By Nick Gilbert
A multi-institute research team has developed a hybrid porous scaffold with improved osteoinductivity.
The institutes include the National Center for Child Health and Development’s Department of Reproductive Biology; Advanced Science Institute of RIKEN; Nano Medical Engineering Laboratory; National Institute for Materials Science; International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics; and Tissue Regeneration Materials Unit.
Regenerative medicine utilizing porous scaffolds is a promising technique to regenerate bone defect caused by disease or injury because bone tissue has limited restoration or regeneration capacity. On the other hand, the fabrication of polymeric porous scaffolds having high mechanical strength and biocompatibility is impossible using a single material. To overcome this issue, the scientists earlier designed a porous scaffold by hybridizing a biodegradable synthetic polymer like poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) and a naturally derived polymer for tissue regeneration.
The addition of bioactive factors will enhance the bioactivity of the hybrid scaffold. In the current work, the researchers added BMP4, a bioactive factor that supports bone formation, to the earlier developed hybrid scaffold, resulting in the creation of a three-component hybrid porous scaffold material comprising PLGA mesh, collagen sponge and BMP4.
The BMP4 was fixed in the hybrid scaffold using BMP4’s fusion protein and an amino acid sequence that allows bonding with collagen molecules. Genetic engineering technique was utilized to prepare the fusion protein in order to retain the BMP4’s bioactivity even after hybridization. The 3-component hybrid porous scaffold imitates the micro- and nano-environment around cells in vivo. The scaffold demonstrated improved bioactivity to advance bone tissue formation following the subcutaneous implantation in mice.
This 3-component hybrid porous holds potential in treating large bone defect by promoting bone tissue regeneration. Since the hybridization of the new scaffold is also possible with other bioactive proteins bonded with collagen-binding domain, the scaffold shows promise in the regeneration of different types of tissues such as skin and cartilage.