The effect of mesenchymal stem cells delivered via hydrogel-based tissue engineered periosteum on bone allograft healing

Michael D Hoffman, Chao Xie, Xinping Zhang, Danielle S W Benoit
Biomaterials 2013, 34 (35): 8887-98
Allografts remain the clinical "gold standard" for treatment of critical sized bone defects despite minimal engraftment and ∼60% long-term failure rates. Therefore, the development of strategies to improve allograft healing and integration are necessary. The periosteum and its associated stem cell population, which are lacking in allografts, coordinate autograft healing. Herein we utilized hydrolytically degradable hydrogels to transplant and localize mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to allograft surfaces, creating a periosteum mimetic, termed a 'tissue engineered periosteum'. Our results demonstrated that this tissue engineering approach resulted in increased graft vascularization (∼2.4-fold), endochondral bone formation (∼2.8-fold), and biomechanical strength (1.8-fold), as compared to untreated allografts, over 16 weeks of healing. Despite this enhancement in healing, the process of endochondral ossification was delayed compared to autografts, requiring further modifications for this approach to be clinically acceptable. However, this bottom-up biomaterials approach, the engineered periosteum, can be augmented with alternative cell types, matrix cues, growth factors, and/or other small molecule drugs to expedite the process of ossification.

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