UNLABELLED: Bone regeneration is challenging in sites where the blood supply has been compromised by radiation. We examined the potential of a growth factor (VEGF) delivery system to enhance angiogenesis and bone formation in irradiated calvarial defects. VEGF-releasing polymers significantly increased blood vessel density and vascular perfusion in irradiated defects and increased bone formation relative to control conditions.
INTRODUCTION: Radiation therapy causes damage to tissues and inhibits its regenerative capacity. Tissue injury from radiation is in large part caused by a compromised vascular supply and reduced perfusion of tissues. The aim of this study was to determine if delivery of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) from a biodegradable PLGA (copolymer of D,L-lactide and glycolide) scaffold could enhance neovascularization and bone regeneration in irradiated osseous defects.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: An isolated area of the calvarium of Fisher rats was irradiated (12 Gy) 2 weeks preoperatively, and two 3.5-mm osseous defects were created in this area, followed by the placement of PLGA scaffolds or VEGF scaffolds (PLGA scaffolds with incorporated VEGF) into the defects. Laser Doppler perfusion imaging was performed to measure perfusion of these areas at 1, 2, and 6 weeks. Implants were retrieved at 2, 6, and 12 weeks, and histologic and muCT analyses were performed to determine neovascularization and bone regeneration.
RESULTS: Histological analyses revealed statistically significant increases in blood vessel formation (>2-fold) and function (30%) within the VEGF scaffolds compared with PLGA scaffolds. Additionally, evaluation of bone regeneration through bone histomorphometric and muCT analyses revealed significantly greater bone coverage (26.36 +/- 6.91% versus 7.05 +/- 2.09% [SD]) and increased BMD (130.80 +/- 58.05 versus 71.28 +/- 42.94 mg/cm(3)) in VEGF scaffolds compared with PLGA scaffolds.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show that VEGF scaffolds have the ability to enhance neovascularization and bone regeneration in irradiated osseous defects, outlining a novel approach for engineering tissues in hypovascular environments.
Last updated on 09/29/2017
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