Commercially available recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP2) has demonstrated efficacy in bone regeneration, but not without significant side effects. In this study, we utilize rhBMP2 encapsulated in PLGA microspheres (PLGA-rhBMP2) placed in a rabbit cranial defect model to test whether low-dose, sustained, delivery can effectively induce bone regeneration.
rhBMP2 was encapsulated in 15% poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid), using a double emulsion, solvent extraction/evaporation technique, and its release kinetics and bioactivity were tested. Two critical-size defects (10mm) were created in the calvarium of New Zealand White rabbits (5-7 mos of age, M/F) and filled with a collagen scaffold containing one of four groups: 1) no implant, 2) collagen scaffold only, 3) PLGA-rhBMP2(0.1ug/implant), or 4) free rhBMP2 (0.1ug/implant). After 6 weeks, the rabbits were sacrificed and defects were analyzed by μCT, histology, and finite element analysis.
RhBMP2 delivered via bioactive PLGA microspheres resulted in higher volumes and surface area coverage of new bone than an equal dose of free rhBMP2 by μCT and histology (p=0.025, 0.025). FEA indicated that the mechanical competence using the regional elastic modulus did not differ with rhBMP2 exposure (p=0.70). PLGA-rhBMP2 did not demonstrate heterotopic ossification, craniosynostosis, or seroma formation.
Sustained delivery via PLGA microspheres can significantly reduce the rhBMP2 dose required for de novo bone formation. Optimization of the delivery system may be a key to reduce the risk for recently reported rhBMP2 related adverse effects.
Level of Evidence