Large bone defects constitute a major challenge in bone tissue engineering and usually fail to heal due to the incomplete differentiation of recruited mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into osteogenic precursor cells.
As previously proposed, metformin (MET) induces differentiation of MSCs into osteoblastic lineages in vitro. We fabricated a Poly (lactic acid) and Polycaprolactone (PLA/PCL) scaffold to deliver metformin loaded gelatin nanocarriers (MET/GNs) to critical-sized calvarial bone defects in a rat model.
The scaffolds were evaluated regarding their morphology, porosity, contact angle, degradation rate, blood compatibility, biomechanical, cell viability and their osteogenic differentiation. In animal study, the defects were filled with autograft, scaffolds and a group was left empty. qRT-PCR analyses showed the expression level of osteogenic and angiogenic markers considerably increased in MET/GNs-PLA/PCL.
The in vivo results showed that MET/GNs-PLA/PCL improved bone ingrowth, angiogenesis and defect reconstruction. Our results represent the applicability of MET/GNs-PLA/PCL for successful bone regeneration.
KEYWORDS: Bone healing; Drug delivery; Gelatin nanocarriers; Metformin; Rat