The Extraction and Measurement of Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7 From Bovine Cortical Bone as a Function of Particle Size

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Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), present in parts per billion in bone, endow demineralized bone matrix (DBM) with osteoinductive properties suitable for clinical use. Although BMPs are mainly associated with bone matrix, they also associate with other bone compartments as well, including the mineral phase. The purpose of this study was to gain a more complete understanding of the distribution of BMPs in undemineralized bone. Eleven discrete particle size ranges of bovine cortical bone were prepared, ranging between less than 25 μm and 600 to 710 μm for the smallest and largest sizes, respectively. The bone was extracted with 4-M guanidine-HCl/0.05-M Tris-HCl, and the amount of BMP-7 released was measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay. In addition, 106- to 710-μm bone particles were demineralized and similarly extracted for comparison. The measured BMP-7 content of the DBM was 24.6 ± 1.56 ng/g. The values for bone increased nonlinearly with decreasing particle size, ranging from 1.13 ± 0.50 ng/g for the 600- to 710-μm particles to 4.18 ± 1.14 ng/g for the less than 25-μm particles (P < 0.001). However, modeling the bone particles as solid spheres to estimate total surface area showed that the extracted BMP-7 per unit area was greater for larger particle sizes. These seemingly opposing results suggest that BMPs may become proportionally damaged or altered in response to the increased forces required to generate smaller particles and, as such, may not be detectable with enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay. In addition, minimization of bone particle size is not an effective strategy to approach the BMP availability of DBM.

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