Polymer-coated bioactive glass S53P4 increases VEGF and TNF expression in an induced membrane model in vivo


The two-stage induced-membrane technique for treatment of large bone defects has become popular among orthopedic surgeons. In the first operation, the bone defect is filled with poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), which is intended to produce a membrane around the implant. In the second operation, PMMA is replaced with autograft or allograft bone. Bioactive glasses (BAGs) are bone substitutes with bone-stimulating and angiogenetic properties. The aim of our study was to evaluate the inductive vascular capacity of BAG-S53P4 and poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA)-coated BAG-S53P4 for potential use as bone substitutes in a single-stage induced-membrane technique. Sintered porous rods of BAG-S53P4, PLGA-coated BAG-S53P4 and PMMA were implanted in the femur of 36 rabbits for 2, 4 and 8 weeks. The expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF) in the induced membranes of implanted materials was analyzed with real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction and compared with histology. Both uncoated BAG-S53P4 and PLGA-coated BAG-S53P4 increase expression of VEGF and TNF, resulting in higher amounts of capillary beds, compared with the lower expression of VEGF and less capillary beads observed for negative control and PMMA samples. A significantly higher expression of VEGF was observed for PLGA-coated BAG-S53P4 than for PMMA at 8 weeks (p < 0.036). VEGF and TNF expression in the induced membrane of BAG-S53P4 and PLGA-coated BAG-S53P4 is equal or superior to PMMA, the “gold standard” material used in the induced-membrane technique. Furthermore, the VEGF and TNF expression for PLGA-coated BAG-S53P4 increased during follow-up.

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Correspondence to R. Björkenheim.

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R. Björkenheim and G. Strömberg have contributed equally to this work.

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Björkenheim, R., Strömberg, G., Pajarinen, J. et al. Polymer-coated bioactive glass S53P4 increases VEGF and TNF expression in an induced membrane model in vivo. J Mater Sci 52, 9055–9065 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10853-017-0839-6

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  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor
  • PMMA
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Expression
  • Bioactive Glass
  • Human Dermal Microvascular Endothelial Cell