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Keywords:

  • decellularized bone;
  • scaffold;
  • bioactive glass;
  • angiogenesis;
  • coating;
  • vascular endothelial growth factor;
  • stereology;
  • vascularization

Abstract

In this study, the in vivo recellularization and neovascularization of nanosized bioactive glass (n-BG)-coated decellularized trabecular bone scaffolds were studied in a rat model and quantified using stereological analyses. Based on the highest amount of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secreted by human fibroblasts grown on n-BG coatings (0–1.245 mg/cm2), decellularized trabecular bone samples (porosity: 43–81%) were coated with n-BG particles. Grown on n-BG particles at a coating density of 0.263 mg/cm2, human fibroblasts produced 4.3 times more VEGF than on uncoated controls. After 8 weeks of implantation in Sprague–Dawley rats, both uncoated and n-BG-coated samples were well infiltrated with newly formed tissue (47–48%) and blood vessels (3–4%). No significant differences were found in cellularization and vascularization between uncoated bone scaffolds and n-BG-coated scaffolds. This finding indicates that the decellularized bone itself may exhibit growth-promoting properties induced by the highly interconnected pore microarchitecture and/or proteins left behind on decellularized scaffolds. Even if we did not find proangiogenic effects in n-BG-coated bone scaffolds, a bioactive coating is considered to be beneficial to impart osteoinductive and osteoconductive properties to decellularized bone. n-BG-coated bone grafts have thus high clinical potential for the regeneration of complex tissue defects given their ability for recellularization and neovascularization. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 101A: 827–841, 2013.