Bone morphogenetic protein excipients: comparative observations on poloxamer

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2000 Feb;105(2):628-37. doi: 10.1097/00006534-200002000-00023.


Clinicians await the availability of synthetic bioimplants that will replace the need for autogeneic bone grafts in bone reconstructive surgery. For more than a decade, researchers have evaluated delivery vehicles for the tissue morphogen bone morphogenetic protein. The object of this investigation was to measure induced bone development when bone morphogenetic protein was delivered by human tendon collagen, human demineralized bone matrix, hydroxyapatite, a composite of human tendon collagen and human demineralized bone matrix (tendon collagen + demineralized bone matrix), Poloxamer 407, and a composite of human demineralized bone matrix and Poloxamer 407. Sixty-three adult male Swiss Webster mice (Harlan Sprague-Dawley, Indianapolis, Ind.) received 126 implants. The animals were divided into seven groups of nine animals, depending on carrier (six carriers plus the positive control group) used. Each animal received a bone morphogenetic protein-enhanced carrier in one hindquarter muscle mass, with the contralateral leg being implanted with the carrier alone. Implants were evaluated by quantitative radiomorphometry validated by histologic methods. Radiographically, no significant differences were identified among any of the implants evaluated (p > 0.05). Histomorphometric analysis demonstrated that Poloxamer 407 was significantly (p < 0.05) better at delivering bone morphogenetic protein than the other carriers involved in this investigation. The new bone developed in a tubular or spherical shape. Interaction of endogenous and exogenous delivery systems seems to be essential for optimal transmission of bone morphogenetic protein. The importance of the excipient to deliver bone morphogenetic protein and develop a bone morphogenetic protein concentration gradient has been emphasized by other investigators and confirmed by our research on poloxamer. With further research on the physicochemical mechanisms of localization and transmission of bone morphogenetic protein, it may be possible to avoid hazardous operations with autogeneic bone.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Development
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / physiology*
  • Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology
  • Drug Carriers
  • Excipients*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Poloxamer*


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Drug Carriers
  • Excipients
  • Poloxamer