A supramolecular polymer-collagen microparticle slurry for bone regeneration with minimal growth factor

Mark T. McClendon, Wei Ji, Allison C. Greene, Hiroaki Sai, M. Hussain Sangji, Nicholas A. Sather, Charlotte H. Chen, Sungsoo S. Lee, Karina Katchko, Soyeon Sophia Jeong, Abhishek Kannan, Joseph Weiner, Ralph Cook, Adam Driscoll, Ryan Lubbe, Kevin Chang, Meraaj Haleem, Feng Chen, Ruomeng Qiu, Danielle ChunStuart R. Stock, Wellington K. Hsu, Erin L. Hsu, Samuel I. Stupp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recombinant bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) is a potent osteoinductive growth factor that can promote bone regeneration for challenging skeletal repair and even for ectopic bone formation in spinal fusion procedures. However, serious clinical side effects related to supraphysiological dosing highlight the need for advances in novel biomaterials that can significantly reduce the amount of this biologic. Novel biomaterials could not only reduce clinical side effects but also expand the indications for use of BMP-2, while at the same time lowering the cost of such procedures. To achieve this objective, we have developed a slurry containing a known supramolecular polymer that potentiates BMP-2 signaling and porous collagen microparticles. This slurry exhibits a paste-like consistency that stiffens into an elastic gel upon implantation making it ideal for minimally invasive procedures. We carried out in vivo evaluation of the novel biomaterial in the rabbit posterolateral spine fusion model, and discovered efficacy at unprecedented ultra-low BMP-2 doses (5 μg/implant). This dose reduces the growth factor requirement by more than 100-fold relative to current clinical products. This observation is significant given that spinal fusion involves ectopic bone formation and the rabbit model is known to be predictive of human efficacy. We expect the novel biomaterial can expand BMP-2 indications for difficult cases requiring large volumes of bone formation or involving patients with underlying conditions that compromise bone regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122357
StatePublished - Nov 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials


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