To promote bone regeneration, either polycation-based coacervates (Coa) or gelatin microparticles (GMPs) were incorporated within IPN gels as BMP-2 carriers. Both BMP-2 loaded Coa and BMP-2 loaded GMPs showed significantly enhanced in vitro alkaline phosphate (ALP) activity of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) than non-BMP-2 treated control. Moreover, BMP-2 loaded GMPs group exhibited statistically increased ALP activity compared to both bolus BMP-2 administration and BMP-2 loaded Coa group, indicating that our carriers could protect and maintain biological activity of cargo BMP-2. Sustained release kinetics of BMP-2 from IPN composite hydrogels could be controlled by different formulations. For in vivo bone regeneration, various IPN gel formulations (i.e., (1) control, (2) only hydrogel, (3) hydrogel with bolus BMP-2, (4) hydrogel with BMP-2-loaded Coa, and (5) hydrogel with BMP-2-loaded GMPs) were bilaterally implanted into S mm-sized rat calvarial defects. After 4 weeks, micro-CT and histological analysis were performed to evaluate new bone formation. Significantly higher scores for bony bridging and union were observed in BMP-2-loaded Coa and BMP-2-loaded GMP groups as compared to other formulations. In addition, rats treated with BMP2-loaded GMPs showed a significantly higher ratio of bone volume/total volume and lower trabecular separation scores than others. Finally, rats treated with either Coa or GMP groups exhibited a significant increase in bone formation area, as assessed via histomorphometric analysis. Taken together, it could be concluded that Coa and GMPs were effective carriers to maintain the bioactivity of cargo BMP-2 during its sustained release. Consequently, our IPN composite hydrogel system that combines such BMP-2 carriers could effectively promote skull bone regeneration.