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Site-directed immobilization of BMP-2: Two approaches for the production of innovative osteoinductive scaffolds

: Tabisz, Barbara; Schmitz, Werner; Schmitz, Michael; Lühmann, Tessa; Heusler, Eva; Rybak, Jens-Christoph; Meinel, Lorenz; Fiebig, Juliane E.; Müller, Thomas D.; Nickel, Joachim


Biomacromolecules 18 (2017), No.3, pp.695-708
ISSN: 1525-7797
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IGB ()

The regenerative potential of bone is strongly impaired in pathological conditions, such as nonunion fractures. To support bone regeneration various scaffolds have been developed in the past, which have been functionalized with osteogenic growth factors such as bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). However, most of them required supra-physiological levels of these proteins leading to burst releases, thereby causing severe side effects. Site-specific, covalent coupling of BMP2 to implant materials might be an optimal strategy in order to overcome these problems. Therefore, we created a BMP-2 variant (BMP2-K3Plk) containing a noncanonical amino acid (propargyl-l-lysine) substitution introduced by genetic code expansion that allows for site-specific and covalent immobilization onto polymeric scaffold materials. To directly compare different coupling strategies, we also produced a BMP2 variant containing an additional cysteine residue (BMP2-A2C) allowing covalent coupling by thioether formation. The BMP2-K3Plk mutant was coupled to functionalized beads by a copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) either directly or via a short biotin-PEG linker both with high specificity. After exposing the BMP-coated beads to C2C12 cells, ALP expression appeared locally restricted in close proximity to these beads, showing that both coupled BMP2 variants trigger cell differentiation. The advantage of our approach over non-site-directed immobilization techniques is the ability to produce fully defined osteogenic surfaces, allowing for lower BMP2 loads and concomitant higher bioactivities, for example, due to controlled orientation toward BMP2 receptors. Such products might provide superior bone healing capabilities with potential safety advantages as of homogeneous product outcome.