A tissue engineering approach to address craniofacial defects requires a biomaterial that balances macro-scale mechanical stiffness and strength with the micron-scale features that promote cell expansion and tissue biosynthesis. Such criteria are often in opposition, leading to suboptimal mechanical competence or bioactivity. We report the use of a multiscale composite biomaterial that integrates a polycaprolactone (PCL) reinforcement structure with a mineralized collagen-glycosaminoglycan scaffold to circumvent conventional tradeoffs between mechanics and bioactivity. The composite promotes activation of the canonical bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) pathway and subsequent mineralization of adipose-derived stem cells in the absence of supplemental BMP-2 or osteogenic media. We subsequently examined new bone infill in the acellular composite, scaffold alone, or PCL support in 10 mm dia. ramus mandibular defects in Yorkshire pigs. We report an analytical approach to quantify radial, angular, and depth bone infill from micro-computed tomography data. The collagen-PCL composite showed improved overall infill, and significantly increased radial and angular bone infill versus the PCL cage alone. Bone infill was further enhanced in the composite for defects that penetrated the medullary cavity, suggesting recruitment of marrow-derived cells. These results indicate a multiscale mineralized collagen-PCL composite offers strategic advantages for regenerative repair of craniofacial bone defects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering