, Volume 468, Issue 7, pp 1978-1985

Calcium Phosphate Cement with BMP-2-loaded Gelatin Microspheres Enhances Bone Healing in Osteoporosis: A Pilot Study

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The capacity for bone healing reportedly is limited in osteoporosis with a less than ideal environment for healing of bone grafts. We therefore developed a composite bone substitute with rhBMP-2 loaded gelatin microsphere (GM) and calcium phosphate cement (CPC) to use in osteoporosis.


We asked whether (1) controlled release of rhBMP-2 could be improved in this composite bone substitute and (2) increasing factors released from the bone substitute could accelerate osteoporotic bone healing.


We soaked rhBMP-2/GM/CPC and rhBMP-2/CPC composites in simulated body fluid for 28 days and then determined the amount of rhBMP-2 released. Both composites were implanted in bone defects of osteoporotic goats and left in place for 45 and 140 days; the specimens then were evaluated mechanically (pushout test) and morphologically (CT scanning, histology).


The in vitro study showed the new composite released more rhBMP-2 compared with rhBMP-2/CPC. CT showed the defects healed more quickly with new grafts. The bone mineralization rate was greater in rhBMP-2/GM/CPC than in rhBMP-2/CPC after 45 days of implantation and the pushout test was stronger after 45 and 140 days of implantation.


The new graft composite released more loaded factors and appeared to repair osteoporotic bone defects.

Clinical Relevance

These preliminary data suggest the new composite can be used as a bone substitute to accelerate healing of fractures and bone defects in osteoporosis.

One or more of the authors (ML, XL) have received funding from a research grant at the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (Grant Number of 06MA090) and a grant of Gansu Natural Science Foundation (Grant Number of 0710RJZA068).
Each author certifies that his or her institution approved the animal protocol for this investigation and that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research.