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BMP-2 and bFGF release and in vitro effect on human osteoblasts after adsorption to bone grafts and biomaterials


Corresponding author:

F. G. Draenert

Clinic for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

University of Marburg, Georg-Voigt-Str. 3, 35039

Marburg, Germany

Tel.: +49 06421 58 63237

Fax: +49 06421 58 68990




Combination of scaffolds and growth factors is a promising option for several clinical problems in bone biomaterials. Simplified growth factor loading by adsorption from aqueous solution is one important option for this technology. We evaluated the adsorption followed by PBS rinsing, release and biological effect of transient loading with basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and bone morphogenic protein 2 (BMP-2) on fresh frozen bone, processed bone matrix, collagen, and a ceramic material with immunofluorescence, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and qRT-PCR.

Materials and methods

The study consisted of three in vitro experiments (immunofluorescence, ELISA, and qRT-PCR) in human osteoblasts (HOB). The first evaluated the adsorption of the growth factors bFGF and BMP-2 to the biomaterials, analyzed by immunofluorescence assays. The second experiment used ELISA to analyze the release of the growth factors from the matrix. The biological effect of the growth factors on HOB was then studied with qRT-PCR experiments as the third step.


Strongest sustained release peaks in ELISA were observed in bFGF loading on processed bone matrix (steam-resistant mineralized bone matrix, SMBM) with up to 553 pg/ml medium. BMP-2 loading was less effective in ELISA peak release experiments with up to 257 pg/ml medium in processed bone matrix (SMBM). bFGF showed also higher release peaks in collagen material (192 pg/ml) compared with BMP-2 (101 pg/ml). Cumulative release values 0–72 h were estimated. The expression of runX2, osteocalcin, and alkaline phosphatase as markers for osteoblast activity was correlating.


The results showed sustained release of BMP-2 and bFGF after transient loading on bone biomaterials with a stronger effect in biological scaffolds. This is interesting for therapeutic growth factor loading as well as insights in natural growth factor matrix deposition during bone healing.