Fabrication of a Cu/Zn co-incorporated calcium phosphate scaffold-derived GDF-5 sustained release system with enhanced angiogenesis and osteogenesis properties†
Synthetic scaffolds with multifunctional properties, including angiogenesis and osteogenesis capacities, play an essential role in accelerating bone regeneration. In this study, various concentrations of Cu/Zn ions were incorporated into biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) scaffolds, and then growth differentiation factor-5 (GDF-5)-loaded poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) microspheres were attached onto the ion-doped scaffold. The results demonstrated that with increasing concentration of dopants, the scaffold surface gradually changed from smooth grain crystalline to rough microparticles, and further to a nanoflake film. Additionally, the mass ratio of β-tricalcium phosphate/hydroxyapatite increased with the dopant concentration. Furthermore, GDF-5-loaded PLGA microspheres attached onto the BCP scaffold surface exhibited a sustained release. In vitro co-culture of bone mesenchymal stem cells and vascular endothelial cells showed that the addition of Cu/Zn ions and GDF-5 in the BCP scaffold not only accelerated cell proliferation, but also promoted cell differentiation by enhancing the alkaline phosphatase activity and bone-related gene expression. Moreover, the vascular endothelial growth factor secretion level increased with the dopant concentration, and attained a maximum when GDF-5 was added into the ions-doped scaffold. These findings indicated that BCP scaffold co-doped with Cu/Zn ions exhibited a combined effect of both metal ions, including angiogenic and osteogenic capacities. Moreover, GDF-5 addition further enhanced both the angiogenic and osteogenic capacities of the BCP scaffold. The Cu/Zn co-incorporated BCP scaffold-derived GDF-5 sustained release system produced multifunctional scaffolds with improved angiogenesis and osteogenesis properties.