The Use of Bone Morphogenetic Proteins to Heal Fractures, Articular Cartilage Defects, and Ligament and Tendon Injuries

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Abstract

Summary

The bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) represent a group of multifunctional mediators that serve specific functions in cell differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, and organogenesis. These molecules are members of the TGF-β superfamily and have highly conserved structural characteristics. Their role in enhancing bone healing in fracture nonunions and segmental defects is described. The use of recombinant BMP-2 in articular cartilage defects has been shown to accelerate healing and to improve the biochemical characteristics of the repair cartilage. Growth and differentiation factors 5, 6 and 7 (members of the BMP family of proteins) serve as signaling molecules to progenitor cells and induce neotendon and ligament formation. These substances may augment healing upon injection or implantatation into injured areas.

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