Bone augmentation using a highly porous PLGA/β-TCP scaffold containing fibroblast growth factor-2

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Abstract

Background and Objective:

Beta-tricalcium phosphate (β-TCP), a bio-absorbable ceramic, facilitates bone conductivity. We constructed a highly porous three-dimensional scaffold, using β-TCP, for bone tissue engineering and coated it with co-poly lactic acid/glycolic acid (PLGA) to improve the mechanical strength and biological performance. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of implantation of the PLGA/β-TCP scaffold loaded with fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) on bone augmentation.

Material and Methods:

The β-TCP scaffold was fabricated by the replica method using polyurethane foam, then coated with PLGA. The PLGA/β-TCP scaffold was characterized by scanning electron miscroscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction, compressive testing, cell culture and a subcutaneous implant test. Subsequently, a bone-forming test was performed using 52 rats. The β-TCP scaffold, PLGA-coated scaffold, and β-TCP and PLGA-coated scaffolds loaded with FGF-2, were implanted into rat cranial bone. Histological observations were made at 10 and 35 d postsurgery.

Results:

SEM and TEM observations showed a thin PLGA layer on the β-TCP particles after coating. High porosity (> 90%) of the scaffold was exhibited after PLGA coating, and the compressive strength of the PLGA/β-TCP scaffold was six-fold greater than that of the noncoated scaffold. Good biocompatibility of the PLGA/β-TCP scaffold was found in the culture and implant tests. Histological samples obtained following implantation of PLGA/β-TCP scaffold loaded with FGF-2 showed significant bone augmentation.

Conclusion:

The PLGA coating improved the mechanical strength of β-TCP scaffolds while maintaining high porosity and tissue compatibility. PLGA/β-TCP scaffolds, in combination with FGF-2, are bioeffective for bone augmentation.

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