Multifunctional scaffolds for facile implantation, spontaneous fixation, and accelerated long bone regeneration in rodents

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation

Publication Date


Document Type



Biomaterials | Biomedical Devices and Instrumentation | Biotechnology | Molecular, Cellular, and Tissue Engineering | Musculoskeletal Diseases | Orthopedics


Graft-guided regenerative repair of critical long bone defects achieving facile surgical delivery, stable graft fixation, and timely restoration of biomechanical integrity without excessive biotherapeutics remains challenging. Here, we engineered hydration-induced swelling/stiffening and thermal-responsive shape-memory properties into scalable, three-dimensional-printed amphiphilic degradable polymer-osteoconductive mineral composites as macroporous, non-load-bearing, resorbable synthetic grafts. The distinct physical properties of the grafts enabled straightforward surgical insertion into critical-size rat femoral segmental defects. Grafts rapidly recovered their precompressed shape, stiffening and swelling upon warm saline rinse to result in 100% stable graft fixation. The osteoconductive macroporous grafts guided bone formation throughout the defect as early as 4 weeks after implantation; new bone remodeling correlated with rates of scaffold composition-dependent degradation. A single dose of 400-ng recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2/7 heterodimer delivered via the graft accelerated bone regeneration bridging throughout the entire defect by 4 weeks after delivery. Full restoration of torsional integrity and complete scaffold resorption were achieved by 12 to 16 weeks after surgery. This biomaterial platform enables personalized bone regeneration with improved surgical handling, in vivo efficacy and safety.

DOI of Published Version



Sci Transl Med. 2019 Jul 24;11(502). pii: eaau7411. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aau7411. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Science translational medicine

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID