Local BMP-7 release from a PLGA scaffolding-matrix for the repair of osteochondral defects in rabbits

Mi Ra Jung, In Kyong Shim, Hye Jin Chung, Hye Rim Lee, Yoon Jeong Park, Myung Chul Lee, Young Il Yang, Sun Hee Do, Seung Jin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The use of tissue engineering to repair large osteochondral defects has been impeded by the limited regenerative capacity of cartilage. Herein, we describe the local release of bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP-7) to stimulate the bone marrow-derived progenitors to repair osteochondral defects. BMP-7-releasing poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) matrix was specially designed to retain the dual-function of local BMP-7 release and progenitor-scaffolding with its defect-fitting architecture. To optimize the release kinetics during the repair period, BMP-7/PLGA film was cast on the surface of a cylindrical PLGA matrix. The matrix demonstrated a release profile of BMP-7 in a sustained manner over 28 days, maintaining its biological activity. The cylindrical PLGA matrices loaded with BMP-7 were implanted into the osteochondral defects (2 mm in diameter, 3 mm in depth) in rabbit knees. Histological observations revealed that neo-cartilage generation was completed in a well-integrated morphology with its surrounding normal cartilage and subchondral bone at 12 weeks post-implantation. Partial degradation of the PLGA matrix during the repair period guided neo-cartilage formation, which verified the effective scaffolding function of the matrix. Regenerated cartilage in BMP-7-treated defects stained positive for type II collagen and glycosaminoglycan (GAG). Adjacent BMP-7-untreated defects were also repaired with cartilage regeneration, suggesting the effect of local BMP-7 release in the synovial fluid. The BMP-7-unloaded PLGA matrix demonstrated guided cartilage regeneration to a certain extent, whereas the adjacent defects without the matrix revealed only fibrous tissue infiltration. These results indicated that a strategy employing the combined functions of local BMP-7 release and the cell scaffolding of a PLGA matrix might be a potential modality for osteochondral repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-491
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number3
StatePublished - 28 Sep 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NanoBio R&D Program (grant no. 2012-0006168 and grant no. 2012-0001051 ) of the Korean Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) .


  • BMP-7
  • Local release
  • Osteochondral repair
  • PLGA scaffolding-matrix
  • Tissue engineering


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