Development of an injectable pseudo-bone thermo-gel for application in small bone fractures
A pseudo-bone thermo-gel was synthesized and evaluated for its physicochemical, mechanical and rheological properties, with its application to treat small bone fractures. The pseudo-bone thermo-gel was proven to have thermo-responsive properties, behaving as a solution in temperatures below 25 °C, and forming a gelling technology when maintained at physiological conditions. Poly propylene fumerate (PPF), Pluronic F127 and PEG-PCL-PEG were strategically blended, obtaining a thermo-responsive delivery system, to mimic the mechanical properties of bone with sufficient matrix hardness and resilience. A Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS) class II drug, simvastatin, was loaded in the pseudo-bone thermo-gel, selected for its bone healing properties. In vitro release analysis was undertaken on a series of experimental formulations, with the ideal formulations obtaining its maximum controlled drug release profile up to 14 days. Ex vivo studies were undertaken on an induced 4 mm diameter butterfly-fractured osteoporotic human clavicle bone samples. X-ray, ultrasound as well as textural analysis, undertaken on the fractured bones before and after treatment displayed significant bone filling, matrix hardening and matrix resilience properties. These characteristics of the pseudo-bone thermo-gel thus proved significant potential for application in small bone fractures.