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Sci Transl Med. 2019 Jul 24;11(502). pii: eaau7411. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aau7411.

Multifunctional scaffolds for facile implantation, spontaneous fixation, and accelerated long bone regeneration in rodents.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655, USA.
2
Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655, USA. jie.song@umassmed.edu.

Abstract

Graft-guided regenerative repair of critical long bone defects achieving facile surgical delivery, stable graft fixation, and timely restoration of biomechanical integrity without excessive biotherapeutics remains challenging. Here, we engineered hydration-induced swelling/stiffening and thermal-responsive shape-memory properties into scalable, three-dimensional-printed amphiphilic degradable polymer-osteoconductive mineral composites as macroporous, non-load-bearing, resorbable synthetic grafts. The distinct physical properties of the grafts enabled straightforward surgical insertion into critical-size rat femoral segmental defects. Grafts rapidly recovered their precompressed shape, stiffening and swelling upon warm saline rinse to result in 100% stable graft fixation. The osteoconductive macroporous grafts guided bone formation throughout the defect as early as 4 weeks after implantation; new bone remodeling correlated with rates of scaffold composition-dependent degradation. A single dose of 400-ng recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2/7 heterodimer delivered via the graft accelerated bone regeneration bridging throughout the entire defect by 4 weeks after delivery. Full restoration of torsional integrity and complete scaffold resorption were achieved by 12 to 16 weeks after surgery. This biomaterial platform enables personalized bone regeneration with improved surgical handling, in vivo efficacy and safety.

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