Theranostics 2020; 10(2):741-756. doi:10.7150/thno.39502 This issue

Research Paper

A sericin/ graphene oxide composite scaffold as a biomimetic extracellular matrix for structural and functional repair of calvarial bone

Chao Qi2*, Yan Deng2*, Luming Xu2, Cheng Yang2, Yuanyuan Zhu2, Guobin Wang3✉, Zheng Wang2,3✉, Lin Wang1,2✉

1. Department of Clinical Laboratory, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430022, China.
2. Research Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430022, China.
3. Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430022, China.
* These authors contributed equally to this work

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Citation:
Qi C, Deng Y, Xu L, Yang C, Zhu Y, Wang G, Wang Z, Wang L. A sericin/ graphene oxide composite scaffold as a biomimetic extracellular matrix for structural and functional repair of calvarial bone. Theranostics 2020; 10(2):741-756. doi:10.7150/thno.39502. Available from https://www.thno.org/v10p0741.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

Bone defects affect millions of people worldwide each year, leading to severe disabilities. Biomimetic scaffolds mediated tissue regeneration represents a promising alternative for bone repair. However, the major problem associated with most currently clinical available artificial bone substitutes (scaffolds) is that they mainly possess filling function but lack of osteo-induction abilities. Therefore, development of biomaterials with osteo-induction property for effective bone regeneration is highly desired.

Methods: We report the design and fabrication of a photo-crosslinked sericin methacryloyl (SerMA)/ graphene oxide (GO) hydrogel (SMH/GO) as a biomimetic scaffold for the functional repair of the bone. The mechanical strength, degradation and biocompatibility behavior of SMH/GO hydrogel were measured in vitro. The effect of SMH/GO hydrogel on BMSCs proliferation, migration, osteogenesis differentiation was assessed. After that, SMH/GO-2 was used as an artificial bone substitute for bone regeneration after calvarial defects and effect on bone repair was evaluated by histological, X-Ray and microCT analysis. Furthermore, the potential mechanism of SMH/GO hydrogel regulating BMSCs migration and differentiation was investigated by RNA sequencing.

Results: This scaffold has good biocompatibility, cell adhesive property, proliferation- and migration-promoting effects, and osteogenic induction property. After being implanted in a rat calvarial defect model, this SMH/GO scaffold effectively promotes new bone regeneration and achieves structural and functional repair within 12 weeks by inducing autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) differentiation. By utilizing cell-biological assays and RNA sequencing, we reveal its possible regeneration mechanisms: the SMH/GO hydrogel regulates BMSCs migration and osteo-differentiation via activating MAPK, TNF, and chemokine signaling for bone regeneration.

Conclusion: Aiming to meet clinical demands and overcome current limitations of existing artificial bones, we have developed a new type of sericin/ graphene oxide composite scaffold and provided histological, functional, and molecular evidence demonstrating that it is capable of effectively repairing defective bones by inducing autologous BMSCs directional migration and osteogenic differentiation.

Keywords: Sericin, Graphene oxide, Bone regeneration, Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, Migration and osteogenesis differentiation