The controlled release of active substances—bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) and 17β-estradiol—is one of the main aspects to be taken into account to successfully regenerate a tissue defect. In this study, BMP-2- and 17β-estradiol-loaded microspheres were combined in a sandwich-like system formed by a hydrogel core composed of chitosan (CHT) collagen, 2-hidroxipropil γ-ciclodextrin (HP-γ-CD), nanoparticles of hydroxyapatite (nano-HAP), and an electrospun mesh shell prepared with two external electrospinning films for the regeneration of a critical bone defect in osteoporotic rats. Microspheres were made with poly-lactide-co
-glycolide (PLGA) to encapsulate BMP-2, whereas the different formulations of 17β-estradiol were prepared with poly-lactic acid (PLA) and PLGA. The in vitro and in vivo BMP-2 delivered from the system fitted a biphasic profile. Although the in vivo burst effect was higher than in vitro the second phases (lasted up to 6 weeks) were parallel, the release rate ranged between 55 and 70 ng/day. The in vitro release kinetics of the 17β-estradiol dissolved in the polymeric matrix of the microspheres depended on the partition coefficient. The 17β-estradiol was slowly released from the core system using an aqueous release medium (Deff
) and very fast in MeOH-water (50:50). The hydrogel core system was injectable, and approximately 83% of the loaded dose is uniformly discharged through a 20G needle. The system placed in the defect was easily adapted to the defect shape and after 12 weeks approximately 50% of the defect was refilled by new tissue. None differences were observed between the osteoporotic and non-osteoporotic groups. Despite the role of 17β-estradiol on the bone remodeling process, the obtained results in this study suggest that the observed regeneration was only due to the controlled rate released of BMP-2 from the PLGA microspheres.
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