Conjugation to Multiple Growth Factors to Hydroxyapatite-Collagen Scaffolds...

Title: Conjugation to Multiple Growth Factors to Hydroxyapatite-Collagen Scaffolds for Improved Bone Regeneration via Sequential, Sustained Delivery

Tech ID: 13-207

Inventors: Ryan Roeder, Matthew Meagher, Robert Kane

Date Added: August 7, 2020


A novel method for development of a synthetic bone graft substitute.

Technology Summary

13 207 Graphic

Bone is one of the most transplanted tissues in the United States. Autograft and allograft tissues are options, but are limited in size, shape, and can cause risk of disease transmission and infection. These limitations have prompted research for synthetic bone graft substitutes. One current scaffold material for bone regeneration is freeze-dried hydroxyapatite-collagen which imitates the structure and composition of bone tissue. These freeze-dried scaffolds suffer from small pore size, low permeability, and thin struts, resulting in poor mechanical properties thus preventing them from withstanding surgical handling and fixation. For other current methods, growth factors are passively absorbed leading to inconsistent dosing and ill-timed delivery of growth factors. There exists a great clinical need for more effective synthetic bone graft substitutes that promotes bone regeneration for patients who suffer warfighter or civilian trauma.

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have created a method for development of a synthetic bone graft substitute that enables sequential release of growth factors by dual conjugation resulting in sustained release coinciding with natural bone regeneration. Growth factors are known to promote osteogenesis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is known to promote vascularization which is crucial for bone regeneration and bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) may be one of the most important and potent osteogenesis regulators. Together, VEGF and BMP-2 exhibit synergistic effects on osteogenesis and result in increased bone formation compared to the growth factors being released alone. In current methods which deliver VEGF and BMP-2 in a bolus dose, the growth factors rapidly dissociate from the scaffolds and away from the injury, rendering the dose ineffective. Notre Dame researchers conjugated the proteins to hydroxyapatite and collagen in the scaffolds, which provides controlled release of the growth factors so that they coincide with natural bone regeneration, thus resulting in more effective dosing and increased bone formation.

Market Advantages

  • Scaffolds have an architecture suitable for vascularization and osteogenesis
  • Scaffolds have mechanical properties suitable for surgical handling, fixation, and bearing osteogenic loads during healing
  • Increased bone formation due to well-timed delivery of growth factors



Technology Readiness Level 

TRL 3 – Experimental Proof of Concept

Intellectual Property Status

US Patent 9,550,012


Richard Cox