Controlled drug release from a novel injectable biodegradable microsphere/scaffold composite based on poly(propylene fumarate)

Diederik H.R. Kempen, Lichun Lu, Choll Kim, Xun Zhu, Wouter J.A. Dhert, Bradford L. Currier, Michael J. Yaszemski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


The ideal biomaterial for the repair of bone defects is expected to have good mechanical properties, be fabricated easily into a desired shape, support cell attachment, allow controlled release of bioactive factors to induce bone formation, and biodegrade into nontoxic products to permit natural bone formation and remodeling. The synthetic polymer poly(propylene fumarate) (PPF) holds great promise as such a biomaterial. In previous work we developed poly(DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) and PPF microspheres for the controlled delivery of bioactive molecules. This study presents an approach to incorporate these microspheres into an injectable, porous PPF scaffold. Model drug Texas red dextran (TRD) was encapsulated into biodegradable PLGA and PPF microspheres at 2 μg/mg microsphere. Five porous composite formulations were fabricated via a gas foaming technique by combining the injectable PPF paste with the PLGA or PPF microspheres at 100 or 250 mg microsphere per composite formulation, or a control aqueous TRD solution (200 μg per composite). All scaffolds had an interconnected pore network with an average porosity of 64.8 ± 3.6%. The presence of microspheres in the composite scaffolds was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy and confocal microscopy. The composite scaffolds exhibited a sustained release of the model drug for at least 28 days and had minimal burst release during the initial phase of release, as compared to drug release from microspheres alone. The compressive moduli of the scaffolds were between 2.4 and 26.2 MPa after fabrication, and between 14.9 and 62.8 MPa after 28 days in PBS. The scaffolds containing PPF microspheres exhibited a significantly higher initial compressive modulus than those containing PLGA microspheres. Increasing the amount of microspheres in the composites was found to significantly decrease the initial compressive modulus. The novel injectable PPF-based microsphere/scaffold composites developed in this study are promising to serve as vehicles for controlled drug delivery for bone tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Biodegradable microspheres
  • Bone tissue engineering
  • Composite scaffold
  • Drug delivery
  • Injectable material
  • Poly(propylene fumarate)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


Dive into the research topics of 'Controlled drug release from a novel injectable biodegradable microsphere/scaffold composite based on poly(propylene fumarate)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this