A facile one-stage treatment of critical bone defects using a calcium sulfate/hydroxyapatite biomaterial providing spatiotemporal delivery of bone morphogenic protein–2 and zoledronic acid

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Science Advances  27 Nov 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 48, eabc1779
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc1779


Bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs) are the only true osteoinductive molecules. Despite being tremendously potent, their clinical use has been limited for reasons including supraphysiological doses, suboptimal delivery systems, and the pro-osteoclast effect of BMPs. Efforts to achieve spatially controlled bone formation using BMPs are being made. We demonstrate that a carrier consisting of a powder of calcium sulfate/hydroxyapatite (CaS/HA) mixed with bone active molecules provides an efficient drug delivery platform for critical femoral defect healing in rats. The bone-active molecules were composed of osteoinductive rhBMP-2 and the bisphosphonate, and zoledronic acid (ZA) was chosen to overcome BMP-2–induced bone resorption. It was demonstrated that delivery of rhBMP-2 was necessary for critical defect healing and restoration of mechanical properties, but codelivery of BMP-2 and ZA led to denser and stronger fracture calluses. Together, the CaS/HA biomaterial with rhBMP-2 and/or ZA can potentially be used as an off-the-shelf alternative to autograft bone.

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