Enhanced osteogenic differentiation and bone regeneration of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) by graphene via activation of PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β/β-catenin signal circuit
The reconstruction of bone defects by guiding autologous bone tissue regeneration with artificial biomaterials is a potential strategy in the area of bone tissue engineering. The development of new polymers with good biocompatibility, favorable mechanical properties, and osteoinductivity is of vital importance. Graphene and its derivatives have attracted extensive interests due to the exceptional physiochemical and biological properties of graphene. In this study, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) films incorporated by graphene nanoplates were fabricated. The results indicated that the incorporation of proper graphene nanoplates into poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) film could enhance the adhesion and proliferation of rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (rBMSCs). The augmentation of alkaline phosphatase activity, calcium mineral deposition, and the expression level of osteogenic-related genes of rBMSCs on the composite films were observed. Moreover, the incorporation of graphene might activate the PI3K/Akt/GSK-3β/β-catenin signaling pathway, which appeared to be the mechanism behind the osteoinductive properties of graphene. Moreover, the in vivo furcation defect implantation results revealed better guiding bone regeneration properties in the graphene-incorporated group. Thus, we highlight this graphene-incorporated film as a promising platform for the growth and osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs that can achieve application in bone regeneration.