Neither allograft nor commercially available bone graft substitutes provide the same quality of bone healing as autograft. Incorporation of bioactive molecules like parathyroid hormone (PTH) within bone graft substitute materials may provide similar, if not better treatment options to grafting. The goal of this work was to develop a biomaterial system for the local delivery of PTH to large bone defects for promoting bone regeneration. PTH was loaded in a thiol-ene hydrogel at several concentrations and polymerized in and around an osteoconductive poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF) scaffold. PTH was shown to be bioactive when released from the hydrogel for up to 21 days. Eighty percent of the PTH was released by day 3 with the remaining 20% released by day 14. Bone healing was quantified in rat critical size femoral defects that were treated with hydrogel/PPF and 0, 1, 3, 10, or 30 µg of PTH. Although complete osseous healing was not observed in all samples in any one treatment group, all samples in the 10 µg PTH group were bridged fully by bone or a combination of bone and cartilage containing hypertrophic chondrocytes and endochondral ossification. Outcome measures indicated improved defect bridging by a combination of bony and cartilaginous tissue in the 10 μg treatment group compared with empty bone defects and defects treated with only hydrogel/PPF (i.e., without PTH). Given the tailorability of the hydrogel, future studies will investigate the effects of prolonged gradual PTH release on bone healing.
- bone regeneration
- fracture healing
- tissue engineering scaffold
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine