Aim: To examine the performance of an injectable gel graft made of transglutaminase (Tg)-crosslinked gelatin gel with BMP-2 (BMP-2-Tg-Gel) for bone defect repair in animal models.
Materials & methods: BMP-2 mixed with gelatin gel was crosslinked using Tg. The release of tethered BMP-2 through autocrine and paracrine pathways was demonstrated by using C2C12 and NIH 3T3 cells, respectively. BMP-2-Tg-Gel was injected into the induced cranial defect site. After 14 days, the sample was removed for x-ray imaging and histological evaluation.
Results: Our in vivo results demonstrated that the injectable Tg-Gel with its osteoconductivity and controllable BMP-2 activity induced bone formation in our rat models when tethered with BMP-2.
Conclusion: Tg-Gel as an injectable functional bone graft may enable the use of minimally invasive surgical procedures to treat irregular-shaped bone defects. Furthermore, this novel approach is capable of incorporating and controlling the release of therapeutic agents that may advance the science of tissue regeneration.