The Efficacy of Cyclic Injection of Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 in Large-Scale Calvarial Bone Defects

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Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) appears to be one of the most potent growth factors thus far studied. However, recent publications on the clinical application of BMP-2 revealed that its correct control is the paramount issue in clinical practice. For improving BMP-2 delivery, the cyclic administration might be an alternative. Accordingly, the authors cyclically injected BMP-2 in a cyclic injection model of large cranial defects to maintain the proper dosage during the bone healing process. A 10-mm diameter calvarial bone defect was produced using a round drill in 8-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats. Silk-hydroxyapatite scaffolds soaked in the appropriate concentration of BMP-2 were implanted into the defect. The animals were split into 4 single-injection groups and 3 multiple-injection groups; the latter groups received weekly subcutaneous injections of BMP-2 solution (1, 5, and 10 μg/mL) for 4 weeks, whereas the former groups received a single injection of BMP-2 at these concentrations. Each rat underwent computed tomography at 8 weeks. In terms of total volumes of the new bone, the 5 μg/mL multiple-injection BMP-2 group had significantly greater increases in bone volume than the single-injection groups. In terms of bone thickness, the multiple-injection groups had better outcomes than the single-injection groups. Thus, the cyclic injection protocol restored the original thickness without overgrowth. Cyclic injection of BMP-2 permits more accurate dosage control than single injection and improves thickness and dense bone regeneration. Therefore, it may represent a promising approach for future clinical trials. Further investigation using a greater number of animals is required.

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