Improved spinal fusion efficacy by long-term delivery of bone morphogenetic protein-2 in a rabbit model

Jae Wook Lee, Saehyoung Lee, Sun Hwa Lee, Hee Seok Yang, Gun II Im, Chang Sung Kim, Jung Ho Park, Byung Soo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background and purpose: Various new delivery systems for recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) have been introduced to improve its efficacy in osteogenesis. Of these, we have previously developed heparin-conjugated PLGA nanospheres (HCPN) as a long-term delivery system for BMP-2. In vitro studies have shown that the BMP-2 long-term delivery system enhances the level of bone formation. However, the long-term effects of BMP-2 on spinal fusion have not been assessed. Therefore, we now tested the hypothesis that the long-term delivery of BMP-2 using HCPN improves spinal fusion compared to short-term delivery in a rabbit fusion model. Methods: 24 adult New Zealand White rabbits underwent posterolateral fusion (6 animals in 4 groups). The autograft group received an autologous iliac chip bone graft as a positive control. The BMP-2-PN group received rhBMP-2 (20 μg per implant) and PLGA nanospheres (PN) suspended in fibrin gel, and served as a short-term release group. The HCPN group received HCPN suspended in fibrin gel without BMP-2 as a negative control. The BMP-2-HCPN group received rhBMP-2 (20 μg per implant)-bound HCPN suspended in fibrin gel and served as a long-term release group. All animals were killed 12 weeks after surgery. Manual palpation, axial tensile tests, radiography, and histological evaluations were then performed. Results: The spinal fusion rate and Young's modulus of the fusion mass were better in the BMP-2 long-term delivery group than in the short-term delivery group at an equivalent dose. However, the outcome of the long-term delivery was inferior to that of the autograft group. Interpretation: The HCPN system showed potential as an effective carrier that might improve the osteogenic efficacy of BMP-2 for spinal fusion. Copyright:

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)756-760
Number of pages5
JournalActa Orthopaedica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant (KRF-2008-313-E00356) from the National Research Foundation of Korea and a grant (A100443) from the Korea Health 21 R&D Project of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, Republic of Korea.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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