We have previously reported the fabrication of a polycaprolactone and hydroxyapatite composite scaffold incorporating growth factors to be used for bone regeneration. Two growth factors were incorporated employing a multilayered coating based on polydopamine (PDA). In particular, Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) was bound onto the inner PDA layer while vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was immobilized onto the outer one. Herein, the in vitro release of both growth factors is evaluated. A fastest VEGF delivery followed by a slow and more sustained release of BMP-2 was demonstrated, thus fitting the needs for bone tissue engineering applications. Due to the relevance of the crosstalk between bone-promoting and vessel-forming cells during bone healing, the functionalized scaffolds are further assessed on a co-culture setup of human mesenchymal stem cells and human endothelial progenitor cells. Osteogenic and angiogenic gene expression analysis indicates a synergistic effect between the growth factor-loaded scaffolds and the co-culture conditions. Taken together, these results indicate that the developed scaffolds hold great potential as an efficient platform for bone-tissue applications.
- Bone tissue engineering
- Growth factors