During minimally invasive orthopedic surgeries, surgical intervention is required at two stages; to attain hemostasis and subsequently to implant the bone graft or its substitute. There is an apparent need for a material which can simultaneously control bone bleeding and provide support for bone repair. In this work, a moldable putty, which can be applied to bone defects (usually irregular in shape), was developed to address this need. It comprises of a hemostatic factor thrombin, osteoinductive "yolk-shell" particles containing bone growth factor (BMP-2), and an osteoconductive component hydroxyapatite. The yolk shell particles allowed controlled release of BMP-2 and showed significantly enhanced osteogenic differentiation of C2C12 (mouse myoblast) cells as demonstrated by increased alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and relative gene expressions of osteogenic differentiation markers. These particles were assembled into a moldable putty by mixing them with hydroxyapatite and silk fibroin solution (binding agent) supplemented with thrombin. The putty showed non-cytotoxicity, hemostatic ability, sustained release of BMP-2 and induced increased mineralization in C2C12 cells. This putty, if applied to bone defects during surgeries, may help attain hemostasis and may enhance bone repair by providing sustained release of bone growth factors.
Application of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) currently faces its challenges, and its efficacy of delivery has to be improved. The proper dosage of the powerful bioactive molecule is still under discussion and needs to be investigated further. In this work, pure silk fibroin particles and particles with calcium carbonate encrustation (complex particles) are designed, developed, and functionalized by BMP-2. These are used to deliver the bioactive molecule to mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to induce osteogenic differentiation. Results are compared with those of control groups of BMP-2 carriers under the same condition. Silk fibroin-based particles with size and component variations are prepared by self-assembly, desolvation, and soft template formation to improve BMP-2 loading efficiency. Results show that the particles significantly enhance osteogenic differentiation of MSCs, which is evident in the high ALP enzyme activity as well as the increased level of expression of osteogenic genes. Specifically, the combination of calcium compound and BMP-2 in the silk fibroin-calcium carbonate complex particles synergistically enhances osteogenesis. Release tests and mathematical modeling are applied to describe BMP-2 dissolution profiles, and the release mechanism is based on diffusion and polymer chain relaxation. In summary, the particles show high efficacies of BMP-2 delivery, and introduction of the complex particle can progressively enhance osteogenesis.
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