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Acta Biomater. 2012 Aug;8(8):3128-37. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2012.04.030. Epub 2012 Apr 24.

Comparative study of osteogenic potential of a composite scaffold incorporating either endogenous bone morphogenetic protein-2 or exogenous phytomolecule icaritin: an in vitro efficacy study.

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Department of Orthopaedics & Traumatology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China.


A local delivery system with sustained and efficient release of therapeutic agents from an appropriate carrier is desirable for orthopedic applications. Novel composite scaffolds made of poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) with tricalcium phosphate (PLGA/TCP) were fabricated by an advanced low-temperature rapid prototyping technique, which incorporated either endogenous bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) (PLGA/TCP/BMP-2) or phytomolecule icaritin (ICT) (PLGA/TCP/ICT) at low, middle and high doses. PLGA/TCP served as control. In vitro degradation, osteogenesis and release tests showed statistical differences among PLGA/TCP/ICT, PLGA/TCP and PLGA/TCP/BMP-2 groups, where PLGA/TCP/ICT had the desired slow release of bioactive icaritin in a dose-dependent manner, whereas there was almost no BMP-2 release from the PLGA/TCP/BMP-2 scaffolds. PLGA/TCP/ICT significantly increased more ALP activity, upregulated mRNA expression of osteogenic genes and enhanced calcium deposition and mineralization in rabbit bone marrow stem cells cultured on scaffolds compared with the other two groups. These results indicate the desired degradation rate, osteogenic capability and release property in PLGA/TCP/ICT composite scaffold, as icaritin preserved its bioactivity and structure after incorporation, while PLGA/TCP/BMP-2 did not show an initially expected osteogenic potential, owing to loss of the original bioactivity of BMP-2 during its incorporation and fabrication procedure. The results suggest that PLGA/TCP composite scaffolds incorporating osteogenic ICT might be a promising approach for bone tissue bioengineering and regeneration.

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