Effect of triple growth factor controlled delivery by a brushite-PLGA system on a bone defect.

PMID 22035848


Bone regeneration is a complex process that involves multiple cell types, growth factors (GFs) and cytokines. A synergistic contribution of various GFs and a crosstalk between their signalling pathways was suggested as determinative for the overall osteogenic outcome. The purpose of this work was to develop a brushite-PLGA system, which controls the release rate of the integrated growth factors (GFs) to enhance bone formation. The brushite cement implants were prepared by mixing a phosphate solid phase with an acid liquid phase. PDGF (250 ng) and TGF-β1 (100 ng) were incorporated into the liquid phase. PLGA microsphere-encapsulated VEGF (350 ng) was pre-blended with the solid phase. VEGF, PDGF and TGF-β1 release kinetics and tissue distributions were determined using iodinated ((125)I) GFs. In vivo results showed that PDGF and TGF-β1 were delivered more rapidly from these systems implanted in an intramedullary defect in rabbit femurs than VEGF. The three GFs released from the brushite-PLGA system remained located around the implantation site (5 cm) with negligible systemic exposure. Bone peak concentrations of approximately 4 ng/g and 1.5 ng/g of PDGF and TGF-β1, respectively were achieved on day 3. Thereafter, PDGF and TGF-β1 concentrations stayed above 1 ng/g during the first week. The scaffolds also provided a VEGF peak concentration of nearly 6 ng/g on day 7 and a local concentration of approximately 1.5 ng/g during at least 4 weeks. Four weeks post implantation bone formation was considerably enhanced with the brushite-PLGA system loaded with each of the three GFs separately as well as with the combination of PDGF and VEGF. The addition of TGF-β1 did not further improve the outcome. In conclusion, the herein presented brushite-PLGA system effectively controlled the release kinetics and localisation of the three GFs within the defect site resulting in markedly enhanced bone regeneration.