Nanogel-based scaffolds fabricated for bone regeneration with mesoporous bioactive glass and strontium: In vitro and in vivo characterization

J Biomed Mater Res A. 2017 Apr;105(4):1175-1183. doi: 10.1002/jbm.a.35980. Epub 2017 Feb 13.


The delivery of novel bioactive scaffolds for the repair of bone defects remains a prominent challenge worldwide. Currently osteoporosis, a disease caused by low bone mineral density affects over 200 million people worldwide with up to half of this population experiencing at least one fracture within their lifetime. Recently temperature-sensitive p(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-butyl methylacrylate) nanogel (PIB nanogel) scaffolds have emerged as biomaterial candidate for regenerative therapies. It has the advantage of being injected from syringes as a soluble gel form (capable of delivering growth and/or living progenitor cells) yet hardens once it reaches body temperatures. Although this material demonstrates optimal clinical delivery of scaffolds, its main drawback is its low osteoconductivity and bioactivity. Recently we have demonstrated that mesoporous bioactive glass (MBG) loaded with strontium was able to regenerate osteoporotic defects in vivo and enhance osteoblast differentiation in vitro. The aim of this study was to combine the advantages of these two therapies and prepare PIB-nanogel scaffolds containing Sr-MBG and investigate their ability to regenerate femur defects created in ovarectamized rats. The results demonstrate that groups containing Sr-MBG within the nanogel formulation had significantly higher new bone formation when compared with other modalities. We further demonstrate that although nanogel demonstrated poor osteogenic ability, the addition of osteoblasts worked synergistically with Sr-MBG particles to enhance the regeneration of the created femur defects in osteoporotic animals. In conclusion, PIB nanogel scaffolds are a viable treatment modality for bone tissue engineering and may serve as a carrier-scaffold for osteogenic cells and/or bioactive scaffolds such as Sr-MBG. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 105A: 1175-1183, 2017.

Keywords: mesoporous bioactive glass; nanogel; osteoinductive; osteoporosis; strontium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Regeneration*
  • Female
  • Femoral Fractures / metabolism
  • Femoral Fractures / pathology
  • Femoral Fractures / therapy*
  • Glass / chemistry*
  • Nanostructures* / chemistry
  • Nanostructures* / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Strontium / chemistry*
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*


  • Strontium