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

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.