A bioactive nano-calcium phosphate paste for in-situ transfection of BMP-7 and VEGF-A in a rabbit critical-size bone defect: results of an in vivo study
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The aim of this study was to prepare an injectable DNA-loaded nano-calcium phosphate paste that is suitable as bioactive bone substitution material. For this we used the well-known potential of calcium phosphate in bone contact and supplemented it with DNA for the in-situ transfection of BMP-7 and VEGF-A in a critical-size bone defect. 24 New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into two groups: One group with BMP-7- and VEGF-A-encoding DNA on calcium phosphate nanoparticles and a control group with calcium phosphate nanoparticles only. The bone defect was created at the proximal medial tibia and filled with the DNA-loaded calcium phosphate paste. As control, a bone defect was filled with the calcium phosphate paste without DNA. The proximal tibia was investigated 2, 4 and 12 weeks after the operation. A histomorphological analysis of the dynamic bone parameters was carried out with the Osteomeasure system. The animals treated with the DNA-loaded calcium phosphate showed a statistically significantly increased bone volume per total volume after 4 weeks in comparison to the control group. Additionally, a statistically significant increase of the trabecular number and the number of osteoblasts per tissue area were observed. These results were confirmed by radiological analysis. The DNA-loaded bone paste led to a significantly faster healing of the critical-size bone defect in the rabbit model after 4 weeks. After 12 weeks, all defects had equally healed in both groups. No difference in the quality of the new bone was found. The injectable DNA-loaded calcium phosphate paste led to a faster and more sustained bone healing and induced an accelerated bone formation after 4 weeks. The material was well integrated into the bone defect and new bone was formed on its surface. The calcium phosphate paste without DNA led to a regular healing of the critical-size bone defect, but the healing was slower than the DNA-loaded paste. Thus, the in-situ transfection with BMP-7 and VEGF-A significantly improved the potential of calcium phosphate as pasty bone substitution material.
Wolfgang Lehmann and Matthias Epple thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for funding within the projects EP 22/39-1 and LE 1298/3-1.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.
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