This first prototype of chemically-modified osteochondral scaffolds with granules of Amorphous Calcium Phosphate (ACP), with or without Strontium ions that promote osteoblast activity and differentiation, has been developed by two different chemical strategies. The granules suspension has been successfully distributed in the bone layer during the manufacturing process.
The second strategy, the biological one, has been investigated by adsorbing two different growth factors-the most potent osteoinductive protein BMP-2 and the strong chemoattractant PDGF-BB- on the scaffold surfaces. Scaffolds with such modifications proved to be potential good candidates for bone enhancement.
The biosafety of the improved scaffolds has been demonstrated, and the in vivo influence of the adsorption of osteogenic/chemoattractive growth factors into the OC scaffolds has been evaluated in a small animal model.
The investigation of the osteoprogenitor cell-scaffold interaction and colonization, through a bioreactor-based dynamic culture system, and the evaluation of the osteochondral regenerative potential in a large animal model are now ongoing. Finally, the upscaling of the synthesis process also started.
All the project activities will be finalized in 2021, according to the project timeline.