Growth factors are very promising molecules to enhance bone regeneration. However, their translation to clinical use has been seriously limited, facing issues related to safety and cost-effectiveness. These problems derive from the vastly supra-physiological doses of growth factor used without optimized delivery systems. Therefore, these issues have motivated the development of new delivery systems allowing better control of the spatiotemporal release and signaling of growth factors. Because the extracellular matrix (ECM) naturally plays a fundamental role in coordinating growth factor activity in vivo, a number of novel delivery systems have been inspired by the growth factor regulatory function of the ECM. After introducing the role of growth factors during the bone regeneration process, this review exposes different issues that growth factor-based therapies have encountered in the clinic and highlights recent delivery approaches based on the natural interaction between growth factor and the ECM.
Keywords: Bone morphogenetic protein; Clinical translation; Controlled delivery; Extracellular matrix; Fibroblast growth factor; Integrins; Platelet-derived growth factor; Vascular endothelial growth factor.
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