The objective of this study is to investigate the feasibility of a biodegradable hydrogel of gelatin as the controlled release carrier of bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) suitable for enhancement of bone regeneration at a segmental bone defect. Hydrogels with three different water contents were prepared through glutaraldehyde crosslinking of gelatin with an isoelectric point of 9.0 under varied reaction conditions. Segmental critical-sized defects (20 mm) were created at the ulnar bone of skeletally mature New Zealand white rabbits, and gelatin hydrogels incorporating BMP-2 (17 μg/hydrogel) were implanted into the defects. When bone regeneration was evaluated by soft x-ray observation and bone mineral density (BMD) measurement, the gelatin hydrogels incorporating BMP-2 exhibited significantly high osteoinduction activity compared with that of free BMP-2, although the activity depended on the water content of the hydrogels. Significantly higher BMD enhancement was observed in the gelatin hydrogel with a water content of 97.8 wt% than that with the lower or higher water content. We concluded that the biodegradable gelatin hydrogel is a promising controlled release carrier of BMP-2 for bone regeneration at the segmental bone defect.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology