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Biomaterials. 2010 Aug;31(23):6004-12. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.04.013. Epub 2010 May 15.

Bone regeneration mediated by biomimetic mineralization of a nanofiber matrix.

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Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


Rapid bone regeneration within a three-dimensional defect without the use of bone grafts, exogenous growth factors, or cells remains a major challenge. We report here on the use of self-assembling peptide nanostructured gels to promote bone regeneration that have the capacity to mineralize in biomimetic fashion. The main molecular design was the use of phosphoserine residues in the sequence of a peptide amphiphile known to nucleate hydroxyapatite crystals on the surfaces of nanofibers. We tested the system in a rat femoral critical-size defect by placing pre-assembled nanofiber gels in a 5mm gap and analyzed bone formation with micro-computed tomography and histology. We found within 4 weeks significantly higher bone formation relative to controls lacking phosphorylated residues and comparable bone formation to that observed in animals treated with a clinically used allogenic bone matrix.

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