Material is reviewed that consists of reconstituted collagen fibril gel mineralized in a manner that produces biomimetically sized nanoapatites intimately associated with the fibrils. This gel is formed into usable shapes with a modulus and strength that allow it to be surgically press fitted into bony defects. The design paradigm for the material is that the nanoapatites will dissolve into soluble Ca2+
as the collagen is degraded into RGD-containing peptide fragments due to osteoclastic action. This is intended to signal to the osteoclasts to continue removing the material in a biomimetic fashion similar to bony remodeling. Preliminary experiments in a subcutaneous rat model show that the material is biocompatible with respect to inflammatory and immunogenic responses, and that it supports cellular invasion. Preliminary experiments in a critical-sized mandibular defect in rats show that the material is resorbable and functions well as a bone morphogenetic 2 (BMP-2) carrier. We have produced a range of mechanical and biological responses by varying mechanical and chemical processing of the material.
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