New solutions for large bone defect repair are needed. Here, in situ gelling slow release systems for bone induction are assessed. Collagen-I based Recombinant Peptide (RCP) microspheres (MSs) are produced and used as a carrier for bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2). The RCP-MSs are dispersed in three hydrogels: high mannuronate (SLM) alginate, high guluronate (SLG) alginate, and thermoresponsive hyaluronan derivative (HApN). HApN+RCP-MS forms a gel structure at 32 ºC or above, while SLM+RCP-MS and SLG+RCP-MS respond to shear stress displaying thixotropic behavior. Alginate formulations show sustained release of BMP-2, while there is minimal release from HApN. These formulations are injected subcutaneously in rats. SLM+RCP-MS and SLG+RCP-MS loaded with BMP-2 induce ectopic bone formation as revealed by X-ray tomography and histology, whereas HApN+RCP-MS do not. Vascularization occurs within all the formulations studied and is significantly higher in SLG+MS and HApN+RCP-MS than in SLM+RCP-MS. Inflammation (based on macrophage subset staining) decreases over time in both alginate groups, but increases in the HApN+RCP-MS condition. It is shown that a balance between inflammatory cell infiltration, BMP-2 release, and vascularization, achieved in the SLG+RCP-MS alginate condition, is optimal for the induction of de novo bone formation.

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Keywords alginate, BMP-2 (bone morphogenetic protein-2), bone tissue engineering, hyaluronan, injectable in situ gelling slow release system
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Journal Advanced Healthcare Materials
Fahmy-Garcia, S. (Shorouk), Mumcuoglu, D. (Didem), de Miguel, L. (Laura), Dieleman, V. (Veerle), Witte-Bouma, J, van der Eerden, B.C.J, … Farrell, E. (2018). Novel In Situ Gelling Hydrogels Loaded with Recombinant Collagen Peptide Microspheres as a Slow-Release System Induce Ectopic Bone Formation. Advanced Healthcare Materials. doi:10.1002/adhm.201800507