pHEMA-nHA Encapsulation and Delivery of Vancomycin and rhBMP-2 Enhances its Role as a Bone Graft Substitute

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation; Department of Cell and Developmental Biology



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Bone Transplantation; Bone Substitutes


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Orthopedics


BACKGROUND: Bone grafts are widely used in orthopaedic procedures. Autografts are limited by donor site morbidity while allografts are known for considerable infection and failure rates. A synthetic composite bone graft substitute poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)-nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite (pHEMA-nHA) was previously developed to stably press-fit in and functionally repair critical-sized rat femoral segmental defects when it was preabsorbed with a single low dose of 300 ng recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2/7 (rhBMP-2/7).

QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: To facilitate clinical translation of pHEMA-nHA as a synthetic structural bone graft substitute, we examined its ability to encapsulate and release rhBMP-2 and the antibiotic vancomycin.

METHODS: We analyzed the compressive behavior and microstructure of pHEMA-nHA as a function of vancomycin incorporation doses using a dynamic mechanical analyzer and a scanning electron microscope. In vitro release of vancomycin was monitored by ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy. Release of rhBMP-2 from pHEMA-nHA-vancomycin was determined by ELISA. Bioactivity of the released vancomycin and rhBMP-2 was examined by bacterial inhibition and osteogenic transdifferentiation capabilities in cell culture, respectively.

RESULTS: Up to 4.8 wt% of vancomycin was incorporated into pHEMA-nHA without compromising its structural integrity and compressive modulus. Encapsulated vancomycin was released in a dose-dependent and sustained manner in phosphate-buffered saline over 2 weeks, and the released vancomycin inhibited Escherichia coli culture. The pHEMA-nHA-vancomycin composite released preabsorbed rhBMP-2 in a sustained manner over 8 days and locally induced osteogenic transdifferentiation of C2C12 cells in culture.

CONCLUSIONS: pHEMA-nHA can encapsulate and deliver vancomycin and rhBMP-2 in a sustained and localized manner with reduced loading doses.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The elasticity, osteoconductivity, and rhBMP-2/vancomycin delivery characteristics of pHEMA-nHA may benefit orthopaedic reconstructions or fusions with enhanced safety and efficiency and reduced infection risk.

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Citation: Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2012 Oct 16. Link to article on publisher's site

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