Effects of bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) release from polylactide-poly (ethylene glycol)-polylactide (PELA) microcapsule-based scaffolds on bone

<div><p>Multiple growth factors can be administered to mimic the natural process of bone healing in bone tissue engineering. We investigated the effects of sequential release of bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) from polylactide-poly (ethylene glycol)-polylactide (PELA) microcapsule-based scaffolds on bone regeneration. To improve the double emulsion/solvent evaporation technique, VEGF was encapsulated in PELA microcapsules, to which BMP-2 was attached. The scaffold (BMP-2/PELA/VEGF) was then fused to these microcapsules using the dichloromethane vapor method. The bioactivity of the released BMP-2 and VEGF was then quantified in rat mesenchymal stem cells (rMSCs). Immunoblotting analysis showed that BMP-2/PELA/VEG promoted the differentiation of rMSCs into osteoblasts via the MAPK and Wnt pathways. Osteoblast differentiation was assessed through alkaline phosphatase expression. When compared with simple BMP-2 plus VEGF group and pure PELA group, osteoblast differentiation in BMP-2/PELA/VEGF group significantly increased. An MTT assay indicated that BMP-2-loaded PELA scaffolds had no adverse effects on cell activity. BMP-2/PELA/VEG promoted the differentiation of rMSCs into osteoblast via the ERK1/2 and Wnt pathways. Our findings indicate that the sequential release of BMP-2 and VEGF from PELA microcapsule-based scaffolds is a promising approach for the treatment of bone defects.</p></div>