Polyethylenimine-alginate nanocomposites based bone morphogenetic protein 2 gene-activated matrix for alveolar bone regeneration†
The repair and treatment of lost or damaged alveolar bone is of great significance in dentistry. Gene-activated matrix (GAM) technology provides a new way for bone regeneration. It is a local gene delivery system, which can not only recruit cells, but also influence their fate. For this purpose, we fabricated a bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) gene-loaded absorbable gelatin sponge (AGS) and studied its effect on promoting alveolar bone formation and preventing resorption following tooth extraction in rats. In order to obtain better transfection efficiency, polyethylenimine-alginate (PEI-al) nanocomposites were synthesized and used as gene vectors to deliver BMP-2 cDNA plasmids (PEI-al/pBMP-2). The transfection efficiency, BMP-2 protein expression and osteogenic differentiation of the cells were investigated in vitro. In vivo, we established an alveolar bone regeneration model by extracting the rats' left mandibular incisors. The rats were randomly assigned into 3 groups: control group, unfilled sockets; AGS group, sockets filled with PEI-al solution-loaded gelatin sponges; AGS/BMP group, sockets filled with PEI-al/pBMP-2 solution-loaded gelatin sponge. Radiological and histological assays were performed at 4 and 8 weeks later. In vitro transfection assays indicated that PEI-al/pBMP-2 complexes could effectively transfect MC3T3-E1 cells, promoting the secretion of BMP-2 protein for at least 14 days, as well as increasing the expression of osteogenesis-related gene, ALP activity and calcium deposition. In vivo, western blot analysis showed BMP-2 protein was expressed in bone tissues of AGS/BMP group. The relative height of the residual alveolar ridge and bone mineral density (BMD) of the AGS/BMP group were significantly greater than those in the AGS and control groups at 4 and 8 weeks, respectively. Histological examination showed that, at 4 weeks, osteoblasts had grown in a cubic shape around the new bone in the AGS/BMP group, suggesting new bone formation. In conclusion, the combination of PEI-al/pBMP-2 complexes and gelatin sponge could promote alveolar bone regeneration, which may provide an easy and valuable method for alveolar ridge preservation and augmentation.