Super-assembled core/shell fibrous frameworks with dual growth factors for in situ cementum–ligament–bone complex regeneration†
The regeneration of periodontal tissue defects remains a clinical challenge due to its complex tissue structure (e.g. periodontal ligament, alveolar bone and cementum) and poor self-healing ability. In situ tissue engineering has emerged as a promising approach that combines frameworks with growth factors that are specifically chosen for the recruitment of endogenous stem cells to the site of injury and to evoke the innate regenerative potential of the body. Herein, a core/shell fibrous super-assembled framework (SAF)-based sequential growth factor delivery system is developed, in which basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) are designed to release in a sequential manner to facilitate in situ regeneration of the cementum–ligament–bone complex. The in situ tissue engineering framework (iTE-framework) shows ameliorated physicochemical properties and improved hydrophilicity, with an initial burst release of bFGF in the first few days, followed by a slow and constant release of BMP-2 up to 4 weeks. The iTE-framework shows excellent biocompatibility, significantly promoting the proliferation, migration and osteogenic differentiation of human periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs) in vitro. After implantation in rat periodontal defects, the iTE-framework effectively triggers the recruitment of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to the defect site, significantly promotes the formation of new bones, and facilitates the regeneration of the periodontal ligament and cementum tissue in vivo. Therefore, this sequential delivery system provides a promising therapeutic strategy for cementum–ligament–bone complex regeneration.