Enhanced bone regeneration in rat calvarial defects implanted with surface-modified and BMP-loaded bioactive glass (13-93) scaffolds

Xin Liu, Mohamed N. Rahaman, Yongxing Liu, B. Sonny Bal, Lynda F. Bonewald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The repair of large bone defects, such as segmental defects in the long bones of the limbs, is a challenging clinical problem. Our recent work has shown the ability to create porous scaffolds of silicate 13-93 bioactive glass by robocasting which have compressive strengths comparable to human cortical bone. The objective of this study was to evaluate the capacity of those strong porous scaffolds with a grid-like microstructure (porosity = 50%; filament width = 330 μm; pore width = 300 μm) to regenerate bone in a rat calvarial defect model. Six weeks post-implantation, the amount of new bone formed within the implants was evaluated using histomorphometric analysis. The amount of new bone formed in implants composed of the as-fabricated scaffolds was 32% of the available pore space (area). Pretreating the as-fabricated scaffolds in an aqueous phosphate solution for 1, 3 and 6 days to convert a surface layer to hydroxyapatite prior to implantation enhanced new bone formation to 46%, 57% and 45%, respectively. New bone formation in scaffolds pretreated for 1, 3 and 6 days and loaded with bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) (1 μg per defect) was 65%, 61% and 64%, respectively. The results show that converting a surface layer of the glass to hydroxyapatite or loading the surface-treated scaffolds with BMP-2 can significantly improve the capacity of 13-93 bioactive glass scaffolds to regenerate bone in an osseous defect. Based on their mechanical properties evaluated previously and their capacity to regenerate bone found in this study, these 13-93 bioactive glass scaffolds, pretreated or loaded with BMP-2, are promising in structural bone repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7506-7517
Number of pages12
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Bioactive glass scaffold
  • Bone morphogenetic protein-2
  • Bone regeneration
  • Rat calvarial defect model
  • Surface modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology

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