DOI: 10.1302/1358-992x.2024.1.010 ISSN: 1358-992X


X. Tian, C. Vater, D. B. Raina, L. Findeisen, L.-M. Matuszewski, M. Tägil, L. Lidgren, K.-D. Schaser, A.C. Disch, S. Zwingenberger

Although bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) has been FDA-approved for spinal fusion for decades, its disadvantages of promoting osteoclast-based bone resorption and suboptimal carrier (absorbable collagen sponge) leading to premature release of the protein limit its clinical applications. Our recent study showed an excellent effect on bone regeneration when BMP-2 and zoledronic acid (ZA) were co-delivered based on a calcium sulphate/hydroxyapatite (CaS/HA) scaffold in a rat critical-size femoral defect model. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate whether local application of BMP-2 and ZA released from a CaS/HA scaffold is favorable for spinal fusion. We hypothesized that CaS/HA mediated controlled co-delivery of rhBMP-2 and ZA could show an improved effect in spinal fusion over BMP-2 alone. 120, 8-week-old male Wistar rats (protocol no. 25-5131/474/38) were randomly divided into six groups in this study (CaS/HA, CaS/HA + BMP-2, CaS/HA + systemic ZA, CaS/HA + local ZA, CaS/HA + BMP-2 + systemic ZA, CaS/HA + BMP-2 + local ZA). A posterolateral spinal fusion at L4 to L5 was performed bilaterally by implanting group-dependent scaffolds. At 3 weeks and 6 weeks, 10 animals per group were euthanized for µCT, histological staining, or mechanical testing. µCT and histological results showed that the CaS/HA + BMP-2 + local ZA group significantly promoted bone regeneration than other treated groups. Biomechanical testing showed breaking force in CaS/HA + BMP + local ZA group was significantly higher than other groups at 6 weeks. In conclusion, the CaS/HA-based biomaterial functionalized with bioactive molecules rhBMP-2 and ZA enhanced bone formation and concomitant spinal fusion outcome

Acknowledgements: Many thanks to Ulrike Heide, Anna-Maria Placht (assistance with surgeries) as well as Suzanne Manthey & Annett Wenke (histology).

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