Spatial Recombinant Human Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 Delivery from Hydroxyapatite Scaffolds Sustains Bone Regeneration in Rabbit Radius

Joo L. Ong, Stefanie M. Shiels, Joseph Pearson, Suyash Karajgar, Solaleh Miar, Gennifer Chiou, Mark R. Appleford, Joseph C. Wenke, Teja Guda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Regenerating large bone defects requires a multifaceted approach combining optimal scaffold designs with appropriate growth factor delivery. Supraphysiological doses of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP2), typically used for the regeneration of large bone defects clinically in conjunction with an acellular collagen sponge (ACS), have resulted in many complications. In this study, we develop a hydroxyapatite/collagen I (HA/Col) scaffold to improve the mechanical properties of the HA scaffolds, while maintaining open connected porosity. Varying rhBMP2 dosages were then delivered from a collagenous periosteal membrane and paired with HA or HA/Col scaffolds to treat critical-sized (15 mm) diaphyseal radial defect in New Zealand white rabbits. The groups examined were ACS +76 μg rhBMP2 (clinically used INFUSE dosage), HA +76 μg rhBMP2, HA +15 μg rhBMP2, HA/Col +15 μg rhBMP2, and HA/Col +15 μg rhBMP2 + bone marrow-derived stromal cells (bMSCs). After 8 weeks of implantation, all regenerated bones were evaluated using microcomputed tomography, histology, histomorphometry, and torsional testing. It was observed that the bone volume regenerated in the HA/Col +15 μg rhBMP2 group was significantly higher than that in the groups with 76 μg rhBMP2. The same scaffold and growth factor combination resulted in the highest bone mineral density of the regenerated bone, and the most bone apposition on the scaffold surface. Both the HA and HA/Col scaffolds paired with 15 μg rhBMP2 had sustained ingrowth of the mineralization front after 2 weeks compared to the groups with 76 μg rhBMP2, which had far greater mineralization in the first 2 weeks after implantation. Complete bridging of the defect site and no significant difference in torsional strength, stiffness, or angle at failure were observed across all groups. No benefit of additional bMSC seeding was observed on any of the quantified metrics, while bone-implant apposition was reduced in the cell-seeded group. This study demonstrated that the controlled spatial delivery of rhBMP2 at the periosteum at significantly lower doses can be used as a strategy to improve bone regeneration around space maintaining scaffolds. Inside-out or outside-in: growth factors delivered from the outside of porous mineral-collagen scaffolds, maintain strength and regrow bone better in a rabbit study. Twitter handle for senior author (@Guda_Lab) and sponsoring institution (@UTSA) This study provides insights on bone regeneration in the presence of spatially controlled delivery of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP2) from porous hydroxyapatite scaffolds coated with collagen I films. Using critical-sized defects created in the radial diaphysis of skeletally mature New Zealand White rabbits, microcomputed tomography and histomorphometry indicated significantly higher bone regeneration, bone mineral density, and bone-implant contact, as well as sustained regeneration over longer durations with lower dosage of rhBMP2 delivered periosteally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-374
Number of pages12
JournalTissue Engineering - Part C: Methods
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • bone
  • collagen
  • hydroxyapatite
  • periosteal
  • rhBMP2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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